Review: Hori Split Pad Pro

Review: Hori Switch Split Pad Pro (Volcanic Red) 

I was a little on the fence paying $49.99 at my local GameStop for the Split Pad Pro from Hori but was not disappointed at all. Originally released in 2020 it has been around a while but can still be found on shelves. 

Overall Score-  90% A-

The Good 

💙Wide Ergonomic Grip Makes the Switch Feel Lighter 
💙Larger Buttons & Larger Analog Sticks
💙Programmable Back Paddles
💙Accurate & Responsive D-pad

The Bad 

😢No Rumble 
😢Slightly Less Battery Life

All in all I was surprised how ergonomic this controller option is. It should be noted that this is a controller for Handheld Mode Only as it has no wireless capabilities.  If that and the lack of Rumble, gyroscopic aiming, motion controls or a NFC reader don't bother you,  this gem from Hori is an excellent option especially for shooters and high action games. This controller works with the V1 and V2 Switch and the Switch OLED (It will not fit into the OLED dock however).  It obviously will not work with the Switch Lite. I rarely ever play the Switch docked so paying only in handheld mode doesn't bother me. 

In essence ditching a bunch of features and replacing them with comfort was well worth it. 

Ergonomic Design A+

Ergonomic designs rarely look awesome and that's the case here. The whole setup looks ridiculously big and awkward but ... it works. Despite the very wide grip, it feels great and doesn't cause any hand fatigue even plating non-stop for a couple hours. The Switch feels drastically lighter using this. 

Build Quality A-

The build quality is good. I think there could have been a few improvements like better grip on the top side of the controller but all in all its a good product and built to last.  

Battery Life C+

There is a slight drop-off in battery life using this setup but it's not a deal breaker. I'd say I get about 10%-15% less life (depending upon the game) using this than I do using the Joy-Cons. Given the increased ergonomics and drastically better handheld experience,  losing a little battery life is worth the trade off. 

D-Pad B-

The controller has a proper d-pad which I prefer over the 4 button style of the Joy-Cons. The d-pad is large, positioned well and very responsive. My only complaint is that it's a little on the soft side. I'd say this d-pad is above average although I preferred the action and feel of the Hori Nintendo Switch D-pad Controller (L) Joy-Con a little more. 

Face Buttons B+

The face buttons on the Split Pad Pro are large, responsive and positioned well. Like the d-pad they are above average and somewhat on the softer side as well. I would have preferred slightly stiffer Buttons. 

Analog Sticks B+

The analogs are large (about double the size of the Joy-Con Sticks.  The quality is average but there's little to no chance of drift with these and they are comfortable and responsive. Like the d-pad and face buttons, the action is also on the soft/loose side. It doesn't effect accuracy at all but I would have preferred stiffer movement. 

Shoulders B-

The 4 shoulder buttons aren't bad at all. Certainly a little easier to use than Joy-Cons and are positioned well. If there was a little less travel required pushing them they would have been perfect. 

Other Buttons A+

The ability to program 2 buttons with varying degrees of Turbo is a neat option although I've never been a fan of Turbo (feels like cheating to me).  The real bonus with this controller is the Programmable Back buttons and they have great action to them. This comes in handy with shooters and high action games. 

In The End A- 90%

In the end, if comfort is important to you and you don't mind losing a few Joy-Con gimmicks, this is a must have controller. It certainly looks crazy and lowers portability but if you mostly play in handheld mode at home it's a great buy. $49.99 is a bit steep but still worth it. At $39.99 this would have been an A+ not an A- grade controller. 

Nintendo Switch Games I tested with it: 

Diablo 3
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1+2
NBA 2K21
BioShock 2
Disgaea 6
TLOZ: Breath of the Wild
Fatum Betula
Pac-Man 99
Metroid Dread
Xenoblade Chronicles

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