The Nintendo Switch has been a great addition to my gaming habits over the past few years. It’s been the perfect gateway to gaming on the go and at home. There has been plenty to play through and the extensive library continues to expand with great single and multi-player titles in 2021. One of the most important parts of owning a gaming device are choice of accessories and sadly Nintendo don’t deliver much on this end with high cost Joy-Cons that are prone to stick drift and a Pro Controller is just as expensive. This is where the best third-party accessories for the Nintendo Switch shine, giving us alternatives that are better value for money along with possible better features, ergonomics and aesthetics.
I recently picked up a BinBok Wireless Switch Pro Controller for multiplayer gaming with friends and as a general backup. The controller features Gyro motion controls, adjustable vibration motors, adjustable LED light modes and a Turbo function. It works with the original Nintendo Switch, Switch Lite and newly released OLED Switch model.
Packaging contains the controller, a USB-C cable for charging and instructions that cover all functions and troubleshooting methods. It’s worth reading through this set of instructions as there are a number of features and button combinations to understand if you want a personalized experience.
This version of Binbok’s Pro Controller features a ‘cracked’ surface coating, the various LED lights on the controller illuminate through these contour lines and it’s a pretty neat effect. It comes in white or black versions, I went with black to match the rest of my console setups.
The light button on the face of the controller allows cycling through various colors including a rainbow mode. Light intensity can be adjusted using the up or down in combination with the light button and there’s a breathing mode too that pulsates a selected LED color. Vibration intensity can be configured in a similar way. If you don’t need lights or vibration, they can be turned off to save some battery. It’s worth noting that regardless of LED color or mode, the blue Player LED indicator light leaks onto the face of the controller. I think it looks cool.
BinBok seems to take their lighting modes seriously and has implemented multiple lighting modes. Joystick mode lights up when the analog stick is moved, vibration mode lights up when a game sends vibrations and gyro mode lights up a specific LED/color when tilting in a certain direction. It’s cool to have the ability to customize a controller to such a degree and it’s a big plus if you have several of the same controller and want to differentiate between them.
The cracked surface coating also serves as an additional grip layer in your hands, it’s smooth and provides a nice amount of friction. It would have been nice to have an additional textured grip on the back of the controller but otherwise feels fine when playing. The form factor of the controller is almost identical to the original Nintendo Switch Pro Controller and is a comfortable fit. BinBok’s controller is noticeably lighter than Nintendo’s and felt great to play for extended sessions.
At the time of writing, I tested the controller on my Japanese Switch running on system firmware 13.0.0. Pairing was easy from the Change Grip/Order menu and the connection delivered little to no input lag and was consistent. If future firmware updates break compatibility BinBok can deliver driver updates over USB. Sleep and wakeup functions worked perfectly well.
Over the course of my testing I tried several fighting, racing and adventure games. Playing through some Mario Kart 8 and Zelda: Breath of the Wild was fine and the buttons were responsive. I played through some Taiko no Tatsujin: Drum ‘n’ Fun without having to re-calibrate sync too. I did realize that the controller’s textured patterning extended to the surface and inside of analog sticks’ housing, making fully tilt rotations feel a little weird. The shoulder buttons aren’t as clicky as I’m used to but were sufficiently responsive.
I was pleasantly surprised with the performance of the D-pad when playing Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection and Dragon Ball Fighterz. I could reliably perform moves on command and it felt much better than using the Joy-cons or the official Switch Pro controller. This might be partly due to the greater concave of the D-pad on BinBok’s design.
Turbo is easy to setup and one can adjust the input frequency through easy button combinations using the ‘T’ button on the front of the controller. This isn’t a feature I really use but it’s nice to have.
BinBok deliver a low-cost (currently $29.99 plus shipping) Wireless Pro Controller for the Nintendo Switch without foregoing the essentials of a gaming controller. They have managed to pack in many features that allow a level of customization not often seen in console gaming accessories. If you’re looking for a third-party Nintendo Switch Pro controller, this controller is a worthy contender worth as a daily driver or back up controller.