The Switch Trident Pro-S controller for the Nintendo Switch is a third party accessory manufactured by Game Devil. At half the price of the official Pro Controller, you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s half the quality. I was pleasantly surprised.
Game Devil’s Switch Trident Pro-S is one of the first third-party wireless controllers for the Nintendo Switch and offers players a cheaper alternative to the official Pro Controler. By design, the Trident Pro-S resembles Nintendo’s own product fairly closely but with a few main differences. The left analogue stick has been relocated to where the D-Pad would normally sit giving it a PlayStation feel while the D-Pad has been designed so that players can switch and choose their favourite configuration.
The Trident Pro-S comes with a selection of removable D-Pads, giving players the option that suits their needs. The standard “plus” option is available and seems to be the feature that many gamers often crave – online forums and message boards are rife with complaints of how the JoyCons should sport this design; it’s nice to see that Game Devil have paid heed to this and provided the option. The second design reminds me of the SEGA Genesis – a more circular affair with the plus design inlaid. The final option made available is much like the D-Pad on the Xbox One Elite controller. Handy for fighting games, but not a configuration I found myself using all too often. But with that being said, I praise Game Devil for giving players the option to switch out as they choose; it’s a nice touch and while it certainly won’t please everyone, it’s a step in the right direction.
Build wise the controller feels nice and sturdy and has a premium feel to it. It’s not too heavy and unlike the official wired controllers, it’s not too light either. It has a decent amount of heft to it but doesn’t become uncomfortable after long gaming sessions. To complement this Game Devil have finished the hand grips with a rubber finish which offers a decent purchase which is a godsend in those tense Splatoon 2 matches!
The face buttons have also had a small re-jig in comparison to the official counterpart. The home button sites proudly in the centre of the controller towards the indicator LEDs. A more natural position that matches the PlayStation Dual Shock – Being a PlayStation gamer I welcome this change and don’t find myself hitting the screenshot button as I do with the Pro Controller. The Plus and Minus buttons have been situated at the top to the right and left respectively, while the screenshot button (which is now on the right-hand side) and the additional Turbo button have been placed below. The buttons form a V shape on the face of the controller which adds a nice aesthetic.
Activating the turbo mode is pretty simple. Holding the turbo button down and tapping the button you wish to enable it with does the trick; though it’s worth noting that only the face button can have this option available. I’m not sure what drove Game Devil to follow this route but it makes it fairly useless in games that primarily use the trigger buttons.
Being a wireless controller you’ll need to synchronise it with your Switch console. Admittedly I found that I had some problems with this the first time around. Neither device seemed to want to connect. Reading the instruction manual revealed little to no information about my issue and the recommended method of plugging the controller in via the included cable to connect for the first time did nothing to resolve my problem. After around ten minutes of resetting and trying to connect the device did finally register on my Switch. It’s worth noting that since I’ve not had any problems but I’ve not tried to sync to another console.
The included cable is a standard USB Type-C cable and can be used to charge the controller as well as connect to the console during initial set-up (allegedly, I never got this to work). After a lot of use, around twenty-five hours, I’ve not yet had to charge the Trident Pro-S which is pretty impressive. I’m curious if it can stand up to the official Pro Controller’s sixty-hour mark.
While the Trident Pro-S is a well-built accessory with a price point that doesn’t break the bank, naturally there have had to be some changes to bring down the cost. Players who like to take advantage of motion controls and the NFC touchpad will be disappointed to note that the Pro-S cannot utilise either of these options. While personally, I didn’t find this to be too much of an issue; I dislike motion controls and if I really wished to use my amiibo I could do so with the JoyCon, but I understand that not everyone feels this way so it could be a deciding factor when looking at a potential new purchase. But this being said, the official wired controllers also lack these features while sitting at a similar price point.
Overall I must admit that I’m impressed with the Trident Pro-S. While it doesn’t have the full functionality of the official Pro Controller it is well built and rests in the hands well. While I had some initial difficulty getting it to sync with my Switch, once this has been achieved I’ve had no further issues and long sessions of Splatoon 2, Breath of the Wild and Mario Kart seem to pose no problems. If you’ve not already invested in the official Pro Controller and you’re looking for a cheaper alternative I can highly recommend the Trident Pro-S – on the other hand, if you’re motion control addict or simply use a lot of amiibo in your games it may not be worth the investment as a primary replacement for the JoyCon.