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Here’s How to Spot Knock-Off Nintendo Accessories

Pictured: Not an official Switch controller.

It’s tempting to try to save money on your Nintendo Switch accessories, but don’t get stuck with a low-quality knock-off. Here’s how to find official first- and third-party accessories.

If you were to check on eBay for, say, a Switch Pro Controller, you might find this listing. It looks a Switch Pro Controller, the package has the same red branding as Nintendo’s controller, and it’s a heck of a lot cheaper at £20 (or about $25 USD). What a deal.

Except it’s not a Nintendo controller. It may well work, but it’s neither an official Nintendo controller or a licensed third-party accessory. At best, that means you might get an accessory that’s broken or at least not as good as an official accessory. At worst, you might get an accessory that damages your Switch.

If you want a reliable accessory, look for this logo.

Either way, you’re better off sticking with trusted sources as much as possible. If you’re shopping for accessories, follow these tips:

  • Pay close attention to the branding. In this particular controller’s case, the package branding is designed to look like Nintendo’s, but if you look closely, you notice it doesn’t say “Nintendo” anywhere on the package. In fact, the side of the package says “Pro Controller For N-Switch.” Using similar branding skirts legal lines, but using Nintendo’s name on a product not affiliated with the company would be a legal violation. It’s a dead giveaway that a company is pretending to be more legit than they are.
  • Look for the licensed product seal above. That little gold seal in the image up there? That’s the emblem that Nintendo gives to licensed product manufacturers. An accessory company only gets to put that badge on products that have been examined by Nintendo to ensure they’re compatible and safe to use with Nintendo products. Sometimes we still recommend unlicensed third-party accessories, but given the failure rate of some products and a slew of knock-offs, this is one time we agree that sticking with the official channels is better.
  • If all-else fails, stick with Nintendo’s official accessories. You’re probably safe sticking with licensed third-party accessories, but if you don’t want to risk getting a lower-quality product, just stick with the ones Nintendo makes directly. You can find a list of accessories on Nintendo’s site here, mostly made by the company itself (though third-party accessories are listed and labeled as such). You might not get the lowest price from this list, but you’ll probably get the most reliable hardware.

Of course, off-brand accessories from obscure eBay stores are probably the last place you’d look for reliable accessories (and, in fairness, we don’t know that these controllers don’t work, they’re just pretty sketchy). If you’re buying from a store or a reputable source on Amazon, you’re probably fine. Still, it helps to know what to look for when you’re shopping.

Source: Nintendo Life

Eric Ravenscraft Eric Ravenscraft
Eric Ravenscraft has nearly a decade of writing experience in the technology industry. His work has also appeared in The New York Times, PCMag, The Daily Beast, Geek and Sundry, and The Inventory. Read Full Bio »