Tech Up! Nintendo Switch Mobapad M6 HD Controller Review

By Az Elias 27.05.2024

For as smart as the Nintendo Switch's Joy-Con controllers are, there is no doubt that they come with limitations and drawbacks to their small, split-up design. Third party imitations during the system's lifespan have attempted to rectify the various shortcomings, but these, too, often come with trade-offs of their own. As a successor to the Switch hardware approaches, there is finally a set of Joy-Con controllers worth splashing the cash for in the form of the Mobapad M6 HD.

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These sleek, white-finished Joy-Con controllers offer the most comprehensive and traditional controller-like quality yet seen in a replication of Nintendo's own pads. Hori's Split Pad Pro delivered effective Joy-Con versions of its own with a comfy design, but its light weight made it prone to damage. The Mobapad M6 HD, on the other hand, is not only more comfortable, moulding perfectly into the hands, but its heavier, more solid composition provides greater reassurance of its ability to last.

The weight balances out that of the Nintendo Switch system when playing in handheld mode and offers a premium controller experience in this format. There is a little stiffness when sliding the two individual units onto the sides of the console, but once in place, there is no fear of them snapping apart - the combined components feel like a fully built portable console with no separable parts, such is the sturdiness.

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The two Hall effect analogue sticks use magnetic technology to prevent drifting, and the rotations are impressively smooth - some of the most pleasant sticks to use of just about any normal controller, in fact, thanks to the metal stick design. There shouldn't be any worry about residue forming from extended play with these elements.

Included in the package are two extra faceplates featuring octagonal stick gateways, emulating the GameCube controller. When using this style, rather than a smooth 360-degree rotation of a stick, the grooves allow a player to easily keep the stick accurately in place in any of the eight main compass directions. For platform or fighting games, there is plenty of reason to utilise these designs, and the inclusion of such options is hugely appreciated.

The faceplates are quite simply prised off with a little force and use magnets to stay in place. If the player also happens to own the standard Mobapad M6 S controller, as well, those faceplates can even be used with the M6 HD.

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Aside from the control sticks, there are also a couple of options for the d-pad, with the traditional plus-shape piece being included alongside a concaved, rounded plate design. Both components can be pulled off with some pressure, and neatly click back into place. Personal preference may determine which type of directional input method is applied, but both feel equally effective. The tactile microswitch features give the impression of accuracy, but there was some hit and miss when attempting to bust out dragon punches in Street Fighter II. More time practicing may simply be necessary to get these moves more frequently produced, though.

Microswitches have been incorporated into most of the buttons on both Joy-Con controllers, and it is incredibly satisfying to feel and hear these mouse-like buttons when pressed. Reducing input delay is the logic behind this button style, and the design has been applied to the ABXY face buttons, the d-pad buttons, and the four shoulder buttons. Although the sound may be a slight bother if trying to play in a quiet room and attempting to keep the noise down, this is hardly an issue during normal playing sessions.

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An easily programmable shortcut button on the back of each Joy-Con offers additional advantages, and turbo functions on both units are also available. Furthermore, NFC technology is implemented for amiibo use, rumble features are present, and gyro controls are here, making for a set of Joy-Con that do just about everything Nintendo's normal versions do.

Even more pleasingly, the two individual M6 HD units can be detached from the Switch console, able to be used as freeform controllers, just like the original Joy-Con. It means TV play can still be enjoyed in this format, and the official clip-on pieces provided with the Switch console can slide over the rails to finish off the design and make for a more comfortable playing experience when used in this way. Sadly, there isn't an attachment available that will allow the M6 HD controllers to slot into place to emulate a single traditional controller, but that isn't a huge issue when they are so pleasant to use separated.

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Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

Rated 9 out of 10
It has taken right up until the final year of the Nintendo Switch's lifespan, but the Mobapad M6 HD is the best third party emulation of the official Joy-Con controllers available to date. Everything Nintendo's units can do, the M6 HD does just as well, if not better, and delivers a far more comfortable playing experience with options for d-pad and control stick styles, shortcut buttons, and turbo functionality. There is a premium build quality to these impressive controllers, and the Hall effect technology is the icing on the cake for what is an almost unmissable alternative to Nintendo's own offering. If in the market for new Joy-Con controllers, make sure it is the Mobapad M6 HD that you invest in.

To purchase your own set of the Mobapad M6 HD controller for Nintendo Switch, visit the official Mobapad store.

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