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Nyko Pro Commander controller review

How doe the Nyko Pro Commander controller for Wii U stack up against some of the most popular controllers on the market?

As the Wii U game library continues to grow, more and more games are adding support for the Wii U Pro Controller, a more classic take on game controllers than Nintendo has been known for in recent generations. Nyko has always offered quality accessories for gamers and the Pro Commander controller is no different–it’s a cheaper alternative to Nintendo’s official controller without feeling cheaply made. For players who want an alternative control scheme than what the Pro Controller offers, Nyko has you covered with the more familiar layout that the Xbox 360 popularized.

Build Quality

One of the main concerns of buying an unofficial controller has always been build quality. Nearly every gamer who has played at a friend’s house will tell you that being player two only stinks because 90% of the time, the second controller is some unofficial piece of garbarge with broken joysticks or buttons that seem sticky for no reason. Thankfully Nyko has avoided this reputation thus far, as I’ve owned Nyko Wii-motes, an Android bluetooth controller, and even the similarly shaped Nyko Raven, a PS3 controller. Each product has been put through the paces hundreds of times and shines just as well as its official counterpart.

The Pro Commander controller seems to be no different, as I’ve had it for nearly a month now and used it to play both Injustice: Gods Among Us and Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate without any problems. In fact, despite MH3U offering some unique control options with the GamePad, I find playing it with the Pro Commander controller to be a superior experience, as many of the monsters in the game require tactical precision that just feels better when you’re not splitting your attention between the screen on the GamePad and your TV.

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The analog sticks seem well constructed and retained their rigidity throughout my month long abuse of the controller, which is a good thing. The triggers are the other important part of a controller and while they function well, I didn’t find them comfortable enough to hold like I would my Xbox 360 triggers. There’s no reccessed grip, so keeping anything but the tips of your fingers on the triggers becomes uncomfortable after a length of time.

The rest of the buttons on the controller are responsive and don’t have that sticky feel that some unofficial controllers can, which really makes the experience. The other nice thing about the controller is that it’s covered in a matte finish instead of the typical glossy finish that the official Pro Controller finds itself coated in. This leads to less fingerprints and an overall better feel if your hands tend to sweat while playing games for extended hours.

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Size

In playing with the Nyko Pro Commander, I noticed that the size of it is a bit smaller than the Xbox 360 controller, which I’m used to using when playing PC games. It’s not massively smaller than the Xbox 360 controller and it is larger than the PlayStation 3 controller, so there’s a comfortable medium there. If you have a Wii Classic Controller Pro, it’s about the same size as it, though the grips are tapered toward each other.

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Though the controller is smaller than what I’m used to, I didn’t have any problems adjusting to it and switching between them between play sessions didn’t feel too out of place. For players who prefer playing games such as Injustice: Gods Among Us with a Pro Controller, you should have no trouble adapting to Nyko’s offering.

Features

The Nyko Pro Commander features a large guide button similar to the Xbox 360 guide button that takes you directly to the Wii U menu when pushed. It also features a player counter similar to the Wii-mote and PlayStation 3 controller, so if you end up with multiple Pro Commanders, you can instantly see the player count on the different controllers. The controller also features a low battery indicator positioned between the D-Pad and the right analogue stick, so you can tell when you’re about to go dead. During my play-testing  the controller lasted around 18 hours on a full charge.

That’s several hours over what you’ll get from the GamePad, so for games that are engrossing like Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, I truly recommend it. The Nyko Pro Commander controller can be had for $34.99 and is certainly a great alternative to buying multiple official controllers from Nintendo.

Disclaimer: Nyko provided this review unit to Wii U Daily in order to be reviewed and tested.

Around the web
  • Noel Canales

    CAN YOU USE IT ON THE VIRTUAL CONSOLE FOR THE Wii not Wii U part of your WiiU?

    • http://about.me/overlordror Ashley King

      Hey Noel,

      I haven’t tried to use it on the Wii emulation layer but I did play Super Mario World in the Wii U virtual console and that worked just fine. I’ll test it out and get back to you.

    • Lord Fuse

      It would register as a Wii U pro controller, so till the day we’re capable of using pro controllers for the Wii mode, it shouldn’t work.

  • Jordan Fata

    Why did you compare it to the Xbox 360 controller instead of the Wii U Pro Controller?

    • http://about.me/overlordror Ashley King

      Did you watch the video? I stated that I don’t have an official Pro Controller.

      • Bob

        Then what are you doing reviewing hardware?

        • http://about.me/overlordror Ashley King

          This is a review of the Nyko controller, not a side by side comparison.

          • The Clockwork Being

            Will you do a comparaison when you will have te pro controller?

          • http://about.me/overlordror Ashley King

            Definitely! It seems to be something people want.

          • Agent721

            Imagine that…people want comparisons with competing products???!!!! The nerve of those jerks!

        • http://www.2girls1game.com Sarah

          What are you doing being an unnecessary prick? You don’t have to have every piece of hardware in existence to review one specific piece.

          • Kay7484

            Who are you again? Butt buddies with Ashley, I presume? Realize that people aren’t attacking her, but the review. We have a right to criticize people’s work if it doesn’t meet our standards. She now has a good idea of what her audience wants out of her reviews thanks to these comments. Are you captain save ‘em or something?

      • Pink Floyd

        then buy a goddamn Pro Controller and compare to it ._.

        • GermGerm

          Seriously? Go buy one yourself and stop acting like a jerk. Geez dude learn to treat people with some respect.

          • Pink Floyd

            i got my own fucking pro controller! ASSHOLES!!, why do we CARE ABOUT the xbox 360?! when the pro controller doesn’t even compare to the xbox 360 controller, i GOT BOTH, is stupid to compare them, since the nyko controller is substitute to the pro controller not the fucking xbox 360 controller

          • GermGerm

            This wasn’t written to compare it to anything, moron. It is a review. She was giving us her thoughts on the controller so that people who were contemplating getting one could have another opinion and some detailed information to go off of. A lot of people have held an xbox 360 controller in their hand, so likening it to that controller was a good way to help people know how it operates since we can’t physically touch the thing. Also the controller was mentioned because it is very similar in looks to the xbox controller. Grow up man.

        • http://www.2girls1game.com Sarah

          Go buy a goddamn Pro Controller and write your own review. And while you’re at it, go buy some goddamn manners.

        • Agent721

          Really? Now the people making OBVIOUS criticism are attacked?Jesus Christ! God forbid the obvious is stated, we should hold Wii U Dailys hand and kiss its ring??!!!

      • Jordan Fata

        Sorry Ashley. I didn’t watch the video. I read the article during my statistics class. Understood.

      • Agent721

        Im sorry, but this review now officially sucks. How can you write a review of a product, without comparing the alternative? I like this website, but that is a proffessional failure of a review. This is like reviewing a mid size sedan, while never driving a Toyota Camry. Or saying the Big Mac is a great burger, without trying a Whopper. Simply put, thiz review is not proprrly finished until the product is compared with alternatives. And the writing review should offer the same info as the video!!! Or not…you can improve the site or just dismiss the criticism…

  • incoherent1

    Ashley: I know you said you don’t have an official Wii U Pro to compare it to side-by-side, but have you used one before in the past? If so, could you tell us here in the comments roughly which you’d recommend or if you think the Wii U Pro is worth the extra money?

    Thanks for the great review! And taking the time to do this!

    • http://about.me/overlordror Ashley King

      Hi,

      I have used one in the past. I prefer the configuration on the Nyko since it keeps the XYBA buttons on the pad instead of moving them down where the right analogue stick is. Typically you’re pressing buttons in conjunction with moving, so it feels more natural to me.

      • incoherent1

        Very helpful — thanks for the insights! :)

  • Toadlord

    If this works with the new Smash Bros, the layout will be the closest thing we’ll get to the gamecube controller. Here’s hoping!

    • Genesect4ssb4

      Nah, we can upgrade to pro. and for the way i play smash (which is all day and night lol) 80 hours of battery life is what i need.

  • https://www.facebook.com/BlueLightningTechnicalServices Bob Wilkerson

    Having the Nintendo Pro controller I thing the feel of it is very good. It seems lighter than my XBOX one but I can see how the changing of the analog stick and the buttons on the NYKO could be more natural feeling.

  • http://www.youtube.com/azhood321 AZHood

    18 hours of battery life? Eh…

    I know some may like the 360 layout of this controller (and the lower price tag), but when compared to the official pro controller, that battery charge is quite low. For me, the less I have to charge my controller the better.

    • AAAkabob

      Exactly, I charged my Controller once since I bought it in January and it just died last week.

    • bizzy gie

      I like the ‘U’ home button in the middle, I like the battery indicator, and I like the concave analogue sticks. However, Nintendo got it perfect with the D-Pad and analogue stick placement. The side-aligned sticks at the top (not the bottom like PS3′s) is much better than that akward slant. The only reason people are so use to it now is because the original Xbox and the 360 have been on the market for a combined 12 years.

      Natural thumb placement is so much better (because I can relax both my thumbs instead of expending extra energy and muscle from one thumb to entertain the slant. I’d get this controller, but the overall design (excluding the matte finish) and poor battery life are major setbacks.

      Note: I replied to you because your comment is at the top and will place this comment closer to the same spot (meaning you don’t have to respond back). No point in typing a long comment if no one is going to see it.

  • https://twitter.com/Zorpix_Fang Zorpix

    A lot of the reviews on amazon say the buttons are sticky or the controller isnt very reliable.. not saying the reviewer here lied or anything, just letting people know about the other reviews

    • http://about.me/overlordror Ashley King

      Hi Zorpix,

      It’s cool. I linked to the main amazon page at the bottom of the review, so people can read those reviews as well. I played MH3U most of yesterday and didn’t experience the sticky keys that most people seem to have, though.

      • https://twitter.com/Zorpix_Fang Zorpix

        that’s good to know. I play a lot of MH and it would be nice to have a pro controller. especially one without that glossy finish. I can always return it too. (Yay amazon!)

        Thank you very much for this helpful review :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/bowser914 Miguel A. González

    No offense to Ashley but this video review is not very professional.

    • incoherent1

      Not being snarky, but if you didn’t like aspects of the review, how about providing constructive suggestions for how to make it better in the future?

    • http://www.facebook.com/bowser914 Miguel A. González

      Well for one thing I would say if you call the ps3 controller an xbox controller several times you should edit that out. Second, if you are gonna compare it to another controller the first option is always the original, not a ps3 or xbox controller.

  • Jack5221

    I bought a Nintendo Pro controller over this one. Last time I bought a Nyko Wii remote, it was broken right out of the box. I pretty much told myself that I’d never buy another Nyko product again because of that. I really like the Wii U Pro controller though. Feels very nice in my hands, and I love playing MH3U, and Black Ops with it.

  • Joseph Parsons

    dont need a xbox controller for my wii u

  • AAAkabob

    Why was there no comparison to the actual pro controller?…Seeing as that’s the only competition it seems odd that would not mention the pro controller at all.

  • Nintendofreak

    well the official one is supposed to last 80 hours so 18 hours for 34.99 while the official one is 49.99 so i dont really see why buy it unless your gonna buy multiple controller or are short on cash

    • GermGerm

      That’s true, but after 18 hours of playing it’s probably time to go to bed anyway :)

    • Oni

      It’s 18 hours… there’s 24 hours in a day, it isn’t like it is 5 hours like the WIIU gamepad, I’m sure you will be quite fine with a controller that last 18 hours. There shouldn’t be any game that you are playing 18 hours straight so as long as you charge it after you’re done that day, you’ll live.

  • Adrian

    I stopped buying offbrand controllers after madcatz. This Nyko controller is a bit ugly IMO. That’s great that it works well though, but not for me. On a side note, I do recommend trying an actual Wii U pro controller, it has a unique feel that I’ve never experienced in another controller. Ah and Bestbuy had the Wii U Pro Controller sale a few months ago for $35 so I got mine for that price :).

  • Ducked

    The nyko Wii Wand’s were pieces of crap. That’s what turned me away from the Wii U nyko controller.

  • david jarman

    I love playing with the gamepad. Especially in call of duty, but I might give this a try.Yeah, I play blops 2. :/

    • David Tims

      Is that supposed to be….I dunno? Should people care?

      • david jarman

        I’m just saying I like the gamepad cause its comfortable and mine is super responsive. However, I do like the way this controller looks, but I don’t want to buy one if its not as responsive.

    • Agent721

      I play bops 2 as well..are we suppossed to be ashamed??

      • david jarman

        LOL, naw! You’re right. We shouldn’t be.

  • Adrian

    I don’t get why the controller layout is such a big deal to people. The lower analog stick vs the higher analog stick makes no difference to me. Although I have a different thumb (joint) shape from many people. I can’t bend my thumb to 90 degree (best I can do is probably 135 degree). And my thumb’s natural resting angle is like 200 degrees.

  • http://twitter.com/DavidGX David

    Please stop spamming reddit. Thanks.

    • http://www.2girls1game.com Sarah

      Please stop in general. Thanks.

  • Sdudyoy

    Now what I want is a pro controller shaped like a gamecube controller,

    • Agent721

      wavebird!!!!! best. controller. ever.

      • ALinkToTheButterballs

        Agree!!!!!!!!

  • Dorfdad

    Sorry but this review is a failure simple because if your going to review a controller for said system you should have the Nintendo Pro Controller on hand.. Comparing it to 360 and PS3 is useless for most Wii U gamers. Plus this controller is shit compared to Nintendos .It feels like a fat chunk of wood in your hands and yes the triggers suck.. Just get Nintendo Brand and save yourself the heartache.

    • http://www.2girls1game.com Sarah

      Why the hell does she need to do a side by side comparison when she’s not WRITING a side by side comparison, but a review of one specific piece of hardware. Sorry but your comment is a failure.

      • Agent721

        Really Sarah??!!! The failure is your lack of logic.

    • Agent721

      And ill add, I didnt buy this joystick yet as every other review says its inferior to Nintendos. So not addressing this point is a big ommission, considering what ive read previously about this joystick. See amazon.com user reviews.

  • http://www.2girls1game.com Sarah

    Loving that Mario coin noise in the background. That seems fitting. :P

    I personally appreciate the comparison to other console controllers because that gives me a good idea of how the controller will feel compared to controllers I’m already familiar with. Although it’d be great to see a side by side comparison of the two Wii U controllers in the future, I don’t get what everyone’s got their panties in a bunch over with this video. Get your head out of Nintendo’s ass once in awhile, kiddos.

  • Agent721

    I own the PS3 version, and ive had to replace it after one year of use, as the battery could no longer hold its charge. My original PS3 joysticks have never had to be replaced. I will also note that the PS3 version uses the same blue tooth channel as the official sony headset, so I cant use it while using the official headset, as they interfere with each other. I hope Nyko has thought and remediated theses issues for the Wii U version. That being said, Im now on my 2nd one as it is a great joystick, similar to the 360 joystick, which is very similar to our old friend, The Wavebird. Most Nyko products are great, which is why Nintendo hates them…now, wheres my 8 hour battery….????

  • LopsidedPasta

    Whenever Nintendo puts Gamecube titles on the Wii U, they better have a controller with the gamecube’s button layout. Otherwise good luck getting me to get Super Mario Sunshine!

    • Agent721

      So true…this is why I kept my gamecube!!!

  • darkstar18

    no why does this not have a headphone jack????

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=8803617 Daniel Schwarz

    Nothing said about the D-pad.

  • Rick van der Linde

    I always want the real thing, I would never buy a ‘fake’ controller :$

  • David Gonzalez

    I rather stick to my Pro controller which lasts 80 hours on a full charge.

  • aldo2410

    Please make a Nyko battery replacement review, I’m seriously thinking on buying one

  • Pro Scar

    .I NEED to get one of these things.

  • Ducked

    I know this is late, but I’d love to see a Wii U afterglow controller review.

  • http://twitch.tv/dve2k DVE

    Great review but my eyes when you focus xD