Updated September 2022
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
Bottom line
Best of the Best
PowerLead Pro Controller for Wii U
Pro Controller for Wii U
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Most Comprehensive
Bottom Line

A comfortable controller that is designed for the Wii U with notable improvements in sensitivity.


Controller is designed for the Wii U. It has a modern, comfortable grip to keep gamers players for longer. Sensitivity issues from older controllers have been fixed. Can be connected without a cable.


Does not work for games that require a motion controller.

Best Bang for the Buck
SIBIONO Wii U Pro Controller
Wii U Pro Controller
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Bargain Pick
Bottom Line

A decent controller option for a good price, but can be somewhat glitchy.


Comfortable to hold and features a classic controller layout. Good battery life that allows for hours of game time. Connects wirelessly to the Wii U.


Analog sticks can be inaccurate.

NEXiLUX Wireless Pro 3 Controller for Wii U
Wireless Pro 3 Controller for Wii U
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Retro Design
Bottom Line

A classic controller layout that is rechargeable and works for every region.


Classic layout makes this a good fit for any player. The rechargeable feature ensures that no extra expenses are required. Battery life can last up to 3 days. Works on every Wii U regardless of region.


Does not work for games that require motion controllers.

YUDEG Remote Controller for Wii U
Remote Controller for Wii U
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Most Versatile
Bottom Line

A versatile controller that works great in either hand and is compatible with the Wii and Wii U.


Works well for left-handed or right-handed people. Compatible with both the Wii and Wii U consoles, offering more versatility. Region-free controller that works on any Wii U system. Can be used with original nunchuck.


Requires AA batteries.

MOLICUI Wii U Remote Controller
Wii U Remote Controller
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Best Motion Controller
Bottom Line

Motion controller with rechargeable feature and 3-axis motion sensor for a more dynamic range.


Compatible with both the Wii and Wii U. Motion controller can be recharged rather than switching the battery out. Three-axis motion sensor makes it a more reliable motion controller. Connects easily via Bluetooth.


Does not come with nunchuck.


We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

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Buying guide for Best Wii U controllers

There are tons of excellent video games on Nintendo’s Wii U console, ranging from a relaxed Animal Crossing experience to white-knuckle Pokémon battles, and so much more to enjoy online or with your pals in the living room. But with so many controllers compatible with the Wii U, how do you select the best one for your gaming setup, or which controller you’ll absolutely need to purchase to enjoy your favorite games?

We at BestReviews have put all of the above Wii U controllers to the test, and after many hours we can safely tell you what you need to know when it comes to buying the best Wii U controllers available.

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Some Wii U games require the extra precision that the Wii Remote Plus provides, meaning you’ll have to upgrade your old Wii Remotes to play certain titles.

Key considerations


When it comes to playing Wii U games that rely on motion controls, you can’t beat the accuracy of the Wii Remote Plus controller, but the original Wii Remote will certainly do in a pinch. For action-packed Wii U titles, the delay-free input of a Pro controller is the go-to control scheme of many dedicated players. With that said, some third-party Wii Pro controllers may have loud, “clacky” buttons, more sensitive control sticks, or a complete lack of gyroscopic controls, so read the online reviews before you buy.


Nintendo’s controllers are known for their comfortable and ergonomic designs, and the extensive family of Wii U controllers is no different. Third-party controller manufacturers tend to lean toward mimicking the shape of Nintendo’s official controllers where it counts, so only a really cheap controller will leave your wrists, hands, and fingers aching after a marathon gaming session.


Nintendo knows that kids will get their hands on their video game consoles, and the Wii U’s controllers are just as durable as you’d expect them to be. On the other hand, the sturdiness of third-party Wii U controllers can vary by the hardware and brand producing the device, so, once again, do yourself a favor by reading through the online reviews.

Note that if you or someone in your household is especially rough on the controllers, there’s an assortment of hard plastic, silicone, and padded Wii U controller covers available for purchase online that can protect your gaming investment.

Wii U controller features

Naturally, the most important feature of any Wii U controller is whether the device can effectively and comfortably help you to rescue Princess Peach from Bowser’s castle and onward through every adventure that you take with your Wii U. Official Wii U controllers are designed to work perfectly with the console, and third-party controllers were made to emulate Nintendo’s design as closely as possible, so there aren’t many features that are exclusive to different controllers. With that said, two worthwhile features to look for are compatibility and color.


Unless you’re on a mission to get the most out of one or two especially exciting games, you’ll want to invest in controllers that are compatible with most of the Wii U library.


Why settle for the commonly offered black and white accessories when Wii U controllers are available in so many fun styles and vivid colors? Some of the Wii Remotes are even designed around famous Nintendo superstars like Yoshi, Luigi, Bowser, Mario, Peach, and Toad!

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Expert Tip
Since the Wii U GamePad is included with the console, expect to find that most Wii U games are compatible with this innovative controller. Replacement GamePads are fairly expensive, but you’ll never need more than one. There isn’t a single game in the entire Wii U library that uses more than one GamePad at a time.

Wii U controller prices

The average price for Wii U controllers is relatively high if you want to stock up on official controllers from Nintendo. If you don’t mind settling for third-party Pro controllers and controller accessories, the cost drops significantly.

Many Wii Remote Plus controllers are sold online for around $40 to $45 each, and it’s sad to see that the official Wii U Pro controller has become so rare that sellers are asking for obscenely high prices for the ergonomic, old-school device. On the other hand, you can snag a decent third-party Pro controller that works almost as well for around $20, so don’t feel like you have to pay big bucks to get your hands on the original Wii U Pro controller.

If for some reason the GamePad included with your Wii U breaks, expect to pay over $100 for a replacement. 

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Did you know?
Dedicated old-school fighting game fans can buy a Nintendo GameCube controller adapter to enjoy Super Smash Bros. using classic Super Smash Bros. Melee controls with up to four players. Unfortunately, Super Smash Bros. is the only Wii U game compatible with the GameCube controller!


  • Learn how each Wii U controller is powered before you make a purchase. Some controllers include a power cable or an internal rechargeable battery, but others require AA batteries right out of the box.
  • Keep some spares handy. Many popular Wii U games that place a heavy emphasis on multiplayer are compatible with the Wii Remote or Wii Remote Plus, so it’s worth keeping a few extra lying around just in case anyone wants to join in!
  • Read the game box. Always read the back of a Wii U game’s box to learn which Wii U controllers are necessary to play it before you buy. A Wii U game might require any combination of the GamePad, Wii Remote Plus, Pro controller, and other controllers.
  • Upgrade if you can. Although the original Wii Remote works just fine with most of your Wii U games, the vastly improved level of precision built into the newer Wii Remote Plus is well worth the upgrade. If you play motion-based Wii or Wii U games with both controllers, you can definitely feel a huge difference between the two.
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Of course, you’ll need at least one Wii Remote to play original Wii games on the Wii U, but you might also need additional accessories like the Wii Nunchuk or Wii Classic controller to enjoy certain original Wii titles.


Q. Can I use any Wii U controller to play any Wii U game?

A. No. There are many types of Wii U controllers, and different genres of gameplay require different kinds of controllers. For instance, if you want to play Super Mario 3D World, you’ll need a Wii U GamePad, Wii Remote and Classic controller combo, Wii Remote Plus and Nunchuk controller combo, or a Pro controller. A list of compatible controllers is clearly listed on the back of every Wii U game case.

Q. Which types of controllers should I buy for my Wii U?

A. The good news is that a GamePad is included with every new Wii U, but outside of that, it depends on the kinds of games that you enjoy. If you play more action-oriented titles, like Donkey Kong, Mario, and Smash Bros., a Pro controller might be a great idea, but if you enjoy motion-based gaming and original Wii titles, we highly recommend the Wii Remote Plus.

Don’t forget to buy additional controllers so you’ll be prepared when friends, family, and guests come over to play!

Q. Do I need a Wii U Pro controller?

A. No, but a Wii U Pro controller is the best way to get that “traditional” controller sensation while you’re playing, and many players prefer its smaller and lighter feel as opposed to the chunkier Wii U GamePad. Note that the Pro controller isn’t compatible with every Wii U game, especially those that place a heavy emphasis on motion controls.

"Keep in mind that a third-party controller modeled after the official Wii U Pro controller will not be compatible with original Wii software. This includes Wii game discs and downloadable Wii software. "
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