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Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom’s controls are easier with these Switch controllers

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is out now and it’s receiving rave reviews from critics and fans alike. While there’s a lot to love, the Switch sequel does have one sticking point: its complicated controls.

Like Breath of the Wild, Link’s latest adventure requires fans to do a lot of button juggling as they swap weapons, shields, items, abilities, and more on the fly. Tears of the Kingdom is even more complicated than its predecessor, as some of its new features require players to press and hold a button while pressing another and moving the control stick.

If you’ve been struggling to get it all down, here’s a suggestion: Get yourself some back buttons.

Remapping Tears of the Kingdom

Link holds a Purah Pad in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom.

Back buttons are still a niche concept in game controllers, usually reserved for “pro” gamepads like the DualSense Edge. They allow players to map any button to one on the back of the controller, which can be handy. While no official Nintendo controller has that feature, a handful of third-party ones do. I put one to the test and quickly found that I was able to alleviate some of my control confusion with some simple remaps.

For my test, I broke out my PowerA Fusion, a third-party controller that has four mappable back paddles. In less than a minute, I remapped several buttons to make Tears of the Kingdom a little easier. The big headache I looked to fix was some complexity with throwing items. To accomplish that, I need to hold down the right bumper, press up on the D-pad, and then navigate through an item list with a control stick. It’s a little messy and often ends in my throwing my equipped weapon instead of an item.

To alleviate that, I mapped the right bumper to a back paddle as well as the up button on the D-pad. That would allow me to more easily get into the right menu on the back and only deal with the control stick on the front. I’d find similar ease from mapping the left bumper to another paddle, allowing me to more easily open up Link’s ability wheel and scroll through it with a stick. It may sound small, but those changes can make the controls smoother to navigate.

Which Switch controller is best for Tears of the Kingdom?

A hand picks up an 8BitDo Ultimate controller.

So what are the best Switch controllers with back buttons? If you want something that feels like the normal Switch Pro controller, go with the  as it’ll give you four paddles to work with — just know that it’s wired and doesn’t include amiibo support or motion controls. If you’re a handheld player, consider grabbing the , which features two back buttons.

Your best bet, though, is the . This $70 wireless gamepad features two back buttons and comes with its own charging dock too. It’s a handy controller to have around and one that’s compatible with other devices via Bluetooth too. That should hopefully make your stay in Hyrule a little more manageable.

The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom is out now on Nintendo Switch.

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Giovanni Colantonio
Giovanni is a writer and video producer focusing on happenings in the video game industry. He has contributed stories to…
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