Review cover Nyxi 8 LED Joy-Pad for Switch (Hardware)
Official GBAtemp Review

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Third-party pads are everywhere, but they usually fall short of their official counterparts. How will NYXI's latest offering hold up?

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I don't know if it is just me, but recently I have been inundated with whacky Facebook advertising for gadgets and tech that I have never seen before. One such stream of advertisements that keeps cropping up is for Nintendo Switch peripherals, which demonstrates how Facebook is cleverly cultivating my data to bombard me with relevant and targeted marketing. The result of which was me spotting a product that looked superb and touted tonnes of features that I could really get on board with and I know that people really want: the NYXI Joy-Pad Controller. Had I not seen their ads, I would never have gotten the opportunity to review their products!

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With its split-pad styling and LED laden aesthetic, I was immediately drawn to the NYXI. Having previously reviewed Snakesbyte's underwhelming Multi:Playcons and being an avid owner of Hori's Split Pad Pro Daemon X Machina Edition the NYXI pad definitely looked like it had a lot of potential. In comparison to the Split Pad Pro, the NYXI also has the ability to be charged, operate as one wireless controller, or simply be used as an RGB emblazoned split pad. Given my time using the Hori one I know the nuances involved with owning a Split Pad, and the biggest gripe of all was that these couldn't be charged so they were useless for use in a Flip-Grip or in any other configuration other than in handheld mode. To be fair they were made for this purpose, but they don't really embody the ethos of the Switch.

The NYXI is really the next evolutionary step in Split Pads, clearly taking on Hori at their own game and also straddling the third-party wireless pro controller market space of the likes of PowerA that are more commonly available on the high street. The USP here is unquestionably the LED/RGB aspect for enthusiasts, paired up with the built-in gyro and charging options that I will tackle later on. The LEDs around the analogue sticks can be changed at any time by simply holding the M button on the rear of the corresponding pad and clicking the stick. You can cycle through cyan, blue, red, orange, yellow, green, purple, and rainbow, and double-clicking the stick then modifies those to either cycle through colours, gives it a breath effect, or simply turns them off to save power.

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The sticks themselves are concave, similar to the Hori Split pad, but are notably smaller in diameter. This isn't a bad thing as they're as grippy as you could possibly want and the divot is deep enough to ensure your thumb never slips off. I successfully replayed a large portion of Super Mario Odyssey using the NYXI in the Switch's portable mode without ever feeling like I was using an inferior controller. Every input was clean, every button press registered perfectly, and every gyro movement worked perfectly.

Pad functionality can also be changed thanks to the turbo mode button, the ability to map a button to each of the rear buttons, and lastly, the rumble level can be changed in increments of 25% from zero to 100% strength. I have to say that the rumble itself is definitely motor driven and not haptic as it felt like a crude, rudimentary rumble rather than the finessed haptics we have become accustomed to on our game and tech devices in recent years. The rumble also shakes the entirety of each side, exposing the cheap plastic sounding open-ness of the controller. It's not to say that this controller is weak or liable to fall apart quickly, it's certainly fraught with light leaks which means it hasn't been made water/airtight when sealed during manufacture.

Ergonomically both halves of this controller are excellent. Not only do they fit in my rugged man-hands perfectly, they also incorporate grippy texture on the rear, a none-too-mushy D-Pad on the left side, and a flat edge on the bottom that actually allows you to stand the controller up and even stand the entire console up instead of needing to use the kickstand. Through they also don't feature the supportive notch of the Hori Split Pad Pro, they fit perfectly into the rails and there was never any looseness or twisting of the connective components, which I was pleasantly surprised by.

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You would think that because they charge via the rails, the grip connector would have a USB-C socket that allowed you to charge two with one cable, alas no, but this isn't the biggest oddity in this sentence. Yes, you read it right; they can be charged on the Nintendo Switch's Joy-Con rails! Now, there aren't many, if any, other third-party Joy-Cons that I could find to compare this feature to so I think this is pretty unique and definitely useful for the NYXI to elevate itself above the masses. Sadly, there is no inclusion of NFC for Amiibo and no IR functionality, so this should be considered if using these for games such as Super Mario Party or Dr Kawashima's Brain Training, for example. Though these functions would have been great to see in this product, they are possibly the least utilised and therefore the easiest to trim off to ensure a cheaper product price for NYXI.

I'm personally very impressed with this product. It gives you the larger, grippier feeling of a Split Pad with the added benefits of gyro movement and rechargeability for use as a separate controller. As third-party products go these certainly create a brilliant lasting impression, and work perfectly fine in any game I threw at it. If I had to grumble about it would simply be that the rumble feels horrid, and the pad could do with a slightly more solid look given the light leaks. Other than that I unquestionably adore these, and at just £34 they are an absolute steal!

Verdict

What We Liked ...
  • Work beautifully out the box
  • D-Pad rather than D-Buttons
  • On-the-fly customisation
  • Look superb when lit up
  • Upgradeable via firmware updates
What We Didn't Like ...
  • Rumble is horrible
  • Light leak around triggers and sockets
  • Only one USB-C Cable/No charging grip
  • No IR or Amiibo features
8.3
out of 10

Overall

With excellent functionality and sleek RGB infused style, the NYXI Joy-Pad is a superb low-cost alternative to either the Spilt Pad Pro, or a third party wireless controller that won't break the bank and performs admirably!
Good review and interesting product. I may have to get one in lieu of my split pads a bit later. It is a bit odd that you focus on the fact that the split pad pro cannot be charged several times. I feel it’d be more clear to note that the split pad pro is a rail-only controller for a switch in handheld mode and contains no wireless components or functionality at all.
 
Another thing to note that seems to have been left out of this review.

These joycons also do feel very very cheap. I have a pair myself and they feel like dollar store plastic
 
Good review and interesting product. I may have to get one in lieu of my split pads a bit later. It is a bit odd that you focus on the fact that the split pad pro cannot be charged several times. I feel it’d be more clear to note that the split pad pro is a rail-only controller for a switch in handheld mode and contains no wireless components or functionality at all.
I feel that I did imply this here, re the split pad pro: “these couldn't be charged so they were useless for use in a Flip-Grip or in any other configuration other than in handheld mode”

Another thing to note that seems to have been left out of this review.

These joycons also do feel very very cheap. I have a pair myself and they feel like dollar store plastic
I said that they needed a more solid look due to light leaks. I get what you’re saying but I didn’t think it was that bad honestly.
 
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Hmm would have liked more detail on the d-pad with a good shmuo and fighting game.
They sound nice but wish they'd improve rumble on third party pads.
Though most games barely use the precise levels anyway.
I mostly enjoy it in Zaccaria pinball.
Other games just rumble full anyway.
I might pick up one if its on sale but I hope they make some updates and revisions.

Good to see reviews on these split oads popping up, thanks.
 
8bitdo Pro 2 spits all over most other controllers, I've found. Extremely comfortable, decent rumble, easy to connect, and has some macro support and turbo - and can store up to three profiles per mode! Oh, and the mode can be easily switched between through a switch on the back - Switch, A (Android, I believe), D-input, and X-input.

And unlike the SF30 Pro+, the first iteration of this style of controller, I've not had sticky-button issues - at least, not yet, but my SF30 Pro (the one that's almost identical to the Famicom controller, without the palm rest things sticking down) has never had such issues and I've had it for years now, so hopefully the Pro 2 follows suit!
 
I bought this controller because I needed joycon replacements for handheld play. The dpad on this controller is so bad, it barely works for menus, forget actually playing anything. The analog sticks work fine though and it feels pretty good in hand. Being able to attach and charge it using the joycon rails is a big plus, as is the much lower price tag than the standard joycons.

If you want a good alternative to the Pro controller with an even better d-pad, get an 8-bitdo Pro + or 8-bitdo Pro 2.
 
Hmm would have liked more detail on the d-pad with a good shmuo and fighting game.

Many YouTubers e.g. Wulff Den
, Spawn Wave
, Kevin Kenson
have reviewed these under the Binbok brand. Briar Rabbit
improved the d-pad responsiveness of the first model by removing stickers under the pad, but I think the manufacturer do this to all their current stock before sending them out. Without the stickers, opinion seems to be divided on how good the d-pad is.

I have found it perfectly acceptable, but have only used it for navigating menus, not as the main input method. The direction pressed does end up about level with the case, and the whole +-shape does press down. This is presumably why they used the stickers in the first place. If I used the d-pad more, I would probably open the case and at least build up some layers of tape under the central pivot to prevent the whole + sinking, as I have done with my 8bitdo SF30pro. But it would probably be necessary to also add tape between the + and the rubber membrane so it will activate before the + goes below the case surface, and it's too much effort for the uses I have for this controller (3D games - for a more relaxed hand position compared to a Pro controller (like Wiimote + nunchuk) when docked; if I ever use the Switch handheld).

I got a Switch recently and really didn't get on with the OG joycons' tiny sticks and buttons. The Binbok / Nyxi ones feel much more comfortable. I have got used to having back paddles on my Xbox Elite controller (used on Switch with the Brook Xone, which adds bluetooth and gyro), and these have one per side, but with the same limitation as the Hori Split Pad Pro - the two controllers don't talk to *each other*, so you can only map buttons to the back button on the same controller.

Binbok also do a slimmer version
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(if it's not obvious which model you're looking at just from the shape, these slim ones have the turbo button on the front, next to screenshot/home). These are missing the back buttons, but also lose some of the ergonomic advantage as the left stick and d-pad are vertically aligned as on the standard joycon, rather than offset diagonally like a Pro Controller / basically anything else. Same for ABXY and the right stick.
 
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Unfortunately with joycons now being fixable with a small piece of cardboard, the leak thing is a deal breaker for me. Worst case scenario I will just fix my old joycons.
 
its ok at best to me. But when you put 3rd party controller on the switch it makes the whole switch look fake :rofl2:
 
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