Nitro Deck review - an essential Nintendo Switch accessory

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CRKD’s Nitro Deck accomplishes truthful galore things for a azygous Nintendo Switch accessory. A handheld dock that provides a comfy grip, it besides features programmable backmost buttons, built-in USB-C connectivity for input lag reduction, and a brace of sublime Hall effect sticks that destruct the hazard of drift. It’s besides priced to suit a scope of budgets; a astonishment considering however versatile it is.


  • +

    Sturdy, comfy grips

  • +

    High-quality analog sticks

  • +

    Fantastic worth for money


  • -

    A small bulky for some

  • -

    D-pad could beryllium better

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If you’re aft an all-in-one Nintendo Switch accessory that offers a comfy and responsive gaming experience, past look nary further than CRKD’s superb Nitro Deck. Essentially a portable dock for your console, the Nitro Deck offers respective quality-of-life enhancements that marque portable play adjacent better.

The Nitro Deck swaps retired your Joy-Con controllers for its ain on-deck modules. These see each the buttons, sticks, and triggers you’d expect connected a Nintendo Switch, arsenic good arsenic 4 programmable backmost buttons for customized secondary inputs. Best of all, the Nitro Deck makes usage of Hall effect sticks - an upgrade implicit accepted analog that greatly reduces the hazard of instrumentality drift. If you’ve had atrocious luck erstwhile it comes to replacing older Joy-Cons, past you could prevention a batch of currency successful the agelong tally by purchasing the Nitro Deck.

Furthermore, a dedicated USB-C larboard connected the dock, into which you’ll descent your Switch handheld, means that you’ll acquisition little input lag than you would done a wireless oregon Bluetooth connection. Additional input and output ports besides let you to complaint up your console portion playing with the Nitro Deck. In short, if you’re a portable-first Switch owner, we highly urge the Nitro Deck arsenic 1 of the best Nintendo Switch accessories you tin buy.

Price and availability

The Nitro Deck volition beryllium disposable to bargain from September 18, 2023, via CRKD’s authoritative store page. It’s purchasable successful the US and UK, with the idiosyncratic portion coming successful white, black, oregon grey colorways for $59.99 / £59.99.

Alternatively, you tin opt for a constricted variation mentation of the Nitro Deck which includes a transportation case, 2.5m USB-C cable, and a brace of other concave thumbsticks. This mentation volition tally you $89.99 / £89.99, and you tin take from 3 chiseled colour variants: Retro Mint, Classic Grey (emulating the look of the archetypal Game Boy), oregon a Retro Purple that riffs connected the Nintendo Gamecube’s aesthetic.

Design and features

Nitro Deck

(Image credit: Future)

The Nitro Deck and Nintendo Switch OLED tablet combined measurement conscionable shy of 1.3lbs / 600g, which is astir connected par with the Asus ROG Ally, and little than the Steam Deck’s 1.47lbs / 669g. This means that, with the Nitro Deck, you’re getting a comparatively lightweight portable experience. Though fixed the unit’s alternatively bulky 4.3” x 10.2” x 1.8” (110mm x 260mm x 46mm) size, you whitethorn privation to see purchasing the Limited Edition mentation that comes with a transportation case, particularly if you program connected taking it retired of the house.

As for the Nitro Deck’s modules, they’re of mostly precocious quality. The dock itself is made of sturdy plastic, with a comfy grip plan that rests securely successful your hands. Both analog sticks person a nice, steadfast value to them, rocking easy nether your thumbs with conscionable the close magnitude of resistance. The enarthrosis buttons and those programmable backmost buttons are likewise satisfying, with a beauteous tactile and clicky feel.

The triggers are a highlight, too, featuring a precise brushed and quiescent property that’s cleanable for portable play, particularly if you’re successful busier environments. The lone existent drawback here, successful presumption of design, is that the D-pad tin consciousness a interaction stiff. It’s inactive an betterment implicit the Joy-Cons’ button-based D-pad, but the Nitro Deck’s is simply a flimsy letdown fixed conscionable however bully the remainder of its modules feel.

Rounding retired the plan is simply a elemental kickstand, utile if you privation to usage the platform successful conjunction with 1 of the champion Nintendo Switch controllers. There’s besides a useful power astatine the bottommost rear of the device, which helps to neatly instrumentality your Switch backmost retired of the Nitro Deck to instrumentality it to its archetypal dock for TV play.


Nitro Deck

(Image credit: Future)

The Nitro Deck provides a greatly enhanced portable play acquisition for Nintendo Switch. Improvements implicit Nintendo’s authoritative hardware, specified arsenic Hall effect sticks akin to those recovered successful the 8BitDo Ultimate, efficaciously destruct the hazard of analog instrumentality drift. That means you tin perchance shelve your finicky Joy-Con controllers for good.

The dock’s dedicated USB-C connector firmly clicks your Switch into place. Similar to mobile controllers similar the Backbone One oregon Razer Kishi, being straight connected to the dock reduces input lag for much responsive play, comparative to utilizing a wireless oregon Bluetooth connection.

It’s besides precise casual to acceptable up those programmable backmost buttons. Simply clasp the Program fastener recovered connected the rear of the device, successful conjunction with 1 of those backmost buttons. Then, property the fastener connected the beforehand of the dock you privation to delegate a secondary input for, and you’re set. I recovered this to beryllium utile for immoderate of the best Nintendo Switch games similar Super Smash Bros. Ultimate; being capable to delegate the leap bid to a rear fastener meant I could support my fingers connected the onslaught commands, frankincense much efficaciously maintaining an violative playstyle.

Lastly, portion there’s nary dedicated 3.5mm headphone jack to beryllium recovered connected the Nitro Deck, it leaves the Switch’s larboard astatine the apical accessible for if you ain 1 of the best wired gaming headsets.

Should I bargain the Nitro Deck?

Nitro Deck

(Image credit: Future)

Buy it if...

You privation a multi-purpose Nintendo Switch accessory
The Nitro Deck excels arsenic a handheld controller for Switch, portion besides being capable to trim input lag and besides supply resilient sticks that look to forestall drift implicit semipermanent use.

You chiefly play your Switch portably
Your console tin go genuinely optimized for portable play erstwhile equipped with the Nitro Deck, offering a comfy grip and play-enhancing, robust extras similar those programmable backmost buttons.

Don't bargain it if...

You similar playing your Switch successful docked mode
If you similar the benefits TV play brings to your Switch, specified arsenic amended wide show and resolution, past you whitethorn beryllium amended disconnected purchasing a antithetic controller for your console.

How we reviewed the Nitro Deck

The Nitro Deck was tested with a Nintendo Switch OLED, playing a assortment of games to champion get a consciousness for its precocious level of comfort, Hall effect sticks, and programmable rear paddle buttons. I tested the Nitro Deck with The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom for a robust single-player experience, Splatoon 3 for multiplayer gaming connected the go, arsenic good arsenic the precocious released F-Zero 99 to truly get a consciousness for its wide responsiveness. 

Want immoderate enhanced audio to spell on with the Nitro Deck? Have a look astatine our best Nintendo Switch headsets guide. And if you’re opting for the basal Nitro Deck model, our best Nintendo Switch transportation cases database tin assistance you prevention wealth connected apical transportation lawsuit options. 

Rhys Wood

Rhys is TRG's Hardware Editor, and has been portion of the TechRadar squad for much than 2 years. Particularly passionate astir high-quality third-party controllers and headsets, arsenic good arsenic the latest and top successful combat sticks and VR, Rhys strives to supply easy-to-read, informative sum connected gaming hardware of each kinds. As for the games themselves, Rhys is particularly keen connected warring and racing games, arsenic good arsenic soulslikes and RPGs.

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