Rainbow 2 Pro wireless controller review - a superb Pro Controller alternative

Big wins

Rainbow 2 Pro
(Image: © Future)

TechRadar Verdict

If the Rainbow 2 Pro controller isn’t on your radar, it absolutely should be. This Nintendo Switch-focused gamepad is fully-featured, offering Hall effect sticks, sublime remappable buttons, and full gyro motion support. Overall, it’s a very worthwhile alternative to the Nintendo Switch Pro controller.


  • +

    Comfortable ergonomic design

  • +

    Genius remappable button placement

  • +

    High-quality buttons and bumpers


  • -

    Swapping from XInput to Switch is fiddly

  • -

    Thumbsticks feel mushy when clicked

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BIGBIG WON may not be the most well-known gaming hardware manufacturer in the West, but in the Rainbow 2 Pro, it’s been able to provide what I strongly believe to be one of the best Nintendo Switch controllers you can buy.

Almost everything about the Rainbow 2 Pro is of excellent quality, from its comfy textured grips and Xbox-like shell to the near-immaculate face buttons, bumpers, and ancillary remappable buttons. With Pro-adjacent features like Hall effect sticks, trigger locks, and full gyro support, the Rainbow 2 Pro absolutely gives the Nintendo Switch Pro controller a run for its money.

It’s also in a similar price bracket to Nintendo’s official gamepad, coming in at $64.99 / £64.99 for the controller by itself. A more fleshed-out package that adds an alternative D-pad, swappable thumbstick caps, and a charging dock is also available to purchase for $79.99 / £79.99.

Design and features

Rainbow 2 Pro

(Image credit: Future)

At first glance, the Rainbow 2 Pro strongly resembles the Xbox Wireless Controller, or indeed the Nintendo Switch Pro controller with its similar semi-translucent finish. Its face buttons match the layout of Xbox’s pad, which you’d think would be a strange choice for a Switch-focused gamepad. However, this is likely to cater to folks playing on PC as well as Android and iOS devices. Smartly, the Rainbow 2 Pro does feature the Switch layout notation via small text graphics in the center of the face buttons.

The controller feels fantastic to hold right away. A slightly compact chassis and textured grips allow the Rainbow 2 Pro to rest firmly in the hands. This is doubly crucial given the controller’s support for gyro aiming; you’ll never once feel the controller slip or lose grip as you play titles like Splatoon 3 or The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom, which both strongly feature motion-based input.

The real winner here, in terms of design, is the placement of the four remappable buttons. There are two placed on the back where you’d typically find them on Pro-adjacent gamepads. But an additional two are situated up top, between the triggers. I find this to be an ingenious placement, freeing up the rear of the controller from too much clutter and rendering it easy to click with your index fingers. They’re mechanical, too, offering a delightful clicky feel.

There’s a row of functions at the bottom of the controller, allowing players to access additional convenient features. These include being able to access a Turbo function for swifter inputs, and a button that, when held, lets you assign inputs to those remappable modules.

Unfortunately, there are a few odd quirks to keep in mind. While the thumbsticks are perfectly fine and responsive in movement, clicking them in for L3 and R3 inputs feels uncomfortably mushy, almost like there’s something sitting beneath them. Furthermore, the default four-way D-pad can be inaccurate; I preferred to use the Xbox-like eight-way model that’s included in the box, which I found to be much better overall. 

Lastly, swapping from XInput (used for PC) to Nintendo Switch input is a little awkward; you’ll need to firmly hold down the pad’s Home button, along with a face button, to switch between them. This is something that’s buried in the instruction manual, and won’t be immediately clear to those who plan on using the Rainbow 2 Pro for both PC and Switch. 

Performance and battery life

Rainbow 2 Pro

(Image credit: Future)

Said design quirks don’t stop the Rainbow 2 Pro from being an absolutely fantastic controller to play with. First off, it’s got robust connectivity options. You can, of course, hook it up via USB-C to your console or device. And for wireless players, a 2.4GHz dongle is included in the box. As for Bluetooth, once I’d figured out how to enable Switch mode, the controller connected wirelessly to the console noticeably quicker than other Bluetooth-ready gamepads.

The play experience with the Rainbow 2 Pro is also sublime. Hall effect sticks and triggers are incredibly responsive and sturdy. Meanwhile, its ancillary buttons, such as Start, Select, screenshots, and Function buttons, are all easily within reach. The trigger locks are also an excellent touch for Switch users, as the console typically relies on digital inputs for the majority of the best Nintendo Switch games.

Battery life isn’t quite the best, however. Playing wirelessly, you’ll get roughly 15 hours on a full charge. This falls behind the 20-30 hours offered by the 8BitDo Ultimate and the absurd 40+ found with the official Nintendo Switch Pro controller. Still, 15 hours is far from bad. And if you opt for the model that comes with a charging dock, you’ll have a convenient and bespoke way to charge your controller in just a couple of hours.

Should I buy the Rainbow 2 Pro?

Rainbow 2 Pro

(Image credit: Future)

The Rainbow 2 Pro is a phenomenal gamepad for both Nintendo Switch and PC, with just a small handful of design oddities muddying the waters. However, these quirks are nothing deal-breaking. And if you’re looking for a controller that’s comfortable, responsive, and features a lovely RGB profile within its semi-translucent design, it’s an easy recommendation from us. 

Buy it if...

You want something more feature-rich than the official Pro controller: With Hall effect sticks and triggers, awesome remappable buttons, and a variety of convenient on-board options, the Rainbow 2 Pro is incredibly smart and robust.

You enjoy eye-catching aesthetics in your hardware: The Rainbow 2 Pro lives up to its name with a slightly understated but nonetheless lovely RGB profile that flanks its edges. The black, semi-translucent shell helps draw attention to this, too. 

Don't buy it if...

You’d prefer larger battery life: If 15 hours doesn’t cut it for you, then it’s hard to argue with beefier options like the Nintendo Switch Pro controller and the 8BitDo Ultimate.

How we reviewed the Rainbow 2 Pro

I tested the Rainbow 2 Pro across Nintendo Switch and PC. Through playing Splatoon 3, I was able to appreciate its responsiveness and high level of accuracy with the gyro aiming. The controller felt at home with other titles, too, including Xenoblade Chronicles 3, Tears of the Kingdom, and Final Fantasy 14 Online. All of which have decently complex control schemes that the Rainbow 2 Pro handled with ease.

For more coverage on Nintendo Switch hardware, consider browsing our guides to the best Nintendo Switch accessories and best Nintendo Switch controllers. 

Rhys Wood
Hardware Editor

Rhys is TRG's Hardware Editor, and has been part of the TechRadar team for more than two years. Particularly passionate about high-quality third-party controllers and headsets, as well as the latest and greatest in fight sticks and VR, Rhys strives to provide easy-to-read, informative coverage on gaming hardware of all kinds. As for the games themselves, Rhys is especially keen on fighting and racing games, as well as soulslikes and RPGs.