By Josh Speer / March 18th, 2019
If there’s one thing you should know about me, it’s that I generally don’t touch off brand merchandise. No matter how intuitive or inexpensive, I usually prefer having the real deal from the manufacturer. Just less work that way. But with the case of the Horicon Mobile Mode Exclusive Cross Connector, I made an exception. For one, I got it to tide me over while my Nintendo light blue left Joy-Con was in the shop getting repaired for a drifting problem. And for another, the Horicon branded Joy-Con actually worked pretty well.
The highlight of the Horicon Mobile Mode Exclusive Cross Connector (other than the classic blue hue and ridiculously fun long name) is that it actually has a D-Pad instead of buttons. While I love most things about my Switch, it has been lacking a D-Pad for precise controls for old school platforming. This one is nice and sturdy, and responds pretty great, with some provisos. When you’re using it for typing, such as when uploading screenshots to social media, it doesn’t slide smoothly but rather chugs in the direction you’re holding. It’s a lot like the old Resident Evil tank controls, in a way. Responsive but slow. The D-Pad also had some quirks when I was using it to read Nintendo news, such as scrolling all the way to the bottom when I just touch it. Thankfully it works quite well in the games themselves. It’s very well suited for games like Wargroove, where you have to move along a grid with precision. I anticipate it’ll also work amazing in the upcoming Super Mario Maker 2.
I spent a good hour or so tinkering with this Horicon product, and for the most part it worked fine. I used it to slide around on the eShop, rummage through my gallery and play several games without problem. But when the problems did show up, they were head scratchers. After the drifting issue that happened (only in the News feed), I decided to try and calibrate the controls. The joystick didn’t display properly, with the cursor centered and displayed as a +. Instead, it was slightly off center and displayed as a circle. Furthermore, it wouldn’t let me calibrate it, perhaps because Horicon isn’t official Nintendo merchandise. However when I tried to calibrate it later on, everything read as perfectly normal.
This next thing isn’t a problem, but rather one of the disadvantages to the Mobile Mode Exclusive Cross Connector. It’s only for playing while connected to the Switch system. It does not work detached from the system, nor is it designed for wireless play with the TV. Another oddity is the screencap button. Though it works perfectly fine, it’s not as tight as the regular one. It’s more of a spongy button than a hard click. That took some getting used to, but otherwise I had no complaints.
As far as price, the Horicon Cross Connector is pretty affordable. While a basic Joy-Con from Nintendo will run about $35, this product sells on Play-Asia for $22.99 before shipping. Regular slow shipping will only cost you $5, while two day is $18. So if you decide to go the cheap route, you can get this for $7 less than a regular Joy-Con, which isn’t a bad deal.
Though I don’t love the sporadic quirks I encountered, overall I can recommend the Horicon Mobile Mode Exclusive Cross Connector. It made me realize how much I miss having a good old D-Pad on my Switch. If you are just looking to play portably with your Switch, this one is worth checking out. If you’re interested, feel free to use the link below.
D-PadHoriconJoy-ConMobile Mode Exclusive Cross ConnectoroprainfallPlay Asia