Connect Wii Controller to Switch? (Checked out)

Getting a Wii controller for your gaming needs is a plus, given its excellent features such as motion and vibration sensors. However, whether your Wii controller can connect to Switch or not, I understand it is a matter of concern that requires your attention.

So, can you connect the Wii controller to Switch? It is possible to connect your Wii controller to Switch. However, you will require some customizable adaptors for a successful connection, some of which you might need to configure on your own for proper functionality. Some of these controllers will have differences in the buttons, but this does not imply functionality issues.

Connecting your Wii controller to Switch is possible and understanding how to connect your Wii controller to Switch and whether you can use Wii remotes for Switch is important. The Wii remote and Switch have almost a decade gap in terms of technology. This is why understanding their differences before linking them up is vital.

If you have an old Wii controller lying around, yet it is in perfect condition, the good news is that you can use it on Switch. To do this, you need your Wii controller, your Switch console, a USB Type C Hub, and an adapter such as the 8BitDo Bluetooth USB adapter. For every controller, you will require an adapter. All the above items are available in most online stores and game stores.

To initiate the connection, start by ensuring that your 8BitDo adapter is operating on an up to date software. You can ensure this by utilizing the upgrading tool. Alternatively, connect your system to the adapter and synchronize to ensure the upgrade tool runs. As this tool runs, it will scan and download the updates. Once your adapter is up to date, connect it with your Switch console.

Start by powering on your console and ensure its battery is at least halfway charged. Next, connect your USB Type C hub to your console, then plug the 8BitDo. Upon successful connection, a red light will flash. On your adapter, press the synchronization button and confirm your Wii remotes have batteries. To do this, remove the battery cover on your remote then press then hold down the sync button. Your dongle will sense the Wii remote and sync it in readiness for use.

Upon successful connection, you will use your Wii remote while holding it in a parallel position due to the buttons remapping. You can also check for the input that the buttons are supplying to your Wii controller with a few steps.

First, go to your Switch console homepage, and click on System Settings, scroll to the Controllers tab, and select this option. Next, choose the Test Input then the test controller. You can then check the input your controller is feeding into your Switch console by holding down its buttons. Once through with the test, you can exit by pressing any random button on your controller.

While it is possible to use your Wii remote on Switch, you will experience some limitations in functionality, which is why most users prefer purchasing compatible controllers for their Switch console. These controllers include the JoyCons, GameCube, or Pro Controllers. These controllers will perform better than your Wii remote, given their advanced features. For instance, a JoyCon controller features an accelerometer, a gyroscope, and an HD rumble, which are accurate and very efficient compared to those in the Wii remote.

The Wii remote features a gyroscope, accelerometer, and a built-in speaker, but these features have a lower fidelity than JoyCon; hence, a disadvantage to the gamer. The speaker provides you with notifications during gaming.

In addition to the above features, the Wii controller differs from the Switch’s JoyCon controller in terms of functionality. While the JoyCons feature four face buttons, one function, and an options button, the Wii remote has three face buttons, two functions, and options buttons.

Since games such as Xenoblade Chronicles 2 require almost every button on JoyCons, it will be challenging for a player to use the Wii controller when playing this game. The Wii remote also has an IR sensor that requires pairing with a sensor bar for functionality. Without this bar, it will be useless as it will not receive any positional knowledge.

Given the above differences between the Switch compatible and Wii controller, it is evident that games designed for Switch will utilize the JoyCons controller buttons fully. Most of these games take advantage of the innovative control in these remotes, which are excluded from the Wii remote. Thus, while connecting your Wii controller to Switch is possible, it is almost pointless in some instances and much better to use the controllers suited for the Switch.

The Switch console features Bluetooth capabilities. However, when connecting to third-party peripherals, you will require a special adapter. The Mayflash Magic N-S wireless controller, for instance, is a worthy investment given its compatibility with many consoles. Another alternative you can explore is the 8Bitdo Wireless USB adapter.

This affordable adapter enables you to use several controllers with the Switch. It supports all the controllers that 8Bitdo makes, including Sony’s Dual Shock 3 and Dual Shock 4. It also supports a majority of the modern Nintendo controllers such as the Wii remote, JoyCon, Pro Controller, and Wii U Pro Controller.

With this adapter, you will get a variety of options to play your games. The 8Bitdo also supports other devices such as Mac, Windows, Android TV, and Raspberry PI, giving you more ways to enjoy functionality from the controllers you already have. Besides its excellent functionality, it has a good outward design inspired by the Super Mario Bros, an iconic brick.

Can You Use Wii Remotes for Switch?

One of the developments Wii has invested in is their U controller. This controller has excellent performance and does not require a sensor bar. However, whether you can use this remote or any other Wii remote with Switch is still a matter of concern.

If you want to enjoy full functionality when using your Wii remotes for Switch, then you should use an adaptor in this connection. To use your Wii remote on Switch, start by turning on your Switch and plug in your Magic-NS adapter into one of the USB ports on your Switch. You can then use a JoyCon controller to wake up your console and press L+R to pair the JoyCon with the Switch.

On the home screen, select System Settings. Controllers and Sensors, then Pro Controller Wired Communication to turn on and click OK. Using a USB cable, connect your controller to the Magic-NS, and the LED light on your controller will turn on, indicating successful detection. Press and hold the black button on your Magic N-S adapter until it starts flashing.

The limitations you will experience when using Wii remotes for Switch include the inability to wake your Switch console from sleep with a non-Nintendo controller. This implies why you need a JoyCons. Also, you may need to undock your Switch occasionally and put it back in for the adapter to recognize other controllers.

To deal with the above limitation, you can use the Wii U and Nintendo Switch Pro alongside JoyCons. If you have a GameCube adapter for Wii U, you can use a GameCube controller. Alternatively, use third-party gamepads for Switch. The good news is that Switch supports other game controllers, including Xbox’ and Dual Shock 4.

While the Wii U gamepad allows you to play and video chat with other players in Miiverse, it will still not work with Nintendo Switch. This is because its design is such that it is compatible with the Wii U games and systems to give you a fantastic gaming experience.

This gamepad literally takes the game off the screen and to your hands while you continue playing on the screen. Also, despite having a common manufacturer, it is impossible to use your Wii U remote on Switch as Wii U uses compact discs for its games while Switch uses small cartridges.

The Wii was the first Nintendo gaming device to use discs rather than cartridges. As they were developing Wii U, the intention was to keep the cartridges away, but, later on, they received complaints about their games being non-durable. This made them go back to using cartridges to date.

With Switch controllers such as JoyCon being very small, most players have a hard time using them. This also explains why most people with Switch resort to traditional controllers. The Wii U pro controller is a viable option, as it supports Nintendo controllers such as Wii remotes, JoyCons, Switch pro controller, and the Wii U Pro controller.

However, you will have to purchase an adapter if you choose this option. With an adapter, you can also use a PlayStation or Xbox controller on your Switch. This way, you will have a more comfortable gaming experience.

To connect your Wii U pro to your Switch, you need an adapter to put out the wireless signal that you will use in the connection. Once the signal is on, push the sync button on your controller to initiate the connection, and you are good to go with your gaming.

While you can explore many remote alternatives, it is worth noting that gamepads easily damage from a simple drop, especially if they lack a screen protector or protective case. A screen protector is not an assurance of complete safety, but it may take several drops for your gamepad to damage if it has the screen protector.

Thus, if your Wii U gets damaged, consider a repair or replacement. In most cases, a repair may cost more than a replacement, so you should weigh the options before settling on a decision.

Other challenges you may experience with your remote include the failure to sync. This is a common issue, but you can fix it with a few steps when it happens. However, failure to do so will compromise your gaming experience causing frustrations.

To fix the sync problem, start by rebooting your remote as the first troubleshooting option. If your Wii remote is working well with your phone or PC, it should work well with your console. You should turn it off and leave it for at least 30 seconds before you turn it on. If your remote and console connect normally after this, you can stop the troubleshooting at this point but if not, then proceed with the next fix.

The next troubleshooting option will comprise resyncing your remote. Wii remotes are wireless and built in such a way that you can resync them when they lose connection with your console. The process is simple and will last a few minutes. To do this, power off your remote, then power on again.

When the Health and Safety warning appears, open the SD card slot and press the red Sync button. You can then remove the battery cover of your remote, press the red sync button, then press the sync button on your console and wait for pairing. When you pair the first remote, move to the rest as fast as you can before the sync window times out. You will know how many remotes are assigned by checking the LED on the remote.

Still, if the above sync does not work, consider checking the batteries. The Wii remote uses two AA batteries, and you can either charge or reseat the batteries. If the above steps do not resolve the issues, it could be an issue with your remote; therefore, you should consider a replacement. Fortunately, they are affordable and available in most game stores and online shops.


The Switch console is designed such that it allows the use of compatible gaming remotes. However, most of these remotes, such as the JoyCons, are small, and players have difficulty using them, as they do not feel comfortable in their big hands.

The good news is that you can use a Wii controller with your Switch console if you have an adapter. An adapter establishes a signal, enabling you to pair and use your Wii remote with your Switch console.

If you cannot connect your remote to your console, you can do some sync troubleshooting as a corrective action. However, if these options do not fix the problem, your remote may be damaged, creating the need for repair or a replacement. A replacement is worthwhile in most cases since the repair costs can exceed the price of a new remote.

Bal Kang

Bal Kang is a technology expert based in the UK, with experience across a number of technology areas from phones, tablets, computers to gaming.

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