The Nintendo Wii was a revolutionary gaming console that changed gaming for countless families around the world.
For a time, the Nintendo Wii was the bestselling console, outselling even the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360. The Wii sold 101.63 million units in its lifetime, pulling far ahead of the PS3’s 87.4 million and the Xbox 360’s 84 million.
What made the Nintendo Wii so different was that it was a console for everyone — it wasn’t uncommon to have young children playing video games with their grandparents. The Nintendo Wii also has motion controls and an interesting controller (with speakers!) that many still wish they could use today.
Do Nintendo Wii Controllers Work on Switch?
Yes. It might not make sense for Wii controllers to work on Switch because the Wii came out a good eleven years before the Switch. However, the Nintendo Switch is quite compatible with older controllers like the Wii remotes and the Wii U pro controller.
In fact, you can make most controllers compatible with the Switch as long as you have the right controller adapter.
How to Connect Wii Controller to Switch
You can use your Nintendo Wii controller with your Switch, but you’ll need a thing or two first to make them work together.
The first thing you’ll need is a USB C to USB A adapter much like the one below. This Anker USB C adapter will allow you to use the controller adapter when you’re playing your Nintendo Switch while it is not in docked mode.
If you don’t intend to use your Switch as a handheld console, you can instead opt for a USB C hub like the one below. You may not even need a USB hub, provided your Nintendo Switch Dock still has a USB slot that is not in use.
The other thing you’ll need — and arguably the more important thing — is the controller adapter. This one by 8BitDo is a very popular and reliable option.
Once you have both items, follow the steps below.
- [OPTIONAL] Connect your USB-C Adapter to your Nintendo Switch in handheld mode. Alternatively, you can connect your USB-C hub to your Switch dock.
- Connect your 8BitDo (or other brand) controller adapter to your Switch/Dock and follow the instructions for pairing your controller (in this case your Wii remote) with your Switch.
- Navigate to the Switch console homepage and go to your System Settings. Once there, scroll down to Controllers and Sensors.
- Scroll down to Test Input Devices and test your Wii Remote for full compatibility using the Test Controller Buttons function.
And that’s it — you’re good to go!
Is Using a Wii Controller on Switch a Good Experience?
Maybe. using your Wii remote can be nostalgic. If you enjoyed its form factor, you may also just have a good experience for that reason alone.
The Nintendo Wii remote has a built-in speaker, accelerometer, and gyroscope. Sounds good, but they’re not as developed as the ones in the Nintendo Switch Joycons, considering they did come out over 10 years later.
That said, you may experience some limitations in functionality. You might miss the HD rumble that the joycons have, for example — and you’ll certainly miss the more accurate, detailed input of the modern joycon’s gyroscope and accelerometer.
Additionally, the Wii-mote has fewer buttons than the Nintendo Switch’s controllers. You may miss those extra buttons when playing games like Xenoblade Chronicles 2 that require all the buttons.
Can You Connect a Wii U Controller to a Nintendo Switch?
No. The Wii U Game Pad was designed to specifically sync with the Wii U system and its games because as a whole, they system and controller provides its players with an unbeatably unique gaming experience.
However, if you happen to have one lying around, you can use the Wii U Pro Controller with your Nintendo Switch — as long as you have a controller adapter like the one we mentioned above.
Can You Play Wii Games on The Nintendo Switch?
No. Unfortunately, the Wii games were on compact discs. As you may know, the Nintendo Switch uses cartridges (and microSD cards if you choose to purchase games from the Nintendo eShop) for its games. This direct incompatibility prevents you from playing Wii games on Switch.
Although it is possible to use the Nintendo Wii controller with your Nintendo Switch, it may not always provide you with the best experience. The Wii-mote lacks the accuracy of the joycons and is missing a few buttons that you may need for certain games. However, it can work well if you need an extra controller in a pinch!
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