Can You Use Wii Controllers On Nintendo Switch?

Can You Use Nintendo Wii Controllers On Nintendo Switch

Have you ever thought about if Wii controllers will work on the Switch? I have done the same too. Both the Nintendo Wii and the Switch has unique features that have changed gaming for most gamers and people out there.

The Nintendo Wii is a popular video game console. It is Nintendo’s best-selling gaming console and arguably one of the best-selling consoles of all time. This revolutionary gaming console used to be a fan’s favorite, even outselling and outperforming the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3 in market sales. The Wii recorded more than 101.63 million sales in its lifetime, which is way ahead of the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 which had 87.4 million and 84 million units respectively.

What made the Wii so unique and different from other gaming consoles was that it doesn’t appeal to a certain demographic but was a console for everyone. It was so relatable to the young and old. In those days, it wasn’t strange to see parents playing video games with their young ones.

What changed since then? There is a new boy in town – the Nintendo Switch.

If you have come to know if you can use the Wii controllers on Nintendo Switch, you are in the right place. Truly, you can find lots of joy controllers in the market with easy UI and great functionalities. This guide will answer your questions in detail and tell you other things that you need to know.

About the Nintendo Wii

Can You Use Wii Controllers On Nintendo Switch

Both Wii and Switch are gaming consoles created by Nintendo. Wii is the fifth major video game console developed and released by Nintendo. It was the successor to Gamecube, which is Nintendo’s first video game console that features internet connectivity. The Wii is a 7th-generation home game console released in 2006. Nintendo stopped the Wii in 2017 just after the release of the Switch.

Since it supported internet connectivity, users can search and download games directly from the Wii store on their devices. Moreover, it provided support for wireless connectivity with handheld game consoles such as the Nintendo DS.

Nintendo designed the Wii to be backward-compatible, meaning that it can support virtually all games from its predecessor – Gamecube. However, this feature was removed later from a revised model of the Nintendo Wii.

Nintendo didn’t give much attention to computational power when designing and developing the Wii. It wasn’t all bad though; there were some benefits to this. Firstly, the Wii was cheap to produce, which made it affordable to purchase.

Additionally, the Wii got the interest of a large demographic of users through its unique and original gameplay. It went on to become one of Nintendo’s best-selling games of all time, registering sales of more than 100 million units all over the world.

Despite its success, the Wii has a few drawbacks. The Nintendo Wii was a success, it made the numbers in the market but the console began to witness a great fan exodus.

One of the problems with the Nintendo Wii was the storage media. Nintendo allowed the use of standard DVDs just like their competitors. However, the storage space was too low. A regular Wii disk comes with a storage capacity of 4.7GB whereas a double-sided disk features a storage capacity of 8.5GB. Now compare that with the Sony PlayStation blu-ray disk which features a storage capacity of 25GB.

Another downside of Wii is that it lacked 3rd party developers. Users lacked variety as lots of the first-party Wii games were remakes and recycled versions of existing Nintendo titles.

About the Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch Game Controller

The Nintendo Switch on the other hand is a hybrid 8th-generation video game console released in 2017. It was unveiled in 2016 as the successor to the Wii U. The Wii U performed poorly in the market and its sales were relatively low compared to its predecessor – the Wii.

Nintendo decided to merge creativity and innovation in developing a new gaming console in order to increase its market share and remain relevant and competitive in the gaming industry. The Switch was the outcome of this plan and after several months of anticipation, the first set of Switch units was released in 2017.

The Switch turned out to be a success in the market as Nintendo sold more than 3 million units within the first few months of its release. Soon after, Switch outsold the Wii U within a year of release, recording more than 14 million sales.

As of March 2021, the data shows that Nintendo has sold more than 84 million units of the Switch console worldwide. Even though the Switch is yet to outsell the popular Wii, it has helped Nintendo to gain back some relevance after the lackluster performance of the Wii U.

The Nintendo Switch is suitable for home use and is not only convenient but also portable to be used on the go. Since the Wii and the Switch are made by Nintendo, people have wondered to know if both devices are compatible with each other.

It is possible for Wii controllers to work on Switch consoles but the functionalities will be somewhat limited. Your Wii controller will not function effectively on the Nintendo Switch because it is not as advanced as the Switch consoles. There is a broad age gap in terms of technology between both consoles.

But if you want to pair your Wii controller to the Switch console, you’ll be needing some customizable adaptors. The Nintendo Switch works with Joy-Con controllers, and the Wii remote has many features as you can find in the Switch.

Can You Use The Wii Controller On Switch?

how to connect wii controller to switch without adapter

Of course, we already stated that it is possible to control the Switch using a Wii remote. However, it is not as easy as it sounds.

Is it possible for the Wii remote to connect to the Switch in the first place? Yes, but before you connect the Wii-mote to the Switch, you will need a few adapters to enable both devices to communicate well.

1. The first device that you will need is a USB Type-C Hub. Perhaps, you have one already but some people don’t have it. This type of hub is compatible with the Switch, so you’ll be needing it. Your Nintendo Switch comes with some USB inputs and you will be using them for other outputs like your monitor.

2. After that, you will need to connect a Bluetooth USB dongle to a USB hub. The Bluetooth dongle is the same as the Bluetooth USB adaptor. However, you can’t just connect any type of Bluetooth dongle to the USB Hub. What you need is the 8BitDo Bluetooth USB Adaptor, which allows your Switch console to communicate freely with the Wii Remote through Bluetooth functionality. If you want to use any other Bluetooth dongle, you will need to get a CronusMAX and a Wii U Brook Converter.

3. Also, you may need to get the Nunchuk Extension for your Wiimote. The Nunchuk extension adds a few more inputs to your Wii Controller, thereby increasing its compatibility with the Nintendo Switch.

4. It will be wise to get a Sensor Bar with the Wii remote. This device improves the capabilities of the accelerometer and gyroscope when paired with the Wii-mote.

There you have it. Connecting your Wii Remote to your Nintendo Switch is very possible but may require a lot of effort from you.

Do Nintendo Wii Controllers Work on the Switch?

Yes, the Wii Controllers can work on the Switch. To an extent, it may not make sense for the Wii controllers to work on the Switch due to the fact that the Wii was released eleven years before the Switch came out. However, the Switch is a newer model and is quite compatible with older controllers, including the Wii remotes and the Wii U pro controller.

Most controllers in the market are quite compatible with the Switch. Provided you have the right controller adapter, you have nothing to fear.

You can connect a Wii controller to the Nintendo Switch using a USB Type-C hub and an 8BitDo dongle. All that you need to do is to insert the dongle into the hub and allow it to sync with your Wii remote. Before you do this, check if they’ll be any setbacks in doing this. Apparently, some compatibility issues may arise.

The Wii U GamePad was built to sync with the Wii U system, its components, and games, and provide a unique gaming experience to its users. If you still have a Wii U Pro Controller around, you can use it with your Nintendo Switch console as long as you have a controller adapter like the ones mentioned above.

What is the Difference Between Wii Remote and Joy-Con Controller?

The differences between the Wii Remote and the Joy-Can controller are too much to overlook. With their features, you can easily spot their differences.


  • Player-facing camera.
  • HD Rumble.
  • The accelerometer and gyroscope do not require a Sensor Bar.
  • It features 1 shoulder, 1 joystick, 1 trigger, 1 option button, 1 function button, 2 shoulder buttons, and 4 face buttons.

Wii Remote

  • IR camera.
  • Standard rumble.
  • The accelerometer and gyroscope do require a Sensor Bar.
  • With the Nunchuk extension: 1 joystick, 2 triggers.
  • It comes with 1 trigger, D-Pad, 2 function buttons, 2 options buttons, and 3 face buttons.

Looking at the features above, even with the Nunchuk extension, the Wii Remove still has fewer buttons than the Joy-Con. This mismatch is enough to cause compatibility issues. In spite of that, you can still overcome this hurdle but this makes it difficult for you to use a Wii controller on the Switch.

Two other matches that you should take note of is the rumble and the accelerometer. The gyroscope and accelerometer are precise and accurate enough that they do not need a Sensor Bar. Sadly, the same doesn’t apply to the Wii Remote.

Furthermore, there is a noticeable difference in the rumble of the Wii and Joy-Con controllers. While the Wii Remote has a decent rumble quality, it is miles behind what you can find on the Joy-Con.

The only advantage the Wii Remote has over the Joy-Con controller is that it comes with a built-in speaker. It also adds an extra layer of immersion, which is lacking in the Joy-Con. Despite all of that, the cons exceed the pros in this case.

How To Connect The Wii Controller To Nintendo Switch

First things first, you will need a USB C to USB A adapter. This Anker USB C adapter will enable you to use the Wii Controller adapter when you are using your Switch while it is not in docked mode. If you don’t want to use your Nintendo Switch as a handheld console, then you can try out this USB C Hub. If your Nintendo Switch has a USB slot that is not in use, you may not need to get a USB hub.

The most important thing that you will definitely need is the controller adapter. This 8BitDo Adapter remains the most popular and reliable on the market.

Remember that if you want to pair the Wii Controller to the Switch, you will need the following devices:

  • Nintendo Switch.
  • A Wii Remote.
  • USB Type-C Hub for the Switch.
  • 8BitDo Bluetooth USB adapter.

Now that you have the abovementioned devices, follow the steps below:

Step 1: Charge the Switch

First of all, ensure that your Nintendo Switch is fully charged. You wouldn’t want your console to switch off while it is in the process of syncing with the Wii remote. Preferably, the battery should be at least 70% charged before you start this process.

Step 2: Plug in The USB C Hub to the Switch

Now, plug the USB Type-C hub into your Nintendo Switch in handheld mode. Look for the dedicated USB C port on your console and then try inserting the hub in it. Next, follow the instructions required for the setup.

The USB hub allows you to pair USB Type-C devices to your Nintendo Switch. You can also connect the USB-C hub to your Nintendo Switch dock.

Step 3: Plug The 8BitDo Dongles

To connect the Nintendo Switch to the Wii Controller, you have to plug in the 8BitDo Dongle or the Bluetooth USB adapter. Find the dedicated port and insert the dongle into it.

Once you have done this, you will see a red flashing light to confirm that all is set. Now, press the button on the 8BitDo, the dongle will flash faster and then stop.

Step 4: Sync the Wii Remote

Next, you will have to sync the Wii remote. Just like the Nintendo Switch, ensure that the batteries of the Wii remote are fully charged. You can test the battery on other appliances to check if it is working or not. After you have confirmed that it has enough charge, press the button that shows “Sync” at the back.

Step 5: Testing the Wii Controller Input

 Finally, it is a good idea to test the Wii Controller Input just to make sure that is functional. To do this, go to the Home Screen and click on System Settings. At this stage, you will find the Controller and Sensors option in the menu. Click on this option when you find it.

From the menu that is going to show up on the right-hand area, click on “Test Input Device”. After that, click on the “Test Controller Buttons” option when you find it.

You can test the Wii Remote by pressing any button on it. Anything that button is programmed to do will display on the screen. If it doesn’t happen, you will need to do some troubleshooting on the remote.

Now, if you are done testing, you can leave the testing phase by pressing any button on your controller.

Wii Remote Features

The Wii Controller comes with a unique set of features that allow you to pair it with your Switch. Check out some of the features below:

Rumble Functionality

Rumble functionality is the most elementary and basic form of controller feedback. Perhaps if you are not used to it, it means the Will remote vibrates during crucial events. Moreover, it makes use of tiny motors that rumble and cause small vibrations. Rumble functionality adds an extra layer of immersion to an already established immersive experience.

Built-in Speaker

Several gaming controllers are not designed with speakers. However, what makes the Nintendo Wii different from other video game consoles is that it features a built-in speaker. Let’s take, for instance, you are playing “Legend of Zelda: The Breath of the Wild” and you shoot an arrow from a bow.

You will hear the sharp sound of the arrow leaving the bow as it zips past you to the target, from the controller to the TV. Gamers love to hear these sounds as it ensures an immersive gaming experience.

Single Trigger Button

On the side face of the Wii Remote is a single Trigger button “B”. This shoulder button is your most important trigger button. You can change the functionality of other buttons on the Wii with the press of this button.

Two Function Buttons

There are also two function buttons on the Wii namely – the HOME and Power buttons. By pressing the HOME button, you will be directed to the Wii Home Menu page. You can either turn on or off the remote when you press the power button.

Two Option Buttons

You will find two option buttons – the plus (+) and the minus (-) buttons. The Plus (+) button works as the Start button; it is mainly used to zoom in. In the same vein, you can use the trigger button to move forward as well.

On the other hand, the minus (-) button is a versatile button as well. It can be used to move backward and is mainly used to zoom out.

Three Face Buttons

Finally, there are three face buttons which include – the 1 button, the 2 buttons, and the D-Pad. The 1 and 2 buttons are quite easy and not complicated. First, the 1 button allows you to go to your favorites while the 2 button converts the screen to a Single Column mode.

The Wii D-Pad functions like a standard joystick. It has different functions apart from moving up and down. With the D-Pad, you can enter URLs, reload, search, and go to your Favorites.

Is It a Good Idea To Use a Wii Controller On The Switch?

can you connect wii controller to switch lite

Maybe you are feeling nostalgic upon remembering the fun and experience you had while using your Wii remote and you want to incorporate it on the Switch. The Nintendo Wii remote features a built-in speaker, accelerometer, and gyroscope but they are not as advanced as the JoyCons in the Switch.

Having said that, you may find some limitations in the functionality. First, you will miss out on the HD rumble that the joy-cons have and most importantly, you will miss the precise, detailed, and more accurate input of the improved accelerometer and gyroscope that is on the Joycon.

Another factor that cannot be ignored is that the Wii-mote has fewer buttons than the Switch’s controllers. So, you will likely miss those extra buttons when you are playing games such as “Xenoblade Chronicles 2” which requires all of those buttons.

Is It Possible To Play Wii Games on The Nintendo Switch?

Unfortunately, you can’t play Wii games on the Switch. The Wii Games were installed in compact discs while the Switch uses cartridges and microSD cards (for gamers who purchase apps and games from the Nintendo eShop). This mismatch stops you from playing the Wii games on the Switch.


Even if you get to use the Nintendo Wii Controller with your Switch, you may not get the best experience. As we explained in this post, the Wii-mote lacks a few buttons as well as the accuracy that will be needed in certain games. However, it can work well for you if you get a good controller.

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