Nintendo Switch is great fun, but it’s also expensive once you calculate the cost of the system, games, accessories, and extra controllers.
For instance, the Nintendo Switch Pro controller costs £55/$60. If you want to play Mario Kart 8 Deluxe with, say, three other players, you do have a few different options, like buying additional Pro controllers for all the other players, but that isn’t exactly cheap. However, if you owned a GameCube back in the day and still have its controllers laying around, you are lucky, because you have a cheap workaround.
When Nintendo released the 4.0 software update for the Switch last autumn, it quietly included a new feature: the ability to use old GameCube controllers with the Switch, as long as you pair them through a Wii U GameCube adapter. You can use the original adapter or a generic one available from places like Amazon. Anyway, once you have one of these adapters, you can use a GameCube controller with your Switch.
How to use a GameCube controller with your Nintendo Switch
You need a Switch, obviously, as well as a GameCube controller and a Wii U adapter.
Connect the adapter and controllers
First, you have to connect the adapter to your Switch; there’s two USB ports on the side of the Switch dock. Then, it’s as easy as plugging your GameCube controllers into the Wii U adapter.
Pair your controllers
On your Switch, go to the controller Settings menu on the home screen (the icon a Joy-Con controller). Then, simply press the L and R buttons on the GameCube controller as you would when pairing your Joy-Cons or Pro controller, and it’ll be detected as a USB gamepad.
After that, you should be ready to go.
Are there any limitations?
Users of the old GameCube controllers know that they won’t match up exactly to the configuration of the Nintendo Switch. There’s no left Z button (just a right one), so if you’re trying to a play a game like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, for instance, you’ll have to play without the ability to use your shield. There’s also no home button. But other than that, everything else should work perfectly.
Note: Old GameCube controllers don’t support motion or rumble on Switch.
What about Super Smash Bros Ultimate?
At E3 2018, Nintendo revealed Super Smash Bros Ultimate would arrive on Nintendo Switch in December, and it’ll support several different controller options, including existing GameCube controllers via an adapter. There’s even a Smash-branded GameCube controller available to pre-order from both GameStop and Amazon. It retails for $30. If you need the adapter, you can pre-order those via Amazon for $20.
If you need to update your Nintendo Switch, you can learn how from here.