Nintendo Switch update secretly brings GameCube controller support

Eric Abent - Oct 24, 2017
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Nintendo Switch update secretly brings GameCube controller support

The latest update for the Nintendo Switch seems to have added a number of secret features that Nintendo didn’t actually talk about. The first of these features was support for some wireless headsets, but today we’re learning about something potentially more exciting for certain gamers. As it turns out, the Nintendo Switch now supports GameCube controllers.

This new functionality was discovered first by Master Mewking on Twitter before being confirmed by GameXplain in the video you see below. Since the Switch doesn’t have GameCube controller ports (remember the good old days of proprietary controller connectors?), you’ll need to use some kind of adapter to get it to work. The Wii U adapter, which allows you to connect up to four GameCube controllers, works here, though some are also reporting that third-party USB adapters work as well.

However, others are reporting (in reply to Master Mewking’s tweet) that they’re having problems getting up and running with their GameCube controllers. Assuming you can get your Switch to recognize your GameCube controllers, you can then use them to play presumably any of the Switch’s games – in GameXplain’s video, for instance, we see Fire Emblem Warriors played with one.

This is where things get a little hairy, though. The GameCube controller, being a product of its time, obviously lacks a few buttons that the Switch Joy-Cons and Pro Controller have. These include bumpers and the home button, so while you can play your Switch games with a GameCube controller, what you can ultimately do in-game is limited by those missing buttons.

That simple fact, along with the compatibility problems some people are experiencing, could be why Nintendo chose not to publicize this new support. Right now GameCube controllers aren’t really a viable control method for Switch games, but they definitely could find use if we get a port (or a new version) or Super Smash Bros. at some point in the future. We’ve also got those rumors of GameCube virtual console games to consider, making this new controller support all the better.


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