How to Connect GameCube Controllers to the Nintendo Switch

GameCube and controllersseeshooteatrepeat / Shutterstock

If you want the nostalgic feel of the classic GameCube controller, you can use an older GameCube controller instead of the Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons. It’s the perfect accessory for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Edition, but you can use them in almost any game.

Update Nintendo Switch

The GameCube controller is supported on Nintendo Switch consoles running at least system version 5.0.0, released in March 2018.

To make sure your Nintendo Switch is up to date with the latest system version, make sure your system is connected to Wi-Fi and go to “System Settings” in the Home menu.

Once you are in the system settings, go to “System” and your current version will be listed under “System Update” on the right.


GameCube and Nintendo Switch controllers

In the fall of 2017, when Nintendo released software update 5.0 for the Nintendo Switch, the company has discreetly included a new feature: the possibility of using old GameCube controllers with the Nintendo Switch console.

RELATED: Nintendo Switch Now Seems To Support GameCube Controllers

You can connect your old GameCube controller via a Wii U GameCube Controller as Official Nintendo GameCube Controller Adapter. The official GameCube Controller adapter costs around $ 20 at retail.

Put the Nintendo Switch console in TV mode and connect the two USB plugs of the GameCube controller adapter to the Nintendo Switch docking station.

nintendo switch gamecube controller adapater_1Nintendo

On the Nintendo Switch model, there are two USB ports on the side of the Nintendo Switch dock where you will connect the GameCube Controller adapter.


After connecting the Gamecube Controller adapter to the USB ports, simply connect your GameCube controller to the adapter and press a button on the GameCube controller with the Nintendo Switch on.

On the Nintendo Switch console, go to the “Controller Settings” menu on the Home screen, using your Nintendo Switch controllers.

Nintendo Switch Controller Home Menu

From the “Controllers” menu, select “Pair New Controllers”, and the Nintendo Switch will begin searching for a compatible Nintendo Switch controller.

Nintendo Switch Controller Pairing.png

You’ll be prompted to select the L and R trigger buttons on the GameCube controller, as you normally would with the Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons, and that’s it.

The Nintendo Switch “Controllers” menu will display an overview of the connected USB controller.

GameCube and Nintendo Switch Lite controllers

You can also use a GameCube controller with the Nintendo Switch Lite, but it gets a little complicated. The Nintendo Switch Lite does not have a docking system, so an additional cable is required.

You will need a GameCube controller, a Wii U adapter, the black cable, the USB cable supplied with the Wii U adapter and a USB C to USB 3 adapter.

This will allow you to connect to the Switch-Lite’s only USB-C port and connect your wired controller to the device. As indicated above, you will need to configure the GameCube controller via the “Controller” menu.

Compared to using the Nintendo Switch in docked mode, the Nintendo Switch Lite does not connect to a TV screen, so you may want to find an alternative method of supporting the device while you play. Of course, you can always lay it flat on the floor. We will not judge you.

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