Skip to Content

Can You Use Wii U Controller On Nintendo Switch? (Which Ones Work?)

*This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

 

When the Wii U was originally released, there were many skeptics that didn’t think it was that good of an upgrade. They also thought that it wasn’t worth upgrading just for a better controller. 

What they didn’t realize was that you got far more than just a better controller when you purchased the Wii U. The Wii U has a gamepad that is unlike any controller ever made! 

This gamepad controller performs seamlessly with the tv and the console and does not even require a sensor bar. It has a built-in touch screen, motion controls, and a full range of control sticks and buttons. The built-in screen on the gaming pad transforms gaming like never before! 

The game pad allows you to connect to other players in the Miiverse, and even video chat with them in real-time! The best part is that the gamepad is extremely easy to use and is loved by gamers of all ages! 

Because the Wii U gamepad is so much fun and so easy to use, many people wonder about using it with the Nintendo Switch. After all, making the newest Nintendo device even better wouldn’t hurt. 

Unfortunately, the Wii U gamepad will not work with the Nintendo Switch. It is specifically synced with the Wii U to work with those games and that system to give you a unique experience unlike any other gaming experience before. 

The Wii U gamepad is unlike anything we have ever seen before as it literally takes the game off the screen and moves it to your hands while you are still playing on the screen! You are also able to play split screen while you literally have your own screen right in your hands. 

If you do not own the Wii U and you were considering purchasing one, there are two options. You can either purchase the regular white model or the black deluxe model.

I Have Some Recommendations Handpicked For You!

Before you read more important info I would like you to look at some amazing recommendations that I have handpicked for you. All of these are must-have items for your Nintendo Switch console or gaming setup.

You can check them out and buy these products from Amazon.

Can I Play Wii U Games On The Switch?

Because the Wii U and the Nintendo Switch are both made by Nintendo, many people wonder about playing the games from the Wii U on the Switch. Nintendo is really good about allowing people to play games from one of their consoles onto the newer ones. 

Unfortunately, it is not possible to play Wii U games on the Nintendo Switch. The Wii U actually uses compact discs for its games, while the Nintendo Switch uses small cartridges. 

The Wii was the first ever Nintendo gaming device to use discs instead of cartridges, and when they made the Wii U they wanted to keep it that way. They realized though that their games were not very durable which made them receive many complaints about not using cartridges anymore. 

This is why Nintendo actually went back to using cartridges when they produced the Nintendo Switch. Even today Nintendo uses cartridges instead of discs for their gaming systems. 

I recently wrote an entire article about this subject. So if you want to read more about playing Wii U games on the Switch just click here.

Nintendo Switch Sports - Nintendo Switch

Can You Use The Wii U Pro Controller On The Switch?

If you have upgraded to the Switch then you have probably realized just how tiny those controllers are to use. If you are trying to play a game with just one JoyCon, it is almost impossible if you do not have small hands. 

Because most people do not have small hands that will fit a JoyCon, they begin looking for other traditional controllers to use with their Switch. If you are an avid Nintendo gamer, then you probably are wanting to use your Wii U pro controller for the Switch! 

The Nintendo Switch actually supports most Nintendo controllers, including the Wii remotes, The Wii U pro controller, the JoyCons, and the Switch pro controller. If you are using the Wii U pro controller though, you will need to purchase an adapter/dongle which you can find by clicking here. 

If you have this adapter, you can also use an Xbox controller or a PlayStation controller on your Switch! This allows you to have a far more comfortable gaming experience without paying $70 for a Nintendo Switch pro controller. 

Plus there is just something about playing the classic Nintendo NES or SNES games using older controllers that just feels right. Of course, you can use the Joy-Con controllers that come with the Switch to play any games you like but there are also many Switch controllers that look and feel like the classic ones that you can purchase at many game stores.

Many online stores will sell these classic controllers that run on a battery instead of having so many plugs and cords scattered all over the floor.

I also wrote an article about Wii U controllers and using them on the Switch. To learn more about using Wii U controllers on the Nintendo Switch just click here.

SanDisk 128GB microSDXC-Card, Licensed for Nintendo-Switch - SDSQXAO-128G-GNCZN

How Do I Connect A Wii U Pro Controller To My Nintendo Switch?

If you own a Nintendo Switch you probably want to know how to connect your Wii U pro controller to your Nintendo switch. You have probably already tried and are not having any luck which is why you are looking this up. Do not worry, you are not alone. 

In order to connect the pro controller you will need an adapter that will put out a wireless signal for you to connect to. Once you have that plugged in, all you will need to do is push the synchronization button on your controller and it will connect and work perfectly. 

The sync button on the Wii U Pro controller is on the back and shouldn’t be too difficult to locate. Once you have made a successful connection the controller’s lights will go solid. You can then leave your console on the Nintendo Switch dock and use the wireless Wii U controller to play your favorite games.

If you do not have one of these adapters, they are necessary to make the Wii U pro controller connect to your Switch. You can purchase one of these adapters by clicking here. 

CLOUDREAM Adapter for Gamecube Controller, Super Smash Bros Switch Gamecube Adapter for WII U, Switch and PC. Support Turbo and Vibration Features. No Driver and No Lag & Gamecube Adapter

Which Nintendo Controllers Will Work On the Switch?

Of course, there are many different controllers that are specifically designed to work with the Nintendo Switch. Some of them will like original controllers while others have different designs. But which of the actual Nintendo controller will work on the Nintendo Switch, Switch Lite, or Switch OLED?

The Nintendo controllers that will work on the Switch are:

  • Joy-Cons
  • Nintendo Switch Pro Controller
  • Wii U Pro Controller (with adapter)
  • Gamecube controller (with adapter)

Of course, not all of the remote features that the Joy-Cons will have are in some of the other controllers so with some games (like Mario Party) you will HAVE to have Joy-Cons to play. Some other things that might be different with these other controllers are:

  • Accelerometer
  • HD rumble
  • Gyroscope
  • Option button
  • Face buttons
  • Trigger
  • Fewer buttons
  • etc.

So before diving in and trying out all of these (and other) controllers it is a good idea to test each of them out on your favorite games. If you are used to the location of the d-pad and it is different on one of these other controllers it could mess up your gameplay. The same thing goes with the distance your fingers have to reach to hold the controller or press all of the buttons.

If you are used to playing on the Switch Pro controller then changing to one of these (or any of the other) controllers will likely cause your gameplay to get worse. That’s just something to keep in mind when buying a new controller for your Switch.

Can I Replace My Wii U Gamepad? 

If you own a Wii U, then you know exactly how easy it is for the gamepad to get damaged. If you do not have a protective case or screen protector on it it only takes one drop for it to become damaged. 

This is why many people have a protective case or screen protector on their gamepad so they do not have to worry about it being damaged. Although sometimes it can still be damaged even though there is a screen protector and case over it, it normally takes more than a few drops for that to happen. 

If you do not like the feel of a case or screen protector on your gamepad then you probably did not put one on. If that is the case and it has been dropped quite a few times it is possible that it has completely stopped working. 

If you own a gamepad that currently does not work, you have probably considered replacing it with a brand-new one. You have also probably wondered if it could simply be repaired instead of replaced. 

Although gamepads can be repaired most of the time it costs more to repair them than it does to simply purchase a brand-new gamepad. If you are going to replace your gamepad, you can buy a new one by clicking here. 

Nintendo Wii U Black Gamepad - Replacement ONLY - no cables

Conclusion

Now that you know that you cannot use the Wii U gamepad controller with the Nintendo Switch you will probably want to look for other controller options. Because there are so many different controllers that you can use with the Nintendo Switch you may not know which one to go with. 

Thankfully you know that you do not have to purchase any special controller. All you need is a simple adapter that will allow you to use any Xbox or PlayStation controller with your Nintendo Switch. 

Now that you have different controllers that you can use on your Nintendo Switch, and you know exactly how to connect them, all you need to do now is go and play your Nintendo Switch with all of your friends!