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Why Are The Nintendo Switch Buttons Backwards?

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Isn’t it surprising that Nintendo would rather have their buttons backward instead of forward like everyone else? Could it have something to do with the fact that Nintendo is just so big on doing their own things that nobody else does?

Well, in this article we will go over everything you need to know about Nintendo buttons and why they are backwards. 

So Why Are The Nintendo Switch Buttons Backwards?

This could have something to do with the fact that the original NES controller has the ‘A’ button to the right of the ‘B’ button. Also, there are patent reasons why every console maker has a different pattern and button sequence on their controllers. This is why the Xbox decided to swap their controls. So, both the A/B and X/Y buttons have had their positions swapped.

If you would like to know more about why Nintendo buttons are backwards, you will want to keep reading this article. 

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Nintendo Buttons Flipped

People wonder why Nintendo buttons are flipped compared to the Xbox and PlayStation. One thing that most people don’t actually notice though, is that Playstation actually never had A/B/X/Y buttons. Instead, they use square/circle/triangle/cross buttons.

There is obviously more to the Nintendo Switch than the backward buttons. There’s a variety of ways to play with the Nintendo Switch. Let’s take a look at them.

Nintendo Console 

The Nintendo Switch is a “hybrid” console that you can use in many different ways. Whether you’re playing at home on a TV or doing handheld on the road, this console works just fine. It’s a portable console just like Nintendo’s Game Boy and DS lines. 

The name Switch just represents the fact that players can use the console to change between the home and portable configurations of the console. Going from one mode to another is incredibly simple, and all you need to do for the Switch to register a change of screen is press the L and R buttons at the same time. 

To turn the system on, just place the Switch in the dock. The default settings also allow the Switch to turn your TV on automatically. This is something that although is not necessary, it is nice that Nintendo has built this feature into their system. 

Nintendo Switch TV mode

The tablet part of the system houses the whole processing power of the Switch. This part also contains an HDMI-connected charging dock as well as a pair of Joy-Con controllers that you can remove from the sides of the console. It is this unique structure that makes it possible for the Switch to employ many different form factors both for single and multiplayer games. 

The traditional control scheme of this console which is divided across the two controllers features the classic button cluster of “A-B-X-Y” as well as a “d-pad” that really comes with two different buttons, a “home” button, two analog sticks, “plus” and “minus” buttons, and a “share” button.

You also have the option to play with the Joy-Cons connected to the Joy-Con grip to achieve a more traditional control scheme. You only actually need to press two buttons for the Joy-Cons to separate from the grip though. With this separation, you can play with one Joy-Con in each of your hands. You can also play with even a single Joy-Con in just the same way you use a Wii remote. The straps of the Joy-Con help the free-form control schemes gain more comfort by including SL (Shoulder Left) and SR (Shoulder Right) bumper buttons.

The range of controls the Joy-Cons offers is a lot more fine-tuned than those of the Wii remotes. The HD rumble makes it feel as though marbles are rolling around inside the Joy-Con controllers. This makes sure that you can have a more exact motion-based experience than would be the case with the Wii.

The Switch “Pro” controller, which Nintendo showed off at the official unveiling of the system, is shaped in much the same way as the Wii’s “Pro” controller. However, the analog sticks are asymmetrically placed in the same way as the Xbox One and Xbox 360.

Nintendo Switch Tabletop Mode

The Switch comes with an in-built LCD screen that provides two different modes of play. These two modes are the handheld mode and the tabletop mode.

If you want to play local multiplayer games out of your home, you can easily remove the Joy-Con controllers from the sides of the Switch, and after that, you can turn them sideways so that they are now two independent “classic” controllers that are almost like Nintendo’s Wii remote.

The Switch also comes with a kickstand at its back. This kickstand also serves as a cover for the slot that houses the microSD. Plus, it helps to ensure that the console can stand up on its own. 

This single fact makes it easy for players to use a more traditional control scheme when they’re playing alone and not even need to touch the system itself. However, if you really want to use the system this way, a third party stand may be a much better option than the kickstand.

All Joy-Cons also comes with motion detection and a camera. Additionally, the ideal Joy-Con is created with an infrared motion camera that has the capacity to recognize distance as well as even decipher basic hand-gestures, like telling the difference between “Scissors” and “Rock” in a Rock, Paper, Scissors game.

The left Joy-Con controller comes with a “capture” button that makes it possible for a player to share screenshots by simply touching a button. Plus, you can even make big silly images.

Nintendo Switch Handheld Mode

This mode is practically a Wii U controller that you can carry with you wherever you are going. The Joy-Con controllers are fastened to the sides of the tablet, easily making it a portable handheld device. This device is roughly the same size as the Wii U controller.

The only difference is, it’s a little less bulky.

The portable display of the Switch doubly serves as a multi-touch screen in just the same way as the Nintendo DS. According to Nintendo, the philosophy behind the design of the Switch was “to build on the legacy of all past consoles.”

The touchscreen utilizes the haptic technology of Immersion, but this is only used in the game when it is in tablet mode with the controllers of the Joy-Con separated. The touchscreen is a capacitive one, and what that means is that the touchscreen has the capacity to register many finger presses at the same time.


Even though the buttons on the Nintendo seem to be backwards, we now know that this is not true and they are just made that way for patent reasons. This could also have something to do with the fact that the original NES controller has the ‘A’ button to the right of the ‘B’ button.

Also, there are different patent reasons why the Xbox decided to swap their controls. So, both the A/B and X/Y buttons have had their positions swapped. Even though it may take a little while to get used to the different buttons, the Nintendo Switch is extremely fun to play and loved by many gamers of all different ages.