Although the Xbox Controller are primarily offered for Microsoft’s gaming console, they may also be used to play games on PCs, smartphones, and other devices via Bluetooth or a USB-C connection. It makes sense to question whether you can use a standard Xbox controller with the small system since the Nintendo Switch utilises Bluetooth to connect to its official controllers, and it also has a USB-C connector for charging and data transfers.
The simple answer is that you can utilise an Xbox controller on the Nintendo Switch, regardless of the motivation behind your desire to mix and match gaming devices in this manner. The bad news is that it’s more complicated than just plugging it into the USB port on your Switch dock. You’ll need to buy a dongle or adapter. However, there is a solution for people ready to investigate this option: the required gadget is affordable, and the setup procedure is often relatively straightforward.
What you need to use an Xbox controller on the Nintendo Switch
Although various adapters are on the market, they all function similarly. The adapter connects with your Nintendo Switch through USB, and you then use the Bluetooth radio in your Xbox controller to pair with the adaptor.
We suggest the wireless USB Adapter 2 from 8Bitdo. It is available for purchase at Amazon for only $20. Moreover, to establish a solid connection between your Xbox controller and Switch, you’ll discover that it operates with a wide range of other systems (including Steam Deck, Windows PCs, and more) and controllers (including PS4 DualShock and PS5’s DualSense). It is very adaptable and, according to a large number of user evaluations, it is also generally trustworthy. Suppose you need to become acquainted with the 8Bitdo brand. In that case, it’s essential to know that this business established its name by providing wireless retro-style alternative controllers, particularly for Nintendo Switch and PC gamers. As a result, you can rest assured that you’re receiving a high-quality product from a business with a magical reputation for providing excellent customer care.
Of course, you’ll also need a Bluetooth-enabled Xbox controller. Bluetooth is a feature included in every official Xbox Series X|S wireless controller and more recent controllers made for the Xbox One. Check the concave region where the Xbox button is for the latter to see whether your model supports Bluetooth. It has Bluetooth if the plastic is continuous with the rest of the face plate.
How to connect your Xbox controller to the Nintendo Switch
Although a few steps are involved, setting up the 8Bitdo USB Adapter 2 is relatively straightforward. Make sure your Switch is upgraded to 3.0.0 or a later version first.
- Select System Settings > Controller and Sensors from the menu.
- Select “Pro Controller Wired Communication” and turn it on.
- Connect the adapter to the Switch’s USB-C port or the dock (a USB-A to USB-C dongle is needed).
- Let the controller into pairing mode by pressing and holding the little “connect” button on top of the Xbox controller (you’ll know it’s in pairing mode when the Xbox button starts flashing quickly).
- Press the “pair” button a few times when the adapter’s LED flickers.
- Wait a moment or two. You should now have a connection between the controller and the Switch if you can see that the lights on the adapter and controller have become solid.
You may use the controller to play any Switch game that supports controllers once it is attached. To accomplish this, choose the controller from the list of accessible controllers in the game’s settings menu. To ensure that the Xbox controller’s buttons match the appropriate game activities, you may also need to modify the button mapping in the settings menu.
Why you may want to use an Xbox controller with the Nintendo Switch
For players who don’t want to use the smaller Joy-Cons alone or while connected to the Comfort Grip, Nintendo provides the Pro Controller. Compared to the Joy-Cons, the Pro Controller offers a more conventional gaming experience and feels far more substantial and long-lasting. Nintendo’s official Pro Controller costs $69.99, which some customers may deem a high expense — especially if they plan to use the controller sporadically.
Although there are less expensive (usually unlicensed) third-party solutions, they may need the rumbling capability featured on the Pro Controller. Even if you don’t care, the build quality is much worse. Except for the adapter cost, these characteristics make the Xbox controller a far more enticing choice since it won’t cost you anything more if you already possess one, and its construction is comparable to that of the Pro Controller. If you use it often, The Xbox controller may feel more natural and at ease in your hands than the Joy-Cons or Pro Controller.
The Switch’s joysticks are infamous for drifting, which may make games unplayable in extreme circumstances. If you’ve had this issue, the Xbox controller is a terrific alternative since, if you are okay with using Microsoft’s peripheral exclusively moving forward, you won’t even need to worry about fixing the Joy-Cons or purchasing new ones.
Downsides to using the Xbox controller on Nintendo Switch
It’s important to note that several of the Switch’s unique features are not supported by the Xbox controller, and other Xbox controller capabilities do not work on the Switch. Rumble, NFC, analogue triggers, trigger vibration, the audio connector, IR input, and the LED don’t correspond to any Switch functions, including player indications, and are specifically unsupported. Additionally, using the controller will not wake the Switch from sleep.
Additionally, the labels on Xbox controllers won’t precisely match those on Switch controllers since Xbox controllers switch around a few face buttons’ locations. For instance, the Xbox controller’s “A” and “B” buttons correlate to the Switch controller’s “B” and “A” buttons, respectively. The “X” and “Y” buttons operate similarly. Besides that, the Switch’s button and trigger layout are identical to the Xbox controller’s.
None of this is the 8Bitdo adapter’s fault. These restrictions are only the inevitable result of combining two disparate technologies. If that’s a deal-breaker, your best option is to get an officially licenced Nintendo Switch controller. The genuine Pro Controller from Nintendo is the finest substitute for Xbox enthusiasts.
Nintendo Switch: Using an Xbox controller
What advantages do Xbox controllers have when used with the Nintendo Switch?
Using an Xbox controller with the Nintendo Switch has a few benefits. First off, compared to the Joy-Cons, the controller is more comfortable. Second, the Xbox controller features a superior D-pad, which is crucial for platformers and combat games. Third, the controller has more buttons, which is advantageous for games with intricate controls.
Is using a controller on the Nintendo Switch problematic in any way?
Using an Xbox controller with the Nintendo Switch has several limitations. The first thing you must do is spend extra money on an adaptor. Second, you should verify the game’s compatibility before purchasing it because some games might not support the controller.
How can a game allow for Xbox controller cross-platform play?
Checking a game’s website or social media pages is the easiest way to determine if it supports cross-platform play with Xbox controllers. Additionally, you can perform a Google search for the game and seek forum postings or articles that discuss cross-platform play.
Using an Xbox controller may significantly enhance your gaming experience on the Nintendo Switch. You can quickly connect your controller to your Switch with an adapter and begin playing your favourite games with the controller of your choice.
The Xbox controller is a beautiful choice if you want a more ergonomic and adaptable controller. It’s also essential to verify whether cross-platform controller play is supported by the game you want to play.
This way, even if your friends don’t have a Switch, you can still play with them on Xbox.