How to Connect a Nintendo Switch Controller to a PC

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Matthew Wilhelm Kapell
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Nintendo Switch is a game console that allows you to play games wherever you are: you can play it at home or on the go! It goes from a home console to a portable console in just seconds. You can also use your controllers to play games on your PC. So, if you are wondering how to connect Switch controller to PC, be sure to read this article.


Joy-Con Controllers

Joy-Cons are the main controllers of Nintendo Switch. The most interesting thing about them is their design: they consist of two separate units. This means you can use the controller for a single player, and if you want you can detach it and use it as two controllers. You can connect up to eight Joy-Cons to the Nintendo Switch at the same time. The Joy-Cons come in different colors and come bundled with the Switch console, or you can purchase them separately.


How to Connect Joy-Con Controllers to a PC

By default, the Nintendo Switch comes with Joy-Con controllers. You can easily pair them with your computer if you follow these steps:

  1. Make sure Bluetooth is on. You can do this by opening the Start menu. Go to "Settings", then "Devices", and select "Bluetooth".
  2. Press the "Add Bluetooth or other devices" button.
  3. Disconnect the Joy-Con controller from the Switch.
  4. Look for the "Sync" button on your controller. You can find it between the SR and SL buttons. Hold this button until the lights start flashing.
  5. Look for "Joy-Con" in your computer's Bluetooth menu.
  6. Select the pairing option.

That's it! You have successfully connected your Joy-Con controllers to your PC. It is important to note that since the Joy-Con controllers consist of two units, the PC will recognize them as separate. So if you want to play multiplayer games, this is a great option. However, if you want to play complex single-player games, you'll need to take extra steps to use Joy-Cons as a single unit.



How to connect Joy-Cons into a single unit

If you want to connect Joy-Cons into a single unit, there are several programs and apps that can help you do that. Unfortunately, this method only works with Windows, so this option won't be available if you have a Mac device.

  1. Connect your Joy-Con controllers to your computer.
  2. Download BetterJoy from https://github.com/.
  3. Extract the files to a folder of your choice.
  4. Open the subfolders and run ViGEmBUS_Setup as administrator.
  5. Install the drivers.
  6. After installing the drivers, navigate to the main folder.
  7. Run BetterJoyForCemu as administrator.
  8. The program will now recognize your controllers as a single unit.

Nintendo Switch Pro Controllers

Nintendo also manufactures these controllers for the Nintendo Switch console. They offer an alternative to the Joy-Con controllers supplied by default with the console. With their design, Switch Pro controllers resemble traditional controllers, making them a popular choice.

If you want a traditional or more precise gaming experience, you can opt for the Switch Pro Controller. If you want to know how to connect it to your PC, check the instructions below.

How to connect a Switch Pro controller to a PC with a wired connection

If you want to use a cable to connect your controller to the PC, follow these steps:

  1. Plug your Pro Controller cable into the controller. You can use any USB-A-to-USB-C or USB-C-to-USB-C cable if your computer has a USB-C port.
  2. Plug the other end of the cable into your computer.

That's it. This is the easiest way to connect your controller to a PC. It will be detected as “Pro Controller”.



How to connect a Switch Pro controller to a PC with a wireless connection

  1. Make sure your computer's Bluetooth is turned on. You can do this by opening the Start menu. Go to "Settings", then "Devices", and select "Bluetooth".
  2. Press the "Add Bluetooth or other devices" button.
  3. Press and hold the "Sync" button on your controller until the lights start flashing. You can find this button at the top of your controller.
  4. Look for "Pro Controller" in your computer's Bluetooth menu.
  5. Select the pairing option.

How to Connect a Nintendo Switch Controller to Steam

If you want to play Steam games, you can use your Switch Pro Controller to do so. Follow these steps to connect it:

  1. Make sure Steam is installed. If you don't already have it, you can download it here: https://store.steampowered.com/about/.
  2. Open Steam and tap "Controller Settings". If you want, you can choose your button layout option. For example, you can decide to leave the Nintendo button layout or switch to the Xbox One layout.
  3. Connect your Pro controller to the PC.
  4. Register the controller.
  5. Go to "Controller Configuration". In this menu, you can change the functions of each button on your controller.

Once you set it up, the Pro Controller should work with all Steam games.

Joy-Con Controller vs. Pro

Both of these are great options for playing games on your Nintendo Switch. However, depending on your needs, you might find that one of them will suit you better. Let's see the pros and cons of these two controllers.



Benefits

Joy-Con

  • Design - The best feature of Joy-Cons is its design. You get two controllers which can work together as one. So, if you love playing multiplayer games or hosting game nights with your friends, Joy-Cons will be your go-to option.
  • Kids Love Them - Due to their small size, Joy-Cons are great for kids. When detached they are very lightweight making them easy to hold. They are also available in different colors, which makes them attractive, especially for children.
  • Handheld Experience - The Joy-Cons provide a great handheld experience, as they are designed to physically connect to your console.
  • Easy to carry - Since they are small, the Joy-Cons are perfect when traveling with a console. Also, due to their size and weight, they don't take up much space.

Nintendo Switch Pro controller

  • Traditional Design - Gamers used to Xbox or PlayStation controllers will definitely prefer this controller as its design resembles that of traditional controllers.
  • Battery Life - The Switch Pro Controller has excellent battery life. It lasts up to 40 hours, which is great, and it charges via a USB port.
  • Comfortable - This controller feels very comfortable in your hands thanks to its ergonomic design. This will prevent your hands from cramping, and while the Joy-Cons are great for kids and people with smaller hands, the Switch Pro will fit better in adult hands.
  • Better Control – Due to its design, the Switch Pro will sit comfortably in your hands, allowing you to have better control over your game. So if you like playing intense single-player games, this could be a great option for you.

The inconvenients

Joy-Con

  • Battery Life - While the Switch Pro controller offers 40 hours of battery life, Joy-Cons offer 20, which is a big difference. However, if you charge the Joy-Cons between your gaming sessions, you shouldn't have any issues with the battery.
  • Size - While their small size might be great for kids, it has a significant downside for serious gamers. Due to their size, they can cause hand cramps.
  • Joy-Con Drift – Many people have reported having issues that cause false inputs. Controller analog sticks start moving even when not physically moved.

Nintendo Switch Pro controller

  • Not suitable for handheld mode – although the Switch pro controller is great due to its ergonomic design, it is not possible to physically connect it to the Switch console. So if you often play outside your home, this could be a problem.
  • Customization – the Switch Pro is only available in black and some special edition colors. If you care about the colors and customization of your controller or want to buy a controller for your kids, this could be a deal breaker.
  • Price – while the Switch Pro is great, the most significant difference is that the Joy-Cons come bundled with the console. So if you want to use the Switch Pro controller, you'll have to buy it separately. And since they're similarly priced, you'll essentially get two Joy-Cons for the price of a Switch Pro. This is why many people decide to buy an extra set of Joy-Cons or buy nothing at all.

In a nutshell, the Joy-Cons and Nintendo Switch Pro controllers are fantastic gadgets in their own right. It's not easy to choose between the two, but what you can do is think about how you're going to use it. If you like hosting game nights, playing multiplayer games, or buying the console for your kids, the Joy-Cons might be a better option.

However, if you're an avid gamer, appreciate ergonomic design, and mostly play alone, the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller will be a great fit. This controller is comfortable, offers excellent battery life and has a traditional design, which is a significant advantage for many gamers.

Connecting Your Switch Controller to PC: Explained

You have now learned different ways to connect your Switch controller to your PC. If you want to play games on your PC using Switch controllers, be sure to read our guide and you'll be ready to play in just a few simple steps.

Have you ever tried to use your Switch controllers to play games on your PC? Tell us in the comment section below!

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