How To Use Nintendo Switch Pro Controller With PC and Mac

The Nintendo Switch has been in stores for a few weeks now, and in the aftermath of the original bank balance hit, many players are turning their attention to the Pro Controller. The JoyCons are great for the quirky Switch experience but for a full console thrill the Pro gamepad is a must and one of its hidden features may give you another reason to buy. The Nintendo Switch Pro Controller will take an additional $70 (£65) out of your bank, but to get your money’s worth, you might want to consider pairing the controller with your PC or Mac gaming system. Here’s how you can replace your worn 360 gamepad with a shiny new Pro Controller on PC.

1. Pair Controller

Pressing the pairing button on your Nintendo Switch Pro Controller will cause a set of lights to flash, indicating that your controller is in pairing mode.

2. Select Controller

From the Windows 10 Bluetooth Settings menu, you can select your gamepad for use with your games. The controller is listed as ‘Pro Controller’, and pairing can take up to a minute.

3. Map Controller

If you wish, you can now use any additional software to appropriately map the controls to your gamepad. Unlike the Xbox 360 gamepad, the Pro Controller doesn’t feature analogue trigger buttons, so some gameplay may be impeded. That being said, there are a multitude of bedroom hackers working on solutions as we speak.

Why Use Nintendo Switch Pro Controller With PC?

The Pro Controller connects via bluetooth, meaning it can act as an input device for a range of different platforms. It’s not something Nintendo necessarily advertised with the Nintendo Switch system or controller options, but it’s a definite bonus if you’ve already purchased, or if you’re considering.

Nintendo Switch Pro Controller

The controller essentially works the same as a paired Xbox 360 controller and can also run selected titles in Steam’s Big Picture mode. While there are certain idiosyncrasies with the Switch Pro Controller, namely that there are no analogue triggers and the fact that word is still out as to whether you can charge and play at the same time, the added PC functionality makes the investment at least a little more enticing.

The handset comes ready to use with Mac and PC straight out of the box, with no additional software required for pairing which makes the whole process streamlined and easy. It’s worth remembering though, that you may require additional software to map certain control layouts to your system.

What About JoyCons?

Nintendo Switch JoyCon demonstration

The JoyCon controllers can connect to a PC or Mac gaming system through bluetooth, however each controller is recognised as a separate input. Controller mapping is in place to ensure you can get a surprising amount of functionality out of the fun-sized gamepads, but it might not be the best option for hardcore playability.

What Else Can I Pair My Switch Pro Controller With?

If you’ve been following Musings Of A Mario Minion over the past few weeks, you’ll remember that we recently let you know how to create your own retrogaming console using a Raspberry Pi. For a futuristic nostalgia trip, you can pair your Pro Controller (or JoyCons) with your Raspberry Pi system and boss through those old Nintendo titles using the latest Nintendo innovations! It might take some fiddling, but the inputs are the same as Xbox 360 and the bluetooth should ensure a smooth connection.

Retro gaming with Raspberry Pi

Using the 8Bitdo Retro Receiver, you can also pair your Nintendo Switch controllers with your NES Classic device!

Enjoy playing your PC and Mac titles with the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller. The gamepad has been hailed in recent weeks as the most flexible controller option to date, and is being widely improved by bedroom hackers and software developers. If the associated quirks are leading you to glance back over to your tired Xbox 360 controller, give it some time and prepare to save a lot of money on extra Steam controllers in the long run.



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