How to Use a Nintendo Switch Pro Controller on a PC Efficiently

June 27, 2024
Justin Lumiere

The Nintendo Switch Pro Controller is celebrated for its durability, ergonomic design, and Bluetooth compatibility that make it a favorable choice for PC gaming. Whether you are playing Steam games or non-Steam games, connecting this controller to your PC is straightforward if you follow the right procedures.

Wired and Wireless Connection Methods

To connect the Switch Pro Controller to your PC, you have two primary options: wired and wireless. For a wired connection, simply use a USB Type-C cable to link the controller to your PC. Windows 10 should automatically detect the controller once connected. For a wireless connection, you need to pair the controller via Bluetooth. Start by enabling Bluetooth on your PC, press the sync button on the back of the Pro Controller until its LED starts flashing, and then add the controller through your PC's Bluetooth settings.

Connection MethodSteps
Wired Connection1. Use a USB Type-C cable to link the controller to your PC.
2. Windows 10 should automatically detect the controller.
Wireless Connection1. Enable Bluetooth on your PC.
2. Press the sync button on the back of the Pro Controller until its LED starts flashing.
3. Add the controller through your PC's Bluetooth settings.
Using with Steam1. Open Steam and go to the settings menu.
2. Navigate to the controller section.
3. Enable "Switch Pro Configuration Support."
4. Customize the controller settings as desired.
Using for Non-Steam Games1. Use software like BetterJoy or x360ce.
2. Consider using the 8BitDo Wireless USB Adapter for a simpler setup.
Optimizing Controller Settings1. Use Steam’s controller configurator for calibration.
2. Manually map controls within non-Steam games or use third-party tools.
Troubleshooting1. Check USB cables and ports.
2. Update PC’s Bluetooth drivers.
3. Use an old USB hub if needed.

Using the Controller with Steam

Steam offers robust support for the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller, making it easy to use. First, open Steam and go to the settings menu. Navigate to the controller section and enable "Switch Pro Configuration Support." This ensures that the Pro Controller's button layout mimics that of a standard Xbox controller. You can customize the controller settings, including button mappings, within Steam for a tailor-made experience. This setup allows for seamless integration, especially within Steam's Big Picture mode.

Nintendo Switch Controller
"Nintendo Switch Controller" by FaruSantos is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/.

Configuring for Non-Steam Games

If you're using the Switch Pro Controller for non-Steam games, additional steps are required. Software solutions like DirectInput-to-XInput wrappers can be used to translate the Pro Controller's inputs into a format that Windows games recognize. Tools such as BetterJoy or x360ce can be helpful in this regard. For wireless connectivity, you might consider using hardware solutions like the 8BitDo Wireless USB Adapter for an even simpler setup.

Optimizing Controller Settings

Once connected, you may need to tweak some settings for optimal performance. Steam’s controller configurator provides options to calibrate stick drift, gyro motion, and adjust dead zones. It allows for fine-tuning that can enhance your gaming experience. For non-Steam games, you might need to map controls manually within the game or using a third-party tool.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

If you encounter issues during the setup, there are a few troubleshooting steps you can take. For wired connections, ensure the USB cable and ports are functioning correctly. For Bluetooth connections, make sure your PC’s Bluetooth drivers are updated. Occasionally, using an old USB hub can help resolve driver recognition issues. Users have reported that this method sometimes helps the PC recognize the controller.



Additional Tips and Resources

For those interested in using Joy-Cons as an alternative, keep in mind that they also connect via Bluetooth but may require additional software to function as a single gamepad. Resources such as community forums and specialized gaming websites can offer detailed guides and user experiences to further help you optimize your setup.

In summary, connecting a Nintendo Switch Pro Controller to a PC enhances your gaming experience through its comfort and advanced features. Whether using Steam or playing non-Steam games, there are various methods and tools available to ensure a smooth setup. Enjoy gaming with your versatile controller!

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