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There has been a huge debate on how possible it is to play Nintendo Switch with Xbox controller. We have seen lots of comments on how it is impossible. However, we tried it and it worked. Today, we are going to give you a step-by-step guide on how to get it to work for you too. But, why would anyone try to play Nintendo Switch with Xbox controller in the first place?

How To Play Nintendo Switch With Xbox Controller—2 Critical Devices You Need

If you have used the Joy-Con before, you must have encountered one of its biggest problems, stick drift. For those who may not be familiar with the term, stick drift refers to when the thumbstick on a Joy-Con detects movement even when it is not touched.

The implication can be disastrous. Imagine putting down your console after beating a tough section of a game to celebrate only to come back and discover that your character has walked into a pit on its own and you will have to replay the entire section again. It can be a nightmare.

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Different factors can lead to stick drift in a Joy-Con. Some factors implicated in the problem include faulty sensors, poor calibration, wear and tear, and debris. While this problem can be fixed, there is no guarantee that it will not occur again. So, what is the point of running to the repair store every time, when there is an alternative that won’t give you the same headache?

In addition to that, the Joy-Con is small. If you are used to playing games with PS5 or Xbox controllers, the Joy-Con will feel weird in your hands the first time you hold them. The feeling will be worse if you detach them from the console. If you want to relive the experience of playing with a familiar controller, even when your preferred platform is Nintendo Switch, this hack is for you.

How to play Nintendo Switch with Xbox controller

How To Play Nintendo Switch With Xbox Controller—2 Critical Devices You Need

There are two ways to play Nintendo Switch with Xbox controller. In the first method, you will connect the Xbox controller to the Nintendo Switch while it is standing on a kickstand. In the second method—which is easier—you will need to have the Switch placed in the dock.

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Regardless of the method you choose, you will need a wireless USB adapter. We highly recommend the 8Bitdo wireless USB adapter which was specifically designed to work with game controllers and Nintendo Switch. For the first method, you will need an extra piece of hardware, the USB-C to USB-A adaptor. We highly recommend the Anker USB-C Cable.

First way to play Nintendo Switch with Xbox controller

How To Play Nintendo Switch With Xbox Controller—2 Critical Devices You Need

In the first method, you will have the Nintendo Switch standing on a kickstand. As you already know, the Switch doesn’t have a USB-A port—which is crucial for this to work. Thankfully, it is easy to improvise.

How To Play Nintendo Switch With Xbox Controller—2 Critical Devices You Need

Step 1: plug the USB-C end of the USB-C to USB-A adaptor into the USB-C port on the Nintendo Switch

Step 2: Plug the 8Bitdo wireless USB adapter into the USB-A end of the adaptor

Step 3: turn on your Xbox controller and put it in pairing mode by pressing the Xbox button

Step 4: press and hold the button under the 8Bitdo wireless adapter until the pairing indicator starts flashing

Step 5: keep the Xbox controller close to the 8Bitdo wireless adapter until they pair. You will know they are synced when the pairing indicator stops flashing

Once the two have paired, you can start using your Xbox controller to play your Nintendo Switch. If you don’t already have an Xbox controller, you can get one here.

Second way to play Nintendo Switch with Xbox controller

How To Play Nintendo Switch With Xbox Controller—2 Critical Devices You Need

The Nintendo Switch was designed to be projected onto a television for those who want to play on bigger screens. To use it in this form, you need to place the console in the dock. When in the dock, you don’t need the USB-C to USB-A adaptor.

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How To Play Nintendo Switch With Xbox Controller—2 Critical Devices You Need

Step 1: Plug the 8Bitdo wireless USB adapter into one of the USB-A ports on the dock

Step 2: turn on your Xbox controller and put it in pairing mode by pressing the Xbox button

Step 3: press and hold the button under the 8Bitdo wireless adapter until the pairing indicator starts flashing

Step 4: keep the Xbox controller close to the 8Bitdo wireless adapter until they pair. You will know they are synced when the pairing indicator stops flashing

Will you ditch your Joy-Con for Xbox controllers?

Now that you have learned how to play Nintendo Switch with Xbox controller, will you ditch your Joy-Con? Is there any feature of the Joy-Con that you think cannot be replaced by another controller? Share your thoughts in the comment box below.

Bonus Content: With 8Bitdo wireless USB adapter you can also use your DualSense controller with Nintendo Switch. We did not try this out but we believe if you follow the same steps as we described with the Xbox controller, you should be blazing your Switch with DualSense too. If this worked for you, feel free to leave a comment below.


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