How to connect PS4 or Xbox controllers on Switch

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Pau Monfort

You can use old PS4 or Xbox controllers on Switch, let's see how. Nintendo Switch supports many types of controllers. it is also possible use Xbox One and PS4 controllers on Switch, provided you have the appropriate Nintendo Switch Controller Adapter. The instructions in this article apply to official PS4 and Xbox One controllers, but many third-party controllers work with Switch.

What controllers work on the Switch?

In addition to the pair of Joy-Con controllers supplied with the system, the Switch supports several alternatives, including Nintendo Switch Pro and Wii U Pro controllers. You can even use a GameCube controller if you have the GameCube adapter for Wii U. There are also many gamepads. third-party made specifically for Switch.

Surprisingly, the Switch supports controllers for other game consoles, including DualShock 4 and many Xbox controllers. Most controllers that work with PS4 and Xbox One are compatible with Switch, including arcade-style combat sticks like the Mayflash F300.

Using a PS4 or Xbox One controller isn't ideal for playing Switch-exclusive games like Zelda: Breath of the Wild, but they might be great for playing retro and 2D platforming games like Mega Man 11.

Nintendo Switch Controller Adapters

Although the Nintendo Switch has Bluetooth capabilities, a special adapter is required to connect third-party peripherals. The Mayflash Magic-NS Wireless Controller Adapter is a versatile tool compatible with many consoles, so it's a worthwhile investment if you have a lot of old controllers at home.

There are other options like 8Bitdo, which also supports Wii remotes and DualShock 3 controllers. Considering the high price of the Switch Pro Controller, a $ 20 adapter is preferable if you already have controllers for other systems. Just make sure it's compatible with the Switch.

You can only connect one controller per adapter, so you will need two adapters if you want to use two external controllers.

How to use a PS4 controller on Switch

To connect an official DualShock 4 controller to your Nintendo Switch:

If your DualShock 4 is synced with a PlayStation 4 console, unplug the console before starting so it won't interfere with the Switch adapter.

  1. Place the Switch in the dock and turn it on.
  2. Connect Magic-NS to one of the USB ports on the Nintendo Switch.
  3. Use the Joy-Con controllers to wake the Switch, then press L + R to bind both Joy-Cons to the console.
  4. Select System settings from the main screen.
  5. Select Controller and sensors, then select Pro Controller Wired Communication to activate it.
  6. Select OK.
  7. Connect the PS4 controller to Magic-NS with a USB cable. The LED light on the controller should turn on, indicating it has been detected.
  8. Press and hold the black button on top of the Magic-NS adapter until the light on the back starts flashing.
  9. Press the button at the same time PS and the button Share on the DualShock 4. The adapter should detect it automatically.
  10. You can disconnect the PS4 controller from the adapter and use it wirelessly as if it were a Switch Pro controller.

How to use an Xbox controller on the Switch

The steps for using an Xbox One controller with Switch are the same as for setting up a PS4 controller. Press and hold the button association on the Xbox One controller as you press the button on the adapter until the Xbox LED light starts flashing.

The buttons on the Xbox One controller are analogous to the Switch Pro. The only big difference is that you have to press Show + Menu to take a screenshot.

The Mayflash Magic-NS adapter comes with a button mapping guide and stickers that you can place on non-Switch controllers.

Limitations of using a PS4 or Xbox controller with Switch

Unfortunately, it's not possible to wake the Switch from sleep mode with a non-Nintendo controller, so you'll still need a pair of Joy-Con controllers. Occasionally it may be necessary to unplug the Switch again to allow the adapter to recognize other controllers. 

That said, since both Joy-Cons still work while the PS4 controller is plugged in, you can play multiplayer games with the PS4 controller.

The button mapping is pretty intuitive, although it's important to note that pressing on the PS4 controller's touchpad will take screenshots. The button Share on the DualShock 4 it is also associated with the minus button ( - ) your Joy-Con.

How to install YouTube on Nintendo Switch

Further Reading:

  • How to connect an Xbox controller to iPhone for gaming and more
  • Cheap Nintendo Switch Lite: where to buy it at the best price
  • How to Sync Nintendo Switch Controllers
  • How to connect the Nintendo Switch to the laptop
  • How to connect the Nintendo Switch controller on Android
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