The Nintendo Switch Pro Controller is a powerful pad – with a price tag too. This is one of the best gamepad Nintendo ever made, with ace D-pad, comfortable construction and neat tricks like built-in gyro-motion support. So why not get the best of it? Here’s how to use your Nintendo Switch Controller on a PC too.
In some cases, especially for those who use a Steam platform for most PC games, using the Switch Pro Controller with a PC is actually very easy. But if you play games outside the Steam catalog, or in other game applications like emulators, it takes a little more work.
Here is a step-by-step guide to making Switch Pro Controller work with a PC, whatever you choose.
Using a Nintendo Switch Pro Controller with Steam
This one doesn’t require much work at all, because the Steam platform includes built-in Switch Pro support once you’ve been pushed into the menu a little.
After you run Steam, open the settings menu. You will see the ‘Controller’ menu option, enter it and then open ‘General Controller Settings. You will get several options that can be turned on or off, and that’s all you want to enable ‘Change Pro Configuration Support’.
By default, most PC games assume that you are using an Xbox controller, but the buttons map a little differently to the Nintendo pads. So, if you prefer X / Y and A / B placement of the Switch Pro controller, make sure to also check the ‘Use Nintendo Button Layout’ option.
If you prefer to set this on an individual game basis, right-click the title in your library and select ‘Edit Steam Controller Configuration’. This will allow you to create custom button maps for each game. Here I will get further customization options too, from the gyro control to whether you want the Home button on or not.
Using a Nintendo Switch Pro Controller with other Windows games and apps
Don’t like playing games on Steam? Have a library of disk titles that you want to play, use another storefront or do you want to turn on some emulators? Using the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller in this situation is a bit more difficult, but still possible – just need a few different tools to get the job done.
First, the easy option: buy an 8Bitdo Wireless Bluetooth Adapter. Available regularly for less than £ 20 / $ 20, it allows you to easily (and wirelessly) connect the Switch Pro Controller to a Windows machine, fooling the operating system into seeing it as if it were a genuine Windows controller. It will even support pad movement control (although roar is not supported). This is not exclusive to PCs, or Switch Pro Controllers – it will make lots of different consoles to work on PCs, while also letting you use a controller not intended for one console to work on another. This is a great little purchase, and well worth the money.
But if you are looking for a free way to install your Switch Pro Controller with your PC, read on!
First of all, you will need your USB-C controller cable to connect the pads to your PC, and software called x360ce – this is an application that lets you play around with the DirectInput controller (the type that the Switch Pro Controller is) to ensure the computer You will recognize the controller. Because some games are 32-bit titles and some are 64-bit, you will want to download and manage the 32-bit x360ce version and the 64-bit x360ce version, using the instructions below.
Find your game’s .exe file: This is the file that runs your game. The x360ce needs to be set individually for each game that you want to play, and you must direct it to where you live.
Copy x360ce.zip to the folder containing your .exe game: After that in the right folder, extract the x360ce.zip file, which will then create an application file with a small controller icon. Open that and you will be asked to create a .dll file. Click create and create the .dll file.
Automatically search for settings: That is the prompt that will light up after the .dll file has been created. Make sure the ‘Search the Internet’ check box is checked, and x360ce will now hunt for the Switch Pro Controller layout that works for you. Most of the time, this should do the trick, so click Next, then Finish.
Test the button: Now you will see the layout, as if it were on an Xbox 360 pad. Play around with the preset button, and see if it is to your liking. Make edits that you like, then click Save, and close x360ce.
If everything works, your game will automatically take the Switch Pro Controller as the appropriate input the next time you play it. You don’t even need to open x360ce. However, you have to go through the steps above for each game or application that you want to use with Switch Pro Controller, so we advise you to only pay cash for the 8Bitdo dongle instead.