The Nintendo Switch Pro Controller is among the most expensive “baseline” controllers in the current console generation, but it’s also well-built, comfortable to use, has a great directional pad, and contains outstanding motion sensors and vibration technology. Additionally, the gamepad connects to your PC without an adapter because it uses Bluetooth.

It can be a hassle to get the Pro Controller (Opens in a new window) to operate with your PC games because Windows sees it as a DirectInput controller rather than an XInput controller as the Xbox Series S/X and Xbox One gamepads do. Thanks to Valve’s addition of full Switch Pro Controller support to Steam, a sizable portion of your game collection is likely covered. We’ll walk you through the additional steps needed for non-Steam games.

Naturally, you must first connect your Switch Pro Controller to your PC before using it with it. There are wired and wireless alternatives available. Although wireless is, well, wireless, wired is the simplest. It also takes some effort.

WIREDLY INTERFACE YOUR SWITCH PRO CONTROLLER WITH YOUR COMPUTER

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This is simple to do but requires a Bluetooth adaptor or onboard Bluetooth.

Press and hold the Sync button on the top of the gamepad for a few seconds while the Pro Controller is charged to cause the indicator lights to blink.

Right-click the Bluetooth icon in the system tray to open it.
Go to “Add Bluetooth Device” and click.
To add a Bluetooth or other device, select it.
Toggle Bluetooth (because Windows 10 needs to be reassured that you want to use Bluetooth).

If the Pro Controller isn’t listed among the devices that are available, check to see if the indicator lights are still flashing. To pair the controller, simply click it.

You can now proceed with setting up Steam.

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In contrast to opening a game from the desktop, using Big Picture ensures that Steam’s gamepad support, over-the-game remapping, and configuration choices display as they should. The controller worked with the game through Big Picture when we played No Man’s Sky (Opens in a new window) , but the mapping was off when the game was loaded on the desktop.

You should access the Pro Controller’s controller preferences to display Steam’s Switch Pro Controller overlay while the game is in Big Picture mode. It enables you to test the controller mappings in various scenarios and correct them as necessary. The default setup should function for the majority of games, but you may manually map each input on the Pro Controller to any keystroke or gamepad input. This is useful if any controls look a little wonky with the default settings; using the right stick to run in No Man’s Sky proved tricky without custom adjustments.

8BITDO WIRELESS USB ADAPTER as an alternative to the hardware

8BitDo Wireless USB Adapter (Opens in a new window) . The Switch Pro Controller connects to the adapter through the physical sync button rather than your PC’s Bluetooth menu, making it function like an Xbox gamepad that is compatible with PCs. The adapter handles all of the XInput details.

A SECONDARY TYPE OF SOFTWARE IS DIRECTINPUT-TO-XINPUT WRAPPER

X360ce (Opens in a new window) , you may manage how Windows interprets your non-XInput controller. By mapping almost any other input to the inputs of the gamepad, it is a powerful wrapper that simulates an Xbox 360 controller. The last update to the project, x360ce, occurred in 2020.

If you’re willing to install and fiddle with software wrappers until the Switch Pro Controller behaves as you desire, they should work. Third-party driver wrappers are really finicky, so it can take more than a little work.

WHERE ARE THE JOY-CONS?

Reddit post (Opens in a new window) describing how to achieve it.

HOW TO INTEGRATE ADDITIONAL CONTROLLERS See our article on selecting the best controller for your PC for more information. We also provide instructions for those gamepads if you wish to connect a PS4 or Xbox controller to your PC.

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