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Nintendo Switch Pro Controller against a white background
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Nintendo Switch Pro Controller against a white background

We’ll show you how to use a Nintendo Switch Pro Controller with a PC here. It might not be cheap, but the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller is quite the gamepad. In fact, it’s among the best that Nintendo has ever produced, coming with a top-notch directional pad, features like gyro-motion support, and a design that’s comfortable to use for extended gaming sessions. And, you can use it for more than just with your Switch. 

For those whose gaming is done primarily through Valve’s Steam platform, using the Switch Pro Controller with a computer is amazingly simple. However, setting it up to use with other games or other gaming apps, emulators for instance, takes a lot more effort. And, while it’s more involved, it’s not impossible.

Regardless of how you want to use your Switch Pro Controller, we’ve put together this step-by-step guide so you’ll be gaming keyboard-and-mouse free in no time.

This one doesn’t take much work at all, as the Steam platform includes built-in Switch Pro support once you’ve digged into the menus a little bit.

Once you’ve fired up Steam, open the settings menu. You’ll see the ‘Controller’ menu option, jump in there and then open ‘General Controller Settings. You’ll get some options that can be switched on or off, and it’s here you’ll want to enable ‘Switch Pro Configuration Support’

By default, most PC games assume you’re using an Xbox controller, but its buttons map slightly differently to a Nintendo pads. So, if you prefer the X/Y and A/B placement of the Switch Pro controller, make sure to also tick the ‘Use Nintendo Button Layout’ option. 

If you’d rather set this on an individual game basis, right click the title in your library and select ‘Edit Steam Controller Configuration’. This will let you make a custom button map for each game. It’s here you’ll get further customisation options too, from gyro controls right down to whether or not you want the Home button to light up.

Not into playing games on Steam? Have a library of disc titles that you want to play, use another storefront or want to fire up some emulators? Using the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller in these situations is a bit more difficult, but still possible – you’ll just need some different tools to get the job done.

First off, the easy option: buy an 8Bitdo Wireless Bluetooth Adapter. Regularly available for less than £20 / $20, it lets you easily (and wirelessly) hook the Switch Pro Controller up to a Windows machine, duping the operating system into seeing it just as if it was a native Windows controller. It’ll even support the pad’s motion controls (though rumble is not supported). It’s not exclusive to the PC, or Switch Pro Controller either – it’ll make lots of different console’s pads work on PC, while also letting you use controllers not intended for one console work on another. It’s a great little purchase, and well worth the money.

But if you’re looking for a free way to wire up your Switch Pro Controller with your PC, read on!

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