Nintendo Switch now has better support for GameCube controllers than Wii U ever did

Still have one of those USB GameCube controller adapters that Nintendo made to use with Super Smash Bros. on Wii U? Good news: it works with Nintendo Switch now. Even better news: it already does a lot more on Switch than it ever did on Wii U. Switch update 4.0 quietly added support for the adapter and the venerable controllers, and players have been testing them out in a variety of games ever since then.

This means that you can play The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild with the very same controller that you once used to use to play the other best 3D Zelda, Wind Waker (boat life for life). You can't play it well, mind you, because it doesn't have enough shoulder buttons. But you can play it. 

And here's a third-party GameCube adapter working just fine with Sonic Mania. 

Not only is this good news for folks who prefer the feel of the GameCube controller, it's also great for anybody who wants to do multiplayer on Switch without buying extra controllers. Hook up your old GameCube pads and jump straight into local Mario Kart 8 Deluxe!

Switch update 4.0 also enabled the use of wireless USB headsets. But the welcoming new attitude toward USB peripherals had to end somewhere - don't expect to play Super Mario Odyssey with your DualShock 4 controller. It looks like Nintendo specifically enabled GameCube controller support rather than throwing open the gates to USB gamepads of all kinds.

Reports circulated about GameCube Virtual Console games on Nintendo Switch before the console even came out. Nintendo hasn't confirmed if that will happen yet, but this update is a very good sign.

Top image based on a photograph by Evan Amos (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Connor Sheridan

I got a BA in journalism from Central Michigan University - though the best education I received there was from CM Life, its student-run newspaper. Long before that, I started pursuing my degree in video games by bugging my older brother to let me play Zelda on the Super Nintendo. I've previously been a news intern for GameSpot, a news writer for CVG, and now I'm a staff writer here at GamesRadar.