Super Smash Bros. Ultimate: How do I connect my GameCube controller?

Looking to play Super Smash Bros. Ultimate the classic way? Here's how you hook up your GameCube controller.

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Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is set to release on Friday, offering new ways to play for Smash players of all experience levels. But veterans will be happy to know that their GameCube controllers are fully compatible with Nintendo's newest fighter. With that in mind, there may be a few questions that those players may have. Shacknews is here to answer the basic questions.

Can I use the Wii U GameCube Adapter?

Nintendo will be selling GameCube Adapters and GameCube controllers for anyone who would like to play Super Smash Bros. Ultimate the classic way. That does raise the question of whether old peripherals will still work. Specifically, can Wii U owners use their old GameCube Adapter on their Nintendo Switch?

The answer is a resounding yes. One thing to remember is that Nintendo was preparing for a new Smash Bros. even before the game was originally announced. The Nintendo Switch's 4.0.0 Update issued last October included GameCube controller support, meaning users could hook in their old Wii U GameCube Adapter and use it to navigate Switch menus and play certain games. The only catch is that players have to compensate for certain lacking functionality, like having no Home button or no amiibo reader.

But yes, Wii U GameCube Adapters are supported, so if you have your peripherals left over from Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, go ahead and use those.

How do I hook up the GameCube Adapter to my Nintendo Switch?

In order to use the GameCube Adapter, Nintendo Switch owners must be in TV Mode. That means using the Nintendo Switch dock. The GameCube Adapter requires two USB slots to function. The Nintendo Switch is perfectly designed for this. Look along the bottom left side of the dock to find two open USB slots. Plug the GameCube Adapter there and then pop in as many GameCube controllers as you have available.

The GameCube Adapter is not supported in Handheld Mode, due to the lack of available USB slots. If you're playing Super Smash Bros. Ultimate in Handheld Mode, you'll have to use the Joy-Cons or the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller.


If you're reading this, you're likely just getting started on your Super Smash Bros. Ultimate journey. Keep it on Shacknews, as we'll have more guides in the days ahead.

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?