Nintendo's Switch controllers work with PCs, Macs, and Android

Your Joy-Con can power your PC gaming sessions too—with a little help from third-party software.

The Nintendo Switch may have a lot of quirks right now, but if you get tired of the console, yet love the new Joy-Con or Switch Pro controller, you can use it with other devices. Several Switch fans and critics have confirmed that the controller works with Windows PCs, Macs, and Android devices.

The WiiMote was similarly able to work with PCs, as The Verge first reported, so perhaps this isn’t too surprising—though still a nice bonus. The controller pairs with Windows over Bluetooth; however, it doesn’t work right out of the box. As with other controllers, you’ll need to use a third-party utility to map the controller’s buttons to keyboard and mouse controls such as JoyToKey. On OSX, the Joy-Con works without third-party help, according to developer Sam Williams.

The Nintendo Switch Pro Controller, on the other hand, appeared to at least have some native input for Windows via the deprecated DirectInput API, based on videos from YouTuber DreWoof. That means games that use XInput such as The Witcher 3 wouldn’t work without a little extra help, again from third-party software.

The impact on you at home: While you can get the Joy-Con and Switch Pro controllers to work with your other devices, just be careful where you put them. Nintendo says you shouldn’t use a Joy-Con within three to four feet of another wireless device—sounds like a certain 5K monitor. You also shouldn’t use it when “pressed against a large amount of wires and cords” or “near an aquarium.” Oh, and don’t buy any adhesive skins for your Switch or the console dock.

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Ian Paul

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