Joy-cons are the Nintendo Switch gaming console controllers. They have an attractive design as you can detach them into two separate units. So, you can play with the controller as a single unit or split it into two controllers when playing a multi-player game. Each controller has an analog stick and several buttons.
Fortunately, there is an option to simultaneously connect up to eight Joy-Cons to Nintendo Switch. These Joy-Cons are accompanied by the Switch console in different colors, or you can purchase them separately. In this guide, I have compiled different ways to connect Joy-Con to PC and much more.
Do you have a particular question about connecting Joy-Con to PC? Then use the table of contents below to jump to the most relevant section. And you can always go back by clicking on the black arrow in the right bottom corner of the page. Also, please note that some of the links in this article may be affiliate links. For more details, check the Disclosure section at the bottom of the page.
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How to connect Joy-Con to PC?
The best thing about Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons is that they can act as mini-computer controllers. Here are three straightforward ways to use Joy-Con on PC.
Note: The first two methods are suited for Windows computers because we will be using vJoy that is only available on Windows. However, you can still connect Joy-Cons on your macOS PC through Bluetooth.
Method 1: Using universal control remapper (UCR)
This is perhaps the simplest method to configure Joy-Con on PC.
- Download vJoy
- Launch vJoyConfig and vJoy Monitor
- In the vJoy Configure, format 2 devices, and the green highlights will show the active devices.
- Head over to vJoy Monitor to check whether the Joy-Con buttons are enabled on both the computer and vJoy. The light adjacent to the vJoy button should illuminate if it is working correctly.
- Download a universal control remapper (UCR) software
- Load vJoy SCPVBus to UCR to establish the communication between vJoy and UCR
- Open UCR while vJoy is running in the background. In the UCR graphical user interface, click on ‘IOClases’ and then ‘vJoy’ from the drop-down menu.
- Next, click on ‘Install SCPVBus (Will Restart UCR)
- Move the custom Joy-Con template to UCR. Add the ‘UCR.ini’ file into the folder with the UCR icon and rerun UCR as administrator. Remember that the UCR might seem like it has crashed, but you can easily retrieve it from the notification area.
- This is where you also map the Joy-Con inputs to the virtual Xbox 360 controller. The ‘Input Button’ column represents the Joy-Con button command while the ‘Output Button’ corresponds with the Xbox controller.
- Allocate the remaining Joy-Con buttons
Although it is reliable and easy to follow, this procedure has certain weaknesses. For example, each stick has a d-pad configuration, weakening the camera control sensitivity. Keep in mind that you have to open the Steam Big Picture Mode before proceeding to the second method. Also, you should configure the Joy-Cons as Xbox 360 controller. Otherwise, you need to configure the Uplay.
Method 2: Using x360ce
This method is better than the first method above as there is an option of analog sticks. However, it might be less reliable as input lags of 0-2 seconds can occur. Also, the method is suitable for Windows 10 and isn’t compatible with other Windows versions.
- Head over to GitHub and open ‘ReadMe.md’ in a different tab.
- Download the Zip file and pull out the entire folder.
- Format 2 devices in vJoy similarly to method 1.
- Open the command prompt and run the Joy-Con driver from here.
- At this point, the Joy-Con should function as a single controller. However, you will need a third-party solution such as x360ce to use Joy-con in the game and remap inputs.
- Once you open x360ce, a pop-up window will appear.
- Choose the ‘Search automatically for settings’ option
- Continue clicking on ‘Next’ for each consecutive pop-up window until they stop appearing.
- Next, click on the ‘Auto’ button at the bottom of the window from the ‘Controller 1’ tab. Usually, the buttons will light up, but it does not confirm that the controller is working.
- Return to the vJoy Monitor and remap according to your preference.
- Press any Joy-Con button to light up the corresponding number. Then, click on the number from the drop-down menu.
Remember to take certain measures once you connect Joy-Con to configure your computer with each controller’s input. Joy-Cons offers a better way to play older games with DirectInput API and simple controls.
Alternatively, you can connect the switch controller to the computer to play games via the PC’s emulator. This is a great way to play old-school Nintendo games on modern devices. First, however, you might need to familiarize yourself with the upgraded controllers.
Method 3: Using Bluetooth
Most gamers like the Nintendo Switch because the Bluetooth technology facilitates connection with nearby PCs. Here is how to pair Joy-Con to PC directly on the Bluetooth menu.
- Open your PC’s ‘Settings’
- Then click on ‘Bluetooth and other devices’
- Activate Bluetooth on your computer
- Disable the Joy-Con from the Switch
- Press and hold the ‘Sync’ button between the SL and SR buttons until the LED lights start to flash.
- Locate ‘Joy-Con’ on the Bluetooth menu and click ‘Pair.’
However, there are certain developments that you have to look out for, like when Joy-Cons pairing lights won’t stop blinking. The only way to know if the controller is working is by checking your PC’s Bluetooth settings. If you still get an error message that the process isn’t successful, ensure there is no object interfering with the signal and try again.
By now, the Joy-Cons controllers should be successfully connected to your PC. However, you should note that because Joy-Con exists as two units, the computer will identify them as separate. This can be a great option when playing a multi-player game, but use Joy-Con as a single unit if you are playing a one-player game.
So what’s the best way to connect Joy-Con to PC?
There isn’t a straightforward method to connect Joy-Cons on your computer as a single controller. Still, you can do it with a few specialized techniques. Unfortunately, Syncing Joy-Cons as one controller involves several external programs and intensive tweaking, making the process genuinely complex. Fortunately, you can use the vJoy application to trick your PC that Joy-Cons is an old PC controller. In addition, you can connect through Bluetooth. I hope the three methods above will help you use switch Joy-Cons on PC. Comment below if there is a point or step that is unclear or you don’t understand.
Credits: Thanks for the photo to Canva.
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