clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons work on PCs and Android, too

I mean, not that you should be using them for those

Nintendo Switch - red right Joy-Con in hand Samit Sarkar/Polygon

The Nintendo Switch’s controllers work on a variety of other platforms, including Macs, Windows and even mobile phones. That includes not just the more conventional Pro controller, but the tiny Joy-Con controllers as well.

All it takes to hook up the Joy-Cons is an active Bluetooth connection on a compatible device. After unhooking one of the two controllers from the Switch, one need only press the sync button on the top of the Joy-Con to get the controller looking for a new home.

Nintendo Switch Joy-Con in Mac OS X Bluetooth preferences
The left Joy-Con shows up under Bluetooth preferences, and it even has a handy, specific label.
Allegra Frank/Polygon

We tested out pairing the notorious left Joy-Con to a Samsung Galaxy S7 as well as a MacBook Air, and found that it syncs with relative ease. Once it was connected, though, we found it to be not the most ideal controller for those devices. Granted, we were trying to navigate around Slack and Twitter on our Android phone with the Joy-Con’s control stick, which is not recommended regardless of what console’s controller you’ve attached to your phone. But the Joy-Con isn’t a great control option for a laptop, either.

It’s nice to know that the option is there, though, and there are applications for PC to allow players to optimize the control scheme of the Joy-Con for use on a computer. It’s not yet possible to use both Joy-Con controllers at the same time, however, so anyone looking to emulate that experience should stick with the Switch.

Nintendo joins Sony and Microsoft in allowing its console’s controllers to work with PCs. The DualShock 4 works natively with Steam games as of a fairly recent update, and the Xbox One controller is compatible with computers as well.

Below, watch as one YouTuber plays a classic Nintendo game on his computer with a single Joy-Con — and some extra help from an emulator.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for Patch Notes

A weekly roundup of the best things from Polygon