How to Pair a Nintendo Switch Controller in 5 Steps (with Photos)

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How to Pair a Nintendo Switch Controller in 5 Steps (with Photos)

A pair of Joy-Cons come with the Nintendo Switch, and there’s also a wide range of Nintendo Switch controllers you can purchase separately too. No matter which you choose to go with, here’s how to pair a Nintendo Switch Controller to your console.

What to Keep in Mind

First, if you choose to use your Switch as a handheld device, attaching the Joy-Cons to the sides of it will automatically connect them to the console. However, if you choose to play with friends or family and dock the system, you’ll be able to pair the controllers either wirelessly or via USB.

Also, if you’re unable to pair a Nintendo Switch controller to your device using the method we talk about below, your system may need to be updated or reset, or the controller needs to be reset. You can do this by attaching the Joy-Cons to your device and going to your settings.

How to Pair A Nintendo Switch Controller

Okay, let’s get into how to pair your controllers to the Nintendo Switch! We will show you how to do this wirelessly.

Step 1: Navigate to Controller Settings

In order to connect your controller wirelessly, you’ll need to follow a few extra steps than just plugging it in via USB. To do this, start by navigating to the Controller settings.

how to pair a nintendo switch controller
Navigate to Controllers.
how to pair a nintendo switch controller
Open the settings.

Step 2: Choose Change Grip/Order

Once you do this, you’ll want to choose Change Grip/Order. This will allow you to connect upwards of four different controllers at one time, including Joy-Cons.

how to pair a nintendo switch controller
Click on Change Grip/Order.

Step 3: Choose Your Controller

Next, you’ll want to choose the controllers you want to connect. For this purpose, we’re using the Joy-Cons that come with the console. However, you can use any controller from the Nintendo Switch, and even third-party controllers as long as they can wirelessly connect to the Switch and Switch Lite.

Step 4: Press the Correct Buttons to Connect

Once you have the correct controller in your hand, now is the time to connect it! The console will indicate which buttons (L + R or SL + SR) to press based on the type of controller you’re using. Since we’re using the Joy-Cons, we needed to put them horizontally to press the L and R keys.

When you press these buttons, ensure you’re doing it at the same time and press and hold. When you do this, the green lights (or regular blue/white lights for other controllers) should start flickering on the controller as they try to connect. You’ll also see a loading screen on each controller section as the Switch tries to connect with the controllers.

how to pair a nintendo switch controller
Press the buttons according to the controller you’re using.
how to pair a nintendo switch controller
Press and hold them down at the same time.

Step 5: Press A to Confirm Connection

Once the device has paired to the controller, you’ll then need to press A to confirm the pairing. From there, you’ll be able to play your games as normal!

how to pair a nintendo switch controller
Press A, and you’re all set and ready to play!

Wrapping Up

You have complete control over how you wish to game with the Switch. With Joy-Cons or any other Controller, you can play a variety of games as long as you know how to connect the controllers to your Switch! And for a helpful video on this topic, simply check out the one below:

Frequently Asked Questions

How to play 2 players with one controller?

While you *technically* can’t play two players with one controller, you can use two joysticks as two separate controllers.

How do I reset my Nintendo Switch controller?

To reset your Switch controller, simply click System Settings, and then choose Controllers and Sensors. You’ll need to select Change Button Mapping and select the controller you want to reset, then select Reset.

Where is the pair button on Switch controller?

The L and R buttons are used to pair your controller to the Switch console.

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