Switch Lite Joy-Cons Pro ControllerSource: iMore

Whenever I go somewhere, you can pretty much bet that I've got my Nintendo Switch Lite on me. It's got a beautiful casing, feels great in my hands when I play for long stretches, and is the perfect travel accessory. Of course, the lack of motion controls, HD rumble, and removable controllers does make some games - especially multiplayers - harder to enjoy. In these cases, it helps if you have an external set of Joy-Cons or a Pro Controller that you can sink to the handheld system. Here's how to make that happen.

Products used in this guide

How to pair controllers to the Nintendo Switch Lite

How to pair Joy-Cons to the Nintendo Switch Lite

  1. From the Home Menu, click on Controllers.
  2. Click on Change Grip/Order.

    Pair controllers to Switch Pair controllers to Switch Source: iMore

  3. When this screen appears, it's time to grab your Joy-Cons.
  4. If you tilt a Joy-Con to the side you'll find a black button next to four LEDs. On each of the Joy-Cons you want to use, press the black button for three seconds or until the controllers pair to the Switch Lite.

    Pair controllers to Switch Pair controllers to Switch Source: iMore

  5. If you're playing with others and want each person to have half of a Joy-Con, click on the SL and SR buttons on each controller. This will make each Joy-Con half show up as its own controller on the screen.

    Pair controllers to Switch Pair controllers to Switch Source: iMore

  6. If you want to use a pair of Joy-Cons together as one controller, click the left Joy-Con's ZL button and the right Joy-Con's ZR button at the same time. This will make the two Joy-Cons show up as a unit on the screen.

    Pair controllers to Switch Pair controllers to Switch Source: iMore

  7. When all Joy-Cons show up the way you want to on screen press the A button on one of the controllers to continue. Note: If each player is playing with half of a Joy-Con, the "A button" will be the circular button furthest on the right as shown in the picture below on the right. This is due to the fact that the controller is rotated 90 degrees and so all of the buttons have been rotated as well.

    Pair controllers to Switch Pair controllers to Switch Source: iMore

  8. Since it doesn't have its own kickstand, you'll want to prop up the Switch Lite. I prefer to use this HORI Compact Playstand to prop it up. Otherwise, you'll have to prop it up against something or else play while the Lite's screen lies flat on a surface.

    Nintendo Switch Lite on HORI PlaystandSource: iMore

How to pair Pro Controllers to the Nintendo Switch Lite

  1. From the main Switch menu, click Controllers.
  2. Select Change Grip/Order.

    Pair controllers to Switch Pair controllers to Switch Source: iMore

  3. When this screen appears grab the Pro Controller(s) you want to pair with the Switch Lite.
  4. If you look at the top of your Pro Controller, you'll find a small button near the USB-C port. Hold the button in for three seconds or until the controller pairs with your Switch Lite.

    Pair controllers to Switch Pair controllers to Switch Source: iMore

  5. Once all of the Pro Controllers you want to use appear on screen, press the A button on one of the paired controllers to finish the process. You're now ready to play your game.

    Pair controllers to Switch Pair controllers to Switch Pair controllers to Switch Source: iMore

  6. Since it doesn't have its own kickstand, you'll want to prop up the Switch Lite. I prefer to use this HORI Compact Playstand to prop it up. Otherwise, you'll have to prop it up against something or else play while the Lite's screen lies flat on a surface.

    Nintendo Switch Lite on HORI PlaystandSource: iMore

Certain games on the Nintendo Switch Lite are easier to play with an external controller. Whether you'd prefer to play a single-player game with your Pro Controller, want to play a multiplayer game with multiple Joy-Cons, or want to pair a mix of Pro Controllers and Joy-Cons to your Switch Lite, it can be done. Now that you've gotten everything synced up, you can enjoy your gaming sessions!

Serious gamer

Nintendo Switch Pro Controller

A traditional controller

This controller features HD rumble, motion controls, and NFC functionality. It feels great in your hands and gives you better control over your gaming sessions, whether you're playing a single-player or multiplayer game.

Two halves

Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons (Gray)

Versatile Switch controllers

These external controllers can work together as one controller or can be separated to give two players one controller each. It works with both the original Switch and the Switch Lite. There are multiple colors to choose from.

Additional Equipment

I love these accessories and have found that they significantly improve my Switch gaming sessions. See if anything catches your eye.

128GB micro SD card ($26 at Amazon)

Regardless of the version of Switch you're using, you can always benefit from having more memory on the system. This microSD card has a cute Mario mushroom on it and gives you 128GB. That's plenty of space for screenshots, game data, and downloads.

Hori Compact Playstand ($13 at Amazon)

Whether you're using a Switch Lite or the larger Switch having a stand can be incredibly helpful. I typically use mine on the go when I either need to charge my Switch or when I want to bring the screen closer to my face.

PDP Nintendo Switch Commuter Case ($27 at Amazon)

This is a great traveling case to have whether you've got the larger Nintendo Switch or the Switch Lite. It holds four Switch cartridges and has room to carry a Pro Controller as well as a pair of Joy-Cons. There's also storage for earbuds, cables, or other small accessories.

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Nintendo Switch

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