Many avid Switch gamers complain about how small and oddly shaped the Joy-Cons are. You could purchase the amazing Switch Pro controller, but it's a little pricey. Fortunately, if you already own an Xbox One or were lucky enough to score an Xbox Series X or Xbox Series S, you can connect your Xbox controller with the Nintendo Switch and play wirelessly. Here's how to connect your Xbox One, Series X, or Series S controller with the Nintendo Switch!
Note: If you're going to play in tabletop mode it really helps to have a Nintendo Switch stand handy so that the cable can get plugged into the bottom of the console without issue. In this guide, I'm using the Hori Compact Playstand.
Products used in this guide:
- Mayflash Magic NS 2 Wireless Adapter - Dark Grey ($22 at Amazon)
- 8Bitdo Wireless Bluetooth Adapter 2 - Black ($30 at Amazon)
Which Bluetooth adapter should I get?
Of all of the Bluetooth adapters available for Xbox controllers there are two we recommend most, either the 8Bitdo Bluetooth Adapter 2 or the Magic NS 2 Adapter. They work with both Switch and Switch OLED as well as both Xbox One and Xbox Series S and X controllers. Both are easy to set up, but the 8Bitdo is slightly easier to use since it doesn't require you to cycle through specific modes. Otherwise, when choosing between the two it's mostly just a matter of design preference.
There are earlier versions of both of these adapters, but they won't work with the latest Xbox Controllers, so if you're specifically looking for a dongle that works with Xbox Series X|S you'll want to make sure to get the dark grey Magic NS 2 or the Black 8Bitdo Bluetooth Adapter 2.
Magic NS 2 Wireless Adapter Xbox controller in wireless tabletop mode
There are a few different adapters you can use to setup your Xbox controller with your Switch. We'll show you how to use the Magic-NS 2 Adapter. This method works for Switch Lite, Switch, and Switch OLED.
- Insert the USB-C cable that comes with the Magic-NS Adapter into the Nintendo Switch.
- Insert the Magic-NS Wireless Adapter into the other end of the cable.
- There is a small black button on the side of the Magic-NS Adapter. You can hold it down for 3 to 5 seconds to make it change modes. A different colored LED denotes each mode. If you have the Nintendo Switch V2 with longer battery life or the Switch OLED, change modes until the purple LED lights up. If you're using the original Nintendo Switch, you'll need to use the red LED light instead of the purple one.
- Now that the correct colored LED is lit up, quickly press and release the black button to make the LED flash faster.
- With the LED flashing rapidly, grab your Xbox controller and press the Xbox home button to wake it.
- Now press the small button on top of the controller to sync the adapter and controller via Bluetooth. The Xbox home button will start flashing.
- Hold the Xbox controller near the Switch until the Xbox symbol stops flashing.
- If this screen comes up on the Switch, press down the LB and RB buttons simultaneously.
- Now you're all good to go. Enjoy wireless tabletop mode!
Magic NS 2 Adapter Xbox controller in wireless docked mode
- Insert the Mayflash Magic-NS 2 Adapter into one of the Nintendo Switch dock's USB ports. Note that there's only room for one Magic-NS Adapter, so you can't connect additional controllers using this method.
- There's a small black button on the adapter that you hold down for 3 to 5 seconds to change modes. If you're using the Nintendo Switch V2 with longer battery life or the Switch OLED, change modes until a purple LED lights up. If you're using the original Nintendo Switch, you'll need to use the red LED light instead of the purple one.
- Quickly press and release the small black button to make the LED flash faster.
- With the correct colored LED quickly flashing on the adapter, press the home button on the Xbox controller to wake the controller up.
- Press the small button on top of the controller until the Xbox symbol starts flashing. This allows the controller to sync to the Switch via Bluetooth.
- Hold the controller near the Nintendo Switch until the Xbox symbol is no longer flashing.
- If this screen comes up, press LB and RB at the same time.
- Now you're good to go. Enjoy wireless docked mode.
Using an existing controller instead of purchasing a new one can really help you save time and money. Nintendo likely never intended you to connect your Xbox One, Series X, or Series S controller with the Nintendo Switch, but there are ways to make it happen. If you have any complications with the Magic-NS adapter, reach out to the manufacturer for additional assistance.
8Bitdo Wireless Bluetooth Adapter 2 Xbox controller in wireless tabletop mode
If you'd rather use the 8Bitdo Wireless Bluetooth Adapter 2, follow these instructions. This method works for the Switch Lite, Nintendo Switch, and Switch OLED in tabletop mode.
- Insert the 8Bitdo's included USB-C cable into the bottom of the Nintendo Switch console.
- Insert the 8Bitdo adapter into the USB-C cable's USB port.
- Make sure that the Switch is turned on and then press the button on the end of the adapter to enter pairing mode. You'll know you're in the right mode cause the light will blink quickly.
- Awaken the Xbox Controller by pressing the power button.
- Hold down the Xbox Controller's pairing button. You'll know it's entered pairing mode when the Xbox icon flashes.
- Now place the Xbox controller near the adapter and wait for them to pair. Once their lights stop flashing, you're good to play.
Now you're good to start playing any of your favorite Nintendo Switch games with an Xbox controller. If you specifically want help using the Xbox controller in docked mode, continue reading for further instructions.
8Bitdo Wireless Bluetooth Adapter 2 Xbox controller in wireless docked mode
- Plug the 8Bitdo dongle into one of the Switch Dock's USB ports.
- Press the button on the end of the adapter to make the little red light flash faster. This switches it to pairing mode.
- Wake up your Xbox controller by holding down the Xbox icon.
- Hold down the pairing button on top of the controller. You'll know it's worked when the Xbox symbol starts to flash.
- Place the Xbox controller near the adapter and wait for them to pair. Once the Xbox symbol and the adapter's light are steady, you'll know they've paired.
I'm sure that Nintendo never intended us to do things like use an Xbox controller with a Switch. However, fortunately for us, we live in a wonderful modern world where third parties help us out with adapters to solve so many of gaming's little problems.
Updating the 8Bitdo Wireless Bluetooth Adapter 2 firmware
Occasionally new patches and updates are released for the Xbox controllers. If you're using the 8BitDo Adapter 2 rather than the Mayflash Magic-NS Adapter and it isn't working properly, it's probably because it needs a firmware update to match the new firmware for the controllers.
- Go to https://support.8bitdo.com/firmware-updater.html.
- Download the Upgrade tool for your operating system.
- Plug the USB dongle into your PC or Mac.
- Open 8Bitdo Firmware Updater.
- Select Extract All.
- Select Extract.
- This window should pop up. Open the file that reads 8Bitdo_Firmware_Updater.
- Open the file that says 8Bitdo Firmware Updater.
- This window will pop up. Select Update.
- The firmware will be updated. When it's finished click on Success.
Once the firmware has been updated, remove the adapter from your computer and use it with your Switch as instructed in the above sections.
Note: In some cases, the controller converter doesn't work with every controller out-of-the-box. If you follow these steps and your Xbox One controller still isn't connecting to your Switch, we recommend contacting 8Bitdo customer service.
The adapter that makes it possible
This Mayflash adapter comes with a small USB-C to USB cable to connect your Xbox One or Xbox Series X|S controller with the Nintendo Switch, whether in tabletop or docked mode. It's small and works on plenty of other controllers as well.
If you like the idea of not having to cycle through as many modes in order to get the adapter to work with your Xbox One or Series X|S controller than you probably want to go with the 8Bitdo Wireless Bluetooth Adapter 2.
Xbox controller adapter for Nintendo Switch
Easily play your favorite Switch games using your Xbox One or Xbox Series X|S controller with the use of this adapter.
While this stand isn't necessary to connect your Xbox One controller with the Nintendo Switch, it really helps if you plan on playing in tabletop mode. It allows the adapter and cables to connect to the device more easily. What's more, it lifts the screen a little, so you don't have to hunch over as much to see it.
Take a stand
A stand for tabletop gaming
This stand folds into a compact shape, making it easier to transport and store. When the Switch is in place, it allows any connected cables to get plugged into the console's USB-C port easily.
Additional products for Switch gamers
The right accessories can seriously enhance your Switch gaming experience. Here are some that I personally love to use.(opens in new tab)
amFilm Nintendo Switch Glass Screen Protector (2-Pack) (opens in new tab) ($7 at Amazon)
To protect the Switch screen from scrapes and smudges, you'll want to apply a screen protector. I love this one because it's glass, and there are two of them in case you need to try again.(opens in new tab)
PowerA Everywhere Messenger Bag (opens in new tab) ($40 at Amazon)
Safely store your entire Switch system, including Pro Controllers and the Dock for easy transport. It features both a handle and a detachable shoulder strap to make traveling easier.(opens in new tab)
PowerA Enhanced Wireless Controller (opens in new tab) (From $45 at Amazon)
If you'd rather purchase an officially licensed Switch controller, this one will do the trick. It can last up to 30 hours on two AA batteries. There are a few colors and designs to choose from.