Does the Switch GameCube Controller Work on GameCube?

GameCube Controller

Unlike the Nintendo Wii U, the Nintendo Switch game console supports the GameCube controller as an input device for most games. If you can work without a ZL-equivalent shoulder button and a Home button, you can use this controller. Nintendo Switch’s support for GameCube controllers was announced back in 2017 but players were concerned about its versatility and faced issues here and there.

What is GameCube?

The Nintendo GameCube, commonly known simply as GameCube, was a home video game console released for the North American and Japanese market back in 2001. It was supposed to be the 6th gen successor to the Nintendo 64. You can purchase wired GameCube controllers even today though Nintendo is not making GameCubes anymore. The reason is that the Wii is completely backward compatible. Perhaps, Wii can be considered the best GameCube controller after all. 

The recently released Nintendo Switch has everyone going crazy. So far, Nintendo has been supportive of the fact that Switch can be used with GameCube as well. According to Nintendo, the GameCube controller is supported by Nintendo’s Switch consoles running any version 5.0.0 or higher. The only additional thing you will need is an adapter. This is the GameCube Controller Adapter that is sold separately by Nintendo.

So, GameCube was Nintendo’s first console that made use of optical disks as its primary storage medium. They were back then in miniDVD format and you could only play a very limited number of games online with its supported ethernet broadband adapter. Using the Switch GameCube controller with the original GameCube is a new territory completely. After selling around 21 million units worldwide, this console was discontinued in 2007, 6 years post its release. Then, Wii was announced and it had backward compatibility with GameCube software, so allowed one to play the games.

GameCube Controller Adapter

This is a small dongle that allows you to interface with the Nintendo Switch and the GameCube controller. You can purchase this for around $14 on Amazon. With this GameCube controller, you can play, for instance, Super Smash Bros on your Wii or Switch or PC without the need for any additional drivers, but with inbuilt vibration feedback.

  • It supports Nintendo Wii U, Switch, Mac OS, and PC USB with either the wired or the wireless GC controller.
  • You can connect up to 8 GC controllers using two adapters at the same time and play together.
  • It can be used with Nintendo Switch directly when running 4.0.0 but there is no ‘+’ or ‘-’ map buttons, so it will not work. But if running 5.0.0, this is completely compatible.

The built-in excellent chip now supports a no-lag connection system and ultimate performance like fast transportation, shock function, and stability. In all, the compatibility and usability have been taken care of by Nintendo as its fans have been celebrating the games for decades and still use the various game consoles of its time. This enables the Switch to work with the best GameCube controller seamlessly.

Nintendo Switch Family

The Nintendo Switch is the latest generation home and on-the-go gaming console. You can use it as a tablet when you’re traveling and dock it to a station and play games on your PC or TV screen. The design took the whole industry by surprise and many applauded the same thinking behind the unusual design. The Switch was an immediate success. Retailing for around $300, it is an all-in-one device.

The Nintendo Switch family comprises the console, the Nintendo Switch. It is fully-featured for home and on-the-go gaming. This is the tablet with the joystick-like button on both sides that can slide in and out and allows for several customizations as you please. Then, there is the Nintendo Switch Lite. You can use it in three modes: tabletop, TV mode, and handheld. The included Joy-Con controllers give you total flexibility. Those pairs of switchable button caskets on its both sides are called Joy-Con controllers. One or two, attached vertically sideways can be used with the console together or separately. You also have a traditional Nintendo Switch Pro controller that retails for around $70. This is compatible with Nintendo Switch, Nintendo Switch Lite and includes motion control, HD rumble, built-in amiibo functionality and more.

However, using a Nintendo Switch controller for the GameCube console is something yet uncharted and a thing to consider. The best GameCube controller would be the one that is completely compatible with the cube.

The Switch GameCube Controller and the Original GameCube

The ability to use the new controller similar to the Nintendo Wii with backward compatibility with GameCube software is the concern here. Is it possible to use the new Nintendo Switch controller with GameCube? We know for a fact that the GameCube controller adapter allows one to use the GameCube controller with the new Nintendo Switch console, but it is the reverse thing that we want to try to answer here. There are several manufacturers that are selling original GameCube style controllers for the Switch console as well, adding another layer of retro-feel when playing with the new console.

As it happens some players have tested the new 2018 GameCube controller offered alongside Switch with the original GameCube and it worked seemingly well given the years of distance apart they were released.

  • There were no drifting issues using the new controller on the GameCube games.
  • There are adapters that will allow running HDMI connection from the digital port at the back of the GameCube to your TV.
  • The Platinum GameCube controller from 2002 is the closest resemblance to the new black 2018 controller and they are pretty much the same as players have found.
  • In some cases, players complained about drifting issues, in which case it is a defect and you should get it replaced right away.


There have been a lot of releases from Nintendo to keep in touch but they can be broken into consoles and controllers. As of now, you can use GameCube controllers with Switch and also use the new GameCube and Switch controllers with the original GameCube with backward compatibility. With textured plastic, better build and all it is surprisingly the best GameCube controller currently in the market.

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