Curious players have discovered an unannounced feature in the new Switch update: you can use GameCube controllers with your Switch—if you have the Wii U controller adapter.
Although not explicitly called out in the changelog for the latest Switch firmware—Nintendo tends to be a bit terse in their changelogs—players experimenting with the USB port (prompted by the arrival of USB headset support) found new, currently unofficial, feature.
If you plug the Wii U’s USB-to-GameCube controller adapter into the Switch, the Switch now appears to support GameCube controllers. Although undocumented in the changelog the move seems intentional, as you can’t plug other USB controllers, like a wired Xbox 360 controller, into the USB port. Here’s a demonstration of the process from GameXplain:
Players who used the adapter on the Wii U will recall clearly that it was marketed solely for Super Smash Bros—the GameCube controllers are considered the de facto standard for Smash Bros play—and it didn’t work with any other Wii U games.
On the Switch, however, the controllers will work with any game as long as you can play that game without the use of the ZL button (the shoulder button on the left Switch controller) or the Home button—that means no shield blocking in Breath of the Wild, for example, or easy access to the game menu.
If you’re super pumped to try this out, hopefully you’ve got your hands on a Wii U adapter already—even though the news of this hidden update feature just broke the price of the Wii U adapter on Amazon has already skyrocketed from $26 to $70. Ouch. Fingers crossed the cheaper third-party USB adapters work too.