Ever since I got my Switch, I’ve been annoyed by Nintendo’s insistence that the primary interaction button, A, is on the right of the controller diamond, as opposed to the bottom like on the Xbox and PlayStation*. Today Nintendo fixes that problem, with a system update that enables the user to manually re-map controller layouts.
This is touted as an accessibility feature, and it certainly is one—if you have problems operating the four shoulder buttons, switching them to the less-used D-Pad will certainly make playing easier. But I don’t think I’m alone in wanting my console and games to have the same basic navigation scheme as most of the industry for the past two decades.
To access this new feature, update your Switch to the latest 10.0.0 software, then go to “Settings,” “Controllers and Sensors,” “Change Button Mapping.” You can swap around any controls on the left and right Joy-Cons (including moving buttons from one to the other) and on Nintendo’s official Switch Pro controller. The non-removable controls of the Switch Lite are also supported.
Up to five profiles can be saved for each individual controller, but unfortunately, third-party controllers are not supported. (A few, like this one from 8BitDo, already have programmable work-arounds.)
There’s another change in the software that should make things easier for users: games downloaded from the Nintendo eShop can now be transferred from the console’s storage to the MicroSD card without re-downloading it. For games taking up 10+ gigabytes, that’ll save a lot of time and frustration.
*Commenters: I know that Nintendo’s had this A-on-the-right button layout since the SNES, long before Sony and Microsoft were making consoles. But they knew the standard had shifted by the time the GameCube came out. On the Wii U, Switch, and Nintendo DS series, they’ve put nostalgia above usability.