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How to use a real gamecube controller or wiimote in dolphin

Emulation is a great way to experience your favorite games, but without the original controller, it can feel inauthentic. Here’s how to set up Nintendo’s official peripherals in the Dolphin Wii and GameCube emulator for PC.

What You’ll Need

To use a real Nintendo GameCube controller with Dolphin, here’s what you’ll need:

  • An official Nintendo GameCube Controller. While unofficial options work, they are much worse in build quality. Additionally, you might find that some controllers that look like GC pads but are actually Switch Pro Controllers.
  • A USB GameCube Controller Adapter. We recommend either Nintendo’s official adapter or the MayFlash Adapter for the best results. If the adapter is wired and works with the Switch or Wii U, chances are it’ll work here, too.
  • Zadig. This is the application you’ll need to get your Gamecube controller set up properly with Dolphin. Download it for free.
  • A Powered USB Hub (Optional). This isn’t necessary if your laptop or desktop has free slots for both the USB cables, but is necessary if it doesn’t. For vibration to work properly and to ensure the best performance, make sure that both adapter cords are plugged in and have stable power.

To use an official Nintendo Wii Remote (Wiimote) with Dolphin, you’ll need the following:

  • An official Nintendo Wii Remote, ideally with MotionPlus built-in. Third-party options are not guaranteed to work with Dolphin, even if they work on the Wii.
  • A PC with a compatible Bluetooth adapter. Newer is better.
  • A powered Wii sensor bar. You can use your original sensor bar plugged into a running Wii, a battery-powered Wireless sensor bar, or a USB sensor bar.

How to Set Up a Real GameCube Controller in Dolphin

First, if you’re using a non-official Adapter that offers a toggle between “Wii U” and “PC” modes, switch it to “Wii U.” Dolphin has native support for the GameCube Controller Adapter once you have installed the proper driver, so feel free to ignore the PC mode unless you wish to use the controller in other applications. If you’re using an official Switch or Wii U adapter, skip this step.

Plug in your adapter and open Zadig. If you don’t have two USB ports free or you don’t care for vibration, you don’t need to plug in the white USB cable. It is solely for providing power for vibration to the GameCube controllers.

Within Zadig, click the “Options” menu and select “List All Devices.”

How to use a real gamecube controller or wiimote in dolphin

Click the dropdown menu at the top of the window, find “WUP-028” in the list, and select it. This is your adapter!

Look at the “USB ID” field below the Driver box. Verify the USB ID displayed here is “0573 0337”.

Warning: If the wrong USB ID is displayed here, do not continue. Your adapter will not work and you might risk damaging it by continuing.

If everything looks correct (like the screencap below), click the box to the right of the orange arrow and select the “WinUSB” driver. Click the “Replace Driver” button to install the driver, and once that’s done, you can close Zadig!

How to use a real gamecube controller or wiimote in dolphin

Now that you’ve installed the replacement driver, it’s time to try it out in Dolphin.

Go ahead and open Dolphin Emulator, and click the “Controllers” button on the far right of Dolphin’s built-in toolbar.

Under the Port 1 dropdown box, click “GameCube Adapter For Wii U”, and then click “Configure.”

Note that Port 1 is the first port on the left side of the controller adapter. The port assignments in Dolphin correspond to the ones on the adapter.

How to use a real gamecube controller or wiimote in dolphin

If you followed this guide properly, you should see the “Adapter Detected” window. Click”OK” to continue.

If it doesn’t show up, try repeating the process with a different adapter or USB port.

How to use a real gamecube controller or wiimote in dolphin

How to Set Up a Real Wiimote in Dolphin Emulator

As long as your PC already has Bluetooth, setting up a Wii Remote is much simpler than using a GameCube controller. Just make sure that your sensor bar is plugged in and your Wii Remote’s batteries are charged. You should also ensure your PC’s Bluetooth is turned on.

First, click the “Controllers” button on the far right of Dolphin’s toolbar.

Now, click “Emulate the Wii’s Bluetooth Adapter,” if it is not already selected. Under the Dropdown for Wii Remote 1, also select “Real Wii Remote.”

How to use a real gamecube controller or wiimote in dolphin

Now, simultaneously press the 1 and 2 buttons on your Wii remote. After about 20 seconds or less, your Wii remote will connect to Dolphin. Once you’ve done this, close the “Controller Settings” window, and click the “Config” button.

Click the “Wii” tab within the Config window, then adjust “Sensor Bar” position in accordance with your Sensor Bar placement. IR Sensitivity, Speaker Volume, and Rumble can also be adjusted here, and work in the same way as they do on an actual Wii. You are now ready to play your games!

Once you’ve finished playing, you will need to manually remove a battery from your Wii Remote to power it off. Unlike with the proper Wii console, Dolphin is not able to automatically turn off your Remote, and if you forget to do it yourself, it will continue using your battery until it runs dry.

How to use a real gamecube controller or wiimote in dolphin

What About Passthrough or the DolphinBar?

In our testing, results with Dolphin’s Bluetooth Passthrough solution and the DolphinBar are both finicky at best and require a great deal of extra tweaking for very little extra in return. For people who aren’t already power users, we do not recommend either of these solutions.

However, if you’re interested in exploring Passthrough as an option, the Dolphin Wiki page provides instructions. It offers an extensive list of tested USB Bluetooth Adapters and a setup guide. But, due to the complexity of the process and the higher likelihood that it simply won’t work at all, we have not included that in this guide.

How to use a real gamecube controller or wiimote in dolphinChristopher Harper

Emulation is a great way to experience your favorite games, but without the original controller, it can feel inauthentic. Here’s how to set up Nintendo’s official peripherals in the Dolphin Wii and GameCube emulator for PC.

What You’ll Need

To use a real Nintendo GameCube controller with Dolphin, here’s what you’ll need:

  • An official Nintendo GameCube Controller. While unofficial options work, they are much worse in build quality. Additionally, you might find that some controllers that look like GC pads but are actually Switch Pro Controllers.
  • A USB GameCube Controller Adapter. We recommend either Nintendo’s official adapter or the MayFlash Adapter for the best results. If the adapter is wired and works with the Switch or Wii U, chances are it’ll work here, too.
  • Zadig. This is the application you’ll need to get your Gamecube controller set up properly with Dolphin. Download it for free.
  • A Powered USB Hub (Optional). This isn’t necessary if your laptop or desktop has free slots for both the USB cables, but is necessary if it doesn’t. For vibration to work properly and to ensure the best performance, make sure that both adapter cords are plugged in and have stable power.

To use an official Nintendo Wii Remote (Wiimote) with Dolphin, you’ll need the following:

  • An official Nintendo Wii Remote, ideally with MotionPlus built-in. Third-party options are not guaranteed to work with Dolphin, even if they work on the Wii.
  • A PC with a compatible Bluetooth adapter. Newer is better.
  • A powered Wii sensor bar. You can use your original sensor bar plugged into a running Wii, a battery-powered Wireless sensor bar, or a USB sensor bar.

How to Set Up a Real GameCube Controller in Dolphin

First, if you’re using a non-official Adapter that offers a toggle between “Wii U” and “PC” modes, switch it to “Wii U.” Dolphin has native support for the GameCube Controller Adapter once you have installed the proper driver, so feel free to ignore the PC mode unless you wish to use the controller in other applications. If you’re using an official Switch or Wii U adapter, skip this step.

Plug in your adapter and open Zadig. If you don’t have two USB ports free or you don’t care for vibration, you don’t need to plug in the white USB cable. It is solely for providing power for vibration to the GameCube controllers.

Within Zadig, click the “Options” menu and select “List All Devices.”

Click the dropdown menu at the top of the window, find “WUP-028” in the list, and select it. This is your adapter!

Look at the “USB ID” field below the Driver box. Verify the USB ID displayed here is “0573 0337”.

Warning: If the wrong USB ID is displayed here, do not continue. Your adapter will not work and you might risk damaging it by continuing.

If everything looks correct (like the screencap below), click the box to the right of the orange arrow and select the “WinUSB” driver. Click the “Replace Driver” button to install the driver, and once that’s done, you can close Zadig!

Now that you’ve installed the replacement driver, it’s time to try it out in Dolphin.

Go ahead and open Dolphin Emulator, and click the “Controllers” button on the far right of Dolphin’s built-in toolbar.

Under the Port 1 dropdown box, click “GameCube Adapter For Wii U”, and then click “Configure.”

Note that Port 1 is the first port on the left side of the controller adapter. The port assignments in Dolphin correspond to the ones on the adapter.

If you followed this guide properly, you should see the “Adapter Detected” window. Click”OK” to continue.

If it doesn’t show up, try repeating the process with a different adapter or USB port.

How to Set Up a Real Wiimote in Dolphin Emulator

As long as your PC already has Bluetooth, setting up a Wii Remote is much simpler than using a GameCube controller. Just make sure that your sensor bar is plugged in and your Wii Remote’s batteries are charged. You should also ensure your PC’s Bluetooth is turned on.

First, click the “Controllers” button on the far right of Dolphin’s toolbar.

Now, click “Emulate the Wii’s Bluetooth Adapter,” if it is not already selected. Under the Dropdown for Wii Remote 1, also select “Real Wii Remote.”

Now, simultaneously press the 1 and 2 buttons on your Wii remote. After about 20 seconds or less, your Wii remote will connect to Dolphin. Once you’ve done this, close the “Controller Settings” window, and click the “Config” button.

Click the “Wii” tab within the Config window, then adjust “Sensor Bar” position in accordance with your Sensor Bar placement. IR Sensitivity, Speaker Volume, and Rumble can also be adjusted here, and work in the same way as they do on an actual Wii. You are now ready to play your games!

Once you’ve finished playing, you will need to manually remove a battery from your Wii Remote to power it off. Unlike with the proper Wii console, Dolphin is not able to automatically turn off your Remote, and if you forget to do it yourself, it will continue using your battery until it runs dry.

What About Passthrough or the DolphinBar?

In our testing, results with Dolphin’s Bluetooth Passthrough solution and the DolphinBar are both finicky at best and require a great deal of extra tweaking for very little extra in return. For people who aren’t already power users, we do not recommend either of these solutions.

However, if you’re interested in exploring Passthrough as an option, the Dolphin Wiki page provides instructions. It offers an extensive list of tested USB Bluetooth Adapters and a setup guide. But, due to the complexity of the process and the higher likelihood that it simply won’t work at all, we have not included that in this guide.

Christopher Harper

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Guide written by: NoSkillPureAndy RTC Version used at the time of making this guide: RTCV 5.0.6

First, you have to connect the Wiimote via bluetooth in control panel. To do so, open control panel. Then click “Hardware and Sound”, “Devices and Printers”, and “Add a device” at the top left. Press 1 and 2 at the same time, or the red button underneath the battery cover and wait for it to include “Nintendo RVL-CNT-01”. When it does, click on it and then click “Next” on the bottom right. Click it again if it tells you to enter a passcode, it doesn’t exist. Wait for it to install what it needs, and you’re done with this step.

Next, open Dolphin and click “Controllers” in the top right. Change “Emulated Wii Remote” to “Real Wii Remote” in the new menu, and click “Continuous Scanning” below. When you’ve done that, press 1 and 2 at the same time, or the red button underneath the battery cover and then click “Refresh” to the right of that. Click it a few times if it doesn’t work, and wait for it to give you a notification that “Nintendo RVL-CNT-01” is being set up. If this doesn’t happen or it does and your Wiimote continues to flash, you should continue reading. If not, congrats! Your sanity is spared.

Next, you need to download WiimoteHook . At the time of writing, the official download link http://drive.google.com/uc?export=download&id=123Lq-uX2lwL2Y42iiYi6fUJVwTawiHU9 found at the bottom of the official guide website

If you have any issues with this guide, you can also try an alternative guide on the WiimoteHook website

First, unzip the file you downloaded, preferably to your desktop. Open the folder and run “InstallEmulatedGamepadsDriver(run as admin).bat” as administrator. Press any key to continue, and restart your computer. Next, run “WiimoteHook.exe” (not necessarily as an administrator) and press B. When you’ve done that, press 1 and 2 at the same time, or the red button underneath the battery cover and wait for it to discover your WiiMote. If it says it was paired and it’s unpairing, yell at it and try again. Try running it as an administrator, try sacrificing the perfectly good double A batteries from the controller, anything to make it function. You’ll know it’s ready when you get a notification and “USB In” sound effect from your computer, and a bunch of gray text appears in the window. Calibrate the MotionPlus with C on your computer for good luck.

and unzip it to your desktop. Run “PIEFree.exe” and paste in this code sample in:

(Note: This code sample doesn’t support swinging the Nunchuk. Swinging the Wiimote is already janky enough.)

Next, click “File” in the top left corner and then click “Save As…” in the dropdown. Name it “dolphin wiimote keybinds.PIE” or something to that effect and click “Save” in the bottom right.

Now you have to make the Dolphin settings to work with this. Luckily for you, I’ve already done it. Download this file

and put it into your Dolphin configs folder. This can be found here

[wherever you put your rtc launcher]\VERSIONS\[most recent version, such as RTCV_5.0.6]\Dolphin\User\Config\Profiles\Wiimote

When you’ve done this, you should now be able to open Dolphin and click “Controllers” in the top right. Change “Real Wii Remote” to “Emulated Wii Remote” in the new menu, and click “Configure” to the right of that. In the top right there should be a section labeled “Profile” with an empty rectangle and downward arrow. Click the downward arrow and select “dolphin pie” from the dropdown. Click “Save” to the right and click “Close” at the bottom right.

Finally, you can now put all that you set up together. Close WiimoteHook and reopen it. Do what you learned previously to get your Wiimote connected to it. Then, press M to enable mouse emulation. Next, go to GlovePIE and click “▶ Run” at the middle top. Now, click onto Dolphin and open whatever game you want. Fullscreen said game, and you should be good to go now. My condolences to your sanity after this.

How to connect the Wiimote to your Computer

The following Guide shows you how to pair up your Wiimote with the Microsoft Bluetooth Stack.

If your computer has an internal bluetooth adapter you are ready to connect your Wiimote, if not you have to use a external bluetooth dongle.

In the Windows taskbar right click at the bluetooth symbol and click on “Add a device”. Press the 1+2 buttons on your Wiimote simultaneously and you will see the LEDs on the Wiimote blinking the whole time.

When the Wiimote is recognized, it’s name will be Nintendo RVL-CNT-01. When that shows up on the screen click on “Next”.

How to use a real gamecube controller or wiimote in dolphin

Click on “Pair without using a code” and wait a few seconds.

How to use a real gamecube controller or wiimote in dolphin
How to use a real gamecube controller or wiimote in dolphin

After the Configuration has finished you are ready to use the Wiimote in Dolphin.

How to use a real gamecube controller or wiimote in dolphin

Open Dolphin and click on the “Wiimote” button. Make sure that the Input Source is set to “Real Wiimote”. The Wiimote should vibrate after clicking “OK”.

How to use a real gamecube controller or wiimote in dolphin

It may be the case that your Wiimote won’t be connected properly the first time. In that case right click at the bluetooth symbol and click on “Show Bluetooth Devices”. If the Wiimote is connected you will see this:

How to use a real gamecube controller or wiimote in dolphin

If the Wiimote is not connected you won’t see anything. If your Wiimote is listed but Dolphin doesn’t recognize it, right click on the device “Nintendo RVL-CNT-01” and click on “Remove device”. Make sure Dolphin is closed and then try to connect the Wiimote again.

Note: You will have to reconnect the Wiimote each time you restart your computer.

Pair up your Wiimote automatically

There is an alternative, more elegant way to connect your Wiimote to your computer. In the “Wiimote” menu you will see a button called “Pair Up Real Wiimotes”. To pair up your Wiimote simply press the buttons 1 and 2 on your Wiimote and then click on “Pair Up Real Wiimotes”. Wait a few seconds and the Wiimote should be connected. If not restart Dolphin and try it again. After the Wiimote is connected click on “Refresh Real Wiimotes”.

You can pair up two or more Wiimotes at the same time by alternately clicking “Pair Up Real Wiimotes” and “Refresh Real Wiimotes”.