Nintendo Switch Joy-Con controllers work with Android phones and tablets


In case you aren't up to speed with Nintendo's latest portable/home console hybrid, the Nintendo Switch, it comes with two tiny gamepads, called Joy-Cons, that can be used either separately from one another, or serve as the two halves of a somewhat more traditional controller. And by traditional, we mean something that resembles the head of a dog, but that's another story entirely.

Anyway, since the Switch launched a couple of days ago, gamers have discovered that Joy-Cons can work as standard Bluetooth controllers on PC, Mac, and now – Android, meaning you can pair them with your smartphone or tablet easily, just like you would any other controller made to support the platform.

The gamepads themselves are rather small — which is not necessarily a bad thing, especially as far as mobile gaming is concerned — but offer a rather limited button setup due to their dual nature. Each has a single analog stick, four face buttons, and two shoulder buttons, which is pretty much what the SNES had to offer back in the day (with a D-Pad instead of a thumbstick, of course).

They may not really look like it, but the Joy-Cons are actually quite high-tech, as far as game controllers go, at least. They both pack advanced vibration feedback systems, capable of simulating... stuff shaking inside them. The controllers also have motion-sensing capabilities, are equipped with infra red motion cameras that can measure distance, and recognize shapes and motion. All the bells and whistles come at a cost though, and a pair of Joy-Cons will set you back $79.99, so we'd say Android users making a beeline toward the closest video game store is rather unlikely.

Still, if you've already got your hands on a Switch, or are planning to get one, it's good to know that you can pair the Switch controllers just fine with pretty much any Android smartphone or tablet out there.

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9 Comments

1. sgodsell

Posts: 7242; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

You can buy the controllers individually for $49, or both for $75 at Walmart. If you are using an Android phone, then you only really need one controller.

2. SleeperOne

Posts: 370; Member since: Feb 25, 2017

I'm waiting for the inevitable design refresh, the design flaws and lack of key features in the Switch out of the box is inexcusable.

3. SleeperOne

Posts: 370; Member since: Feb 25, 2017

Not to mention they are already dying left to right.

7. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

Yep, by the end of you the year the controllers will have version 2, hell I would be surprised if the switch itself did too.

9. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

Personally I like Nintendo console and games. Their strength has always been their hardware design, practical and durable. Universal appeal for their games. The bundling of a good mini games title such as the Wii Sport. For unknown reason, this DNA has not been pass down to their Switch Console. Decision to seal a small non-removable battery, connectivity issue with the joycon. kickstand not providing solid support, having a mini fan inside a portable console that some complain on its high frequency buzz. The overall poor execution of their launch with no launch title, the exclusion of mini games like 1-2 switch. When come to customer support on LCD screen the usual indifferent would mark the end of Nintendo as a gaming company. The dices been cast and the numbers are not good.

4. Khyron

Posts: 397; Member since: Sep 28, 2015

does this work with iphones?

5. sgodsell

Posts: 7242; Member since: Mar 16, 2013

Nope. Apple has their proprietary twist on their Bluetooth, and controls everything that attaches to their iPhones.

6. palmguy

Posts: 979; Member since: Mar 22, 2011

Apple can't monetize it, so nope.

8. Tabby_Tiger

Posts: 305; Member since: Jan 23, 2017

What version(s) of Android is compatible?

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