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.



1. sgodsell

Posts: 7607; 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: 402; Member since: Sep 28, 2015

does this work with iphones?

5. sgodsell

Posts: 7607; 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: 988; 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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