Can You Play Super Smash Bros. Ultimate with a GameCube Controller?

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate with GameCube Controller

Nintendo has made a lot of popular video games over the years and the games in the Super Smash Bros. series are definitely among them. Beginning with the release of Super Smash Bros. Melee for the GameCube console, fans of the series have had a huge affinity for the GameCube controller. Nintendo continued to support the use of the GameCube controller for fans who wanted to use it to play the subsequent game releases in the series that came out for the Wii and Wii U consoles. So when Super Smash Bros. Ultimate came out for the Nintendo Switch console, fans were wondering if they could use a GameCube controller to play the game. In other words, is Super Smash Bros Ultimate playable with the GameCube controller?

The short answer is yes, you can use a GameCube controller to play Super Smash Bros. Ultimate on your Nintendo Switch. If you don’t have an original GameCube controller new GameCube controllers are also available for purchase from retailers like Amazon, Best Buy, and GameStop. However, depending on the specific model of the GameCube controller and which version of the Nintendo you would like to use it with, you may need an adapter to get things up and running and some controllers may be incompatible with certain versions of the console.

Before you run out and buy a GameCube controller let’s discuss why the GameCube controller is so popular with the Smash Bros. community, how you can connect it to your console, what adapters you might need, and discuss if getting a GameCube controller is really worth it.

Why Use a GameCube Controller for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate?

Even though it is more than 20 years old a large percentage of both competitive and casual gamers alike prefer using the GameCube controller when playing Super Smash Bros. Ultimate on the Nintendo Switch. This preference goes back to 2001 and the release of Super Smash Bros Melee for the GameCube console. Super Smash Bros Melee, which was the second game released in the Smash Bros series, would become the best selling game ever for the GameCube console and start this affinity for the GameCube controller. That said, are GameCube controllers better for playing Super Smash Bros. Ultimate?

The preference for the GameCube controller within the competitive Smash Bros gaming community, which is still very active today, goes beyond history and nostalgia. Many believe the controller is one of the most ergonomically well-designed controllers ever made. This belief and preference for the controller has continued through the years with the release of the Super Smash Bros. Brawl for the Wii in 2009, Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U in 2014, and most recently Super Smash Bros. Ultimate in 2018 for the Nintendo Switch.

The button layout on the GameCube controller is ideal for playing Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Different from the traditional diamond-shaped button layout that most controllers use, the GameCube controller has a button layout that centers around a large A button, with X and Y surrounding it along with the B button being offset slightly closer to the middle of the controller. This configuration makes it easier to execute certain moves and combos when compared to other controllers.

The second benefit of using the GameCube controller when playing Super Smash Bros. Ultimate has to do with directional controls. Many players – especially new players – struggle to completely master the direction, degree, and quickness of movement, which can really affect their performance in the game. The GameCube controller addresses this issue through their control sticks, which offer more resistance, also referred to as weight. This additional resistance enables players to be more precise with how far they tilt the sticks, which comes in handy when performing tilt moves that require only a slight directional input.

Another way in which the GameCube controller’s directional controls stand out from the crowd is with their eight directional grooves that offer you greater precision in terms of the angle of movement, which can make all the difference when playing certain characters.

How to Use a GameCube Controller to Play Super Smash Bros. Ultimate On Your Nintendo Switch

If you have made the decision to play Super Smash Bros. Ultimate on your Switch with a GameCube controller you are probably wondering how to hook up the controller to your Switch. The answer depends on the exact type of GameCube controller you are using. So we have broken it down into 3 categories:

  • Wired GameCube controller with the GameCube Interface (plug)
  • Wired GameCube Controller with USB Interface (plug)
  • Wireless GameCube Controller

Wired GameCube controller with the GameCube Interface

GameCube Controller Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Edition

If you have an original GameCube controller or a new controller that was made to duplicate the original controller right down to the GameCube plug. It will work with the original GameCube console. These controllers will work with the Nintendo Switch console, but you will need to use an adapter. These adapters plug into the USB port on your dock and will allow you to connect up to four GameCube controllers to your Switch as you play in TV mode.

CLOUDREAM Adapter for GameCube Controller, Super Smash Bros Switch GameCube Adapter for WII U, Switch and PC.
  • Gamecube Adapter 3 in 1 - Compatible with Nintendo Switch / Wii U / PC USB and Windows, work with nintendo gamecube controller, up to eight player for wii u or switch(need two adapter). Ideal gamecube controller adapter to play super smash bros.
  • Support 4 Gamecube Controller - The gamecube adapter come with 4 gamecube controller input port, and most up to 8 player at same time play with two adapter input. 180cm wired long cable allows you to play no limit.
  • Plug and Play No Driver Need - Just plug and then play your games. No lag and no drive install need. Change the adapter button on WII U to play on WII U and Switch mode, Change the adapter button on PC to play on PC mode.
  • Super Smash Bros Choice - You can play the super smash bros on Wii U and Switch, Plug the two usb into your console and then choice Mario or Luigi or what your want to battle with your friends. NOTE: you need enter ssb game by wii u remote control and only support ssb on wii u.
  • 70 inch Long Cable - Play more freedom no more distance limited. Support turbo feature that What turbo actually does is replicates the same button pushed by the user over and over again at an extremely fast rate,Enhance your gaming experience.

If you want to play in Tabletop mode with these controllers you will need to get a USB-A to USB-C adapter or cable.

Can You use a Wii U GameCube Adapter?

Gamecube Adapter for Nintendo Switch Gamecube Controller Adapter and WII U and PC, Super Smash Bros Gamecube Controller Adapter. Support Turbo and Vibration Features with 180cm Long Cable

The Wii U GameCube adapters are fully compatible with the Switch, so if you’ve got any GameCube adapters lying around from playing Super Smash Bros. during the Wii U era, you can save yourself some money and feel confident using them with your Switch.

Wired GameCube Controller with USB Interface

PowerA Wired Controller for Nintendo Switch: GameCube Style - Black

There are some newer GameCube inspired controllers that have a USB plug. While these controllers cannot be used with the GambeCube console they don’t require an adapter to be used with the original version of the Switch console or with the OLED version of the Switch when they are being played in TV mode. The USB cable of the controller can be connected directly to the Switch’s dock.

If you want to play in Tabletop mode with these controllers you will need to get a USB to USB-C cable regardless of which version of the Switch console you are using – including the Switch Lite.

Wireless GameCube Controller

PowerA Wireless GameCube Style Controller for Nintendo Switch - Purple

Not only have there been new wired GameCube controllers that have come out for the Switch but there have also been wireless GameCube controllers that have been released for the Switch console as well.

It is probably worth pointing out that even though modern wireless controllers offer freedom of movement making them more convenient than wired controllers, their popularity pales in comparison to corded controllers when it comes to competitive play. This is because wireless controllers can be susceptible to interference or signal-muddling, which can be a problem in competitive play situations as these tournaments typically take place in large conference halls with multiple matches occurring at any given time.

This isn’t necessarily an issue for casual play, but it is definitely something to keep in mind if you plan on participating in local tournaments or other larger events.

Can GameCube Controllers Be Used to Play Games Other Than Super Smash Bros. Ultimate On the Nintendo Switch?

The answer to this question depends on which type of GameCube controller you are talking about.

If you are talking about an original GameCube controller or one of the new versions that were essentially designed to be a replica of the original (standard) GameCube controller…

These controllers will obviously work with Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, but it doesn’t end there. In addition to being able to play games on the GameCube, thanks to its plug that fits directly into the GameCube console, they also will work with quite a few other games on the Nintendo Switch as well. While I haven’t tried them all from my experience and research they will work with several other Switch games including:

  • Pokken Tournament
  • Pokken Tournament DX
  • Mario Kart 8
  • Super Mario Sunshine
  • Super Mario 3D All-Stars
  • Golf Story
  • Puyo Puyo Tetris
  • Fast Rmx
  • Has-Been Heroes
  • 36 Fragments of Midnight
  • Kirby Star Allies
  • Fire Emblem Warriors
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 2
  • Sonic Mania
  • Minecraft
  • Rocket League
  • Shantae: Half-Genie Hero
  • Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse

However, while these controllers allow you to play quite a few games on the Switch you won’t be able to play them all, or at least play them the way you want to because the standard/original GameCube Controller is missing a few buttons that are included on the newer versions of the GameCube controllers that are made to be played exclusively on the Switch. These buttons include:

  • “Minus” Button
  • “Capture” Button
  • “Home” Button
  • “L” Button (Switch Counts the L Trigger as “ZL”, not “L”)

Plus, the original GameCube controller doesn’t have Amiibo support, motion controls, HD rumble, or the ability to click the analog and C-sticks like you can on other modern controllers. So you probably don’t want to think of these as the only controllers you’ll ever need to play games with on your Switch.

If you are talking about one of the new GameCube controllers that were designed to look very similar to the original GameCube controllers but were made specifically to be used with the Nintendo Switch console…

These controllers that can connect to the Nintendo Switch without the need for an adapter are basically stylized Nintendo Switch Pro Controllers. Since they have all of the buttons that are missing from the standard GameCube controllers, they work perfectly with the Switch. You can use them to play all the same games you would with a Nintendo Switch Pro Controller.

While these controllers have the buttons that are absent from one of the original GameCube controllers along with having clickable sticks it should be pointed out that they don’t support Amiibo, don’t have rumble, and don’t offer IR functionality (like joy-cons).

Final Thoughts

If you are a Smash Bros. fan and are looking for the absolute best controller to play Super Smash Bros. Ultimate it is great news that the Nintendo Switch allows you to use a GameCube controller. In fact, you have a couple of great options to choose from. If you are an absolute purist you may want to use an original GameCube controller or one of the duplicate models, both of which will require an adapter. Otherwise, you may want to opt for one of the newer GameCube controllers, like the PowerA models that have been designed to be used exclusively on the Nintendo Switch and are basically a stylized Pro Controller, which means that they will be playable with a wider variety of games on the Switch when compared to the original GameCube controller.

Last update on 2024-04-19 at 15:56 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

About Dan G.
Dan G.

Dan is a video game enthusiast who has been playing games for over three decades. Starting out as an "old school" gamer, Dan has since embraced the modern age of gaming, thanks in part to his kids who inspired him to explore today's current consoles and games.

With a passion for video games and a desire to help others, Dan has become an expert in the field, specializing in video game consoles and hardware. Through his numerous articles and reviews he enjoys answering questions and helping parents understand the different options available for their kids.

If you're looking for expert advice on video games and consoles, Dan is a go-to source for reliable and informative information.