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NES Controller Does Not Respond in Wireless Mode Only


While used with a Nintendo Switch console in wireless mode only,

  • The buttons or +Control Pad on the NES controller respond incorrectly or do not respond at all.
  • The characters move on their own, they drift, or there is an input lag when pressing a button.

What to Do:

  1. Verify that you are using the Nintendo Entertainment System – Nintendo Switch Online software.
    If you are using two NES controllers, only player one can navigate the Game Selection menu.
  2. Ensure you have downloaded and installed any available software updates for Nintendo Entertainment System – Nintendo Switch Online prior to starting a game from that library.
  3. If the issue persists, try the following:
    • Ensure your console has the latest system version.

      If the system is already up to date, restart it by holding down the POWER Button for three seconds, then selecting “Power Options” > “Restart”.

    • Attach both NES controllers to the console, ensuring that they click into place. Then detach them again.
    • Reset the NES controllers.

      Press the SYNC Button once on each controller, then press any other button on each one to power them on again.

    • Ensure that the battery charge is not depleted on the NES controllers.

      The approximate battery charge will be displayed by going to the HOME Menu > “Controllers”.

    • Check for wireless interference.

      Ensure that the console is not placed behind a TV, under a metal object, or within three to four feet of other wireless devices, such as wireless speakers, cordless phones, etc.

    • With the NES controllers detached from the console, test the buttons.

      Keep in mind the functionality for each button from the following diagram:


Situation Not Resolved:

If the issue persists with a specific button or buttons, the problematic NES controller(s) will need to be repaired.

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