How to use Nintendo Switch Joy-Con controllers for Windows 10 PC gaming

With my Nintendo Switch now[acting as my mobile entertainment device when not at my main gaming rig, I wanted to see just how easy it was to connect the Joy-Cons to a Windows 10 PC, in case I wanted to brush up on my skill with the unique gamepads. Interestingly, since the Joy-Cons use Bluetooth, it was a painless pairing experience and worked as just expected.

How the Nintendo Switch fits perfectly in this PC gamer's life

How to connect Nintendo Joy-Cons to a Windows PC

Before you pair the Joy-Cons with Windows 10, you need to do a few preparation steps. Here goes:

  1. Install the vJoy driver.
  2. Grab this feeder driver, managed by mfosse.
  3. Per mfoss, you need to configure vJoy input devices to the following:



  1. Run the joycon-driver.exe in the Github download, which will allow vJoy to detect the Joy-Cons once paired.

Next, you need to pair the Joy-Cons.

Windows and Joy-Cons, a perfect pair

It's super-easy to connect the Joy-Cons to Windows 10. First, you need to activate the pairing on the Switch Joy-Cons — the button is located between the two shoulder buttons. You'll need to pair each controller separately. Follow these steps:

  1. Hit the Windows Key + Q to bring up the search.
  2. Type in "Bluetooth."
  3. Click on Bluetooth and other device settings.
  4. Click on Add Bluetooth or other device.
  5. Click on Bluetooth.
  6. Choose the Joy-Con (L) and (R). (You'll need to run the wizard for each Joy-Con.)

vJoy should be able to detect and automatically configure the controllers as per instructed by the driver you added. You can also set the suite to combine the Joy-Cons into a single controller and then double-check that everything is working using the built-in monitor tool.

Gaming with two gamepads

Nintendo Joy-Cons

I'm a fan of the Switch, as can be discovered in my piece on using the handheld as a PC gamer, and I also like the controllers. The Joy-Cons aren't everyone's cup of tea, but I enjoy using them. Using them on PC is a pleasant experience, as long as you steer clear of competitive games like Call of Duty or Destiny and stick to your Stardews and other similar titles.

Having both Joy-Cons in the controller dock is as good as using them separately, should you grow accustomed to the setup. They're not as good as the Xbox One gamepad, mind you. But they're handy for having a multiplayer session on a single PC.

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.