How to Use a GameCube Controller with Dolphin

A common downside of emulation on PC is that actually using your controllers requires some extra footwork. This is especially problematic when PC gamepads like the Xbox One controller just don’t translate smoothly to playing something like GameCube games on Dolphin. Fortunately, using real GameCube controllers with Dolphin isn’t too tough, and we’re more than happy to walk you through the process.

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  • A Wii U GameCube Controller Adapter, either Nintendo’s official product or Mayflash’s third-party version. Both will work identically for this guide, but the Mayflash version must be switched to Wii U mode.
  • A real Nintendo GameCube controller
  • A 64-bit version of Windows
  • Two open USB 2.0+ ports

Unfortunately, you’ll probably need to buy something to follow this guide properly. The launch of Smash Brothers for Wii U introduced a Wii U GameCube Controller adapter, which Dolphin developers were quickly able to make compatible with their emulator. Before following the rest of this guide, be sure that you have the list of requirements above completely met.

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Start by downloading and installing Zadig, which you can find here. Zadig is a utility that allows you to modify drivers for the USB devices that you’re using. In this case we’ll be replacing Windows’ default driver for our GameCube adapter with one that Dolphin can read properly. Don’t worry, this will only change how your PC recognizes the adapter, and it will still work as intended with the Wii U.

1. Once you launch Zadig, you’ll see a blank screen like this one.

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2. Click “Options,” then select “List All Devices.”

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3. Now, click the dropdown and select WUP-028.

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4. After you’ve selected WUP-028, verify that your USB ID is “057E 0337,” as pictured below. If it isn’t, you may need to restart your PC and re-connect your device in a different USB port.

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5. If everything lines up, make sure you have the WinUSB driver selected, then click “Replace Driver” to replace the driver. Your Wii U GameCube Controller Adapter will now be recognized in Dolphin!

1. Go ahead and open Dolphin.

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2. Click Controllers.

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3. Click the Port 1 dropdown under GameCube Controllers.

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4. Go ahead and select “GameCube Adapter For Wii U.” Note that this will correspond to the port your actual controller is plugged into on the adapter.

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A quick way to verify that Dolphin recognizes your adapter is to click “Configure” to the right of the dropdown.

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If you get a tiny popup that says “Adapter Detected,” congratulations. Your controller should work fine!

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If you don’t get this confirmation, you didn’t follow this guide properly. Retry the guide according to our instructions or comment below and we’ll help you.

Did this guide work smoothly for you? If so, what games will you be playing on Dolphin with your GameCube controller? I personally recommend Super Mario Sunshine and Super Smash Brothers Melee as games that feel and play amazing with their intended control setup. Don’t hesitate to tell us what you’ll be playing below or to let us know they you need help!

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