Android users have received a pleasant surprise recently with the ability to connect a Nintendo Switch Pro controller to their phones. The ability to do so is a fantastic step towards making mobile gaming more comfortable. Although mobile phones have become more powerful and capable of handling some demanding games, the lack of hardware and a reliance in using the awkward on-screen controls has worked to keep serious players on consoles and PC.
Now however the ability to use official Nintendo controllers, along with the already established method of connecting PlayStation 4 and Xbox One controllers, gives players far more flexibility and options to play their favorite games. Call of Duty and Fortnite are popular mobile titles, and the ability to use a controller makes for a more competitive, enjoyable experience
In order to connect to a Nintendo Switch Pro Controller, users first need to first make sure they have Android 10 running on their device. To do so, access the Settings menu and then selected “About Phone”, which should be at the bottom of the menu. Select “Software Information” and the first entry on the page should list the current Android software version.
This may be the biggest temporary hurdle for users since the process is still in its normal mode of implementation. The Android 10 beta was first announced in March of 2019, then spent its normal six months or so in beta before rolling out to Pixel phones. Other Android devices are simply left to wait but should receive the update later this year but could easily take until well into 2020.
To connect the controller to the Android device, it must first be disconnected from the Nintendo Switch. Do so by pressing the button near the USB-C charge port to enter pairing mode, and then locate the device in the Bluetooth pairing menu on the Android device. Pairing should be a quick process from here and you will be ready to use the controller over the inaccurate on-screen controls.
It will be interesting to see how these kinds of connections to official console hardware affect the development of games going forward. The Nintendo Switch is mainly a beefed-up tablet that has worked wonders to get certain games running that once seemed impossible, such as The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Complete Edition. As mobile devices continue to advance with powerful hardware upgrades, there is no reason to think that games will not become far more viable on mobile platforms with the addition of more controller support.
So long as games can get away from the terrible and awkward on-screen controls, mobile gaming will have a bright future.
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