How to Remap Your Controls on Nintendo Switch

Photo showing a pair of Nintendo Switch Joy Con's being held in a Joy Con grip next to a Switch console.

Nintendo have added button remapping as part of their 10.0.0 system update. This is remapping at a system level, meaning that swapping buttons around will affect in-game button presses and also how you control game menus and the Nintendo system menu. For instance, you could swap controls such as A and B around, if you would prefer to use the buttons this way, or you could map the letter buttons over to the D-pad, if that makes things easier for you. In addition to button remapping, you can also swap the joystick functions over, but not map to individual directions or axis’.

Remapping this way at a system level, in a similar way to how you can remap on PS4 and Xbox One, means that any remapped inputs are not shown onscreen in-game as button or joystick prompts. For instance, if you swapped the A and B buttons over you would need to remember that when a game says to press ‘A’ onscreen to do an action, you would press B yourself. This type of remapping also does not allow for contextual mappings in-game, such as choosing an input to use for a particular action in a certain context. Contextual remapping requires a developer to add this option into the game itself. However, system remapping can still be used to customise controls, which may make it easier for some players to access their console.

Please note that Nintendo state that button remapping will only work for Joy Cons, the Switch Pro Controller and the Switch Lite. It may not be possible therefore to use the remapping options if you are using a third-party controller, even if it is licensed by Nintendo.

You can also disable the majority of buttons on the controller. Please also note that you cannot remap, or disable, the Home, Power, Volume or Sync buttons.  In this blog post we will focus on the buttons used for gameplay.

Below, we will break down the steps, explaining how you can remap the buttons and analog sticks on a Nintendo Switch controller.

To try remapping buttons, first go to System Settings:

Nintendo Switch system menu screenshot showing Systems Settings being selected.

Now scroll down to Controllers and Sensors and go across to select Change Button Mapping:

Nintendo Switch system menu screenshot showing Change Button Mappings being selected.

Within Change Button Mapping, select Change:

Nintendo Switch system menu screenshot showing Change being selected in Button Mapping.

Within this menu you can see the current controller configuration. Click on the button that you would like to swap, to open up the next part of the menu:

Nintendo Switch system menu screenshot showing a ZR button being selected in the Change Button Mapping settings.

If you scroll down, you can also swap the joysticks over. You can make left stick act as right, or vice versa. You can also make both sticks act as the same stick – so essentially you could have two left sticks, if you like:

Nintendo Switch system menu screenshot showing a Change to Left Stick  being selected for the Right Stick in the Change Button Mapping settings.

After deciding on your stick configuration, you can also swap buttons around. After clicking on the button that you want to swap, you can now see the options as to what you would like to swap the button to. You can also disable any button that you might use for gameplay. This means if you accidentally press a particular button, you can potentially switch it off:

Nintendo Switch system menu screenshot showing the buttons available to be mapped to the A Button input in the Change Button Mapping settings.

Once you have selected the button you would like to swap, you go back to the previous screen, where you can see what you have swapped around. Click Done if you are happy with your selections at this stage:

Nintendo Switch system menu screenshot showing Done being selected in the Change Button Mapping settings.

Although you cannot remap the Home button,  you can also make another button also act as the home button, if you prefer. You can also double up other buttons, such as by making almost every button act as A. You do always need at least one button acting as A and one acting as B, in order to be able to control system menus the Switch won’t actually allow you to proceed with your configuration if you don’t have at least one button acting as A and one as B,  as shown in the picture  below:

Nintendo Switch system menu screenshot showing a message that A and B must each be mapped to a button to proceed in the Change Button Mapping settings.

If you are using a Joy Con, you can also choose to display your preset either vertically or horizontally:

Nintendo Switch system menu screenshot showing an option to display the controller vertically in the Change Button Mapping settings.

Once you have created a configuration that you are happy with, select Done. The Switch will give you the following advice:

Nintendo Switch system menu screenshot showing a message that the mapping has been changed in the Change Button Mapping settings.

You will now go back to the previous screen and can choose to Save as a Preset:

Nintendo Switch system menu screenshot showing an option to Save as a Preset.

Now you just need to select a slot to save your Preset to: :

Nintendo Switch system menu screenshot showing a message to select a slot to save to.

You can have up to five different Presets, so if different games require different configurations, or if particular parts of a game require different controls, you can go back to the menu and swap to another Preset.

More posts on accessibility to the Nintendo Switch can be found on the blog: https://gameaccessblog.org.uk/?fwp_categories=nintendo-switch 

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