Modder Makes GameCube Joy-Cons for the Melee Faithful

The GameCube controller will never die

The GameCube controller has had a long, long life over the years. Longer than most controllers ever hope to have. 19 years after the system originally launched, every time Nintendo releases a new system fans are asking for a way to plug in their GameCube controller, and it’s most commonly due to the Super Smash Bros. scene, where an overwhelming amount of folks still consider it to be the top pick for competitive play. Right now GameCube-style controllers are on sale for the Switch, both ones that are true to the original and some with modifications and character branding. But none of them are like the system’s standard Joy-Con controllers that attach to the sides of the device. Well, Shank Mods on YouTube has made a pair of Joy-Cons that resemble a GameCube controller, and they’re fully functional with the system.

Just watching the video shows you how elaborate of a process this was. It involved taking a regular Switch Joy-Con apart and making all its nuts and bolts fit within the mold of a GameCube controller, as well as 3D printing new pieces to make the whole thing fit together. Luckily, the official wireless controller Nintendo put out in 2002 was the right size to fit the Switch hardware, and served as the base for the GameCube Joy-Cons.

You can watch the whole process in the video, but before you get too attached to the idea of your own working GameCube Joy-Cons, Shank says he has no plans to make another set, and the ones he has now are not for sale. He says making the entire process was “a pain,” and just watching the amount of work we can see in the video, I definitely believe him.

Since they have all the standard Joy-Con innards, they have most of the functionality that they do, including using two to play games like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe on one system. However, Shank doesn’t recommend it.

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Thankfully, without the Joy-Con analog sticks to ruin the whole thing, these won’t suffer from the dreaded Joy-Con drift that Nintendo is currently dealing with the legal fallout for. The issue is that Nintendo’s Joy-Cons have been known to register input on the analog sticks without anyone actually putting pressure on them. This means that in a game like Super Mario Odyssey, Mario will walk without the player moving the stick, which is obviously troublesome in a game where your movement can’t be compromised as you try to navigate through levels. Other games are more manageable, but it’s still an annoyance that Nintendo has yet to fix completely. There were even reports of the same issue sprouting up for people who bought the newer, handheld-only model of the system, the Nintendo Switch Lite, and it was discovered that these updated systems share the same analog sticks as the original Joy-Con design.