Mobile gaming continues to grow in relevance, with significant releases like Fortnite and PUBG being published on smartphones, but many titles have been held back by awkward touchscreen controls. External controller support in Android has worked to address that, giving players more powerful options. It turns out a pretty big one arrived thanks to an AOSP commit this past June, granting Android gamepad mappings for the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller.
Android 4.0 brought the ability to pair third-party controllers for use with phones, but key mappings are unique to individual controllers and still had to be implemented on a per-controller basis. The Nintendo Switch Joy-Cons (only marginally better than touch controls) have been supported for some time, and now the Pro Controller has gained compatibility as well. Attempting to use the Pro prior to Android 10 left most buttons on the controller unusable — and correspondingly, games unplayable.
In testing I was only able to get the controller working with a Bluetooth connection —a wired USB connection had Android recognizing the device, but not accepting inputs. To connect the controller to your phone, you must disconnect it from your Switch and enter it into pairing mode by pressing the button adjacent to the charging port. The device should now be available to connect in Bluetooth settings.
The Switch Pro Controller's USB Type-C port and pairing button.
Some buttons are oddly inconsistent—I’m a firm believer that the ‘A’ button should be for selection and the ‘B’ button is to return—but the arrangement is still fully functional and an excellent choice for gaming.
You can try the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller with some of these supported games:
- Google Git
- XDA Developers