The Nintendo Wii might not be as popular as the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 during its life cycle between 2006 and 2013, but the gaming console does have its fair share of incredible games released at the time, such as The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword. In 2023, can we now play Wii games on our computers, especially if we don’t have a Wiimote on hand?
Yes, we can now play Wii games on a PC without using a Wiimote. This is done by running Wii games through a Dolphin Emulator and configuring the Wiimote button controls and settings according to our preferred mouse and keyboard setup.
This means we can continue to enjoy outstanding Wii games, like Metroid Prime 3: Corruption and Monster Hunter 3 (a.k.a. Monster Hunter Tri), without needing to buy a used Wii console and its wireless motion controller from third-party markets anymore.
The whole process works similarly to how PS2 games can be run on computers via emulators as well, meaning that old-gen games can still be revisited even if we’ve missed out on purchasing their respective previous-generation consoles, all those years ago.
However, the same can’t be said for Xbox games on computers because many of them aren’t playable unless we have an Xbox controller (or any other Xbox-supported gamepad) connected to the PC. Still, this might be a good reason for us to explore Wii games today, if we’ve never done so in the past.
How Do I Play Wii Games on PC Using a Mouse and Keyboard?
Now that we know Wii games can be played on the computer without using a Wiimote, how do we do that, exactly?
Well, after installing the Dolphin Emulator on a PC:
- Launch the Dolphin Emulator.
- Click on the “Controllers” tab once the program has been booted.
- Tick the “Emulate the Wii’s Bluetooth adapter” option.
- On the corresponding Wii Remote section (usually, it’s Wii Remote 1), press the drop-down bar and select ‘Emulate Wii Remote”.
- Press ‘Configure’ to set up the respective Wii button mappings according to our mouse and keyboard preferences.
Check out Wasi teck gamers’ tutorial on how to do it properly:
Nintendo is notorious for never releasing PC games throughout the years, prioritizing their exclusive game releases towards boosting the sales of their video game consoles, like the Wii and Nintendo Switch.
From a business standpoint, I can understand Nintendo’s long-term strategy here. That being said, given that the company’s most successful venture probably started with the Nintendo Switch in 2017, I would say that the company might have played its cards poorly before the Switch’s release.
Still, since we can now play Wii games by using a mouse and keyboard, this might be a positive change for the company. With more PC gamers able to experience Wii games again after all these years, it might just boost the sales of the Nintendo Switch – or Nintendo’s upcoming game consoles too – very soon.
I concur certain advantages come with playing games on a portable device, which might make it easier to play games instead on the PC. Nevertheless, when it comes to sheer graphical power and modular capacity, gaming computers win by a mile!
Can I Play Wii Games using Controllers on PC?
When it comes to PC gaming, many of us already have gamepads at home to play games with. So, can we use them to play Wii games too?
Yes, we can use PC gaming controllers to play Wii games on the computer as well. This can be done by launching the Dolphin Emulator and rebinding the Wiimote buttons according to the layout of the particular gaming joystick that we are using.
Games of every genre are available on PC, so many of us already have gamepads, such as the Logitech F310 Gamepad or Xbox Elite Wireless Controller, to play games like Devil May Cry 5 and Elden Ring. After all, not every game is made for the mouse and keyboard.
Plus, PC games are also commonly believed to be cheaper than their console counterparts, so many of us eventually opt to play them on gaming-ready desktops instead.
In terms of enjoying Wii games on the PC, the Dolphin Emulator is an extremely handy app that is compatible with many kinds of gaming controllers, making it a must-have program for Nintendo fans who game on their computers.
How Do I Use the Wiimote to Play Wii Games on PC?
For those still wanting to play Wii games using a Wiimote on PC, how do we do that?
We need to make sure we have the following items prepared beforehand:
- A wireless-sensor MAYFLASH DolphinBar (or equivalent)
- A Wii remote
- A Wii Nunchuck controller (optional)
After acquiring them, here’s a quick rundown of what we need to do next (using MAYFLASH DolphinBar):
- Turn the DolphinBar on.
- Click on the device’s Mode button to cycle through to number 4 (blue light will appear on top of the number 4).
- Press the Sync button on the left surface of the device, and a blinking light will appear.
- Press the Sync button located on the Wiimote next (might need to take the back cover off), to pair it with the DolphinBar.
Usually, that’s all that needs to be done. Still, if the Wiimote isn’t functioning after being paired with the DolphinBar, we might need to check a few Controller settings via the Dolphin Emulator:
- Launch the Dolphin Emulator.
- Click the “Controllers” tab.
- Make sure the connected Wii Remote (e.g. Wii Remote 1) is selected as “Real Wii Remote”, under the “Emulate the Wii’s Bluetooth adapter” section.
- Turn on “Continuous Scanning”.
- Hit “Refresh”, and that should do the trick.
For a more hands-on guide, here’s UCG Tutorials’ explanation on the matter:
Setting up emulators on a PC can be quite confusing sometimes. When done correctly, though, then many console games can be run perfectly on the computer, including PS Vita games like Killzone: Mercenary.
Can the Wiimote be used as a PC Gaming Controller?
Now, some of us might be curious to know whether the Wiimote can also be used as a PC gamepad or not.
Surprisingly, the Wiimote can be used as a generic PC gaming controller as well. Although its use is somewhat questionable given that we won’t normally have a Wiimote lying around when playing PC games, it can still be done albeit through the use of third-party software.
The process of successfully pairing a Wiimote to a computer can be slightly challenging, though. Here’s Neil NSD’s breakdown of the whole setup:
Essentially, we will need to:
- Pair the Wiimote to the PC, commonly as a Bluetooth device.
- Configure the Wiimote settings in the Dolphin Emulator (for playing Wii games)
- Install the software, GlovePIE, to allow us to remap all PC gaming buttons (mouse, keyboard, etc.) to the Wiimote keys.
This is a lot more complicated than using a PS5 controller for PC gaming (which is readily available on the market), so I don’t wholeheartedly recommend it. Nevertheless, I don’t speak for all PC gamers out there because some of us might find the Wiimote to be more fun to play with, especially those that already have a Wii console collecting dust in the basement.
So, why not make use of it while we can, right?