Is it possible to play Pokémon Unite with a Gamecube controller?
Unite Pokémon really took the MOBA landscape by storm, topped the Twitch charts for a while and stirred up a lot of good and bad press on the side. The game would best be categorized as the perfect MOBA to start with. I would almost call it MOBA-lite, but Pokémon Unite has all of the main elements of the genre.
The game was first released on the Nintendo Switch on July 21st. I’ve always wondered how best to play the game. Would it be in handheld mode? Are you playing the game docked with Joy-Cons on Roulette tables? With a professional controller? How about a standard Gamecube controller hooked into the adapter?
Can you actually play Pokémon Unite with a Gamecube controller?
The short answer is yes, but to a certain extent. The game accepts an attached Gamecube controller with the adapter but recognizes it like a Pro controller. The layout assumes that it has all the functions and buttons of a Pro controller. This means that it assumes there is a second Z button and clickable sticks.
The Gamecube controller is perhaps one of the most timeless pieces of Nintendo hardware, but it doesn’t come without its caveats that carry over into modern gaming. I’ve actually played a few games with it and performed pretty well. Hell, I even took a couple of wins along the way. Although the game is very playable with this controller, some minor adjustments need to be made to play optimally.
The standard controller scheme for the game is for players to use the shoulder and trigger buttons as part of their movements. The original binding for the Unite Move is ZL, a button that the regular Gamecube controller doesn’t have. You can swap that out with the Show Map button (L) so there is now a tied option for it.
With this little solution, you can play Pokémon Unite without any problems. However, you will miss features like viewing the map, reviewing the minimap, and viewing details of other players you defeat in the middle of a game. If you are not completely on board when playing with Joy-Cons due to possible drift problems in the future, the Gamecube controller is a passable alternative, but I would recommend simply playing the game with the latest hardware that has all the features disposes.