With Nintendo 64 games now included as part of the Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack, you'll probably be wanting to play them with the controller they were originally designed for. Fortunately, Nintendo has also brought us wireless Nintendo 64 controllers that are available to purchase by anybody signed up to Nintendo's online service.
These new Nintendo 64 pads are of the same lineage as the NES and SNES controllers that launched alongside the service, and although the three-pronged N64 pad divides opinion, there's no denying that these new pads offer the most authentic N64 experience.
Below we've answered a few questions regarding the new pad, its features, how much they cost and where you can get hold of them.
- Every Nintendo Switch Online N64 Game Ranked
- Nintendo Switch Online - Every NES, SNES, N64 And Sega Genesis Game Available
When can I get these Nintendo 64 pads, and how much do they cost?
The new N64 controller is available exclusively on Nintendo's own websites, and can only be picked up by those who have an active Nintendo Switch Online subscription – if you're not signed into Nintendo's site with a qualifying account, you won't be able to purchase the controllers.
Each pad costs £39.99 (delivery is free over £20 in the UK), and $49.99 in the US, although stock has been hard to come by in recent times. If you missed out when these controllers first hit the market, keep checking at the links below.
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You might also be interested in checking the following:
- Where To Buy The Nintendo Switch Online NES Controllers
- Where To Buy The Nintendo Switch Online Super NES Controllers
- Where To Buy The Nintendo Switch Online Sega Genesis / Mega Drive Controllers
Are these Nintendo 64 controllers identical to the originals?
The NSO N64 pads retain the size, shape and feel of the originals but add the convenience of wireless connectivity, so you're not tethered to the console and forced to sit 3 feet from your 65-inch 4K telly.
The Nintendo 64 pads are charged via USB A-C cable. It also features in-built rumble without the need for a Rumble Pak. Here's some exciting blurb from Nintendo itself:
- Form Factor – Play enhanced Nintendo 64™ games the way they're meant to be played— using a full-size Nintendo 64 style controller!
- Rumble Functionality – Rumble support in compatible games, such as Star Fox™ 64 – no Rumble Pak™ required!
- Rechargeable Battery – Use the included USB A-C cable to charge the controller
This new version also includes a tiny 'ZR' button on the top (with the 'Z' button underneath presumable acting as 'ZL' on this pad) which further extend their usefulness for Switch games outside the Nintendo 64 library offerings. The new pad also has Home and screenshot Capture buttons on the top.
Do I need a Nintendo Switch Online subscription in order to buy the Nintendo 64 controller?
Unfortunately, yes. The NES controllers, which came in a pack of two, were (and still are, in fact) available to purchase exclusively for Nintendo Account holders with a Nintendo Switch Online subscription and it was the same deal with the SNES versions and with these, too.
That'll need to be a proper subscription, too — you can't get them if you're enrolled on the free trial version. It does appear, however, that you don't need to subscribe to the higher Expansion Pass tier of Nintendo Switch Online in order to purchase the N64 pad.
Do I need a Nintendo 64 controller to play N64 games with Nintendo Switch Online?
No! It's important to note that these pads are in no way required to enjoy your Nintendo 64 - Nintendo Switch Online games (breathe!) on your Switch — your Joy-Con or Pro Controller will function perfectly well for playing classics like Super Mario 64, Banjo-Kazooie, and F-Zero X. These are optional extras that simply offer a more 'authentic' feel for enthusiasts and nostalgia addicts. They do feel particularly lovely in the hands, though.
However, remember that you will need to have paid for the subscription to the NSO Expansion Pass to access those N64 games.
Can I play non-N64 games on Switch using the Nintendo Switch Online N64 controller?
You certainly can, although the different buttons might cause compatibility issues. Here are the details direct from the horse's (Nintendo's) mouth:
This Nintendo 64 controller can also be used as a Nintendo Switch Pro Controller for software titles other than Nintendo 64 games, but some software titles may not be compatible due to the Nintendo 64 controller's different button layout.
Got any questions about the wireless Nintendo 64 controllers for Switch? Share them below and we'll do our best to answer them!