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Complaining About Technology, part 410,757,864,530

July 24, 2018

I will use my blog for totally shameless technology kvetching because I know it gets tiresome to see it on social media all the time. Sorry, whoever’s reading this.

I bought a Wii U Pro Controller partially on the basis of being able to use it with my PC. I’ve heard good things about how the controller feels to use (particularly the D-pad) and I looked it up and I found the program Wiinupro/Wiinusoft, which seemed pretty straightforward. Install this driver, install the program, pair the controller, and it just maps all the buttons to Xbox buttons. What could be simpler?

Except that it didn’t work for me. The controller pairs with my computer, and everything looks like it should be working, but when I push buttons on the controller nothing happens.

So I go into the help forums and see if anyone else had my problem, and in the thread titled “FAQ & common issues” I see this incredibly reassuring statement:

Q: My Wii/U controller LEDs don’t stop flashing after I connect it to WiinUPro/Soft and there isn’t any input detection.

A: This can be a tricky one to solve […]

Which is developer code for “you’re fucked, turns out our software doesn’t work. Oops!”

Which, I get it. This isn’t an intended use of the Wii U pro controller. It’s a hack. Hacking is hard. You’re pushing the boundaries, doing weird shit. There are going to be issues.

But like, maybe put that warning on the main page of your website, or the part of your website where you download the program. Just a little “hey, there’s maybe a 50% chance that this won’t work and there’s nothing you can do about it.” Just a little heads-up.

Oh well. I probably would have bought the controller anyway because I’m an idiot. It does feel quite nice in the hands and I bet it’ll be an improvement over using the Game Pad. I’m hoping that this will help me get into Breath of the Wild - I think trying to use the game pad is a big part of why I haven’t been able to get into that game. It uses the shoulder buttons an awful lot, and trying to use the game pad in a traditional “thumbs on the sticks, fingers on the triggers” configuration feels incredibly awkward. We shall see. I haven’t been able to try it yet because I got it used and it didn’t have a charge, so I let it charge while I was asleep. I shall report back.

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