[Impressions] Be Wary of the Switch Up Game Enhancer

Written by Joachim Ziebs

Introducing: Switch Up Game Enhancer

Sometimes things sound very good on paper. That sentiment directly applies to the central concept of the Switch Up Game Enhancer: use your older or non-Nintendo controller on your Nintendo Switch. That isn’t all the device claims to do, though. It can use mods to give you an advantage in your favourite games. That’s what the Switch Up Game Enhancer promises.

To elaborate, the cute device promises to connect your Wii U Pro controller, PS3/PS4 controllers and your Xbox 360/ Xbox One controllers to your Switch. Your Joy-Con and Pro Controller are also supported. As an added benefit, Collective Minds claims that the Switch Up also helps you play Pokémon Sword and Shield, Fortnite, Breath Of The Wild and Super Mario Odyssey by automating certain button presses and navigational inputs (aka mods). Curiosity killed the cat and I ended up ordering the device to breathe new life into my Wii U Pro controller.

First impressions, first problems

Before connecting the device to your dock, you have to enable “Pro Controller wired communication” in the settings. Then, simply plug in the Switch Up, press the sync button on it, press the sync button on the controller and that’s it. It’s that simple!

That done, I wanted to play a few minutes of Animal Crossing: New Horizons. I loaded up the game to run around a bit and catch some bugs or fell some trees. However, running was out of the question. My island inhabitant crawled along even with the B-button pressed.

I decided to switch games and loaded up Trine. Here movement was fine, but controlling the shield, bow or magic with the right stick was totally off. Something was definitely wrong!

What’s up with the thing?

Let’s test everything in detail. The D-Pad worked fine as did all the buttons. No problems there. Both sticks, however, gave me grief and a look into the calibration option of the Switch directly showed why. Even when moved all the way, the Switch registered only a halfway movement. That would explain the crawling in Animal Crossing. I tried calibrating the sticks, but that proved to be impossible.

A quick look on the Collective Minds website showed that there was a new firmware available. Perhaps this would help? Updating the Switch Up is done with the help of a firmware update tool which is available for Windows and Apple computers. The small program will automatically install the latest firmware on the device once it is connected. In my case the firmware went from v2.0.2 to v2.1.3, being the latest one available. For the record, my Switch is at v10.

New firmware seals the deal?

So, did updating the Switch Up help? Yes and no. The sticks on my Wii U Pro Controller worked better, but a maximum input was still not registered as a maximum movement on the Switch. Recalibration was also still impossible. What a bummer!

As even the basic functionality of the device didn’t work sufficiently, I did not go on to test any of the further enhancement claims (aka mods). The Switch Up Game Enhancer claims a lot, but does not deliver on the most basic functionality. That’s truly a shame.

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