Modder uses Game Boy as Switch controller thanks to ingenious hack

Rosalie Newcombe
Image from the insideGadgets YouTube video, showing the GBA controlling the Nintendo Switch.

A Game Boy modder has created a GBA cartridge that can transform your old Game Boy Advance into a Nintendo Switch controller.

There are heaps of Switch controllers out there, from bigger options to classic throwbacks. Now, a modder has even created a way to use the original Game Boy Advance as a Nintendo Switch controller.

Modder insideGadgets shared a new video on their YouTube channel, showcasing a Game Boy Advance being used to play the Nintendo Switch. The video showcases them playing Super Mario Wonder with a GBA, instead of the Switch Lite.

insideGadgets was able to use the Game Boy Advance as a Switch controller thanks to a custom GBA cartridge, named a ‘GBA Bluetooth TX cart.’ Originally reported by Time Extension, the cart looks almost identical to a typical GBA cartridge. However, instead of running a game, it lets you use your GBA as a wireless controller on the Switch or any device with Zero 2 support.

The GBA Bluetooth TX cart works similarly to an 8BitDo Zero 2 controller and can be used on a Switch, PC, Raspberry Pi, or Android. The GBA buttons can even be re-mapped to your liking, by just using the options provided by the cart.

With the Nintendo Switch Online service now having a selection of Game Boy and Game Boy Advance games, having access to the original hardware’s button layout seems like a match made in retro-heaven. However, unlike the budget-friendly 8BitDo Zero 2 controller, the unique GBA cart doesn’t come cheap.

The Bluetooth GBA cart, listed as ‘coming soon’ on the insideGadgets website, will set you back $89. Its high price point is equivalent to around four of the 8BitDo Zero 2 controllers, priced at $20 each. According to insideGadgets, as posted on their X/Twitter page, the high price point is due to “the complexity” of how the cart is made.

If you have a few Game Boy Advance consoles or a Game Boy Micro, the custom-made GBA cart could become a fun weekend project. You can sign up to be notified on the insideGadgets website when the GBA Bluetooth TX cart will be in stock.