Custom GBA Cartridge Turns Handheld Into Controller for Nintendo Switch

A custom Game Boy Advance cartridge turns Nintendo’s handheld console into a working controller for the Nintendo Switch system.

Custom GBA Cartridge Turns Handheld Into Controller for Nintendo Switch


  • A modder creates a custom GBA cartridge to turn the handheld into a Switch controller.
  • The custom cartridge allows the GBA to act as a wireless controller for PCs, tablets, and smartphones as well.
  • The device is pricey but unique. However, it has no X/Y button support for Nintendo DS backwards compatibility.

A hardware modder has created a custom Game Boy Advance cartridge that turns the handheld system into a controller for the Nintendo Switch console. Gamers have created a variety of unique and interesting hardware modifications for the Nintendo Switch, including custom Switch docks and controllers based on other properties to modify completely different electronics to make it function with the console. Some of the more interesting hardware modifications are the ones that make other hardware act as a controller for the Switch.

The Game Boy Advance handheld console was a successor to the original Game Boy system, released in 2001 to mostly critical acclaim. It was one of Nintendo's biggest advances in portable gaming, boasting a lot of good features that were a marked improvement over the original Game Boy. The GBA also boasted an impressive library of games that are fondly remembered to this day, such as Golden Sun, Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire, and Fire Emblem. Fans have continued to express their love for GBA by creating a number of homebrew software and other games. One modder has created a unique cartridge that allows the handheld system to communicate with the Nintendo Switch.

This custom cartridge was created by insideGadgets, a hardware modification group that specializes in gaming mods and prototypes for Nintendo systems, even selling some of these modified parts online. One of the latest products showcased on the group's social media was a new GBA Bluetooth TX cart. This allows players to connect their GBA as a Bluetooth controller to any gaming system they'd like, including the Nintendo Switch. A demonstration video was posted on Twitter that showed the cartridge being inserted into the GBA, where it was able to communicate with the Switch in order to play Super Mario Bros. Wonder.

GBA Bluetooth TX Cart Working with Nintendo Switch

The post notes that the custom cartridge makes the GBA console behave like an 8BitDo Zero 2 wireless controller, which means it is compatible with a gamer's PC, tablet, or smartphone as well. InsideGadgets also notes that gamers could pre-register and get an email notification about when the device will be available in stock, but note that due to the device's complexity, it will be a bit pricier than other modified devices available on the website, costing $92 USD according to the store page.

When asked if the cartridge would work with backwards compatible models of the Nintendo DS system, the account said yes, though there isn't any X/Y button support for it. Not only that, the Nintendo DS would also need a homebrew application in order to access the GBA cartridge itself. Regardless, this seems like a fun mod for enthusiasts of both the Nintendo Switch and Game Boy Advance.

Brand Nintendo Original Release Date March 3, 2017 Hardware Versions Switch , Nintendo Switch Lite , Nintendo Switch OLED Model Original MSRP (USD) Switch: $299; Lite: $199.99; OLED: $349.99 Weight Switch: 0.88 LBS; Lite: 0.61 LBS; OLED: 0.93 LBS See at Official SiteSee at WalmartSee at Amazon

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