The 9 Best Wii U Accessories to Buy in 2017

Make your gaming experience more fun by buying the top Wii U gadgets

Buying Wii U accessories can sometimes be confusing because the system is compatible with both Wii U and original Wii accessories, which means there are dozens upon dozens of options for pretty much everything. Thankfully, we can simplify things for you. We’ve selected our picks for the best Wii remotes, standard controllers, screen protectors, external storage and more so you can buy the best Wii U accessories with confidence.   

A great feature of the Wii U is that not only is it backward compatible with the original Wii games and accessories, but you can also use those same accessories, such as the Wii Remote Plus, to play many Wii U games as well. This is particularly useful for multiplayer games, as it gives you a fairly inexpensive option to ensure everyone has a controller without breaking the bank. There are many third-party Wii remotes available, but we greatly prefer the official Nintendo Wii Remote Plus due to its superior durability, guaranteed compatibility, and overall better accuracy and performance compared to third-party remotes. Nintendo’s official Wii Remote Plus comes in a number of different color options as well, which is helpful to ensure everyone can keep track of their favorite remote in frantic multiplayer sessions.

The Wii U Pro Controller is undeniably fantastic, but the lack of compatibility with original Wii games is a bit of a let down. Enter the Wireless 3-In-1 Pro Controller from NEXiLUX. This controller gives you the same shape and button layout as Nintendo’s Pro Controller, but has some extra features as well. First, it works with all compatible (as in they use the Classic or Pro controller) Wii U and Wii games, as well as every game on both versions the Virtual Console. It also has a Wii Remote mode where it can mimic the motion controls of a Wii Remote Plus, which makes navigating the Wii or Wii U dashboard a breeze. Despite being a third-party controller and all of the caveats that naturally comes with, it really is an incredibly convenient controller to have around and is well worth the investment.

Most Super Smash Bros players will agree that the best way to play the series is with the classic GameCube controller. Nintendo heard the pleas of the fans and released a special USB adapter that lets you use your old GameCube controllers with Super Smash Bros U on Wii U. If you don’t already have older GameCube controllers lying around, Nintendo has also released brand new GameCube controllers for use with this adapter as well. Unfortunately, you can’t use the GameCube controllers with any other titles on Wii U, but if you are a big Super Smash Bros fan it is more than worth the price to ensure you have the best experience possible.

If you love the idea of using GameCube controllers on your Wii U, but don’t like the fact the official GameCube adapter only works with Super Smash Bros U, PDP’s Wired Fight Pad for Wii U is a great alternative. The distinctive GameCube controller shape and button layout are perfectly re-created here, and since it is a native Wii / Wii U controller and not just an adapter, it works with any and all games that can use the Wii Classic / Pro Controller. This means that it works with the Virtual Console in both Wii and Wii U modes along with just about everything else, too. Since it is a third-party pad, the build quality is a little lightweight, but since it's so cheap you can’t really go wrong with a controller as comfortable and versatile as this.

I’m not normally a big advocate of screen protectors, but it isn’t a bad idea to add an extra layer of protection to the Wii U Gamepad screen, particularly if you have younger kids playing the system. The Wii U Precision Screen Filter from Hori is inexpensive, easy to apply (and remove), and will protect the screen from dust, dings, scratches and most other calamities children can throw at it. It is officially licensed and recommended by Nintendo, so you know you’re getting the best screen protector possible.  

There aren’t a ton of racing games available for the Wii U so your options for steering wheels are basically nonexistent as far as a traditional wheel and pedal setup goes. All is not lost, however, as there is still a wheel option available in the form of steering wheel-shaped shells that utilize the motion sensing capabilities of the Wii Remote Plus. You just snap a Wii Remote Plus into the wheel, and now your steering motions are accurately re-created in the game you’re playing. Because these are just simple plastic shells, you can safely buy cheaper third-party models instead of the official Nintendo unit and save some money. Obviously the experience isn’t going to be quite the same as playing with a real wheel and pedal set, but the motion controls work great in games like Mario Kart 8 and definitely makes the games more fun to play than on a standard controller, especially for kids.

As any Wii U owner can attest to, the standard battery in the Wii U Gamepad doesn’t quite cut it. It doesn’t hold a charge very well when not in use, and only lasts for 3 hours or so when you do use it, so replacing the battery is a highly recommended upgrade for any Wii U fan. Thankfully, Nintendo made swapping the battery in the Wii U Gamepad very easy – just a couple of screws on the back of the Gamepad – and released an official replacement battery that extends the playtime on a full charge to a much more reasonable 6 to 8 hours. 

That official Nintendo battery is only available directly from Nintendo, unfortunately, (beware of low quality knock offs on Amazon!), but a reasonable, and less expensive, alternative to the official Nintendo battery is the Nyko Uboost. The Uboost simply plugs into the charging port on the bottom of the Gamepad and essentially acts as a second power source that charges the internal Gamepad battery. It does make the Gamepad slightly bulkier and heavier, but it allows you to play for twice as long than with the internal battery alone, which is more than a fair compromise.

One of the Wii U’s main drawbacks is that it only has 8 or 32GB of memory onboard; depending on what model you buy. Wii U games, thankfully, aren’t nearly as big as PS4 or Xbox One games, but if you have any interest in downloading more than a couple of games, you pretty much have to buy an external hard drive to store them. You can use any external hard drive you want as long as it is USB 3.0, but it has to either have an A/C power source or you have to plug a special cable into 2 USB ports on your Wii U to power it. A great choice that has all of these features is the MiniPro 1TB Hard Drive for Wii U. It has 1 terabyte of space and comes with both an A/C adapter and special USB cable.

The Wii U Gamepad is great with games that actually utilize the built-in touch screen well, but not all games make smart use of it, and sometimes you just want to play with a more traditional controller, so in those cases the official Wii U Pro Controller is a must have. The Pro Controller gives you precision control in almost all Wii U games and Wii U versions of Virtual Console titles, and it has an absurdly long 80-hours of playtime on one full charge. The only negative is that it isn’t compatible with original Wii software (including Wii Virtual Console titles) on the Wii U, so you’ll still need Wii remotes and classic controllers to play Wii games. For Wii U games, however, you won’t find a better traditional controller than the Wii U Pro Controller.      


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