Play GameCube games on Wii U and How to Do So

Can we play GameCube games on Wii U controllers? How to actually do that, and what do we need? This article will walk you step by step through that.


Part 1: What is a GameCube?

Similar to Xbox One and PlayStation 4, GameCube is pretty much a console for home video games released in 2001 by Nintendo. Furthermore, it’s the 6th video game console’s generation that features optical discs for its main storage media.

Because this video game console only features a few online games like GameCube broadband and modem adapter, users and players of GameCube are only able to gain access to some in-game exclusive elements or features using a Wii U controller.

Even though the Wii U controller supports GameCube games, many players still complain that there is trouble doing so. Are you able to play GameCube games on Wii U? If not, then this tutorial will absolutely be beneficial to you. We will get into the different ways of playing GameCube games on Wii U. Keep reading and learn more.

PS: let’s learn more about how to record Wii U gameplay with ease.


Part 2: Can You Play GameCube Games on Wii U?

Here’s the big question: can GameCube games be played on Wii U anyway? As a matter of fact, you can not directly play GameCube games on Wii U controllers, sadly. If the GameCube games are during the state of release, then you do not have the ability to play them on Wii U. This happens because the game disc is not readable towards the disc drive. Furthermore, GameCube does some limitations towards the Wii U controller as well as the memory card.

Don’t give up now; there are still methods that can allow you to access and play GameCube games on Wii U. For example, you can use Nintendont to support you in solving this problem. Nintendo might be unfamiliar to you, but it is a software of Homebrew that could be utilized to restore compatibility for numerous GameCube games to Wii U. Additionally, it has the ability to add several extra elements to boot those GameCube games you want to play on a Wii U controller.

We can say that Nintendont is a bootloader suitable for many GameCube games since it just acts this way. To play the GameCube games on Wii U efficiently, you are required to turn the games into a file of disc image since Wii U can not directly play and access the original discs of GameCube.

You might be curious about the extra features added to the Wii U controller. These extra features are:

  1. You are able to get access to a GameCube console adapter that is suitable for Wii U.
  2. It allows local storage for saving games through the emulation of memory cards.
  3. It features Bluetooth controllers, for example, PS 3&4 controllers
  4. Support USB controllers (mostly)
  5. A cheat database accessible

Now, you know the answer to the big question. Now, the following parts below will get deeply into the steps and lead you to the solution of playing GameCube games on a Wii U controller. Keep reading the following contents.

Besides, here are the Best Wii Games for Kids and the Rarest GameCube Games for your reference.


Part 3: What Should We Do In Order to Play GameCube Games on Wii U?

If you want to play GameCube games on Wii U controllers smoothly and happily, there are three things you are required to finish. The three things will be demonstrated below, be sure to read carefully.

1: Formatting the SD Card into FAT32

During the whole course of installing and launching the Nintendont and Homebrew Channel on the Wii U controller, an SD card is always required. In this case, making sure that your SD card has the format of FAT32 can provide you 16GB of free space for a start.

Now comes the question: What should we do to format our SD card into FAT32? Basically, there are two options you can choose from. Either the Window free SD formatter or the built-in tool will do the job for you. Below are the detailed steps:

Using Diskpart

#1: Through your card reader, insert the SD card you have into your computer.

#2: Now, click Win+R on your keyboard. After that, you should input diskpart.exe into the run box then press OK.  

#3: Type in the commands below ONE BY ONE. Remember to click Enter after finishing typing each one.

  • list disk
  • select disk * (replace * with the disk number of your SD card)
  • list partition
  • select partition * (replace * with the partition number of your SD partition)
  • format fs=fat32 quick
Format an SD Card into FAT32

There are some limitations to this method, though. Using Diskpart is only able to format SD cards that are smaller than 64GB. If you are using a larger SD card, this method won’t work. However, the next method enables users to use a larger SD card.

Using MiniTool Partition Wizard

#1: Insert the SD card into your computer. Make sure that it’s well connected.

#2: Launch MiniTool Partition Wizard. You will enter the main interface. Now click and choose the SD partition that is in the disk map. From the menu on the left, click on the Format Partition.

#3: Now, you will see a window popped up. In the “File System,” select FAT32 and click “OK” to save these changes.

#4: Finally, to execute the formatting you’ve just done, press the “Apply” button.

MiniTool Partition Wizard

We are done with the two methods of formatting your SD card into FAT32. When you have a FAT32 card prepared, continue reading the parts below.

2: Installing the Homebrew Channel on Wii U

The main thing that makes GameCube games available on Wii U is Homebrew since you are hacking the Wii U controllers with Homebrew to make everything work. Homebrew is software that does the hacking job and allows you to install Nintendont on Wii U. If you already have Homebrew installed in Wii U, please ignore this part of the tutorial. If not, read this part and carefully follow these steps.

Warning: This operation may cause potential damage to your Wii U system, leading to loss of data. Preparing a backup beforehand could be a great decision just in case of some emergency.

#1: Download the files below first. Remember, in a directory, save them on your device.

#2: Transferring the Wii U hack files into the FAT32 SD card you prepared.

  1. Connect your FAT32 SD card with your computer
  2. Create a new directory folder and name it “wiiu.”
  3. Unzip the downloaded “Homebrew launcher” file you just downloaded and put it into the SD card you connected. After that, this file should become a structure of the wiiu/apps/homebrew_launcher file.
  4. Unzip the “JSTypeHax-Payload” folder, now send the Elf file into the wiiu named directory that is on the SD card.
  5. To your SD card, transfer the Homebrew app store file.

#3: Start the Homebrew Channel on your Wii U controller.

  1. Eject your SD card that is in your computer first. Then connect it with your Wii U controller with power off. After the process, power on/opens the controller.
  2. With a stable and suitable internet condition, run the Homebrew launcher in your Wii U controller.
  3. Open the browser you have. Inside the search box, type wiidb.de and search. Wait for a couple of seconds, then save the URL in your Wii U bookmarks.
  4. Tap the link with “HAXX” and wait patiently for Homebrew to work.

Select the link for HB App Store to explore Homebrew applications and Homebrew games. After that, you will see many retro games opening. However, the retro games are only available through the Wii U browser. To hack Homebrew on the Wii U permanently, you can refer to this video.

Whenever you finished installing Homebrew on your Wii U controller, continue and follow the following parts below.

3: Installing Nintendont on Wii U controller

#1: Have another SD card formatted as FAT32 prepared. Go over the steps explained above in section 1 if you forget.

#2: Go to the Nintendont project on the GitHub page. On the page, scroll down and navigate to the section of Quick Installation. After that, you should download the files below from there.

The files you need to download are:

  • icon.png
  • meta.xml
  • loader.dol

#3: Save the files you just downloaded to the new SD card (formatted to FAT32) and have the folder named “apps/Nintendont/.”

#4: Find the file named loader.dol. Rename it to “boot.dol” but keep it inside the folder.

#5: Inside the root directory of your new SD card, create a folder named /games.

#6: Copy and paste the files of GameCube games into the /game folder(directory).

#7: Put the new FAT32 SD card you just prepared in your Wii U controller and start the Homebrew launcher.

#8: After starting the Homebrew launcher, choose Nintendont and wait for it to load and process the GameCube game title.

#9: When the Nintendont is running and progressing on Wii U, you may go to the setting screen and have the Memcard Emulation on. With that finished, use the SD card that you have been using all this time to store your games with a ripping tool.

Installing Nintendont on Wii U controller to play Gamecube games

#10: Don’t leave the setting screen. You can go to the Update menu in the setting screen and select the Download controllers.zip file. After that, you can access USB controllers on Wii U. A PS4 controller could be an example.

Congratulations, you have successfully installed Nintendont on Wii U. To play the GameCube games, please insert your disc full of GameCube games & start playing.


Conclusion on Can Wii U Play GameCube Games

Obviously, we can play GameCube games on Wii U controllers. Even though it is not supported at first, we can still access it by using Nintendont. Nintendont is important, but without the FAT32 SD card and Homebrew, you still can’t play GameCube games on Wii U. That’s pretty much it for the tutorial, and thanks for reading.