How to Play The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword on Dolphin emulator | Emulating WiiMote, Nunchuck and MotionPlus

If you come across to this article, that means you are trying to play the Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword Nintendo Wii game on Dolphin emulator without any of these: the original Wiimote, Nunchuck, Wii MotionPlus ot sensor bar.

This article will show exactly you how you can play the game with only controller or keyboard (in my case, I’m using a Bluetooth controller and to be honest, I haven’t tried it with a keyboard – but it should works).

Dolphin team successfully emulated MotionPlus

A little bit of background, on 26th April 2019, the team behind Dolphin emulator announced that they have mastered the way MotionPlus works in Nintendo Wii and they have incorporated their finding into what they called Virtual Wii Remote which basically means you can simply use keyboard or controller (recommended) to simulate MotionPlus. Read here for more details: https://dolphin-emu.org/blog/2019/04/26/mastering-motion/

Why I’m sharing the background here is because to play Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, you need a MotionPlus adapter attached to the original Wiimote. While all this time, Dolphin emulator has been able to play many Wii games, but not games which requires MotionPlus – the emulator can show the game screen but you won’t be able to play it. Now with the latest finding, game like Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword which requires MotionPlus is playable on Dolphin emulator.

Here’s the steps how to play The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword on Dolphin with just a controller.

I can share with you my config here, but just in case your controller isn’t compatible with my settings, here I shall detailed them.

Pre-requisites

1) Ensure you are using the latest Dolphin emulator. Head to Dolphin emulator download page here: https://dolphin-emu.org/download.

2) Ensure you have the Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword disc/iso/rom already with you.

iPega 9083 bluetooth controller jilaxzone.com
I’m using iPega 9083 Bluetooth Controller. Image courtesy of iPega.hk

3) Ensure you have paired the controller and ready to use for Dolphin. A Bluetooth controller (like image above) is recommended, plus you need the controller with R1, R2, L1 and L2 trigger buttons to setup and play the game easier.

This is my setup.

FYI, I’m not playing Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword on my tablet, but on my PC. My tablet is considered aging already and unable to run Dolphin for Android properly. But I’m using the bluetooth controller to play the game on PC.

However, tough I haven’t given it a try myself, due to the limitation above (aging tablet), but all the steps I mentioned below, could also be applied to Dolphin emulator for Android too.

Nintendo Switch DIY jilaxzone.com the WaSwitch
DIY Nintendo Switch: My WaSwitch! Check here for the full details.

In case you are interested with the same controller I use, here’s amazon link to get it.

In case you can’t see the above Amazon link, do click here to get your retractable Bluetooth controller like mine.

Configure Dolphin emulator to play The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

The setup is actually pretty easy, as long as you know how the real Wii controllers work and apply them into the emulated controller.

Legend_of_Zelda_Skyward_Sword_boxart jilaxzone.com
Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword box art. Image courtesy of Arkhandar, Nintendo and Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Legend_of_Zelda_Skyward_Sword_boxart.png)

A real Wii controllers used for playing The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword consist of a WiiMote with MotionPlus on your right hand and a Nunchuck on your left hand.

Rather than imagining it, here’s the real Nintendo Wii controllers: A Nunchuck on the left hand and a Wiimote on the right hand and their buttons.

Nintendo Wii Wiimote and Nunchuck layout jilaxzone.com
Nintendo Wii Wiimote and Nunchuck layout. Image courtesy of Evan Amos. Wikipedia. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wii#/media/File:Wiimote-in-Hands.jpg)

1) Run Dolphin emulator.

dolphin emulator setup controller jilaxzone.com
Dolphin emulator – Go to Controller section

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2) Go to Controller section.

dolphin emulator controller settings jilaxzone.com
Dolphin emulator controller settings screen

3) Under the Wii Remotes section, click on “Emulate the Wii’s Bluetooth adapter” then on Wii Remote 1, choose “Emulated Wii Remote”. Click Configure.


If you don’t want all the hassle, skip the next step on download the config file. But if you want to know how I set it up and in case my config file doesn’t work for you, here’s the steps. Refer to the image below for easier understanding and setup. That’s what basically I’m going to do. To map both Nunchuck and Wiimote into a single controller. The whole Wiimote movement shall be emulated with the right analog stick.

Nintendo Wii Legend of Zelda Skyward Sword controller setup jilaxzone.com 2
Dolphin emulated Wii Remote controller setup for Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword (Wii controllers mapped to a controller)

Dolphin emulator wii remote setup configuration jilaxzone.com
Dolphin emulator Wii remote setup configuration screen for Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

4) Before proceeding, ensure you have seen the comparison between the real Wii controllers with a controller (image above) and seen the Dolphin Wii Remote setup configuration screen. To make it easier, I split into 4 different areas: A, B, C and D as indicated on image above.

Section A) Ensure you have selected the correct controller.

Section B) Ensure you have chosen Nunchuck as the extension and have ticked Attach MotionPlus (since Skyward Sword requires it).

Section C) It’s the front face buttons on the WiiMote. Refer to my image above (showing Wii controllers mapped to a controller). Set the WiiMote A, B, 1, 2, + and – button.

Section D) It’s the WiiMote DPad. Refer to my image above (showing Wii controllers mapped to a controller) to set the WiiMote DPad button accordingly.

Dolphin emulator wii nunchuck setup configuration jilaxzone.com
Dolphin emulator Wii Nunchuck setup configuration screen for Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

5) Next step is to go to Extension tab. Refer to Nunchuck configuration window above, what needed to be setup here is only the stick section, the rest you can leave it default.

Section E) This is Wii Nunchuck settings. Set the Nunchuck analog stick as well as the C and Z buttons. (If you get confused, refer to my Wii controllers mapped to a controller image).

Dolphin emulator virtual wii remote settings jilaxzone.com
Dolphin emulator Wiimote motion setup configuration screen for Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

6) Next step is the final and most important step. Go to Motion Simulation tab. This is where the Wiimote motion and MotionPlus is emulated, setup and configured. Refer to the Wiimote motion setup configuration screen above.

Section F) Point section is to setup the Wiimote pointing capability. Normally you do pointing by Wiimote only when you are doing special action, such as during bowing. So simulate this using the left analog stick on the controller (The same analog used for Nunchuck analog stick).

Section G) Tilt section is to setup the Wiimote tilting capability. Simulate this using the right analog stick on the controller. Things to note here, the setup has to be inverted. When you tilt forward, it’s like when you push the right analog stick down. When you tilt backward, it’s like when you push the right analog stick up. Left tilt to be mapped to right analog stick left and so does right tilt to be mapped to right analog stick right.

Section H) Swing section is to setup the Wiimote swinging capability. When you swing up, it’s like when you push the right analog stick up. So this doesn’t need to be inverted. When you swing down, it’s like when you push the right analog stick down. Left swing and right swing are both like when you push them to the left and right.

7) Finally, DO NOT forget to save your hard work. Save the configuration you have just done by clicking on the Save button.

Dolphin Wii Emulator Controller Config for The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword

Download the config here.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1BubWB0oKFWXrzx_moRlaHeYFkyqin1ak/view?usp=sharing

Once downloaded, if you are using Windows, put the config profile here.

C:\Users\<your ID>\Documents\Dolphin Emulator\Config\Profiles\Wiimote.

Change <your ID> to your Windows user.

Things to note: I’m using a Bluetooth Controller iPega 9083 (as seen on image above). The config may or may not work for you.

Bring it all together

Well, I wish I can explain it in a lot simpler way, but I can’t. That’s how I setup my controller to work with Dolphin to enable me to play the Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword and I couldn’t be more happy than this.

In case you have questions, don’t hesitate to drop them on the comment section below. I’ll try my best to help you out.


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