Wii Controller Troubleshooting

By Brad Maddy

Updated September 22, 2017

The Nintendo Wii Remote, or "Wiimote," uses motion-sensing technology to control your movements in a Wii game. Sometimes, the Wii Remote's cursor fails to appear on the screen, or your movements don't properly translate to the game you're playing. If this is the case, the first thing you should do is replace the remote's batteries; weak batteries are the cause of many Wiimote problems. There are several other things you can do to troubleshoot your Wii remote.

Connections and Interference

Make sure that your Wii Remote's sensor bar is securely plugged into the back of the console and that there are no objects blocking the communication between the remote and the sensor bar. Interference from external light, heat or radio-wave sources can also be picked up by the sensor bar and cause problems. Keeping a clear path between the sensor bar and the remote will eliminate many problems.

If your Wii remote still isn't functioning properly, Nintendo recommends turning the Wii remote upside down, so that the buttons face the floor. Gently tap the back of the remote. This tests the remote’s directional sensor.

Recognition Failure

If the Wii console does not recognize the Wii remote, try the re-syncing procedure. Press and hold the sync button on the Wii console for 15 seconds to reset all syncs between the console and controller. Then, press the sync button on your Wii remote and quickly press the sync button on the Wii console to sync the two devices. The sync will be complete when the blue LEDs on the remote cease blinking and one LED illuminates.

Erratic Cursor

The pointer lens is the dark area on the end of the remote by the power button. Check the pointer lens to make sure that there are no smudges or residue on it. Verify that the remote jacket does not obstruct any part of the pointer lens.

You can also adjust the sensitivity settings of the sensor bar. Click on the Wii settings icon in the Wii's main menu. Scroll to page two in the menu and click on "Sensor Bar," and then click on "Sensitivity." You will need to aim the Wii remote at the screen until only two blinking lights appear. If you see two blinking dots, the sensitivity is set correctly.