Setting Up Wii Remotes

by Carlos Soto ; Updated September 22, 2017

When Nintendo released the Wii console in 2006, it immediately achieved worldwide popularity and commercial success. The Wii’s simplicity and ease of use has endeared the system to an audience of nontraditional gamers; however, since the Wii uses wireless Bluetooth controllers instead of wired ones, connecting Wii remotes to the system can be a bit complicated.

Initial Setup

Make sure your Wii system is properly set up, with A/V cables connected to your TV and AC adapter connected to a wall outlet. Plug the sensor bar cable into the plug on the back of the Wii.

Place the sensor bar either on top of your TV or just below it. Center the sensor bar with the TV screen. If the TV is on the floor, connect the sensor bar to the sensor bar stand for better reception. When the Wii is fully connected, turn the system on with the “Power” button.

Remove the Wii remote jacket and open the battery cover on the back of the remote. Insert two AA batteries into the remote.

Connecting to the Wii

To use a Wii remote with the Wii, the remote must be synchronized with the system. There are two methods to accomplish this. You can synchronize the remote in “Standard Mode,” which permanently associates the remote with the system and allows it to turn the system on; use this method when adding your remote to your home console. You can also use “One Time Mode,” which allows you to temporarily associate a remote with a console; use this method when you bring your remote to a friend’s house or vice versa.

To synchronize the remote in “Standard Mode,” open the SD card slot on the front of the Wii console. Press the red “Sync” button inside the SD card compartment, and then press the “Sync” button inside the Wii Remote’s battery compartment. The blue indicator on the front of the remote will flash to indicate that it is synchronizing with the console. When the synchronization is successful, it will stop flashing. Close the SD compartment, and replace the remote’s battery cover and jacket.

To synchronize a remote in “One Time Mode,” first press the “Home” button on a remote that is synchronized with the system. Select “Wii Remote Settings” from the list displayed on the TV screen. In the remote settings menu, point the remote at the “Reconnect” button and press “A.” When prompted, simultaneously press the “1” and “2” buttons on each remote you wish to temporarily synchronize with the system. The LED lights on the remotes will blink; when they stop blinking, the process is complete. In the “Wii Remote Settings” menu you can also alter the volume of the remote’s internal speaker, or turn the rumble feature on or off.

Insert your hand into the remote’s wrist strap, and fasten the strap around your wrist. Always wear your wrist strap to prevent injury or damage to the remote.

About the Author

Based in New Mexico, Carlos Soto has written video gaming and technology articles since 2005. His writing has appeared on popular websites such as GameFAQs and Destructoid. He earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in dramatic writing from New York University.