How to Troubleshoot Wii Remotes

By Si Kingston

Updated September 22, 2017

The Wii remote allows you to control the characters and cursors during game play and while using the other Wii console features. When the Wii remote is not functioning properly, it can greatly affect your ability to interact with the console. Some common Wii remote issues include a remote that fails to interact or sync with the console and erratic or odd tilt of the game characters or cursor, which can be caused by a variety of different things including weak batteries, a blocked infrared sensor light or radio frequency.

Remote Not Syncing

Turn off the Wii console. Unplug the console's power cord from the power outlet. After three seconds, plug the power cord back in.

Turn the Wii console back on. The Wii "Health and Safety" screen appears on your television.

Open the flap on the front of the console, and press and hold the red "Sync" button underneath the flap for 15 seconds. This clears any current syncs and allows you to re-sync your remote with the console.

Remove the battery cover of the Wii remote. Take out the batteries.

Press and release the small red button at the bottom of the Wii remote battery bay. The blue lights on the front of the remote blink.

Press and release the "Sync" button on the Wii console again. The player LED blinks, then stays solidly lit. Once the LED is solidly lit, the remote is synced with the console. You must then repeat the steps to re-sync each additional remote.

Other Troubleshooting Tips

Fix a jerky or erratic Wii remote. Clear any obstructions from the Wii remote's pointer lens, including your fingers, a smudge, the remote jacket or sticker. Insert a new set of batteries; weak batteries could cause problems.

Remove the remote battery cover and take out the batteries. Wait for one minute and then reinsert them. Wait a few seconds, and then press any button on the Wii remote.

Remove any infrared light sources which include sunlight, candles, stoves and fireplaces. All of those things can interrupt the Wii remote's ability to communicate with the console. Remove any radio frequencies such as cordless phones, and wireless computer peripherals such as a mouse, keyboard and other similar devices.

Hold the remote with the button side facing down. Gently tap the button side of the remote against the palm of your hand. Then place the Wii remote on a flat surface during game play. If the cursor or character on the game tilts on its own, the remote must be repaired.

Replace the Wii remote batteries with a set of fresh alkaline batteries, or Nickel Metal Hydride batteries (if using rechargeable batteries), if the battery charge is depleting too fast. If the Wii remote batteries are still draining too fast, the remote must be repaired.

Press the "Home" button. Point to "Wii Remote Settings" and click "A" and then turn "On" the "Rumble" feature. Go to the Wii "Home" menu again. Point the remote at the "Wii" button at bottom-left corner of the screen. The remote rumbles.


Call Nintendo at 800-255-3700 to resolve any additional Wii remote issues or to arrange to have the company repair a Wii remote.