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:

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.


1) Ensure you are using the latest Dolphin emulator. Head to Dolphin emulator download page here:

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

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

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 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 box art. Image courtesy of Arkhandar, Nintendo and Wikipedia (

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
Nintendo Wii Wiimote and Nunchuck layout. Image courtesy of Evan Amos. Wikipedia. (

1) Run Dolphin emulator.

dolphin emulator setup controller
Dolphin emulator – Go to Controller section

Article continues below.

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2) Go to Controller section.

dolphin emulator controller settings
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 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
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
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
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.

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

  • February 5, 2020 at 12:29 pm

    Hi, Im using Dolphin 5.0-11333 for Android on a Samsung S10. I have a 8bitdo SN30 Pro+ bluetooth controller.

    I dont see the Attach MotionPlus in the controller options. I dont know what isnt working but I get stuck at the beginning of the loading screen Point the Wii Remote… I have no idea what I did wrong or where to look to solve that issue.

    Maybe some screenshots with Dolphin for Android would help me!

    Thx in advance and great PC tutorial btw.

    • February 6, 2020 at 11:21 pm

      Hi Jack,

      I’ll take a look if I can get it install on my aging tablet and share here.

      • November 8, 2022 at 9:09 am

        Hello. I think I may be a little late here. But after passing all the steps the pointer gets stuck when I got to aim mode as soon as I move it somewhere. What can it be?

        • November 9, 2022 at 6:51 am

          Hi Japhet,

          You have to be patient when using controller the emulate the WiiMote, try move your controller analog stick slowly, see if you can move it around while in aim mode.

  • February 23, 2020 at 6:28 am

    Any guide if i want it on android? Does dolphin android support motion plus?

    • February 23, 2020 at 7:13 am

      Hi Nik,

      Unfortunately it seems that Android version of Dolphin doesn’t have the MotionPlus support yet.

  • February 27, 2020 at 10:14 am


    i have a problem to draw the symbols befor getting to the dragons… it´s difikult to contoll the sword…

      • March 2, 2020 at 1:00 pm

        okay, i will 😀
        i´ll tell you how it went

        • March 4, 2020 at 5:35 pm

          Okay i got something… not a prety solution but it gets the job done 😅
          it is CHEATS 😂
          basically we are going to fly over the gate we had to draw on…

          For the cheats:
          -you need to be outside of any emulation
          -than you can anable cheats at “config”
          -than start the game but go back do dolphin
          -while the game is running go to “tools”
          -then to “cheat manager” (was not there before)

          (this video might help with this part:

          Now to our ‘Gate-Skip’ 😉:
          -in the manager you can go to “Gecko Codes”
          -there is a button to download cheat codes -click this one
          -search for this three cheats: “Master Button Activator”, “Free Fly” and “Total Position Lock”
          -follow the instructions in the Manager AND FLY 😁

          hope i could help 😊

          • March 7, 2020 at 12:37 am

            Hi Plip,

            Thank you and certainly you could help someone else who are playing using Dolphin too. Thanks!

  • March 27, 2020 at 1:45 pm

    When you say make sure you’re using the latest dolphin emulator, do you mean the latest stable one? or just the latest one in general?

  • June 12, 2020 at 3:20 am

    Hi there, I found this incredibly helpful! An issue I am having, however (when using a controller mapped) is that when I go to emulate the game, the game reads the pointer function as extremely shaky and I can’t use it even close to accurately. Any fix?

    • November 22, 2020 at 10:50 pm


      did you solve the problem?

      • November 23, 2020 at 7:28 am

        Hi Xenizen,

        Unfortunately, you have to use the analog stick then move it really slowly bit by bit so that the pointer move slowly as well.

        Hoping in the coming future, there’s update from Dolphin for this.

  • November 10, 2020 at 10:02 am

    Hi, i’m in a part of the game that i have to hold the wiiremote vertically but upside down. any idea of how do i do this??

    • November 16, 2020 at 6:34 am

      Hi Rafael,

      You may want to try to reverse the control to make it upside down. Do give it a try.

  • February 4, 2021 at 10:37 am

    Quick question. I managed to follow everything through (Thank you so much btw!) The only problem I’m having is with my right stick on my controller. When I press “c” to look around, the cursor moves to the end of the screen where I move it and it stays there. I’ll try to move it around and it moves all while still hugging the edges of the screen without re-centering. It’ll re-center if I press down on the d=pad but once I move the right stick again, it does it again.

    I tried my switch pro controller, steam controller, and ps4 controller but it keeps happening. I tried changing the distance, speed, and velocity in the config for the tilt and swing. The only thing that seems to get affected is the return speed. Any ideas?

  • June 11, 2021 at 10:25 pm

    I have the latest dolphin program and a dolphin sensor bar. I am using a legit Nintendo wii remote with motion plus add-on.

    During startup, the game recognizes everything when I do what it says, like, plug in nunchuck (okay), lie on flat surface (okay) but when it says “move cursor to center of screen” no cursor appears for me to move.

    I read somewhere that I might need to use a different sensor bar. Since I’m using a real controller, I haven’t had to do any special config with controller settings, and also can’t, as such buttons are grayed out.

    Any thoughts/suggestions?

  • September 22, 2021 at 12:35 pm

    How do I reduce the sensibility of the pointer? At the mere touch of the joystick, the pointer projects out of the screen. Ive tried recalibrating to see if it helps, but it hasnt.

    • September 23, 2021 at 7:31 am

      Hi Erika,

      Try to update to the latest Dolphin emulator to ensure you are getting the latest enhancements and to see if it helps.
      Then during game play, try to move your joystick just a little bit – considering your joystick has pressure sensitive feature (like what I see in DualShock controller). In case your joystick doesn’t have any pressure sensitive feature, it will always be 0 or 1 (0 for not move, 1 for move) thus it moves like what happened to your case.


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