Wii controllers keep losing connection. What can I do?

by Andrew J. Brehm   Last Updated August 10, 2018 13:14 PM

I have a Wii and two controllers. In the last few months the controllers lose the connection to the Wii rather often. It's bad enough that we cannot play Mario Kart any more (because one player gets disconnected every few seconds). If I play Super Mario All Stars on my own, it disconnects less often, but when it does, it's always in a jump (which then ends, catastrophically for poor Mario).

I tried replacing the battery sets, thinking that maybe the rechargeable battery sets had issues. But that didn't work.

Nothing in the setup or the room has changed. Connectivity was perfect before this started with rarely a disconnection happening.

I checked for bluetooth devices in the vicinity but bluetooth is switched off in all computers around.

Any ideas?

Answers 7

I highly doubt that interference is the problem. Is your connection between Wii and Wii-mote permanent? In other words, does your wii immediately recognizes your Wii-motes when you turn it on? If not so, you might want to change the connection to permanent.

Because you are saying that your batteryset has been replaced, my best bet would be that the BT receiver in your console is broken, or the battery contacts in your Wii Mote. You should consult your retailer, and if they cannot fix it, Nintendo can.

October 07, 2011 15:53 PM

It is highly likely that this issue is not the result of interference. Interference is often indicated by erratic or inconsistent behavior rather than disconnection.

It is possible that your battery terminals have become damaged or bent out of position. The act of performing in-game motion controls may be temporarily unseating your batteries, causing the disruption. Rechargeable batteries can sometimes be the cause of this issue due to the fact that some brands differ slightly in size than traditional batteries. Jamming in slightly oversized batteries can bend or push contacts out of alignment. This can result in the oversized batteries working perfectly while any differing brands or types of batteries do not.

My suggestion is to try to use the same batteries or a replacement using the same brand and type to see if this rectifies the problem. It is also possible however that the wii-motes are permanently damaged.

March 05, 2012 19:52 PM

This sounds like a wireless or console issue. If it was a wiimote issue it would not have started with both at the same time.

In order to totally rule out wireless connection issues I recommend that you move the Wii away from where it is and closer toward where you are when you play. I've seen strange wireless issues like this before and they've always been solved by just moving things away from each other or the devices that are trying to communicate closer to each other. This will do both of these with little effort.

It's worth noting that the interference may not just be from other Bluetooth devices. If moving the console works try to move the console back and move any other wireless device away from it one at a time.

Do you live in an apartment? It's possible a device your neighbor has is causing a problem. It would explain why this was so sudden.

Many people are mentioning battery issues. Here are some things to check to rule this out. It's been my experience that the Wiimote battery compartment is very tight. Is this the case for you? Are there any signs of corrosion?

Lastly, If you can, have a friend bring over their Wii and Wiimotes. Check that your Wiimotes work with their Wii and your Wii works with their Wiimotes. You should be able to single out if the problem is your Wii, your Wiimotes, or your house form this test.

March 17, 2013 06:15 AM

I had the same problem when ALL the other problems (batteries, distance, disturbance) was all ruled out. The magic which fixed the problem:


Beside turning off, also take out the power cable from the Wii-console, wait some 15-20 seconds to make sure all condensators are discharged. Then add power cable back - and voila! Everything is working again!

Kjell Arne
Kjell Arne
September 25, 2014 19:53 PM

The reason your Wiimote drops out (yes even if it's brand spanking new) it has an issue with the bluetooth transmitter. This is all too common.

Symptoms: wiimote starts blinking during gaming; Lights go on but immediately off while attempting to turn on the wiimote. Homebrew refuses to register the wiimote, (just stubborn as hell attempting 2 player on homebrew snes emulators etc). It works on Console, but tends to drop out on PC emulators of the Wii (dolphin).

Nintendo doesn't use the same hardware in all their wiimotes. Many use intel based bluetooth and others use toshiba bluetooth. Each wiimote will be random. It's hit and miss. You may have to buy a new wiimote because sometimes they ship with issues.

May 08, 2015 15:57 PM

I had the same problem. When I wanted to change my batteries to see if that would solve the problem, I noticed a tiny piece of cloth in the battery case. I removed it with some pliers and it started working good again. So maybe you should check your battery case to see if anything is blocking contact with the wiimote.

August 10, 2018 12:47 PM

You should also check if there are any reflecting objects (e.g. mirrors) close to the sensor bar which could redirect the signals from the wiimote and cause the sensor bar not to notice the signals

August 10, 2018 12:55 PM

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