Wavebird Controller FAQ by cvxfreak

Version: 2.1 | Updated: 10/09/11 | Printable Version

                      WaveBird Wireless Controller
                 For Nintendo GameCube and Nintendo Wii 
                         Written by: cvxfreak
                             Version: 2.1
                           October 09, 2011
                   E-mail: cvxguides[at]gmail[dot]com

Table of Contents

1. Version Updates
2. What is the WaveBird?
3. Information
4. WaveBird and Wii
5. About the Author
6. Conclusion

1. Version Updates

October 9, 2011
Version: 2.1
Just some minor format updates and an update to my e-mail address.

April 6, 2007
Version: 2.0
Wow, it's been years since I updated this FAQ. So much for being a final
version, eh? Anywho, I'm updating this FAQ to reflect better writing,
and the presence of Nintendo's next generation system, the Nintendo

2. What is the WaveBird?

The WaveBird is a wireless controller for the Nintendo GameCube system. 
It is also compatible with the Nintendo Wii. Considered the controller 
that set the standard for future consoles to come (the Xbox 360, 
PlayStation 3 and Wii use wireless controllers), the WaveBird is 
considered one of the best controllers ever created. It features 8 
buttons, 2 control sticks (the main stick and the C-stick) and a digital 
pad, as well as a compartment to hold the necessary two AA batteries.  

For more information, check out the next section, "Information".

3. Information

Here is all the information present about the WaveBird, in the form
of frequently asked questions.

Question: How much does the WaveBird Wireless Controller cost?

Answer:   The MSRP in the United States is $34.99. However, some stores 
          like Target and Circuit City sell them for $29.99. In Japan,
          the WaveBird goes for ¥4500. As of 2011, they are unavailable
          in stores as new controllers because Nintendo has
          discontinued the WaveBird. 

Question: What kind of batteries does the WaveBird require?

Answer:   The WaveBird requires two standard AA batteries. Two AA
          batteries were included with new WaveBirds.

Question: Can I use four WaveBirds with one GameCube or Wii?

Answer:   Absolutely, but make sure each WaveBird is assigned a
          different channel that corresponds the receiver on the actual
          console so there are no signal interruptions.

Question: What's a channel?

Answer:   A channel is the frequency the signals from the controller is 
          running on. There are 16 of them so if there are four people
          playing at one time, there will not be any interference. 

Question: If I am playing by myself, which channel do I use?

Answer:   Use any of the 16 channels you like as long as it matches
          your receiver's channel.

Question: Where is the channel adjuster knob on the controller?

Answer:   On the controller, it is on the very bottom side underneath
          the model information.

Question: My WaveBird doesn't work! Any suggestions?

Answer:   First see if it is on. If it isn't, but the button is in 
          the "on" position, check to see if the batteries are upside
          down. If they are right side up, check to see if they still
          have life left in them (for example, use them on another
          device). If they still work, check to see if the channels 
          correspond. If they correspond, then check to see if the
          GameCube or Wii is on. It needs to be on  to work. If the
          GameCube or Wii is on, check to see if the controller port 
          works with another controller. If the controller port works,
          then it's safe to say that you've got a defective WaveBird, so
          you should immediately return it to the store and exchange it
          or call Nintendo (1-800-255-3700 in North America). However,
          the chances of a repair or exchange in 2011 are very slim. 

Question: When we play with 4 players, the signal is weak! Help?

Answer:   Try spreading the channels out so they are farthest away from 
          each other. Try having Controller Port 1 be channel 1, 
          Controller Port 2 be Channel 4, Controller Port 3 be Channel
          9 and Controller Port 4 be channel 14. If the signal is still
          weak then refer to the above for giving maintenance to the

Question: What company manufactures the WaveBird?

Answer:   Nintendo manufactured the WaveBird, and thus is an official
          first party product.

Question: What colors is the WaveBird available in?

Answer:   In North America and Japan, the controller comes in gray and
          platinum. Platinum matches the platinum-colored (or silver)

Question: How far does the WaveBird's signal reach?

Answer:   Nintendo claims up to 20 feet, but there have been reports
          of it going even further. It depends on how many walls the
          signal has to penetrate and other potential signals that may
          disrupt the WaveBird's own signal (other WaveBirds or other
          wireless-emitting products, for example). 

Question: Does the WaveBird have a rumble feature?

Answer:   No. According to Nintendo, back in 2002, when the WaveBird
          was originally released, AA batteries would not last long
          if rumble was kept, so they removed the feature. 

Question: Is there a difference between the WaveBird and the normal 
          GameCube controller? 
Answer:   Other than the fact that one is cordless and one isn't, and
          the lack of rumble in the WaveBird, there really isn't a
          difference. For a vast majority of games, they both perform
          basically the same. For some games in which timing is very
          sensitive, such as Super Smash Bros. Melee, the WaveBird may
          lag in comparison to a standard controller. In the U.S., the
          WaveBird was $15 more expensive than the standard controller,
          and the cord controllers come in a variety of colors.

Question: Can I use a WaveBird bought in Japan on a North American
          GameCube or Wii and vice versa?

Answer:   Absolutely. Controller peripherals are always universally
          compatible with GameCube consoles worldwide (same with the
          Wii for those peripherals that can be plugged into the Wii).
          The only things not universal on the GameCube are the Memory
          Card (59, 251, 1019), the AV cables (on PAL GameCubes), AC
          adaptor and the games themselves. 

Question: Where can I buy a WaveBird?

Answer:   In 2011, you're best bet to try auction sites like Ebay or
          used game shops, since the WaveBird is no longer being
          manufactured by Nintendo. When using auction or other
          websites, ensure that you are using a trustworthy seller. I
          take no responsibility for any online transactions that go

Question: Is the WaveBird heavier than the standard controller?

Answer:   No, they weigh about the same (when batteries are inside
          the WaveBird).

Question: Should I use rechargeable batteries with the WaveBird?

Answer:   Back in 2002, rechargeable batteries were expensive and
          unreliable, but in 2011, eneloops have become widely
          available and provide reliable energy at low prices. I've
          had no issues using eneloops with my WaveBird.

Question: My WaveBird started malfunctioning. What's going on?

Answer:   Change your batteries. If your batteries are down, the power 
          keeps going on and off which will cause the WaveBird to

Question: If we are playing in multiplayer, and we set the receiver to 
          another player's channel, can we interfere with them?

Answer:   No. The WaveBird is set up with modern identification
          techniques to prevent these instances from happening. 

4. WaveBird and Wii

The Nintendo Wii is Nintendo's latest game system. While it's now
earning its reputation and popularity through its unique, remote-shaped 
controller, Nintendo's made it possible to play games from all four of
its previous consoles, the Nintendo Entertainment System, the Super
Nintendo Entertainment System, the Nintendo 64 and the GameCube. It is 
also possible to enjoy Sega Genesis and Turbographx 16 games as well. 
These must be purchased using Nintendo's Virtual Console store. 

Because the Wii Remote can be used only to play NES and TG-16 games, 
Nintendo included 4 GameCube controller ports in order to allow other 
older games to be played. The WaveBird receiver can be hooked up to the 
appropriate GameCube controller port on the Wii (first port has one dot, 
fourth has four), but the Wii Remote must be used to navigate the Wii 
OS menu. 

Once an SNES, Genesis or N64 game have been booted, a request for the
"Classic Controller" will come up. The Classic Controller is actually a
Wii-specific controller that can also be used to play Virtual Console
games, but not GameCube games. Although the request says "Classic 
Controller" the presence of a GameCube controller including the WaveBird
will satisfy this condition and start the game.

While the Classic Controller or WaveBird aren't needed for playing
NES or TG-16 games, they can still be used for those systems as well.

Some Wii games will allow you to use GameCube controllers to play them,
including Nintendo's Fire Emblem: Goddess of War, Metal Slug Anthology
and Dragon Ball Z Budokai Tenkaichi 2. Naturally, the WaveBird works
as well. More games that use GameCube controllers are coming. 

Other than this, the WaveBird functions exactly the same for GameCube
titles running on Wii. You can use up to four WaveBirds on the Wii with
different channels. 

It has been touted as a more desirable option than the GameCube or 
Classic Controllers for N64 games, but less than desirable for SNES 

5. About The Author

You can find me posting on the following websites regularly: 

Twitter  - www.twitter.com/cvxfreak
NeoGAF   - www.neogaf.com
GameFAQs - www.gamefaqs.com
Biohaze  - www.biohaze.com 

I have a GameFAQs contributor page, where you can find my other guides:


6. Conclusion

This guide is complete and up-to-date to the best of my knowledge.

I want to give the following special thanks:

- My family and friends for their continued support
- GameFAQs for being a great website after all these years


This document is copyright 2011 by cvxfreak. Please respect this