I have a cat who finds the Wii sensor bar's cord irresistibly attractive, so the sensor bar stays in a drawer most of the time. However, when trying to start Wii mode on the Wii U, you're required to point the wiimote at the screen. Now I actually play wii 95% without the sensor bar anymore since most of what I play allows the classic controller, as does the UI. But it seems to not let me IN to wii mode without it.

I've tried launching the Wii mode from startup (holy B until the Wii U logo appears and it should go into Wii mode) as well as from the home screen icon, both bring you to the "point the remote at the screen" dialog. There's no way to interact with the dialog but to comply or cancel. Using a classic controller doesn't seem to change whether the screen prompts you.

Is there some way to get into Wii mode on a Wii U without the sensor bar at all? I have wiimotes, classic controllers (pro and normal) and nunchucks, and a Wii U pro controller if any of that helps.

  • Is there no way to just cat-proof the sensor bar cord? Tape it to the tv, run it through some plastic tubing that is firmly attached to the wall/tv/mount whatever?
    – Zoredache
    Commented Feb 25, 2014 at 2:02
  • @Zoredache IT'd be a pretty ugly fix in this situation. It's not just a matter of taping it to the TV, he tries to eat it. And I use an extra long cord so it would be a lot of really ugly cable covering.
    – Zelda
    Commented Feb 25, 2014 at 16:01
  • Thankfully mine is so lazy he'd sleep through a meteor impact.
    – IG_42
    Commented Oct 3, 2016 at 22:11

3 Answers 3


Okay this CAN work however it does require the TV; you can't do this gamepad only (with or without sensor bar; the menu appears on the TV only). when the "point the wiimote at the TV" screen, plug in your Wii Classic Controller and move the left joystick; a hand cursor should appear. Highlight "gamepad and TV" or "TV only" as you please, then press A on the classic controller. It should boot right to Wii mode without the sensor bar now.

Also...the gamepad has a sensor bar in it! It actually works better than you'd think, though it's definitely best with a gamepad stand. You can't use the gamepad sensorbar to get into Wii mode unfortunately, so you WILL need either a classic controller or a sensorbar to get into wii mode, but after that you can use the gamepad as a sensor bar if you so wish.


Since the Wii sensor bar is essentially 2 infrared LED lamps, you can use 2 candles or lamps1 to simulate one.

Using that fake sensor bar2, you should select the option: "TV and Gamepad", as this will allow you to use the gamepad's integrated infrared LEDs3. Simply point towards the gamepad's screen, as if you were pointing towards the TV.

1: Any small source of infrared light will do.
2: My favourite are lamps; even makeshift ones, such as a camera's flash LED.
3: For some odd reason, those LEDs only work as long as the gamepad is active in Wii mode.


If all else fails, you can always get yourself a wireless sensor bar. They run on batteries, but have an off switch so if you don't use it often it will probably last a while.

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