I want to buy this Wii U I found on ebay but it does not come bundled with the WII U gamepad.

Would I be able to use an old Nintendo Wii remote (with plus) to navigate the Wii U menu or would I need a Nintendo Wii U gamepad to sync up the Wii remote before use?

Just wondering if I can get away with not having to buy the gamepad.

Edit: I already own a 3DS and would like a Wii U so that I'd be able to access the online features of Monster Hunter Ultimate. The one on ebay is considerably cheaper than most and I didn't want to pay the full retail price for the console when I'm only after one feature. Of course this would require Wi-FI so it seems I'd have to buy the gamepad with the console. Thanks for the help!

  • Yes it will work for games that only require the Wii U remote of course.
    – Ramhound
    Commented Mar 1, 2014 at 14:39
  • It'll work, but you'll be missing most of the functionality that the gamepad provides. Some games might require it, so I'd highly recommend ensuring you get it.
    – Frank
    Commented Mar 1, 2014 at 15:01

2 Answers 2


To play Wii Only games it would kind of work if you have a sensor bar, but several games require the gamepad either somewhat (it's required for some levels in Super Mario 3D World but might not be required to reach the "final" boss) or entirely (zombiU and Nintendoland are unplayable without one), and the eShop is completely unusable without the gamepad. I really wouldn't recommend it without the gamepad unless you're using it as a Wii replacement.

Also I'm not sure if first-time setup requires the gamepad (not willing to factory reset to test), but the Settings menu requires it, so for sure you won't be able to set up Wi Fi, download system or game patches or access the digital game store ever. It's really not designed to be used without it and while it technically does not need the gamepad for all uses, it's really not a properly functional device without one.

  • Games aside, there should at least be an option to operate the majority of the Wii U - settings, especially - with just a Wii remote, if one wants it that way. This missing capability should be the next update Nintendo adds, but it seems that they're saying nowadays, "what we give you, we give you, and who gives a damn if you like it or not." Yet this comment is coming from a big Nintendo fan who has a lot of their gaming units. Go figure. :-P
    – user128965
    Commented Nov 26, 2015 at 1:03

Yes, this will work for basic functionality. Games that don't require the game pad will work, as will the Wii mode on the console. Be aware certain features do not work without the gamepad.

But navigating the Nintendo eShop without a GamePad is prohibited


I have also noted restricted access to the Wii U system settings as well. Certain games may require the gamepad even if they also work with the wiimote (for 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th player slots).

  • Again, there should be an option to use the Wii remote in place of the GamePad for important functions.
    – user128965
    Commented Nov 26, 2015 at 1:07

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