I don't own a TV or monitor, but I'm interested in a Wii U for games that can be played with only the controller.

Is it possible to go through all the initial console setup, downloading updates, etc, and then connecting to the e-shop to buy software using the Gamepad as my only display?

  • IIRC, you need a TV for the initial setup. The gamepad screen would say "please look at TV" blah blah blah. After that, most basic functions will work on the gamepad, then varying levels of game support. Commented Jan 25, 2015 at 23:56

2 Answers 2


For the initial set up, you need to have a monitor to set the console up.

Even if you are done with the set up phase, depending on what type of games you play will determine if you can play it with just the pad or if it requires a monitor.

Games with the Off TV play is the feature that you are looking for.

List of off TV play http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Off-TV_Play

I recommend purchasing a tv monitor or a computer monitor if you plan on buying a WiiU console.


Apparently, for some games, this is possible. It's called "Off-TV Play", and the wikipedia article about the feature also includes a handy list of the games that are compatible with this feature.

Keep in mind, however, that you will not be able to play all WiiU games this way. You will also need some sort of display in order to set up the WiiU initially.

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