Bluetooth Passthrough

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Since 5.0-910, Dolphin has the ability to passthrough a Bluetooth adapter for emulated Wii software. This gives emulated Wii software full control of a Bluetooth adapter, which, provided a decent, working adapter, notably allows pairing Wii Remotes to Dolphin, third-party Wii Remote support, working Wii Remote audio and more accurate connectivity.

Setting up


A udev rule has to be installed so Dolphin can use a Bluetooth adapter without having to get root privileges.

SUBSYSTEM=="usb", ATTRS{idVendor}=="YOURVID", ATTRS{idProduct}=="YOURPID", TAG+="uaccess"

Dolphin should be able to automatically unload the USB Bluetooth kernel module (assuming you have permission to; you typically need to be in the plugdev group). If not, unload it with modprobe -r btusb.


Download and open Zadig, then:

1. In the "Options" menu in Zadig, make sure "List All Devices" is enabled.

2. Look through the devices for the device to passthrough.

3. On the right column, select "libusbk" then click "Replace Driver". Select "Yes" to modify the system driver.


There is currently no way to use this feature on versions newer than 10.9, because Apple removed the ability to unload the Bluetooth kernel module.

A potential solution would be to force the OS to ignore the adapter with a codeless .kext, but this hasn't been tried yet.


This feature is not supported on Android.

Using passthrough mode in Dolphin

In Dolphin, open the Controller Configuration dialog, then select the "Passthrough a Bluetooth adapter" option in the Wii Remotes section.

While a game is running:

  • Wii Remotes can be synced and paired to Dolphin by using the Sync button.
  • All saved Wii Remote pairings can be reset by using the Reset button. This will also disconnect all currently connected Wii Remotes.

Advanced usage

Sync button hotkey

It is possible to use the "Press Sync Button" hotkey as an alternative to the buttons in the controller configuration dialog.

You will need to map "Press Sync Button" to a key or combination of keys. This can be done within Dolphin by left clicking on the "Hotkey Settings" tab under "Options" to bring up the appropriate configuration menu. You must then left click on the "Wii and Wii Remote" tab and left click on the box for "Press Sync Button" to map this hotkey.

"Press Sync Button" is designed to work just like the Wii's red sync button:

  • Pressing the hotkey will trigger a sync.
  • Holding the hotkey for 10 seconds will clear all saved pairings.

Forcing a specific adapter

If you need to use a specific adapter, instead of using the first Bluetooth adapter that is found, you can force Dolphin to use it by editing Dolphin's configuration file (Config/Dolphin.ini). In the BluetoothPassthrough section, set "VID" and "PID" to your adapter's vendor ID and product ID (that you previously converted from hex to decimal).


"Failed to open Bluetooth device: LIBUSB_ERROR_ACCESS"

This error means that Dolphin doesn't have permission to use the Bluetooth adapter.

If on Linux, make sure the udev rule is set up correctly.

"Failed to open Bluetooth device: LIBUSB_ERROR_NOT_SUPPORTED"

On Windows, this typically means that the libusb/WinUSB driver was not installed for the adapter.

"Failed to detach kernel driver for BT passthrough"

Dolphin tried to automatically unload the Bluetooth USB kernel module and failed to. Unload the module manually before starting a game to avoid this issue.

Wii Remotes do not stay paired after closing the game

This means that your adapter is likely broken and does not remember Wii Remote link keys properly. Use a different adapter to avoid this issue.

This may also happen if your SYSCONF is corrupted or if you changed to a Dolphin version which doesn't have BT passthrough. If your adapter is listed as working with pairing or if you're sure it supports pairings (by having checked the HCI command replies), you can try deleting Wii/shared2/sys/SYSCONF and Wii/btdinf.bak.

Black screen on boot

Games send a reset command to the Bluetooth adapter when they start and wait for it to be acknowledged. If you are getting a black screen for a long time (more than 10 seconds), your adapter may be stuck in a broken state and is unable to respond to any commands. Unplug the adapter and try again.

No usable adapter found

This can happen with some adapters. You'll need to force your adapter to be used.


  • The functionality and quality of the connections heavily depend on the quality of the adapter.
  • Even though most adapters work fine in passthrough mode, the only perfect adapter is the Wii's Bluetooth module (so far).
  • Save states can be used with some limitations.
  • Because Bluetooth Passthrough Mode skips Dolphin's emulated Bluetooth and Wii Remote code entirely, it is not possible to mix passthrough mode and emulated/real/hybrid Wii Remote. This means that netplay, TAS input, input display, etc. cannot work.

Adapter test results

Adapter VID PID Revision Works? Stable? Remembers pairings? Audio Range
Asus BT-211  ?  ?  ? Yes  ?  ?  ?  ?
Asus BT-400 (BCM20702A0) 0B05 17CB  ? Yes [1] Yes [5] No Good  ?
Asus BT-400 (BCM20702A0) 0B05 17CF  ? Yes [1] Yes [6] Yes [4] Good Very long
Atheros AR3012 (AR9462) 0CF3 3004 0001 Yes Yes [7] Yes Good Very long
Atheros AR9462 0B05 17D0 0001 Yes Yes Yes Good Very long
Azio BTD-V201 0A12 0001  ? Yes Yes Yes Good Long
Azio BTD-V401  ?  ?  ? Yes  ?  ?  ? Short
Billionth Systems, Inc GUBTCR42I (Class 2) 0A12 0001  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?
CSL BSN23996 0A12 0001 8891 Yes Yes [5] Yes Good Long
CSR 8510 A10 (Generic) 0A12 0001 8891 Yes Yes [5] Yes [3] Good Long
Orico Bta408 (BCM20702A0) 0A5C 21EC  ? Yes [1] Yes [6] Yes Good Very long
CSR Generic Bluetooth Edr Mini Nova E Blue 2.1 0A12 0001  ? Yes Yes No Good Average
Foxconn T77H348.02 (AR9462) 0489 E04E 0001 Yes Yes [2] No Good Very long
Generic Adapter 0A12 0001 3164 Yes No No Good  ?
GMYLE Ultra-Mini USB CSR4.0 0A12 0001 8891 Yes Yes [2] No Average Short
Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7260 8087 07DC 0001 Yes Yes Yes Good Long
IOGear GBU421 0A5C 2148  ? Yes Yes Yes Good Long
IOGear GBU521 0A5C 21E8 0112 Yes [1] Yes No Good Long
ISSC EDR Bluetooth Adapter 1131 1004 0373 Yes Yes [8] Yes [3] Short range Average
Kinivo BTD-300 0A5C 2198 0391 Yes Yes [2] Yes Average Average
Kinivo BTD-400 0A5C 21E8 0112 Yes [1] Yes Yes Average Very long
Kinivo BTD-400 0A5C 21E8 0112 Yes [1] Yes No Average Very long
Lenovo X1 Carbon Laptop, built in adapter 8087 0A2A 0001 Yes Yes  ?  ?  ?
Mayflash DolphinBar Not supported
NoteShip Bluetooth Adapter 0A12 0001 0100 Yes Yes  ?  ?  ?
Plugable USB 2.0 Bluetooth Adapter (BCM20702A0) 0A5C 21E8 0112 Yes [1] Yes [6] Yes Good Very long
Qualcomm Atheros QCA61x4A 0B05 1825 0001 Yes Yes [6] Yes Good Very long
Rocketfish Bluetooth Adapter 0461 4D75  ? Yes [1] No No  ?  ?
Sena UD100 Bluetooth Adapter 0A12 0001 8241 Yes Yes Yes Good Very long
Silicon Wave Bluetooth Wireless Adapter 0C10 0000 1915 Yes Yes [5] Yes  ?  ? USBBT1EDR4 (Class 1)  ?  ?  ? Yes  ?  ? Short range  ? USBBT2EDR4 (Class 2)  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?
Trendnet TBW-105UB  ?  ?  ? Yes No  ? Garbage  ?
Trendnet TBW-106UB 0A12 0001 8891 Yes  ? No Average  ?
Wii Bluetooth Module (WML-C43, BCM2045) 057E 0305  ? Yes Yes Yes Good Very long
Wii Bluetooth Module (J27H002, BCM2045) 057E 0305  ? Yes Yes Yes Good Very long
Wii U Bluetooth Module (BCM20702)  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?  ?
Not recommended. Does not work well and has significant limitations.
Recommended, in some cases. This adapter will work well in most cases, but there may be issues in some "Bluetooth intensive" games.
Recommended. This adapter will work well in all cases and will give the same experience as a Wii Bluetooth adapter.

[1] Needs to force Dolphin to use the adapter
[2] May stop working after HCI resets (stopping, resetting emulation or going back to the system menu)
[3] Has issues reconnecting multiple Wiimotes
[4] Limited to 1 remote
[5] Has issues with games which send a lot of commands (including New Super Mario Bros. Wii and The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword before you get in game)
[6] Starts having lag issues after ~30 minutes. Reconnecting the Wii remote is required.
[7] May stop working after HCI resets (Windows only, works fine on Linux/macOS)
[8] Randomly stop working on Windows, works fine on Linux/macOS