The GameCube controller features four face buttons, three shoulder buttons, a start button, a joystick, a c-stick, and a d-pad. It features rumble feedback and was made specifically to be comfortable in the player's hands. The L and R buttons each have a digital and analog mode. The digital mode is when the player presses the button so that it clicks, whereas analog is when they don't exert as much pressure on the controller. This features causes them to each have two buttons. The third shoulder button, which is purple and is known as the Z button, does not have this feature.
When in circulation, a single GameCube controller would come with every GameCube. The color of the controller would match that of the GameCube that they purchased. A couple of years after the release of the GameCube, Nintendo released the Wavebird, a wireless variation of the GameCube controller that was a bit bulkier.
The Nintendo GameCube Controller had several official variations: the Wavebird and the ASCII Keyboard Controller. There is also the Game Boy Player Controller developed by HORI. In addition, a few games could turn the GameBoy Advance into a GameCube Controller with the Game Boy Advance to Nintendo GameCube Link Cable.
- The Wii, being backwards compatible with all GameCube games, is able to accept GameCube controllers. Some Wii games, such as Mario Kart Wii and Super Smash Bros. Brawl, are able to be played using such a controller. It also can be used for Virtual Console releases.
- The Wii U supports this controller with the Wii U GameCube Adapter. However, the adapter only works for Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS / Wii U.
- The Switch, as well, supports this controller with the Wii U GameCube Adapter. The adapter works for games that are compatible with the Pro Controller, such as Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Fire Emblem: Warriors and many others. However, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is the only Switch game that recognizes the GameCube Controller as such, while other games recognizes it as a Pro Controller.