How To Play the Wii with a Broken Sensor Bar

The Nintendo Wii is the revolutionary console that brought the whole system of motion sensing wireless controllers into the video gaming industry. While Sony and Microsoft were preoccupied in designing a game console with state-of-the-art graphics, Nintendo was focused on becoming the innovative leader in gaming. The success of the Nintendo Wii is due to the infrared remote system that was developed for the console.

  • The Nintendo Wii was built with a sensor bar, which is that little piece on the console responsible for communicating the movement made on the Wii controller by the player and transferring it onto game. Hence, the sensor bar is considered the most important element of the console, since without it, how would anyone be able to play? The truth is that if the sensor bar ceases to function, there are 3 things you can do to still be able to play.
  • The candle trick. This is probably the most popular way to get your Wii controller working even without the sensor bar working. Unfortunately, it is also the silliest. However, it does work and even the experts acknowledge it as a valid option.
  • Since the sensor is not working, you will need to use something that will refract the infrared signal from the Wii controller to the console, particularly into the receiver of the sensor bar. What you can do is use candles. Yes, you heard that right – candles. About 2 to 4 candles spaced an inch from each other on top and at the bottom of the TV should do the trick. Light the candles, dim the lights, turn on the Wii, and start playing. It is as simple as that.
  • Obviously, using candles presents a fire hazard. Hence, you should do well to take the necessary precautions to prevent any possible accidents that could lead to your entire home bursting to flames.
  • The homemade alternative. Another option that you can explore is to make your very own homemade sensor bar. If you think that this option can only be done by people with experience in electrical engineering, think again. You don’t have to be a genius to create your own sensor bar. All you need to do is gather several small LEDs, a 9-volt battery, thin electrical wires, and soldering iron. Whip out a base that you can solder the LEDs on. Each LED should be spaced at about a foot from each other. Connect all the LEDs to the electrical wire and link the other end of the wire to the battery. Once connected, the LEDs should power up. Place the finished product on top of the TV. Turn on the console and the Wii controller and start playing.

Final option. The third option is simply to replace the broken sensor bar with those cheap third party alternatives. Yes, there are tons of them that you can order online, mostly made from China. Obviously, Nintendo will never recommend using these. However, since springing for a new sensor bar can be costly and having your Wii serviced can take a lot of time, a third party sensor bar will be a good option just so you can keep playing your favorite Wii game.


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