The multipurpose gaming console keeps offering more fun for the whole family
Even though the Nintendo Switch is going on six years old, its popularity continues to skyrocket. Highly anticipated new games launch throughout the year while the Nintendo eShop offers a growing library of beloved retro games. If you’ve been on the fence about buying a Nintendo Switch the ever-expanding game library or beautiful screen quality of the Nintendo Switch OLED could change your mind.
What you need to get started with Nintendo Switch
Setting up your Switch
One of the highlights of gaming with the Nintendo Switch is that the hybrid console can be played just about anywhere. It can be hooked up to your TV, placed on a tabletop or held in your lap. The Switch comes with a charging dock and all the cables you need to set it up on your TV. All you need is an HDMI port.
While the Nintendo Switch comes with some onboard storage, many Switch players like to expand their storage with a microSD card that’s at least 256 GB in size. Storing games locally helps them load faster and avoid lag.
Protecting your Switch
If you plan on bringing your Switch out and about, it’s a good idea to equip it with a carrying case and a screen protector. Applying a good screen protector to your Switch as soon as it’s out of the box will protect the screen from scratches and prevent smudges for better screen clarity.
Nintendo Switch Online subscription
You may also want to take advantage of a Nintendo Switch Online subscription. This lets you access select NES and SNES games (some of which are exclusive to subscribers) and unlocks the ability to play multiplayer online. Nintendo Switch Online also lets you back up game save data to the cloud. Individual memberships can be purchased for one month, three months or one year and annual family plans are also available.
Nintendo Switch parental controls
The Switch makes it easy to control what your child can play, download and view on the console. After you set up a Nintendo account for them, you can set up parental controls to restrict the games and videos they can view, limit play time and protect your account from accidental or unwanted purchases. Plus, you can control all of these settings from the Switch Parental Controls App on your phone.
Which Nintendo Switch should you get?
The original Nintendo Switch continues to sell millions of units every year thanks to its versatile gameplay and long battery life. It comes with two detachable motion-sensing JoyCon controllers, a JoyCon grip for a traditional controller layout and all the cables you need for setup. Special packages such as an Animal Crossing-themed Switch and units that ship with popular games are also available. Sold by Amazon
This version of the Switch features a vibrant 7-inch OLED display that’s larger than the standard Switch’s. It also comes with 64 GB of internal storage, twice as much as what the standard Switch offers and enhanced audio. The OLED Switch is great if you plan to play in handheld or tabletop mode instead of using your TV. Sold by Amazon
With lots of color choices and a more affordable price point, the Nintendo Switch Lite is a Game Boy for the modern era. It can only play in handheld mode, but it plays all the games available on the standard Switch, both physical and digital. Sold by Amazon
Best Nintendo Switch accessories
The official Nintendo carrying case is also one of the most secure, thanks to ballistic nylon and interior hook and loop fasteners. It can carry up to eight physical game cards and fits the Switch, Switch Lite and Switch OLED models. Sold by Amazon
Customize the appearance of your Switch or make room for more friends to play with an extra pair of JoyCon controllers. JoyCon controllers each have a full set of buttons as well as an accelerometer and gyro sensor for motion control in games such as Just Dance and Mario Kart. Each can be used independently or slip both into the JoyCon grip to use as a single controller. Sold by Amazon
JoyCon controllers are great for casual games or games with lots of motion, but if you’re sitting down for a long session, you may want a more comfortable controller. The Pro controller features an ergonomic design, motion controls and rumble. Sold by Amazon
Best Nintendo games
The Nintendo Switch is powerful enough to run massive games such as Skyrim, Apex Legends and the NBA games. It’s also the best way to access classic retro titles, including Super Mario Kart, Donkey Kong Country and multiple Zelda games. Whether you’re looking for the latest in your favorite AAA franchise or an under-the-radar 8-bit indie, the Switch can play it.
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Laura Duerr writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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