The Nintendo Switch is one of those systems we want to play everything on. The ability to play games in both handheld mode and on a TV gives us a freedom we didn't know we wanted before it came out--and makes us even more excited when a new game is announced. It may not be the most powerful console, and ports of demanding games may leave us wanting, but some of the best games in recent years have still been released on the platform.
The Switch's versatility in being both a portable handheld and a console is likely the most appealing thing about Nintendo's system. The second most appealing? The versatility of its accessories. From controllers and cases to stands and more, the Switch has a slew of gadgets that enhance the experience and, at times, change it entirely.
Here, we've covered everything from the games and accessories to the system itself, which has new models available. We'll keep this article updated with the latest, greatest Switch products as we test more. In the meantime, read on for your ultimate guide to buying a Switch and the best games and accessories to invest in. Plus, be sure to check out this month's best Nintendo Switch deals in case anything is on sale. Finally, note that all pricing indicated below is subject to change--with how often Amazon prices fluctuate, you may see a discount or slight increase when clicking through.
The products discussed here were independently chosen by our editors. GameSpot may get a share of the revenue if you buy anything featured on our site.
Nintendo Switch console options
Nintendo Switch with better battery life - $300
The base Nintendo Switch model was replaced back in August with a version that features improved battery life. The original Switch has a battery life of about 2.5 to 6 hours, while the new model features an increase to 4.5 to 9 hours. Of course, battery life depends on what game you're playing.
|Specifications||Switch (Original)||Switch (New)|
|Screen Size||6.2 inches||6.2 inches|
|Resolution||720p undocked||720p undocked|
|Dimensions (H x W x D)||4" x 9.4" x 0.55"||4" x 9.4" x 0.55"|
|Weight||0.88 lbs / 399 g||0.88 lbs / 399 g|
|Battery Life Range||2.5 - 6.5 hours||4.5 - 9 hours|
Make sure you're getting the new, improved model by looking at the packaging. The new Switch model has a bright red background with a TV on the right side (shown above), while the old model has a white background with a TV on the left side. The serial numbers are also slightly different: The new Switch model's serial numbers start with "XKW," and the old model's start with "XAW." Read our FAQ guide to the new Switch model for more information.
Some important things to note: the Nintendo Switch can be played handheld, but you can also slide it into the included dock and output to a TV. The Joy-Cons can also be removed from the sides of the Switch's screen and used in multiplayer situations. These are unique features that the new Switch Lite lacks, so please take that into consideration when making your decision.
Nintendo Switch Lite - $200
If you're only interested in playing the Switch in handheld mode, then the Nintendo Switch Lite is for you, and as of September 20, it's available to buy now. Smaller, lighter, and easier to hold, the Switch Lite excels on the go--as do many of the platform's games. It also comes in three different colours--Turquoise, Yellow, and Grey--with a special Pokemon Sword/Shield edition scheduled to arrive in November.
|Screen Size||5.5 inches|
|Dimensions (H x W x D)||3.6" x 8.2" x 0.55"|
|Weight||0.61 lbs / 277 g|
|Battery Life Range||3-7 hours|
While the more portable Switch Lite is appealing, there are some downsides you need to consider before purchasing. The first is the lack of TV output--you won't be able to slide this into the dock and play on a TV. The Switch Lite also lacks removable Joy-Cons, a built-in stand, and other features like the IR sensor and HD rumble. That means if you play games that don't support Handheld Mode--like Super Mario Party and 1-2-Switch--then you'll need to buy extra controllers and use an extra accessory to stand it up.
The positives, however, include the addition of a proper D-Pad, which is great for games like Super Mario Maker 2 and many more. The smaller form factor also makes a more comfortable handheld experience. And of course, the smaller price tag is a huge plus as well.
You can learn much more about Nintendo's new handheld in our overview of all the Switch Lite's pros and cons.
The best Nintendo Switch games
The Nintendo Switch has a fantastic library of games, from first-year big hitters like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey to new favourites like Fire Emblem: Three Houses and The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening. Only two years in, and there's already an army of games teeming to be played.
- The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening
- Super Mario Maker 2
- Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order
- Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
- The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
- Super Mario Odyssey
- Astral Chain
- Captain Toad's Treasure Tracker
- The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
- Dragon Quest Builders 2
See the full list:
The best Nintendo Switch accessories
The Nintendo Switch is one of the most versatile consoles on the market, with a slew of accessories that can change up and improve your experience. From wireless headsets and external batteries to protective cases and better handheld grips, there is no shortage of Switch accessories available. Depending on how you use your Switch--for example, whether you leave it docked or take it on the go--you'll need different accessories to suit your needs. That's why we've rounded up some of the best Nintendo Switch accessories to protect your console and make your gaming experience easier.
See the full list:
The best Nintendo Switch controllers
The Nintendo Switch comes with a grip that, when paired with your detachable Joy-Cons, can be used as a controller when not playing in Handheld Mode. This controller works just fine, but there are much better options out there--especially if you have bigger hands. The most obvious option is Nintendo's own Pro Controller, which is a fantastic pad with improved analog sticks, ergonomics, and a D-Pad. However, it does come with a hefty price tag, and there is a variety of awesome alternatives to choose from.
There are controllers that work for every kind of experience you can have with the Switch, including retro games, new releases, action-packed romps, easy-going adventures, and everything in between. Controllers that emulate the classic consoles you remember (like the Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis), an adapter that lets you play with PS4 and Xbox One pads, and those that let you customize your inputs are among some of the best ones we've tested.
See the full list:
The best Nintendo Switch grips
Nothing makes my hands cramp quite like the long, flat Switch. But thankfully, there's a solution to that. Grip cases add a little something to grab on to, turning your Switch into something that more closely resembles a controller with a screen than a Nintendo-designed handheld. There's no shortage of Switch grip cases available online, and not all of them are winners. Luckily, there are a couple of grips that we highly recommend if you find handheld play uncomfortable. You can check out those grips and read more about each product below.
See the full list: