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Enjoy a better portable Switch experience without buying a Switch Lite.
When it comes to versatility, it's hard to beat the Nintendo Switch, since it's a portable gaming console you can hook up to your TV. Switch games aren't always state-of-the-art tech-wise, but the console's best games still look great on a TV, and with the Switch Pro controller, they play just like they would on any other console when the console is hooked up to the Switch dock (which includes a pair of front-facing USB ports to hook up a wide variety of controllers). Playing games on the Switch console itself on the go, the screen looks great and feels like a large, flat controller that isn't too heavy. The Switch Lite is even easier on the hands, with a proper controller d-pad (though you might want to invest in a screen protector, just in case). You can even mix things up, using the included stand to play it while it's lying on a table, and use a Pro controller without a cable to play during your gaming sessions.
The problem is that it's not always the best portable gaming experience; the battery life on the original model is bad enough that you're charging it all the time (Nintendo has since released a version of the console with improved battery life), and with all the motion controls, small buttons, and lack of a real rubber grip (or any grip, really) on the Joy-Cons, it's often not comfortable, especially during longer sessions of input-heavy games like Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Even the Switch Lite, which sports a smaller form factor and stronger battery, tends to benefit from having a Pro controller around sometimes, especially if you want to play multiplayer games on it.
However, there is a solution to that tingling hands problem that makes the original Switch model more comfortable to play in handheld mode (besides just using a Switch Pro controller): a Nintendo Switch grip case. These work much in the same way as protective cases do, except they add a little something to grab onto without forcing you away from the screen, making them feel more like an Xbox controller. Handheld mode is my preferred method of playing the Switch, and after using a grip case, I knew I could never go back to playing without one.
Now, while there are some comfortable gaming grips we absolutely love, not every device we tested was a winner. RDS Industries' Goplay Grip put my hands in an awkward position for most games, while the Orzly Comfort Grip didn't provide enough of a gaming controller handle to hold comfortably. Most Nintendo Switch gaming grips fell somewhere between these two.
But there are a few standouts, and you can read on for our recommendations for the best Nintendo Switch grip case we've tried and can vouch for. Note that all pricing indicated below is subject to change--Amazon prices fluctuate regularly, so you may see a discount or slight increase when clicking through. Of course, we'll keep this article updated if we try out any new Nintendo Switch gaming grips worth buying.
Skull & Co Grip Case
$19 | $40 with travel case
- Extremely comfortable, ergonomic design
- Interchangeable grips to help you find the best fit for your hands
- Easily removable
- Not exactly charging dock-friendly
- Right-stick positioning feels a little awkward
The Skull & Co grip case is the exact kind of grip I was looking for. It's a slip-on case just like the one you'd put on your phone, except it also turns your Switch into something that feels a bit more like a proper controller--a much more ergonomic handheld device. The case comes with three pairs of interchangeable grips so you can decide which shape best fits your hands. The Snap Grip is the smallest of the three options, equipped with rounded edges. The Plus Grip is a bigger version of the Snap Grip that protrudes much further out. Lastly, we have the Trigger Grip, which is my personal favourite--it feels the most like a normal controller, feels comfortable, and fits my hands perfectly. It also has a little hooked peak for your middle finger to rest in, which makes your Switch very easy to hold onto, even with one hand. The Skull & Co grip case is a huge improvement over the flat and gripless Switch, especially for Super Mario Maker 2, which previously gave me constant cramps while making levels.
In addition to the handles, Skull & Co's Nintendo Switch grip case covers everything but the front of the Switch. This means the shoulder buttons are covered as well, requiring you to press on the case's button covers to press the L, R, ZL, and ZR buttons. However, the distance between the button cover and the button itself is so small that it doesn't feel much different from just pulling the trigger buttons. It also doesn't cover up the part of the console reserved for Switch game carts, which means you can swap games pretty easily. It does make it slightly more difficult to swap out MicroSD cards, but that isn't a huge issue.
I don't want to play my Switch in handheld mode without this grip case. However, that doesn't mean it's perfect. I found the shape of the padded handles made it slightly more difficult to position my thumb and use the right analog stick. It's not an insurmountable issue, but I did feel a little soreness in my joint while playing certain games that rely on the right stick a lot, so it's not quite at Pro controller-levels of comfort.
Skull & Co claims this grip case is "dock-friendly" and doesn't need to be removed for TV mode. However, there tends to be a slight bend in some people's docks, causing it to have a slightly smaller opening (and making a screen protector even more important). The slight difference is enough to keep this case from being completely dock-friendly. While I was able to force my Switch into the charging dock and get it to output to the TV, it took a considerable amount of time and the Switch would sometimes undock itself. I can't recommend this Nintendo Switch grip case enough when it comes to playing in handheld, but if you want to output to your TV, be sure to take it off before sliding it into your charging dock. You can get it solo or with a travel case, which includes some nice storage space for your Switch game cards, as well as a versatile mesh pocket. | Mat Paget
$27 | $48 with travel case
- Comfortable, ergonomic design prevents cramping
- Doubles as a sturdy stand with room for charging cable
- Bonus thumb tabs for extra grip and customization
- Doesn't fit in the average travel case
For a long time, I shied away from taking my Switch out of its dock, and that's largely because I've always found playing my Switch in handheld mode incredibly uncomfortable. The long, slender tablet forces your wrists into a cramped, unnatural position, and it weighs just enough that I always find myself gripping it too hard to keep from dropping it. I've spent a few months with the Satisfye grip, and I can honestly say I'll never go back to playing the Switch without it.
First of all, the Satisfye grip is extremely lightweight--it doesn't make the console feel any heavier when I hold it (in fact, because it makes holding the Switch so much easier, it almost feels lighter). The Switch slides into the grip easily but firmly, and it hasn't left any scuff marks on my Joy-Cons, as some Amazon reviewers have mentioned. The bottom of the grip has two hooks for additional console support, and they also allow the Switch to stand securely upright on its own, with enough room for the charging cable to run underneath.
While the change in hand positioning takes some getting used to, this Nintendo Switch grip features a more ergonomic design that fills your palms and keeps your thumbs in their natural resting positions. There's a nice little spot on top of both handles for your index fingers to rest when you're not using the trigger buttons. The handles are also rubberized on the back, which helps you grip them even better. Plus, it's way easier to use the buttons, as your thumbs have more space and support to move around. Additionally, the Satisfye grip comes with four bonus thumb tabs. I don't personally use them, but they're intended to add extra grip to the analog sticks.
At this point, I've traveled cross-country multiple times with the Satisfye grip, and even though I store my Switch in a protective case when I travel, the grip was easily transported in my backpack without any damage. (Note: Satisfye also offers a bundle with the grip, protective case, and USB charging cable). Now, it feels weird when I play without the Satisfye Nintendo Switch grip, and I'd recommend it to anyone who currently finds handheld play a bit uncomfortable. | Jenae Sitzes
HyperX ChargePlay Clutch
- Ergonomics feel good
- External battery offers around two hours of extra playtime
- Excellent, heavy-duty kickstand that’s great for tabletop mode
- Rubber grips connect and can be used with Joy-Cons as a more traditional controller
- Doesn't completely recharge the Switch's battery while playing
- More features mean a higher price tag
The HyperX ChargePlay Clutch offers a lot more than just its chunky, grippy form factor. As someone with big hands, the behemoth that is the Clutch feels great to hold, adding a substantial amount of comfortable plastic that nestles into the heart of my palms. Of course, that size does add a fair bit of weight--especially when compared to other grips on this list--and it can take some time to get used to the extra heft. However, the ChargePlay Clutch comes with a few key advantages that make it a particularly appealing grip case even if it is a little on the heavy side.
Beyond its ergonomic factor, the most obvious advantage is in the name: the ChargePlay Clutch boasts a portable battery that can charge the Switch while you play. There is a catch, though. The battery's power delivery is not strong enough to completely replenish the Switch's battery while playing. The charging case will, however, keep your Switch alive for an extra two hours before running out of juice itself. I feel like I'm constantly charging my Switch, so hitting that power button is a much-appreciated luxury when the low-battery warning pops up. You can also plug in a USB-C cable while playing.
The rubber grips also feature a heavy-duty stand that feels sturdy and instills confidence that your Switch won't fall over if bumped. The Clutch makes for a great tabletop experience, especially since you can take the hand grips off of the unit, slide in the Joy-Cons, and use it as a more traditional controller, with a fit similar to the Switch's official Joy-Con grip. The two grips connect via magnets, which makes for a smooth and easy transition between handheld and tabletop play.
HyperX's ChargePlay Clutch is a great Switch grip with more utility than the competition. Those features allow it to be priced higher than the alternatives, but the battery life, excellent kickstand, and removable grips make the ChargePlay Clutch an easy choice.
Grip's battery life while playing Breath of the Wild:
- About 2 hours 15 minutes
- Kept Switch alive, charged from 5% to 13%
Charging the Switch in Sleep mode from 0% to 100%:
- About 2 hours, 1 out of 4 battery lights on afterward
Charging the Grip's battery from 0% to 100%:
- About 5 hours
Looking for a good tempered glass screen protector, battery pack, more storage space charging cable, cleaning cloth, AC adapter, or SD cards to improve your Nintendo Switch gaming experience? We're rounded up all the best Nintendo Switch accessories, as well as the best games you can play.