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The Nintendo Switch and everything you need for it.
The Nintendo Switch's mix of portable and TV modes makes us want every video game in the world to be ported to the console. 100-hour RPGs during our commute? Yes please! Multiplayer games outside, without a TV? Absolutely! Being able to play games both handheld or in docked mode with a Pro controller is a huge boon that lets us play games however we want, and means we get excited anytime we see a older game get ported to Switch. Those ports are usually not be as technically proficient as their counterparts on other consoles, but since the Switch has all the benefits of a Game Boy (and more, if you count motion controls), we don't mind too much, even as a new pair of consoles are set to launch in 2020.
The Switch's versatility in being both a portable handheld and a gaming console is likely the most appealing thing about Nintendo's system. The second-most appealing? The versatility of its accessories. From an outstanding controller and cases to stands and more, the Switch has a slew of gadgets that enhance the experience and, at times, change the game entirely.
In this Nintendo Switch buying guide, 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 Nintendo Switch buying guide and the best games and accessories to invest in. Whether you need a good Switch controller to play with, want to get your Switch online, or just want the best place to find a cheap SD card, we've got recommendations. 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.
Nintendo Switch console options
Nintendo Switch with better battery life - $300
The base Nintendo Switch model was replaced back in August of last year with a version that features an improved battery for longer portable gaming sessions. The original Switch has a battery life of about 2.5 to 6 hours after charging fully, 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. 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 also available for now (though supplies are likely limited, so if you want this model, you might want to act fast).
|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
There are tons of fantastic Switch 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. Along with single-player games, we have some multiplayer games, too, like Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order. 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
- Pokemon Sword/Shield
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. A wireless headset, battery pack, protective case, better handheld grip, memory card (no hard drive with this game console) 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.
- Arctis 1 Wireless Headset
- Nintendo Switch Pro Controller
- Nintendo Joy-Cons
- Link's Awakening Amiibo
- Nintendo Switch Online 12-Month individual membership
- 256GB SanDisk Ultra Micro SDXC card
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 devices 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: