After a mediocre reception to the Wii U, Nintendo went back to the drawing board and came up with something unique: the Switch. This hybrid home/handheld console lets you play games on the screen of the main unit or remove its edge controllers, called Joy-Cons, and use them as individual gamepads. Its versatility and impressive list of exclusive titles have made it one of the best-selling gaming consoles in history.
To get the most out of your Nintendo Switch, you’ll want to make sure that it’s properly set up. Luckily, it’s a cinch to do. Just plug the console’s dock into your TV via HDMI, then hook it up to a power source using the included USB Type-C cable. You’ll also need a wired remote, which you can find in our accessories section, and two Joy-Cons for your hands.
Once your new Nintendo Switch is all set up, you’re ready to start playing. Whether you’re playing on your TV or the console itself, there are some things that every gamer should know.
A quick note on the system’s form factor: because it’s mostly a chunk of plastic, the Switch can easily warp if you’re not careful with it. To avoid this, always try to keep it flat on a table when you’re not using it. If it does get warped, though, don’t fret; Nintendo offers a warranty for its products that will cover this issue.
In addition to its three different modes of play, the Nintendo Switch has a unique feature that sets it apart from Sony’s PlayStation 4 and Microsoft’s Xbox Series X. Unlike those next-gen consoles, which require you to purchase an extra accessory for online multiplayer, the Switch lets players enjoy this feature without any additional cost.
While the Switch isn’t as powerful as the PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X, it does still pack enough punch to support a solid library of games. Some of the biggest franchises in video games are only available on this platform, including the wildly popular Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey.
If you’re looking for even more great games to play, check out our top picks for the best games on the Nintendo Switch. Or, if you want to jump into the multiplayer action, check out our guide to the best games for the console’s online multiplayer mode.
Nintendo Switch Online, the company’s paid-for subscription service for online multiplayer, is launching this fall. It’ll have a monthly fee, but you’ll be able to sign up for a free seven-day trial before committing to it. It will also be compatible with the upcoming backward-compatible multiplayer game Splatoon 2, which will take advantage of the console’s unique form factor to create an off-the-wall experience for you and up to three friends. You can learn more about this upcoming service in our dedicated article. Nintendo Switch