Update: A fan of the semi-transparent atomic purple GameBoy Color? The latest mod we've discovered tells you how to get your own transparent casing on the Nintendo Switch. It looks great, but it takes a great deal of effort. Click through to see it for yourself.
Original article continues below...
The Nintendo Switch has been out for less than a month, but it’s already inspired some great hardware modifications. From simple fixes to common screen-scratching issues, to more aesthetically-minded elaborate docks featuring retro Nintendo consoles we've seen impressive amounts of creativity.
We’ve compiled a list of our favorites, and we’ll be adding to this list over the years as the internet gets more and more inventive with Nintendo’s latest piece of hardware.
Read on for our top picks from the community.
We’re particularly fond of how the mod makes use of each of the N64’s original design elements. Its controller ports are re-imagined as USB sockets, and the cartridge slot is now a slot for the Switch’s portable unit.
Sure, the dock means that you won’t be able to charge your Joy-Cons while the console is docked, but that’s a small price to pay for this slice of retro love.
Credit card dock mod
The Switch is already very easy to take out and about, but it’s a little more complicated if you want to connect it to another television while you’re on the road since the dock is quite bulky.
This mod changes all that. Simply plug it into your Switch’s USB-C port, and plug in HDMI and power cables, and you’ll be ready to go,
Minimalist dock mod
Aside from removing the piece of plastic that would otherwise cover the Switch’s screen, the dock is pretty identical to the official first-party version. It props the console up so it can remain nice and cool, and doesn’t take up too much room in the process.
We also like the fact that the designer has gone to the trouble of putting a little Switch logo on the front, which gives this dock a professional air that some of the other mods on this list lack.
Nintendo invented the modern D-pad with the original Nintendo Entertainment System, but the Nintendo Switch breaks with tradition by splitting its D-pad into four separate buttons.
This decision was made to allow the D-pad to act as face buttons when the left Joy-Con is used as a single controller rather than as a half of a pair, but it’s an annoying change for those of us that have grown accustomed to the classic design.
We’re not sure if this counts as a ‘mod’ per se, but after reports started to emerge of Switch docks scratching the console’s screen, enterprising users began to create fabric covers to protect their screens from the hard plastic dock.
The covers range from simple Mario logos to more complicated Zelda designs, but all should be more than sufficient to keep your screen scratch free.
We love what Nintendo has done with its new and colorful Joy-Cons, but we also have an appreciation of the retro that makes us love this mod just a little bit more.
Bringing together the new and the old, YouTube creator JordiPower has modified his grey Joy-Con controllers to look like SNES controllers. They may not have that off-white shade of the original controllers but the colorful buttons are more than enough to keep us happy.
JordiPower has filmed and posted a how to on creating these controllers for anyone desperate to make a pair of their own. Be warned, however – it requires some dismantling and some technical know-how so (and it will almost certainly void your warranty).
The Nintendo Switch is a highly portable console in many ways, but its dock? Not so much. It's light, sure, but it seems unnecessarily large considering it's largely empty aside from a small circuit board.
One clever Redditor, imnotashinobi, has gutted an official dock and created a travel version which they've dubbed "the dockling." Rather than place the Nintendo Switch tablet inside this dock, you connect it via USB-C. This does mean carrying an extra cable but that beats a bulky dock.
A Korean Nintendo Switch owner known as ClownTV has decided to go the retro route with the appearance of their Nintendo Switch has has skinned it to look like a SNES (Super Famicom) console.
They've not missed any details here – the dock, tablet, Joy-Con controllers and its grip are all covered front and back. As it's a skin and not a full paint job there are some ragged edges here and there but it's incredibly impressive and we wouldn't say no to a Switch that looks like this ourselves.
You can see more images of the console (we're talking images from every angle) right here.
Game Boy Advance SP dock
Another mod inspired by Nintendo's history, this Game Boy Advance SP has been cleverly turned into a thoroughly on-brand Switch dock.
Created by Alexander Blake and posted to imgur and Instagram (@CaptnAlex), this dock was inspired by the realization of the fact that the circuit board in the Nintendo Switch's real dock is around the size of an SP Game Boy.
Blake stripped out the insides of the SP and carved a hole above and inside the screen so that the dock connector would be protected and the Switch tablet could receive some back support. The dock is fully functional and even has HDMI, USB and power supply ports added.
Though its weight and size make for a less structurally sound dock, this mod is much more portable – something which many have been calling out for.
This is one of the most detailed and impressive Switch console mods we've seen so far. It's also incredibly meta. Created by the folks of at MakoMod, it's been designed to look like a Sheikah Slate from The Legend of Zelda (the item that Link uses to take pictures and look at maps in the game; it's basically Link's Switch).
You can watch the video showing the mod below which you'll need to do to really appreciate the level of detail that's gone into making it look like a combination of wood and stone as well as the engraving.
There have been plenty of Nintendo Switch mods but we've actually been surprised how few of them have focused on the iconic character that is Mario, particularly given the fact that the red and blue Joy-Cons lend themselves to it so well.
This mod dresses up the otherwise drab dock with the iconic Mario M. This mod was submitted to us by reader and creator GuanaKing.
Nintendo Switch dock mods have proven to be immensely popular but we always get a bit of a thrill from a good Joy-Con mod. More than any other part of the Switch console we think these controllers have the greatest scope for simple Nintendo-themed color changing.
BostianALX laid out the entire process for modding the Joy-Cons here for anyone that would like to see it.
Mini arcade case
3D printers are useful for a lot of things, but they're particularly handy for creating fun Nintendo Switch mods. Our latest favorite is this mini arcade cabinet posted to Thinverse.
Far from being a simple empty frame to support your console in tabletop mode, this mod contains some neat electronics including a USB-powered fan to keep the console cool. There's also a USB hub and extension to the front of the case which makes it possible to connect your controllers and even charge them.
You can make this mod for yourself using the guide on Thinverse. Apparently all of the electronic components come to just under $65, but you'll need to factor in the price of 3D printing the actual case too.
Remember when Nintendo released the GameBoy Color in that exciting kind-of-transparent atomic purple shade? That's something we'd love to see officially happen for the Nintendo Switch. Until such times, though, there's always mods.
YouTuber JerryRigsEverything has put together a DIY guide which details how to replace the Switch's solid plastic casing a transparent one. It's worth noting, however, that though this is a guide this modification is extremely fiddly and will take a delicate hand with a lot of patience.
There are a lot of screws, wires and fragile parts involved so you'd better feel prepare to follow this project through to its end if you start it. Particularly because the Switch's warranty won't cover any mistakes you make.