Here's why you can't find a Nintendo Switch to buy right now

An image of the Nintendo Switch
(Image credit: Nintendo)

There's been a noticeable shortage of Nintendo Switch stock recently, with the Switch selling out at an unprecedented rate at almost all retailers, and making it near impossible to get hold of Nintendo's hybrid console. And we may finally know why.

According to a report by Motherboard (via VGC), a bot may be partly responsible for this stock shortage in North America. The report claims that a free open-source tool called 'Bird Bot' has emerged, which quickly purchases Nintendo Switch consoles as soon as they're back in stock for users of the tool.

A Discord community has even been set up for users to trade tips on how to use the bot most effectively, with some using the bot to resell consoles they purchase for a profit. After all, we've been eye-watering prices for the Nintendo Switch due to the high demand and stock shortages. 

How does it work exactly?

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Bird Bot reportedly notifies those who have signed up for the tool as soon as Nintendo Switch stock is in at select retailers, it then automatically adds the console to the user's basket and completes the checkout process, giving them a huge advantage over other customers - and likely resulting in stock selling out quicker.

Motherboard reports that over 1000 users have joined the Bird Bot Discord server.

While most of the community are using the bot to buy a console for themselves, resellers are also prominent in the community. The high demand for the Nintendo Switch is likely to due to Covid-19 pandemic, allowing resellers to take advantage of bots such as this to charge consumers extortionate rates.

We don't condone using bots like these to purchase Switch consoles, especially for security reasons.

So, if you're still in search for a Switch console, then check out our page on where to buy a Nintendo Switch, which is updated regularly with which retailers currently have Nintendo Switch and Switch Lite stock. 

Vic Hood
Associate Editor, TechRadar Gaming

Vic is TechRadar Gaming's Associate Editor. An award-winning games journalist, Vic brings experience from IGN, Eurogamer and more to the TechRadar table. You may have even heard her on the radio or speaking on a panel. Not only is Vic passionate about games, but she's also an avid mental health advocate who has appeared on both panels and podcasts to discuss mental health awareness. Make sure to follow her on Twitter for more.