The Nintendo Switch isn't any old console. In fact, it has a very unique proposition.
The good news is, if you've got your hands on a Switch, set it up and bought a few of the best games available for it, then you've technically got everything you need to start playing whenever (and wherever) you like.
But because it's a hybrid console, we'd argue that there are a couple of key accessories you need to really make the most of the Nintendo Switch experience. Whether you're playing in tabletop mode, TV mode, or handheld mode, there's an accessory that'll make your life and gameplay a lot easier, safer and probably more fun too.
Because the Nintendo Switch is a handheld device that's mostly made up of a big screen, your first port of call should be to grab yourself some screen protectors and a carry case. These are essentials in our opinion.
But there are also some other accessories that you should consider buying if you're really going to unlock the Switch's full potential, such as portable chargers, MicroSD cards and Joy-Con compatible steering wheels.
The problem is there are a lot of accessories on the market for your shiny new Nintendo Switch, so we've collected together all the important ones that are currently available, explained what they're used for, and whether or not they're actually going to be useful for you, we’ve rounded up a bunch of the key first and third-party Switch accessories right here.
If you’re not particularly enamored with the Joy-Con controllers and want something that’s a little more traditional you should consider picking up the Nintendo Switch Pro controller.
Though the Joy-Con controllers do have a grip which unties them to form a single device, it doesn’t have a traditional D-pad and nor does it look quite as ergonomically sound as the Pro controller for longer play sessions.
With its motion controls, HD rumble and Amiibo support it’s a solid alternative to the Joy-Con controllers. You can buy it in a standard grey but for something a little more colorful there are also Xenoblade Chronicles and Splatoon 2-themed options with neon pink and green accents. These do, however, come at a slightly higher cost.
Despite the benefits of the Pro controller for the single player, it might also be worth picking up some extra Joy-Con controllers if you’re fond of multiplayer gaming.
You might as well face the fact that not everyone in your life will have picked up a Switch. They're still kind of hard to come by. Though you could make the purchase of Joy-Con controllers a prerequisite for entry to your home, it might be better for your personal relationships to have a few extra controllers on hand for any impromptu multiplayer sessions.
Joy-Con color selections are growing all the time. Alongside the neon red and blue and grey versions which were available at launch, it's now possible to pick up a matching neon yellow pair and a Splatoon 2-inspired neon pink and green set.
Joy-Con controllers can be purchased separately or in a pair. It's worth noting that you save a little on each individual controller by paying for a pair outright.
Nyko Power Shell Case for Nintendo Switch
There's nothing scarier than letting a fragile handheld jostle around in a bag during your commute into work or school. And while the Nintendo Switch is relatively sturdy, it too could use a bit more protection while traveling from Point A to Point B. Cue the Power Shell Case from Nyko.
Not only does the Power Shell protect your most coveted of handhelds, but it can charge it, too, using its built-in 5000 mAh battery pack - which basically doubles the battery life of the console. If charging and protection aren't enough, there's even room to store up to 12 games and four SD cards. It's about as multi-purpose as they come.
It's available right now on Amazon for $29!
Joy-Con grip kit
If you’d rather not buy a Pro controller but you would like your additional Joy-Con controllers to be slightly more comfortable when they’re being used separately, you could always buy a grip kit.
This kit containing two controller grips and two thumb grips will make your slim Joy-Con controllers slightly bulkier and more akin to a traditional controller shape which should reduce any discomfort that would arise in a longer play session.
Game cartridge case
If you’re a physical media fan rather than a download fan, you should probably consider purchasing a game card case for when you take your Switch on the go. Even when storing your games at home it’s a much more compact way of keeping your Switch cartridges in order than piling up each of the individual game boxes.
True LAN parties are possible on the Nintendo Switch, but only if you have an Ethernet adapter as the console doesn’t actually have a standard Ethernet port itself.
If you’d like to connect up to 10 docked Switch consoles for an intense Splatoon 2 tournament with your friends with no dodgy wireless connection worries, you’ll need to pick up one of these. It's not been confirmed whether or not an official Nintendo adapter is necessary or if one you already have will suffice. If you'd rather be safe than sorry, though, you can pick up the official Nintendo Switch adapter for £26.99/$29.99.
No, the Joy-Con grip that comes boxed with your console will not charge your Joy-Con controllers, but considering the Joy-Con controllers have around 20 hours of battery life in them, this shouldn’t prove to be too much of a problem.
However, we all have those times post-play where we just throw our controller on the sofa and walk away. If you just know you’re likely to play with the grip frequently and forget to reattach the controllers to your docked console this could be a purchase worth considering.
You buy protective accessories for your phone, you buy them for your tablet, and we’d say it’s worth buying them for your Nintendo Switch to keep it secure and safe when it’s undocked and on the move.
You can get this nifty Mario case officially licensed by Nintendo which includes a screen protector, earbuds, character-branded Joy-Con Armor Guards, thumb caps, cleaning cloth, and applicator for $29.99/£29.99.
If, however, you're less concerned about themed branding there's also this starter kit from Orzly which comes in at £14.99.
We'd definitely recommend picking up this kit for the screen protector alone; there have been reports of players scratching the tablet screen when docking the console for home play so they're worth investing in.
If you’re not really into the idea of buying and hoarding game cards and would rather digitally purchase your Switch games, you’ll definitely want to look into buying a microSD card.
The Nintendo Switch only has 32GB of internal memory and considering games like The Legend of Zelda will take up to around 13GB of storage, the ability to expand the console’s memory is essential.
The Switch will support microSD and SDHC cards as well as SDXC cards of up to 2TB, even though the latter aren’t actually available for purchase yet.
Think you’ll probably play the Switch in tabletop mode a lot? Then you’ll want to look into purchasing the HORI playstand.
Although the Switch has a flip out leg on its rear that will support it, it doesn’t really leave any clearance for plugging a charging cable into the USB-C port on the console’s base. The HORI playstand will allow for this, though, as it lifts the console off the surface you’re playing on as well as offering adjustable angles for more comfortable play.
Planning to use the Switch on the go a lot? It could be worth investing in a sturdy external battery pack if you haven’t already.
The Switch’s portable battery life isn’t unreasonable but it isn’t stellar either and since you can’t guarantee you’re always going to be near a plug socket to top up its charge a back up power source will rarely go wrong. Just make sure you have a USB-C cable to connect it.
Given that it is mostly screen, we'd recommend buying some kind of protector for your Switch console. Users have reported that they've scratched their console when lifting it from the dock but anyone with a phone or tablet will know, you don't need a dock for accidents to happen.
You can pick up third-party protectors created by Orzly for as little as £5.99 on Amazon.
The Nintendo Switch itself may be a portable console, but its bulky dock isn't which isn't ideal if you want to take the entire set up on the go to play on a TV that isn't your own.
Fortunately, there's a third-party solution to that problem. Accessory maker Nyko has created a much smaller dock for the Nintendo Switch. So small it can fit in the palm of your hand.
Being so small, it doesn't have the comforting stability of Nintendo's official dock or USB ports but it's a great on-the-go solution. With a recommended retail price of $44.99 it's an affordable one, too.
The dock has been released and can be purchased on Nyko's official website.
Do be warned before buying and using third-party docks, though – there have been reports that they're bricking player consoles and Nintendo is not open to repairing devices that have been damaged by unlicensed peripherals.
Joy-Con battery extension
While the Switch's Joy-Con controllers don't have dismal battery life, we do sometimes forget to charge them. If you're forever finding your battery is running low mid-game you might be interested in Nintendo's official Joy-Con battery packs.
This battery pack will essentially slide onto the back of your Joy-Con controllers and power them using AA batteries. They do add slightly more bulk but this might suit those who feel the Joy-Cons are on the small side.
Joy-Con wheel pair
If you take your Mario Karting seriously, you might be interested in a Joy-Con steering wheel adaptor. This wireless wheel will use the motion sensors in the Joy-Con to allow you to feel like you're driving a real cart. There's a learning curve to using these and they're on the small side but they add a new dimension to racing games. It's especially convenient that they come in a pair so you don't have to send your friends off to buy their own.
Part software, part hardware, Nintendo Labo is the latest release that you have to get for your Nintendo Switch console. If building cardboard peripherals which work with real games and can be reprogrammed in whatever way takes your fancy then you'll want to take a look at this. Nintendo Labo is great for any kids and adults that have an interest in building, creating and tinkering around with tech.