Fri. Apr 19th, 2024


You’ve got a Switch, some games, and an online subscription—what more could you need? How about some of the best console accessories to make controlling, traveling, and powering your console a more pleasant experience?


UPDATE: 12/22/2023

Based on our testing, we’ve reviewed our recommendations and updated our picks for the best portable Switch dock and best battery pack.

Which Switch Accessories Are Worth It in 2023?

Nintendo provides the bare essentials to get you started gaming on the Switch. This includes one pair of Joy-Con controllers, a dock for playing on the TV, and a charging cable. But you will want to invest in additional accessories for comfort, convenience, and even an edge in some games.

A full-sized controller is one investment you’ll want to make if you play in TV mode. Nintendo’s Joy-Con controllers tread the line between portability and functionality, but they’re not the most comfortable way of playing over long sessions, and they’ve been plagued with stick drift problems since the console hit the market.

If you’ve sprung for a Nintendo Switch Online membership, you’ll also get access to older games from the NES and SNES era, plus Genesis and N64 titles if you opt for the more expensive tier. You can play these titles with Joy-Con, but if you want to relive them as they were intended, you might want to invest in more period-appropriate hardware.

In addition, one of the best things about the Switch is its portability, and many are drawn to the console to use it while traveling. Some accessories can make the time you spend on the move more comfortable, both in terms of feel and reducing the number of things you have to carry.

Protecting your Switch on the move and running out of power are two hurdles most owners will want to overcome, and if you want to make sure you can load up on games before a long trip then you’ll want more than the paltry 32GB of internal storage (or 64GB on the OLED model).

Even if you’re relatively happy with your Switch, a few of these accessories will make your overall experience even better, all for the price of a new cartridge or two. If you’re on a tight budget, saving some money on Switch titles to spend on hardware might sweeten the deal.

How Did We Research

Models Evaluated

Hours Researched

Reviews Analyzed

45

10

20

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Nintendo Switch Pro Controller
Corbin Davenport / How-To Geek

Pros

Cons

✓ The most comfortable way to play Switch games

✗ No infrared scanner

✓ USB-C charging and huge battery life

✓ Includes HD rumble, gyro for motion controls, and Amiibo functionality

The official Nintendo Switch Pro Controller isn’t just the most comfortable way to play Switch titles, it might just be the most comfortable controller on the entire market. It’s essential if you want to play first-person shooters and other fast-paced games on your Switch in TV mode, and it makes long play sessions much more comfortable if you have larger hands.

The controller has two full-sized analog sticks that allow for more considered movement, whether that’s your on-screen character or a crosshair. This makes aiming a weapon or traversing tricky platforming sections easier and more comfortable, and the full-sized face buttons have more travel and a better overall feel than those on the Joy-Con.

The Pro Controller includes gyro functionality for motion aiming, better HD rumble, and built-in Amiibo functionality like the Joy-Con. The ZL and ZR triggers aren’t analog, and there’s no infrared scanner, but you won’t care when you feel the controller in your hand. It charges over USB-C, and the battery lasts a whopping 40 hours.

nintendo switch controller pro

Nintendo Switch Pro Controller

Best Wireless Nintendo Switch Controller

A full-sized controller for playing Nintendo Switch games in comfort. Larger analog sticks, face buttons, and a proper D-pad put the Pro controller leaps ahead of the Joy-Con in just about every game.

The 8Bitdo Pro 2 wireless controller
Jordan Gloor / How-To GeekJordan Gloor / Review GeekJordan Gloor / LifeSavvy

Pros

Cons

✓ Eye-catching design

✗ Only a few customizable buttons

✓ Also works on PC and mobile

✓ Customizable vibration settings

8Bitdo churns out some of the best third-party controllers on the market, so it should be no surprise that the Pro 2 Bluetooth Controller is at the top of its class. Based on the Nintendo controller layouts of yesteryear, the sleek gamepad brings a modern flair to an otherwise decidedly retro design.

Although it looks old-school, the 8Bitdo Pro 2 offers Bluetooth connectivity, Switch, PC, and mobile support, and even lets you set up custom profiles. You’ll also have access to two customizable back buttons—which is a bit light for a “pro” controller, but is a nice touch on this retro design.

Aside from customizable back buttons, you can modify the Pro 2 Bluetooth Controller’s vibration settings. There’s even a six-axis motion sensor for motion controls and adjustable hair triggers that come in handy during fast-paced multiplayer games.

Most players will find this retro gamepad a welcome addition to their collection, especially considering its price tag (which clocks in well below the wireless Switch Pro Controller mentioned above).

8bitdo pro 2

8Bitdo Pro 2 Bluetooth Controller

Best Retro Nintendo Switch Controller

The 8Bitdo Pro 2 Bluetooth Controller successfully merges old-school design with modern conveniences, making it the best way to experience your old favorite games all over again.

Best Nintendo Switch Controller Accessory: Fixture S1

Fixture S1 on pink and yellow background
Fixture

Pros

Cons

✓ Play your Switch in portable mode using the Nintendo Switch Controller

✗ Can feel a little unwieldy, like other controller mounts

✓ Reposition the Switch to get comfortable

✗ Might be a pain to attach and detach for travel

✓ Much better than Joy-Con adapters for long play sessions

The Fixture S1 makes it possible to clip your original Nintendo Switch (though not the Switch Lite or OLED) to the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller and enjoy a comfortable Switch gaming experience wherever you are.

You can then position the mount so it’s most comfortable for you, while still having access to the charging and headphone ports. If you do a lot of portable gaming, you may have used similar clips to secure your smartphone onto an Xbox or PlayStation controller for a more comfortable mobile gaming experience. The Fixture S1 is the same concept, just with the Switch console instead of a smartphone.

The Fixture S1 is a solid bit of kit that will hold your console securely in place while you play, using the rails on either side of the Switch unit just like the Joy-Con. Of course, like all of these mounts, the But, due to the weight of the mount, Fixture S1 can feel a bit heavy and unwieldy. If you have no problem with smartphone controller mounts, you will be fine with this one.

Basically, this mount is perfect if you find the Joy-Con controllers uncomfortable for long periods of play, or if you prefer the feel of the Pro Controller and want to get more use out of it. The Fixture S1 can also be collapsed to sit directly over the Pro Controller when not in use, so you don’t necessarily have to remove it whenever you’re done gaming.

fixture s1

Fixture S1

Best Controller Accessory

Play your Nintendo Switch in handheld mode with the Pro controller easily thanks to the Fixture S1.

rocketfish tv dock
Rocketfish

Pros

Cons

✓ A small dock that’s easy to pack

✗ Still a bit bigger than some other offerings

✓ Lets you leave your full-size Nintendo dock at home

The Nintendo Switch is a portable device, of course, but it’s not the easiest to take on the go if you want to play it on a TV wherever you’re traveling to. You can, of course, unplug the dock that came with your Switch and take it with you, but the size of the case makes it cumbersome—not to mention that your cables are not likely to be in an accessible place for unplugging.

An easier option is a smaller portable dock, and the Rocketfish TV Dock Kit is perfect for both the Switch and Switch OLED versions. This is a barebones dock with no extra bells and whistles, but it does what you want it to in a more compact form than the official Switch dock, and what more do you need? The TV Dock Kit is also weighted, so you don’t need to worry about a slight jostle knocking your console out of place.

That said, this isn’t the smallest Switch Dock available, but Rocketfish’s dock balances size, price, and build quality to make the slightly bigger size worth it.

rocketfish dock

Rocketfish TV Dock Kit For Nintendo Switch

Best Nintendo Switch Dock

Rocketfish’s Switch Dock is more compact, making it easier to take on the go.

anker nano charger header
Anker

Pros

Cons

✓ Very small and easy to carry

✗ Smaller size means smaller battery

✓ Built-in USB-C connector

✓ Great price

While there are several battery pack cases for the Nintendo Switch, they are often met with poor reviews and numerous returns on Amazon. So while a battery pack that attaches to your Switch might seem most convenient, it’s better to invest in a small portable charger to keep your Switch topped off. Anker’s Nano Power Bank will be the perfect Switch accessory.

While marketed to iPhone users, this charger can be used with any device that has a USB-C connector, and that includes the Switch. You don’t need a separate USB-C cable, either—the connector is built right into the bank itself, so you can plug it in and keep playing. Due to its size, it’ll nestle at the bottom of your Switch as it charges, and won’t get in your way or add too much weight.

The main problem with a portable charger, however, is that it’ll have a smaller battery. Smaller battery means less of a charge, so you can’t expect this charger to keep your Switch going for hours. But if you just need a quick charge, this charger is hard to beat.

anker nano charger

Anker Nano Power Bank (Type-C)

Best Nintendo Switch Battery Pack

This tiny charger can give a top off to any of your USB-C devices, including the Nintendo Switch.

Sandisk Extreme Plus card on pink and yellow background
SanDisk

Pros

Cons

✓ 200MB/s read and 140MB/s write speed

✗ Expensive compared to similar size A1 cards

✓ Available in capacities from 128Gb to 1TB

✓ Includes an SD card adapter

✓ A2-rated for efficient access of stored apps

The SanDisk Extreme PLUS MicroSDXC is one of the fastest cards that will work with the memory system of the Nintendo Switch. While it’s not cheap and might seem like overkill to some, this A2-rated memory card is likely to deliver noticeable performance improvements over older MicroSD cards.

With a maximum read speed of 200MB/s and a write speed of 140MB/s, the Extreme PLUS is twice as fast as many A1 cards. Yet Nintendo recommends using a MicroSD card with read speeds of between 60 and 95MB/s, so it’s easy to assume that using a faster card won’t impact loading times and other memory-dependant processes.

With an A2-rated card, optimized for reading and writing to stored applications, it isn’t just about raw speed. How efficiently it can do those things makes a big difference. In our recent tests against an older A1 card, game loading times were significantly better with the Extreme PLUS, almost on par with the internal Switch storage.

Considering the relatively high price, the Extreme PLUS might not be a cost-effective upgrade if you already have a reasonably quick, high-capacity card in your Switch. But if considering an increase in storage capacity anyway, this is a great way to get a performance boost alongside the extra space.

sandisk extreme plus

SanDisk Extreme PLUS MicroSDXC

Best Nintendo Switch Memory Card

Although not the cheapest MicroSDXC card around, the A2-rated Extreme PLUS is extremely fast at both reading and writing, and as reliable as you would expect from SanDisk storage.

Game Travel Case on orange background
Game Traveler

Pros

Cons

✓ Cheap and cheerful tough case for all Switch models

✗ Tougher, premium cases exist

✓ Doubles up as a stand with room for 8 game cards

✗ Some Amazon reviews complain of a strong plastic smell

✓ Bares Nintendo’s official seal of approval

A case is essential if you want to keep your Switch in good condition while traveling. We don’t think you need to spend much money on a case, which is why the Game Traveler Nintendo Switch Case gets our pick. It’s tough, fits all models of Nintendo Switch, and comes in at less than $20.

The sturdy fabric outer shell should protect your Switch from bumps and drops, with a carry handle and soft inner lining to prevent the screen from getting scuffed in transit. There’s room for the Switch and up to 8 games inside, so you’ll need to carry your power adapter, controllers, and dock separately if you’re taking it with you.

The Game Traveler case will protect your Switch against most drops and stop your console from getting scratched up in a bag, but there’s a limit to the protection it provides. It’s a light case at a low price point, but tougher cases exist (particularly if you’re worried about crushing damage). A few Amazon reviewers have noted a strong plastic smell coming from the case, with many noting that this dissipates over time.

If you want something a little more expansive (and willing to pay more), give the Zadii Hard Carrying Case a look instead.

game traveler case

Game Traveler Switch Case

Best Nintendo Switch Carrying Case

$10 $20 Save $10

The Game Traveler Nintendo Switch Case bears the Nintendo seal of approval and is tough enough to protect your Switch console on the move.

FAQ

Does the Nintendo Switch have Bluetooth?

Yes, Nintendo Switch supports Bluetooth devices.

How do you connect a Nintendo Switch to your TV?

The normal way to connect your Switch to the TV is to place it in its dock, which has an HDMI input. When docked, your Switch’s built-in display will turn black, and the picture will be translated to your TV.

What models of the Nintendo Switch are available?

There are three Switch models on the market. The Switch OLED (which offers a large, vibrant display), the Switch Lite (which is much more affordable but is limited to handheld mode), and the standard Nintendo Switch.

Why won’t my Nintendo Switch turn on?

There are several reasons your Switch might not be turning on—but the most common culprit is a drained battery. Try plugging your console in for about a half hour, letting it charge, then try turning it on again. If that doesn’t work, you may need to do some more in-depth troubleshooting.

Does the Nintendo Switch come with games?

No. However, keep in mind that the Switch eShop is home to dozens of free-to-play titles, meaning anyone with internet access can play dozens of titles without spending extra cash.



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By John P.

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