New Switch Buy What?
The PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S are out but stores are out of stock everywhere! And since Chinese New Year is coming round the corner and you’ll be stuck at home with minimal visiting, you need an entertainment system to keep you preoccupied. Well, the Nintendo Switch will be your old faithful. It has an abundance of stock everywhere, and has great first-party and third-party games alike! But the biggest question mark for newly-minted Switch owners will most likely be, what accessories and games do I get for my Nintendo Switch? Some stores will try to upsell you a multitude of items you don’t need, so this guide is here to inform you on the essential peripherals that you absolutely require for the Switch.
1: Screen Protector
Say what you will about everything else, a screen protector is something you definitely want to invest in when getting anything with a screen, especially when the Switch has touchscreen capabilities and certain games will have you prodding and swiping on the screen for hours on end (I got you Rhythm game fans).
Currently there are two different versions of a screen protector that you may want to consider, the technical terms being the bendy one and the glass one.
(a) PET or Polyethylene Terephthalate is the one you get when you don’t want a tempered glass version. It is the standard clear screen protector that sometimes takes a while to squeeze out air bubbles, but ultimately lasts a good while, although they don’t provide much in terms of impact protection. A variation of this will be the privacy protector, which sprays on an added anti-spy layer to make it relatively matte.
(b) Tempered Glass Screen Protectors offer better protection against hard knocks and drops, which will shatter the screen protector first, protecting your screen. A downside to this is sometimes a drop which may not have cracked your screen will crack the screen protector, meaning you might need to replace this more frequently (Unless you don’t mind the cracks on your screen protector, you monster). Tempered Glass protectors are usually thicker as well, and that thickness might be off-putting to some users.
2: Cases v.s. Pouches
What’s the difference between a case and a pouch? Naming convention I suppose. But for the purpose of this article, let’s define a case as an extra layer of protection you put on your Switch, like a shell or a skin. A pouch would be a carry bag with a zip or Velcro, something you store your Switch in. Like the screen protector, we recommend you get at least one of these to protect your Switch. You can use both at the same time to give your Switch maximum protection, but if you’re hard pressed for cash (after spending it on the Switch), knowing which one complements your usage would help you make an informed decision.
(a) Cases like Nyko Thin Case or Gatz Exo-Suit offers a slim outer shell for your Switch, protecting the main console from scratches and often comes with Joy-Con TPU shells as well. A full-body case like the Mumba or the Skull & Co. GripCase offers similar protection, although you need to remove the case to remove your Joy-Cons.
We would recommend using something similar to Nyko or Gatz if you mainly use your Switch at home and in docked mode. The Joy-Cons are easy to remove, and since you aren’t bringing your console out, there’s really no need for a carrying pouch.
If you mainly use your Switch in handheld mode, then something like the Skull & Co GripCase will be extremely handy, as if offers full protection for your console, and looks great as well. This case can be brought outside as well, as you need not worry about scratches or your Joy-Cons getting lose when you store it in your bag.
(b) Pouches like the Hori Slim Hard Pouch or the Tomtoc Slim Switch Case are great for travel, as they keep your Switch encased and secure. Some pouches have straps or a handle attached as well, which makes carrying it around infinitely more convenient. The plus side to a pouch is that it usually comes with spaces to store game cartridges and other small accessories, although some slim pouches will not have this feature. Something small to take note of is that some cases for the Switch will not fit into some pouches, so if you’re planning to double-stack, then you may need to do a little bit of research and measuring. If the shop you get it at lets you try the pouch before purchase, then even better for you.
If you plan on bringing your Switch overseas, or want to frequently bring your entire set-up to chalets or your friend’s houses for parties, investing in a travel bag might be a good option for you. These are much larger pouches and can usually store everything you need for the Switch to run in docked mode. These bags are more bulky however, so if you plan to purchase it for daily use, take the huge size into consideration as well. The travel bag could look like an XXL regular hard shell pouch like the Dobe Storage EVA Bag, or it could come in a sling bag form like the Hori Shoulder Bag.
There is a third option for cases & pouches and that is specially designed Switch Grips with custom pouches, like the Satisfye ZenGrip Pro which gives you the option to include a special carrying bag to fit the case into. However usually this option is for users who venture into the realm of comfort more than functionality and can be categorised as luxury accessories (Although to be fair, the Switch is a luxury item in itself).
3: Joy-Con Controllers v.s. Pro Controllers
Every Switch owner’s eternal dilemma, should I get additional Joy-Cons, or should I get a Pro Controller. Some like the diversity of use of the Joy-Cons, as they are essentially two extra controllers rolled into one, and some prefer the Pro Controller for comfort. There is no correct answer, as what you intend to use your Switch for will determine what additional controllers you purchase. You might even choose to get neither, and just use your base Switch set, and there is nothing wrong with that.
(a) Joy-Con Controllers are really useful for multiplayer, as purchasing one set awards you with 2 additional controllers to play multiplayer games. We recommend purchasing Joy-Cons if you intend to use your Switch mainly for this purpose, to allow your family and friends to get in on the action. The downside to Joy-Cons are their size, being relatively small. Some users have larger hands and the Joy-Con buttons and analog sticks can feel small and cramped even when in vertical mode. There are some grips and analog stick attachments attempting to alleviate that inconvenience whoever, like Kontrolfreek.
(b) Pro Controllers are designed for comfort, giving you an ergonomic experience while playing. They can be used for both single and multiplayer, but if you’re looking to invest in just one option, getting a Pro Controller will be recommended for people who intend to play mostly by themselves. This does not mean single-player games, this means that if you don’t usually have anyone over, or you game mostly by yourself, be it offline or online, then getting a Pro Controller will be a good investment. Of course if you have the cash, getting 2 or more Pro Controllers to play multiplayer with your friends and family is highly recommended. There are a bunch of good and affordable pro controllers on the market, which we covered in a previous post, so I will just link you to that.
4: Bluetooth Adapters
As technology gets more and more advanced, wires get used less and less. While some audiophiles still swear by a good wired sound experience, convenience is currently the name of the game, and there is nothing more convenient than wireless audio on your Switch (People who play on the go while muted, please don’t talk to me).
There are a bunch of good Bluetooth adapters on the market, but one brand we can swear by is Genki: Bluetooth Audio for the Nintendo Switch by Human Things. With aptX Low Latency support, we have tested it and found it work extremely well with headphones or earphones that have aptX LL. Of course your regular AirPods will still have audio delay so don’t scream at us when that happens, you’ll need to shell out some cash to get a better audio device. Another fairly good brand is Gulikit, but you’ll need to get the Route+, as the Route Air has some reported audio delay, although if you don't mind a little delay, the Route Air is cheaper.
Something to take note is that if you are using a Switch Case/Shell, some adapters that plug in using the USB-C port may not fit.
Of course this is a no-brainer, you need games to play on your gaming console. While we do have an extensive guide on which genre of games suits you best (which you should definitely give a read), games on the switch can typically be categorised into First-Party and Third-Party.
(a) First-Party games refers to games made by Nintendo, or use Nintendo IP (Intellectual Properly – meaning their characters like Mario, Zelda, etc). Good examples of games of this category are Super Mario Odyssey, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Arms and even Clubhouse Games: 51 Worldwide Classics. Generally you can’t go wrong with purchasing First-Party Nintendo games as they have a very high standard and quality, although if you dislike platforming, then don’t get Mario, or if you don’t like Action-Adventure, don’t get Zelda and so on.
(b) Third-Party games refers to games made by everyone else and may or may not be excusive to the Switch. A good example is the upcoming Monster Hunter Rise, which is exclusively for the Nintendo Switch, but is made by Capcom. For this category, generally you’ll want to read a few reviews or watch some Switch gameplay. This is because games ported over to the Switch can run extremely well, or extremely bad. Framerate issues, stuttering, bad textures, bad responsiveness, these are just a few examples of a bad port which may end up ruining the game for you. Of course not every game is like this, and sometimes Nintendo games are like this as well. Just read some reviews online and watch a Youtuber or Twitch streamer try his/her hand at the game and you’ll be good to go!
And with that, this is a list of the items you’ll definitely need when you get a Switch, or things you’ll require along the way. Of course there are a bunch of other accessories that you may want, or are important to you, but generally once you have items from these 5 categories, you’ll be game-ready!
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