The Nintendo Switch has now been out for two years, and it’s selling at a pace which hasn’t been seen in a long time. With over 32 million consoles sold as of this writing, Nintendo’s baby is set to eclipse the Xbox One soon, and is selling at a comparable rate to that of PlayStation 4. As for its predecessor, the Wii U, let’s just say that the milestone was passed a long time ago.
All of this to say that the Nintendo Switch is a pretty sweet system. It has all the portability of Nintendo’s usual handheld juggernauts, but it also has the blockbuster games and franchises that are usually reserved for the home consoles. It’s a nice deal, but that’s not to say that the Switch is perfect. It is pretty close, sure, but there are still some minor annoyances that can hinder some users’ experience.
Thankfully, most of those issues have already been addressed, either by Nintendo itself, by one of its licensees, or by some third-party manufacturer trying to make money off a hot item. With such a wide sea of peripherals on sale at any moment, it can become hard to distinguish a good add-on worth your money from something which could possibly brick your console due to shoddy manufacturing.
To help you with that, we have made a list of some of the problems one could encounter with their Nintendo Switch, and along with which item could take care of that for you at a reasonable price.
Not all of these will fit the way you play, but there’s sure to be at least one little gem which could greatly enhance your experience.
20 PROBLEM: The Switch’s Screen Is Prone To Scratching
Like anyone who has ever owned a phone can attest, those touch screens are particularly prone to wear and tear and can become scratched quite easily. The Nintendo Switch is not special in that regard. Sure, Nintendo has always been known to make sturdy product, but there’s only so many ways you can manufacture a display without raising the MSRP considerably. The Switch has also been known to get some scuff marks near the bottom of the screen for users who carelessly dock their console.
19 SOLUTION: Tempered Glass To The Rescue
Thankfully, someone has come up with these fantastic screen protectors to take care of the issue. These are made from tempered glass, and not just regular old plastic like those flimsy iPhone anti-scratch films. This means that the glass is more durable and less likely to break. It’s also incredibly thin, so you’ll still be able to dock your Switch without a problem. Finally, the protectors come in packs of two, so even if you do end up scratching it, maybe with a diamond blade or something, you can easily replace it.
18 PROBLEM: The Joy-Cons Are Uncomfortable When Used As Single Controller
The fact that a single tiny Joy-Con can be a fully functional controller is mind-boggling. I have had to use it both for Mario Kart 8 and for Rocket League, and it’s extremely convenient when you get more than four players and you need extra controllers in a pinch. The only problem is that is can become uncomfortable real fast, especially when playing games that require a bit more dexterity. Still, it’s better than not having any controller at all, and it’s cheaper than just buying two more Pro Controllers. Unless…
17 SOLUTION: Joy-Con Grips Will Take The Pain Away
Cheaper than buying an extra Pro Controller for the few times when people are over, these Joy-Con grips simply add a layer of comfort on top of the minuscule devices. I wouldn’t recommend using these for playing 200 hours of Super Mario Odyssey, but they more than do the trick when an impromptu player stops by. They do nothing fancy, but the difference between a naked Joy-Con and one that uses those grips is night and day. At the very least, it makes holding a Joy-Con a less awkward experience for people with sizable mitts.
16 PROBLEM: You Want To Play Smash Online And The Lag Is Annoying
A portable console like the Nintendo Switch obviously had to go with a wireless connection as its primary mean of connecting to the internet. That much is understandable.
What is a bit strange is that none of Nintendo’s consoles have ever had a built-in Ethernet port.
Even the Switch’s dock is devoid of such a port, probably because it would have made the bundle more expensive. However, it would have made intense games of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate much less prone to lagging and dropped connections.
15 SOLUTION: Get Your Own Ethernet Adapter
Buying an ethernet adapter for the Wii or Wii U was a lot more expensive back in the days. Thankfully, the technology has become so ubiquitous that you can take care of this issue for less than fifteen dollars. The cool thing is that it doesn’t even need any kind of difficult setup. You just plug this baby into your dock’s USB port, connect the Ethernet cable to your router or modem, and you’re in business. Obviously, this kind of connection only works in docked mode, but competitive Smash is always better played sitting comfortably in your favorite chair.
14 PROBLEM: You Want To Bring Your Switch At A Friend’s Place But Don’t Feel Like Unplugging Your Dock
The charging stand we featured earlier is great for portable play but will only allow you to use the tabletop mode. If you want to bring your Switch over to a friend’s place and still wish to play on a big screen, you basically need to unhook your own dock from your television and bring it over. It’s super doable, of course, but it does get annoying when you have to do it often. Still, short of your friends buying their own Switch (which they might not be able to afford), it’s the best you can do, right?
13 SOLUTION: Of Course There’s A Portable Dock!
Since the Nintendo Switch is a portable console, and you never know when or where someone might challenge you to a Smash duel, a portable dock is an interesting little item. For those who would rather be ready for everything, this alternative lets you have all of the functionalities of Nintendo’s big official dock, but in a gadget that’s smaller than most smartphones. It does not come with its own power adapter, but if you’re like me, you probably already have two official ones: one for home, and one that’s always in your travel bag.
12 PROBLEM: Your Joy-Cons Can Only Be Charged When Hooked To The Console
The Joy-Cons are amazing pieces of technology, and the battery lasts forever. If you only have a single pair of Joy-Cons, then you probably have never encountered this problem. If you have a second pair that you use for multiplayer games, you might forget to rotate which controllers are plugged into the Switch while it’s in the dock. This means that you’ll often end up with a pair of dead Joy-Cons at the moment you need them the most, which can be a hassle unless you want to play looking over your friend’s shoulder while they hold the entire console in their hands.
11 SOLUTION: Always Have Your Joy-Cons Fully Charged
This Joy-Cons charger stand is a lifesaver for anyone with a partner, or with kids, or with friends who often come over uninvited. You can plug it in the wall, and then use it to keep any unused controller fully charged at all time. Not only can you charge Joy-Cons or a Pro Controller, but you can also basically charge anything that uses the USB-C standard. Plus, if it comes down to it, you can even use it as a makeshift stand if you want to play in handheld mode while the console is charging.
10 PROBLEM: It’s Expensive And Precious And You Don’t Want To Squish It In Your Backpack
If you were like me, you would just throw your 3DS as is in your backpack, since the clamshell design meant that all the important bits, like the two screens or the circle pad, were kept out of danger.
The Nintendo Switch, however, for all of its amazing capabilities, leaves everything exposed to the elements.
The screen, the joysticks, the buttons, everything is out there, ready to get caught in something, or to have your lunch leak all over its components. Trust me, it happened to me more than one.
9 SOLUTION: Encase Your Switch In A Suit Of Armor
If you are afraid that something could happen to your expensive piece of electronics while it’s stowed in your bag, then maybe you should invest in a carry case. Most carry cases will do, but we prefer this one from Orzly because it’s super sturdy and can resist (mostly) anything you will throw at it. It’s designed to resist a lot of pressure, so you could even sit on it by accident (if you are super clumsy, I guess) and your Switch would be fine. There’s also plenty of space to carry some extra gear in it, so you’ll never be caught with a dead battery without your charger.
8 PROBLEM: Game Cartridges Are Small And Can Get Lost Easily
Yes, the Nintendo Switch’s game cartridges are super tiny and, if you are careless, they could get lost easily. This is not a problem I have, because I obsessively put my games back in their original case the minute they leave my console, but I have some friends who do not seem to care for order. Instead, they thrive on chaos. They leave their game carts on their desk. They throw the carts as is in their bag to save space. I simply cannot stand it.
7 SOLUTION: How About A Cartridge Case?
For those people who insist on leaving the perfectly capable casings at home, there’s at least a cheap solution to bring some order into their madness. Amazon sells a variety of game cases in different colors, but this one is my favorite. It can carry up to 24 games at a time. So even if you are going on a long vacation, you should have enough variety to keep you busy. And if you think that you need more than 24 games with you at all time, maybe you should try going outside? Unless you have a sun allergy. Then I’m sorry.
6 PROBLEM: You Cannot Charge The Console While Using The Tabletop Stand
One of the Switch’s much-touted feature is the ability to keep playing multiplayer games even in handheld mode. Sure, the screen is a bit small, but the resolution is so gorgeous that you can still see surprisingly well. Just pass those Joy-Cons around, prop up that stand, and enjoy some Mario Kart with your friends.
But what if your console needs a charge after a few hours?
The console’s charging port is effectively hidden when it’s leaning on its stand, meaning that the console needs to be on a flat surface if you want to play and charge at the same time.
5 SOLUTION: An Official Charging Stand
This problem was one of the first ones noticed by early Switch adopters, and Nintendo did not really have a solution at first. Some third-parties came up with new stands which could hold the Switch in tabletop mode while the console was charging, but some gamers had bad experiences with those, since some models reportedly bricked their console. Nintendo eventually started producing their own version of a charging stand, selling for a reasonable $20, and effectively taking care of an issue that should have been obvious from the start.
4 PROBLEM: A Handheld Console Is Always At Risk Of Being Dropped Accidentally
From the very first Game Boy I ever owned as a child to my trusty Nintendo 3DS that I carried with me to work every day, I have accidentally dropped my handheld consoles to the ground too often to count.
Nintendo’s products are always sturdy, so there was never any permanent damage.
The Switch, however, is a bit more expensive and has more moving parts. I have thankfully never dropped it so far, but I shudder to think of what could happen if I developed a sudden case of butterfingers.
3 SOLUTION: Turn Your Switch Into Robocop
A lot of people seem to prefer to use their Switch in handheld mode, and many of those people were obviously afraid of dropping their console. That’s why many companies offer their own take of the protective case. We prefer the JETech version because it offers a no-frills approach. It sticks to the basics, offering some great shock absorption and good access to the shoulder buttons and stand without sacrificing sturdiness. Plus, if you want to add more personality, it comes in four different colors, so you can find one that fits you.
2 PROBLEM: Those Amazing Joy-Cons Become Uncomfortable During Long Play Sessions
The Joy-Cons are indeed marvelous pieces of technology, but they are pretty small. Their vibration feedback is incredibly precise, and the buttons are super responsive, but the experience does become painful after a little while. As someone who has some pretty sizable hands, I can attest that you will get cramps after a few hours of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. The Joy-Cons’ size was inevitable if Nintendo wanted to keep the console portable, but some comfort was obviously sacrificed.
1 SOLUTION: The Best Controller You Will Ever Hold
As a veteran video game player, the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller is one of my favorites since the Xbox 360 controller. It has a perfect form factor, and one of the smoothest joystick you will find anywhere. Some people originally reported problems with the Pro Controller’s D-Pad, but I bought mine recently, and never had any issue. If there was a hardware problem, it must have been fixed in a recent revision. With all those issues out of the way, if you spend more than a few hours a week playing, you owe it to yourself (and your hands) to get a Pro Controller.
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