With a new console comes a lot of learning. Follow these tips, though, you’ll be flying through Mario Kart's Urchin Underpass faster than you can say King Boo.
Nintendo’s first new home console since 2012’s Wii U feels like it’s been forever coming. It’s a great piece of kit, with a real premium feeling that the, sadly, failed Wii U lacked entirely.
But aside from playing the new Zelda game (which is amazing), we want to ensure you know all the tips and tricks we’ve discovered from playing with it for a week or so. Some of these might seem obvious, but it’s easy to forget the simple stuff when you’re losing your mind with the excitement setting up your new gadget.
1) Get a microSD card
The Switch comes with 32GB of storage as standard (we know, in this day and age…) and after the operating system there’s barely 26GB left for your games and screenshots.
Unfortunately, there are already games announced that, alone, will fill your console storage up entirely: we’re looking at you Dragon Quest Heroes 1 & 2. It’s funny, really, because the Switch can actually accept microSD cards so big they aren’t even actually available to buy yet, but you’ll be wanting to push the 256GB mark if you can.
They’re available for a reasonable price, but shop around, and remember the microSD slot is hidden under the kick-stand, on the back of the console itself.
2) Get your Nintendo account ready to rock
Rather than lose out to someone else for your special username of “EliteGame4xy27b”, get yourself over to this link, and register your Nintendo Online Service ID right away.
In the past, Nintendo has given rewards for digital purchases, and early indications are that this might be happening with the Switch, too. Either way, if you plan to play online, you’ll want your own unique name, so register it before someone pinches it.
3) Take screenshots, create your own memes
Being a modern console, the Switch allows you to take screenshots with a handy button on the left Joycon. It’s actually the fastest at doing this of all the current crop of gaming consoles, and it has something a little bit special, too.
In the “album” section, you can arrange your screenshots, delete bad ones, and, yep, add text to them. Fancy creating the next hit meme directly via your Switch? No worries.
You can also post these screenshots to social media, so you really can be the next trending topic. Maybe you can even top Drew Scanlon, also known as “blinking blonde guy”.
4) Tone down the brightness
Holding the “home” button on the right Joycon will bring up a few options. From here you can put the console into rest mode, or airplane mode (if you’re playing it undocked), but you can also adjust the brightness on the fly.
Sure, it’s obvious, but given that we’ve achieved nearly three hours of Zelda play on a mid-brightness level, would you be able to squeeze out one extra Shrine if you were playing it with a slightly dimmer screen? Worth a go!
5) Check out this little Easter Egg
Did you know that there’s a UI Easter Egg when in handheld mode?
Well, unlocking the console from rest mode requires you to hit the same button three times. Most people will hammer the A button, desperately trying to get back into Breath of the Wild quicker, but if you experiment with your choice of buttons, you’ll hear a different sound for each tap.
We don’t want to spoil it for you, but try clicking the left stick in, or tapping the shoulder triggers three times.
6) Create multiple profiles on the console
Want to play multiplayer? Good, because 1-2-Switch is built around that kind of Nintendo-fun.
Pop over to the System Settings, then “User”, and click “Add New User”. You can do this is any mode, but all you’ll have to do is select a player icon (fun picture you think represents the player), a name, and you’re done.
You can link the user to a Nintendo ID later on, if you fancy it.
7) Close down a game before taking out the card
This may seem like a no-brainer, but make sure you close your game down before you take the card out of the back.
If you just whip out Zelda and put Just Dance 2017 in, you’re going to lose your progress in Zelda. Think before you Switch!
8) Register your Amiibo
At the moment, we’re not entirely sure what this actually does. But you can use your shiny new Pro Controller, or the Joycons themselves, to register your old Amiibo on your Switch, which you can do from the System Settings menu.
Hey, if nothing else, at least you’ll be reminded of the stupid names you or your kids gave to them on Wii U. We can’t remember who called this Splatoon Inkboy the name “swagman”, but somebody sure did.
9) Create a Mii
Amazingly, while Nintendo hasn’t completely abandoned the Mii system for Switch, it does seem far less intrinsic to the overall console experience. But don’t let that stop you from creating one.
In System Settings, you can create a new Mii from a likeness, start from scratch, or copy one from an Amiibo. Note that this one is not called “swagman”.
10) Sort out your notifications
Remember how annoying it was when your Wii U would constantly light up because Nintendo had pushed a new free piece of software you didn’t want? Yes, us too.
Thankfully, the Switch doesn’t do this (yet), but you can still be notified when your game downloads are done with a sound. You can also link to a Nintendo Account so you can get friend-related notifications. Modern social gaming!
11) Light or dark, pick your theme
We’ll leave you with this incredibly simple tip: the console defaults to the lovely clean white theme that you’ve seen in all our pictures in this article, but there’s also a dark, night-like theme you can choose.
Who knows if this means Nintendo is getting into making themes for the console, but we’d welcome a Splatoon theme, because, well, Splatoon is great.