Nintendo’s new Switch is an all-in-one console, delivering both home and handheld experiences with a single device – but that doesn’t mean it has absolutely everything you need right inside the box.
As with any other console, the Switch is lacking a couple of key accessories that can help boost your fun and ensure you can download and carry plenty of games. And those little Joy-Con controller nubs might not be the best way to play all of the biggest games, like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
Snagging a Switch soon? Here’s everything else you should add to your basket.
Additional words by Chris Rowlands and Matt Tate
Orzly Carry Case (£13.91)
As an on-the-go console, you’re gonna require a good case for your Switch – and it needs to be a case that won’t demand too much space in your backpack. There are plenty of options out there, but after months of use we can vouch for Orzly’s protective carry case.
The machine fits snugly in the lower pocket and there are two stretchy straps to keep it in place. The screen-facing side of the flap is cushioned, so you won’t have to worry about scratches.
You’ve got eight pockets for cartridges, and the upper section is big enough to accomodate a number of rogue Joy-Cons. To top it all off, there’s a handle on the top that allows you to carry the Switch briefcase-style, should you want to.
Neon Green and Neon Pink Joy-Con set (£69.99)
Feel yourself regretting going all grey with your Switch purchase? Don’t sweat it. An extra pair of Joy-Cons will come in handy if you’re going to be doing a lot of multiplayer gaming, and Nintendo now offers a number of multi-coloured options.
This Neon Pink and Green combo is definitely going to catch the eye of commuters; exactly what you want when you’re nailing those drifts on Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.
Anker PowerCore+ 26800 PD (£69.99)
As portable power banks go, Anker’s PowerCore+ 26800 definitely weighs in on the larger side. But if you want something to prolong your Mushroom Kingdom adventures on a long haul flight, this bulky brick will take some beating.
Its whopping 26800mAh capacity should see you through multiple 0-100 recharges when fully juiced, and considering the Switch’s spectacularly naff built-in battery, we wouldn’t go any lower.
In addition to the USC-C port, Anker’s big guy has two standard USBs, so you can charge phones, tablets and laptops, too.
Pro Controller Splatoon 2 Edition (£59.99)
The Joy-Con controllers are incredibly clever and versatile, clipping onto the screen when playing portably, acting as two separate controllers for impromptu multiplayer, or slotting into the Joy-Con Grip for a more traditional controller-like experience – but the Joy-Con buttons and sticks are shrunken compared to typical home gamepads, making it quite unsatisfying for a hardcore TV-based gaming session.
Instead, you’ll want to wield the official Pro controller, which is definitely rather expensive at £60 but well worth it to enjoy Zelda in comfort. It’s essentially an Xbox One controller with Switch branding and translucent plastic, claiming a 40-hour charge from its built-in battery.
This special Edition Splatoon 2 version features colourful handles (you can never have too much neon green and pink) and a splat design across the front.
SteelSeries Arctis 3 Bluetooth Headset (£69.99)
We love the Switch like Newcastle loves Alan Shearer, but Nintendo’s machine isn’t without its flaws. One of the most well-documented of these is the needlessly complicated process you have to go through just to talk to your mates when you play online.
Voice chat on the Switch requires you to connect to Nintendo’s mobile app, or a third-party alternative like Discord, which makes hearing both pal and game tricky. Enter SteelSeries’ Arctis 3 Bluetooth Headset, which allow you to hear audio from Bluetooth and wired connections at the same time.
Just plug the cans into your console or controller, and you can natter away without denying yourself the sounds of Splatoon 2‘s gleeful ink-splatting.
8Bitdo SF30 Pro Bluetooth Gamepad (£39.99)
We’re still waiting for the Virtual Console, but the Switch is already building up a solid library of old classics, 2D fighters and retro-inspired indie gems. It seems right, then, that we should have the king of old-school pads to play them with.
8Bitdo has been making wireless replicas of the SNES controller for a while now, but the SF30 Pro adds rumble vibration, motion controls, a few extra buttons (including home and screenshot) and USB-C connectivity to make it fully Switch-compatible.
A pair of analogue sticks means you can technically play any game with this thing, but we’d probably stick to the Pro for Skyrim and L.A. Noire. If we ever get Super Mario Kart, though, then there’s only one pad for us.
Mumba Nintendo Switch Case (£17.99)
One for the accident-prone among you, this – specifically the butter-fingered.
Your Switch, it’s fair to say, is going to be a lot less fun with an enormous crack down its middle, so stick it in this case from Mumba to make it tougher than a box-fresh Hylian Shield.
The rugged rubber material gives you a much sturdier grip, but should the unthinkable happen, you can trust the shock and scratch-resistant polycarbonate cover to do its thing.
SanDisk Ultra 128GB microSDXC card (£37)
Like the Wii U before it, the Switch doesn’t come with a lot of built-in storage space for downloadable games. In fact, it has just 32GB of space, and only 25.9GB of that is available for game storage. Zelda alone takes up 13.4GB if you grab it from the eShop, leaving enough for… what, one or two more games? That’s simply will not do!
Luckily, the Switch can handle microSD cards to expand your storage. The sweet spot for both space and price seems to be the 128GB card, and SanDisk’s microSDXC card sells for about £37 on Amazon as of this writing.
That’ll give you enough space to store several large games, or potentially dozens of indies and Virtual Console releases, so you won’t have to constantly delete and redownload games. It’s pretty essential.
Nintendo Switch Joy-Con Charging Grip (£28)
On the other hand, if you’d rather not shell out for an entire extra controller, maybe the Joy-Con Charging Grip will be of more use. It functions similarly to the basic Grip that comes with the console, attaching your Joy-Cons to a central unit, but comes with one big perk.
And that is the built-in battery pack, which charges the Joy-Cons and ensures that you don’t have to worry about them going dead during play. It also uses translucent plastic instead of the solid black, but otherwise, the two Grips look identical. This one’s a good middle ground for having a home controller without depleting your Joy-Cons’ charges.
PowerA Everywhere Messenger Bag (£25)
If you’re actually planning on hauling the Switch around with you, then you’ll surely want to keep it protected – that bright, 6.2in display isn’t going to look so great with scratches and scuffs all over it. Luckily, some solid-looking cases don’t cost a lot of money.
We’re partial to PowerA’s officially-licensed option, which can carry the entire Switch system wherever you’re going. There’s a removable sleeve for the Switch by itself in handheld mode, keeping it protected without the added bulk, while the main messenger sack has slots for all sorts.
There’s padding to keep all of your Ninty bits safely protected, while the individual compartments for the dock, cables and Switch are a boon for organised movers. There’s no game storage, mind, so if you want to bring all of your cartridges along then you’ll need a separate sleeve.
Hori Switch Compact PlayStand (£10)
Yes, it’s super cool that you can engage the Switch’s built-in kickstand, detach the Joy-Con controllers, and get in some multiplayer fun without a TV. However, there’s one key hitch in this process: the Switch’s charging port is on the bottom of the device, so you can’t charge it while using the kickstand.
That’s a problem, especially if you plan to play for a while, or don’t want to fully deplete your Switch’s charge while throwing down in Street Fighter. Luckily, Hori has a solution: the Compact PlayStand is an officially licensed hunk of plastic that folds up into a stand, propping the Switch screen up at one of three different angles while leaving the charging port unobscured.
And when it’s not in use, it folds up relatively flat. It’s not quite pocket-sized, but you can tuck it into a bag if you think you’ll be playing on the go.
JoyCon Wheel (£14)
If you’ve just shelled out on Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, it makes sense that you’d want to play it like a proper go-kart maestro. Pick up this twin pack and you’ll get a pair of JoyCon wheels with which to hare down Rainbow Road.
Plonk your JoyCon in and you’ll be able to relive your happy Wii wheel days, using the JoyCons’ gyro to physically steer round corners, wire-free.
There are triggers on the back and ‘+’ and ‘-‘ buttons on the front to keep the most important controls at your fingertips – though there can be a fair bit of travel in the triggers – while the wheels themselves are just the right size to be comfortable.
HORI Premium Screen Protector (£15)
With reports of the TV dock scratching the Switch’s screen – not to mention the fact that you’ll be carting your new console off all over the place – it’s probably worth wrapping your Switch’s 6.2-inch display is something tough.
This filter from HORI could probably do without the ‘Premium’ label, but it does the job of fending off scratches well enough.
Its application is supposedly bubble-free, while the stick-on is also meant to prevent damage to the Switch console itself should you sling it down the bus in a Mr Wobbly Hands moment. It’s also been brushed to keep it relatively friction free.
JoyCon Charging Dock (£30)
A JoyCon Charging Grip is great for keeping your personal play sticks full of juice – but when it’s party time you’ll be needing a more plentiful solution.
Pick up the JoyCon Charging Dock and you’ll be able to zap two pairs at once, perfect for when the folks come round to try your new-fangled games box. Alternatively, buy two spare pairs and keep them for yourself, so you never run out of power while you’re on the road.
The Dock is powered by a single USB cable, and there are handy indicator lights on the top so you know which remotes are fully charged.