The Nintendo Switch is one of the world’s best-selling consoles, having shipped more than 100 million units since it launched in 2017. If you’re one of the millions of people that own the hybrid system, odds are you already have everything you need. However, if you’re someone who just recently picked up the console — or you’re currently looking to purchase one in lieu of hard to find consoles like the PS5 and Xbox Series X — there are a handful of accessories that will make your gaming experience far more enjoyable (and convenient).
Whether you need a controller, case, or pair of headphones, we’ve rounded up the best accessories you can buy to supplement your experience gaming on the Nintendo Switch.
Regardless of which model you purchase, the Nintendo Switch makes for a pretty amazing experience right out of the box. That said, there are a few staples we recommend picking up if you want to get a little more mileage out of the Switch, the portable-only Switch Lite, or the newer Switch OLED model, even if each model comes with everything you need to get started.
The following, in no specific order, are some of the things we think can help you make the most of Nintendo’s latest system. Just note that while most of these accessories can be used with any Switch model, there are some, like the Hori Split Pad Pro and Genki Covert Dock, that won’t work with the Switch Lite.
Nintendo’s first-party traditional controller is the best way to play games for your Nintendo Switch on the big screen. While the Joy-Cons for the Switch are perfectly fine, they can feel a bit crowded when they’re undocked from the console. The Pro controller alleviates this with a comfortable and relatively sturdy peripheral, one that is outfitted with motion controls, Nintendo’s HD rumble feature, and a more traditional D-pad. Read our review.
PDP Gaming Nintendo Switch Starter Kit
PDP’s Nintendo Switch Starter Kit is a small investment that pays huge dividends. The Nintendo Switch is intended to be portable, but taking your console out into the world opens it up to any number of potential threats. With this small collection of accessories, however, you can breathe a bit easier.
The PDP Gaming Switch Starter Kit comes with everything you need to protect your console from dings, drops, and scratches, as well as a few bonus items. The contents of the kit are as follows: a zippered carrying case with extra slots for cartridges, an adhesive screen protector, silicon Joy-Con covers with thumbstick grips, a pair of 3.5mm earbuds, and a microfiber cloth.
If you’re looking for a third-party alternative to Nintendo’s Switch Pro Controller, the PowerA Enhanced Wireless controller is one of your best options. It may not share the same build quality as its first-party counterpart, but it’s less expensive and includes remappable back buttons. Another added benefit is the controller’s Bluetooth connectivity, which allows you to pair it with PCs and mobile devices.
PowerA’s controller is also available in a wide variety of eye-catching colorways and designs. Some designs can vary in terms of their availability and price, but the PowerA Enhanced Wireless Controller is a great, budget-conscious alternative to the Switch Pro Controller, especially if you plan to use it with other devices.
If you’re fed up with Joy-Con drift every time you’re trying to play Switch away from your TV, the Hori Nintendo Switch Split Pad Pro is here to help. While these controllers are quite a bit larger than your standard Joy-Cons, they’re far more ergonomic and include rear inputs as well as remappable buttons. If that wasn’t enough, these controllers are available in a variety of fun colors.
While it isn’t necessarily a deal-breaker, the one caveat with these controllers is that they lack support for motion controls and don’t have integrated batteries, meaning they’ll need to be connected to your Switch in order to work properly.
Okay, just one more controller, we swear. The Verge’s Sam Byford reviewed the 8BitDo Pro 2 controller last year, calling it the best Switch pro controller you can buy. The controller’s design resembles that of the original Super Nintendo but offers extra triggers and hand grips. It also includes remappable buttons and back paddles, in addition to Bluetooth connectivity for PCs, Android, and iOS devices. The Pro 2 does omit a few features that the Switch Pro Controller has, however, namely HD rumble and Amiibo support, and the Pro 2 can’t power on the Switch remotely.
Additionally, the controller is rechargeable via USB-C and features a switch to quickly swap between different face button layouts. While its design is markedly different from Nintendo’s Pro Controller, the Pro 2 is less expensive and offers broader compatibility than its more expensive counterpart.
Anker PowerCore Essential (20,000mAh)
Anker’s 20,000mAh PowerCore Essential holds enough juice to top off your Switch approximately twice over, and the USB-C port provides power delivery that’s efficient enough to allow you to continue playing while you charge. We recommend this particular power bank for its capacity and svelte profile, but nearly any battery pack will suffice as long as it has a port that can deliver a minimum of 7.5 watts of juice.
The standard Nintendo Switch and the newer OLED model have a battery life that can extend up to nine hours, while the smaller Switch Lite can only last up to seven. Of course, these numbers can vary wildly depending on the brightness of your screen and which game you’re playing.
Lexar Play microSD card (512GB)
This 512GB model of the Lexar Play represents a solid balance between capacity, price, and performance. Lexar does offer smaller and larger options depending on your budget, but in our experience, consolidating all of your games onto a single card is the way to go.
All models of the Nintendo Switch come equipped with built-in storage — 64GB for the OLED model and vanilla Switch, and 32GB for the Switch Lite — but this space can disappear quickly if you’re planning on primarily playing digital titles. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, for instance, takes up a whole 14.4GB of space.
Nintendo Switch Online membership
While you don’t need a Nintendo Switch Online membership to play free-to-play titles like Fortnite and Apex Legends, it’s necessary for accessing the online elements of many games, including Splatoon 2, Mario Kart Deluxe, and Monster Hunter Rise. These titles aren’t nearly as fun without the ability to compete against other players, nor can you engage in voice chat via Nintendo’s official app without a subscription.
A membership to Nintendo Switch Online nets you other perks as well, like cloud storage for your save data, exclusive discounts in the Nintendo eShop, and access to a library of vintage NES and SNES titles. There are plans available at different price points, too, depending on if you’re applying the plan to a single user or sharing it with multiple accounts. The annual family typically runs $15 more but allows you to share the benefits with up to seven additional users.
While you can technically use any pair of 3.5mm or Bluetooth-compatible headphones with the Nintendo Switch now, thanks to a relatively recent firmware update, a good headset can make the experience much more comfortable. That’s why we’re highlighting the Logitech G435 Lightspeed —not just for its comfortable design but for its extensive connectivity options. The G435 can pair with your Switch via Bluetooth or using the included 2.4Ghz wireless dongle with the Switch dock.
It may not have the boom mic that’s so often associated with gaming headsets, but it still features a pair of mics built into the left earcup, which allow you to use the in-game chat or answer calls with your mobile device. As an added bonus, the G435 is available in a variety of unconventional colorways if you’re looking to stand out, in addition to a standard black model.
The one unfortunate aspect of this headset is that it isn’t compatible with Xbox, thanks to a specific wireless protocol that gets used exclusively by Microsoft’s consoles. The headset also lacks a dedicated port for 3.5mm audio, so you’ll need to purchase a separate adapter to use the G435 in a wired configuration. Read our review.
A few nice things
While certainly not essential, these accessories are great if you’re looking for something a little fancier or a peripheral that solves a very specific issue with the Switch.
The 8Bitdo Arcade stick is an adaptation of the NES Advantage Controller that was developed for the original Nintendo Entertainment System. The aesthetics are similar, but this model has a greatly expanded layout, one typically favored by fighting game enthusiasts. The Arcade Stick is also compatible with Windows and Android devices but, unfortunately, won’t work with Sony or Microsoft consoles.
With the Arcade Stick, you can quickly swap between the Switch layout and the more typical X orientation of the buttons via a dial in the upper-left corner, which changes the LEDs below the buttons to reflect the new layout. You can also pair Stick via Bluetooth, the 2.4Ghz wireless dongle, or a detachable USB-C connection. The durable controller is even intended to be modded, meaning you can open the case and install aftermarket buttons or a joystick if you’re so inclined. Read our review.
Designed for anyone that likes to play their Switch hooked up to a larger screen, the Genki Covert Dock takes all the functions of the regular standard Switch dock and compresses them to the size of a regular AC adapter. The dock includes outputs for USB-C, USB-A, and HDMI hookups, allowing you to tether your Switch’s output to any available HDMI device and simultaneously hook up or charge peripherals. It even comes packaged with a variety of adapters that are perfectly suited to international travel.
The Covert Dock is remarkably simple to use, too: just plug it into an outlet, connect the USB-C output to your Switch and the HDMI output to your display, and you’re good to go. We get that the Switch is primarily a handheld device, but if you’re looking for an easier way to play your Switch on a bigger display without dragging around the dock, this product is the way to go. Read our review.
The NeoGrip is an attachable grip that makes playing your Switch in handheld mode more comfortable, with the big selling point being that you can individually swap out grip modules on each side. There’s also an open space on the back that allows you to slot your console in its dock with the NeoGrip attached or pop out the kickstand to play in tabletop mode.
The NeoGrip typically retails for $19.99 and comes with three pairs of grips. It’s also available in a white configuration that matches the Switch OLED model, as well as a black model with red and blue neon grips. Best of all, the grips support both the standard and OLED models.
Satisfye’s ZenGrip Pro is another grip option for easier handheld play, but unlike the NeoGrip, it only offers one set of grip options. That said, Verge writer Jay Peters actually finds the ZenGrip Pro more comfortable than the NeoGrip, but depending on your needs, your feelings may vary.
One knock against the ZenGrip Pro is that you can’t place your Switch in the dock while it’s attached due to its design, meaning you won’t be able to charge your Switch in the dock or play a game on your TV while using the accessory. The ZenGrip Pro also blocks the kickstand, and while the grip has feet on the bottom that let it stand up on its own, you can’t adjust its angle.
The ZenGrip Pro third-generation costs $29.99, and Satisfye says it’s compatible with both the standard and Switch OLED models.
A Switch carrying case for the distinguished gamer, WaterField’s SwitchPack is available in a wide variety of combinations that pair waxed canvas or ballistic nylon with different washes of full-grain leather, which make it look great and smell even better. The case is compact, too, but offers plenty of space for additional accessories and physical cartridges. The exterior pouch even uses a magnetic clasp as opposed to button snaps, ensuring the contents are easily accessible.
Other small touches round out the bag’s hallmarks. The case is treated to be water-resistant, for instance, and features waterproof zippers to keep anything from leaking into the bag. The interior of the SwitchPack uses a soft fabric that helps prevent scratches and makes it feel like a camera bag, while hardened dividers keep the contents from smashing into each other. The case has a carrying handle riveted to the top but also comes with a clip-on strap as well, though it’s more expensive than your average carrying case.