8Bitdo controller surrounded by switch games
Stewart Ivan Darke/Shutterstock.com
Update, 01/17/2023: We’ve reviewed our recommendations and have updated our best retro controller and best battery pack picks.

Which Switch Accessories Are Worth It in 2023?

Nintendo provides the bare essentials to get you started gaming on the Switch. This includes one pair of Joy-Con controllers, a dock for playing on the TV, and a charging cable. But for comfort, convenience, and even an edge in some games, you will want to invest in additional accessories.

A full-sized controller is one investment you’ll want to make if you play in TV mode. Nintendo’s Joy-Con controllers tread the line between portability and functionality, but they’re not the most comfortable way of playing over long sessions, and they’ve been plagued with stick drift problems since the console hit the market.

If you’ve sprung for a Nintendo Switch Online membership, you’ll also get access to older games from the NES and SNES era, plus Genesis and N64 titles if you opt for the more expensive tier. You can play these titles with Joy-Con, but if you want to relive them as they were intended you might want to invest in more period-appropriate hardware.

In addition, one of the best things about the Switch is its portability, and many are drawn to the console to use it while traveling. Some accessories can make the time you spend on the move more comfortable, both in terms of feel and reducing the number of things you have to carry.

Protecting your Switch on the move and running out of power are two hurdles most owners will want to overcome, and if you want to make sure you can load up on games before a long trip then you’ll want more than the paltry 32GB of internal storage (or 64GB on the OLED model).

Even if you’re relatively happy with your Switch, a few of these accessories will make your overall experience even better, all for the price of a new cartridge or two. If you’re on a tight budget, saving some money on Switch titles to spend on hardware might sweeten the deal.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does the Nintendo Switch have Bluetooth?
Yes, Nintendo Switch supports Bluetooth devices.
How do you connect a Nintendo Switch to your TV?
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The normal way to connect your Switch to the TV is to place it in its dock, which has an HDMI input. When docked, your Switch’s built-in display will turn black, and the picture will be translated to your TV.
What models of the Nintendo Switch are available?
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There are three Switch models on the market. The Switch OLED (which offers a large, vibrant display), the Switch Lite (which is much more affordable but is limited to handheld mode), and the standard Nintendo Switch.
Why won’t my Nintendo Switch turn on?
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There are several reasons your Switch might not be turning on—but the most common culprit is a drained battery. Try plugging your console in for about a half hour, letting it charge, then try turning it on again. If that doesn’t work, you may need to do some more in-depth troubleshooting.
Does the Nintendo Switch come with games?
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No. However, keep in mind that the Switch eShop is home to dozens of free-to-play titles, meaning anyone with internet access can play dozens of titles without spending extra cash.

Best Wireless Nintendo Switch Controller: Nintendo Switch Pro Controller

Nintendo Switch Pro Controller on purple background
Nintendo

Pros

  • The most comfortable way to play Switch games
  • USB-C charging and huge battery life
  • Includes HD rumble, gyro for motion controls, and Amiibo functionality

Cons

  • No infrared scanner

The official Nintendo Switch Pro Controller isn’t just the most comfortable way to play Switch titles, it might just be the most comfortable controller on the entire market. It’s essential if you want to play first-person shooters and other fast-paced games on your Switch in TV mode, and it makes long play sessions much more comfortable if you have larger hands.

The controller has two full-sized analog sticks that allow for more considered movement, whether that’s your on-screen character or a crosshair. This makes aiming a weapon or traversing tricky platforming sections easier and more comfortable, and the full-sized face buttons have more travel and a better overall feel than those on the Joy-Con.

The Pro Controller includes gyro functionality for motion aiming, better HD rumble, and built-in Amiibo functionality just like the Joy-Con. The ZL and ZR triggers aren’t analog, and there’s no infrared scanner, but you won’t care when you feel the controller in your hand. It charges over USB-C and the battery lasts a whopping 40 hours.

Best Wireless Nintendo Switch Controller

Nintendo Switch Pro Controller

A full-sized controller for playing Nintendo Switch games in comfort. Larger analog sticks, face buttons, and a proper D-pad put the Pro controller leaps ahead of the Joy-Con in just about every game.

Best Retro Nintendo Switch Controller: 8Bitdo Pro 2 Bluetooth Controller

8bitdo Pro 2 controllers surrounded by consoles
8BitDo

Pros

  • Eye-catching design
  • Also works on PC and mobile
  • Customizable vibration settings

Cons

  • Only a few customizable buttons

8Bitdo churns out some of the best third-party controllers on the market, so it should be no surprise that the Pro 2 Bluetooth Controller is at the top of its class. Based on the Nintendo controller layouts of yesteryear, the sleek gamepad brings a modern flair to an otherwise decidedly retro design.

Although it looks old-school, the 8Bitdo Pro 2 offers Bluetooth connectivity, support for Switch, PC, and mobile, and it even lets you set up custom profiles. You’ll also have access to two customizable back buttons—which is a bit light for a “pro” controller, but is a nice touch on this retro design.

Aside from customizable back buttons, you can modify the Pro 2 Bluetooth Controller’s vibration settings. There’s even a six-axis motion sensor for motion controls and adjustable hair triggers that come in handy during fast-paced multiplayer games.

Most players will find this retro gamepad a welcome addition to their collection, especially considering its price tag (which clocks in well below the wireless Switch Pro Controller mentioned above).

Best Retro Controller

8Bitdo Pro 2 Bluetooth Controller - for Switch PC Windows Android MacOS Steam Raspberry Pi (Red)

The 8Bitdo Pro 2 Bluetooth Controller is affordable, ergonomic, and boasts a decidedly retro design. It also comes with plenty of modern features, such as customizable buttons and Bluetooth support.

Best Nintendo Switch Controller Accessory: Fixture S1

Fixture S1 on pink and yellow background
Fixture

Pros

  • Play your Switch in portable mode using the Nintendo Switch Controller
  • Reposition the Switch to get comfortable
  • Much better than Joy-Con adapters for long play sessions

Cons

  • Can feel a little unwieldy, like other controller mounts
  • Might be a pain to attach and detach for travel

The Fixture S1 makes it possible to clip your original Nintendo Switch (though not the Switch Lite or OLED) to the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller and enjoy a comfortable Switch gaming experience wherever you are.

You can then position the mount so it’s most comfortable for you, while still having access to the charging and headphone ports. If you do a lot of portable gaming, you may have used similar clips to secure your smartphone onto an Xbox or PlayStation controller for a more comfortable mobile gaming experience. The Fixture S1 is the same concept, just with the Switch console instead of a smartphone.

The Fixture S1 is a solid bit of kit that will hold your console securely in place while you play, using the rails on either side of the Switch unit just like the Joy-Con. Of course, like all of these mounts, the But, due to the weight of the mount, Fixture S1 can feel a bit heavy and unwieldy. If you have no problem with smartphone controller mounts, you will be fine with this one.

Basically, this mount is perfect if you find the Joy-Con controllers uncomfortable for long periods of play, or if you prefer the feel of the Pro Controller and want to get more use out of it. The Fixture S1 can also be collapsed to sit directly over the Pro Controller when not in use, so you don’t necessarily have to remove it whenever you’re done gaming.

Best Controller Accessory

Fixture S1

Play your Nintendo Switch in handheld mode with the Pro controller easily thanks to the Fixture S1.

Best Portable Nintendo Switch Dock: Human Things GENKI Global Covert Dock

Human Things Switch Dock on grey background
Human Things

Pros

  • A tiny Switch dock that fits in your pocket
  • Includes a USB-C cable for docking
  • Means you can leave your full-size Nintendo dock at home

Cons

  • Nowhere to rest your Switch while in use
  • Requires the power outlet to be close enough to your display

If you travel with your Switch a lot and want the ability to play in TV mode at your destination, it might be worth investing in a portable dock like the GENKI Global Covert Dock from Human Things. This dock is roughly the same size as Nintendo’s official power adapter, and all you need to buy to go with it is an HDMI cable.

To use the Covert Dock, you plug the dock into the wall and then connect your Switch using the supplied USB-C cable. From there connect it to the TV or monitor you want to use, and you’re ready to play in TV mode without the bulkiness of the official dock. The Covert Dock even has a spare USB-A port—just like Nintendo’s official dock—so you can connect compatible accessories or charge your Pro Controller while you play.

Unlike the official dock, there’s nowhere to rest your Switch while you play. You’ll need to leave your Switch in a position that allows it to get plenty of airflow since TV mode always uses more power, which causes the console to get hot.

Best Portable Dock

GENKI Global Covert Dock

The Human Things GENKI Global Covert Dock is about the size of a wall charger and comes with the USB-C cable required to dock your Switch plus travel adapters for charging all over the world.

Best Nintendo Switch Battery Pack: Nyko Power Pack

Nyko Battery Pack on orange background
Nyko

Pros

  • Clip-on design
  • Built-in kickstand
  • Large 5000 mAH battery

Cons

  • Lacking a "premium" finish

While you can certainly get away with using any portable charger to extend the life of your Switch, the Nyko Power Pak is a more elegant solution. Instead of awkwardly running a cable from the battery to your Switch, the Nyko Power Pack clips onto your device, letting you continue gaming without changing your setup.

Depending on your Switch’s software, the Nyko Power Pack can provide up to double the battery life. That’s an impressive feat, and it only gets more impressive when you consider its tiny footprint and price tag. After clipping the battery pack in place, you’ll be able to easily turn the battery on and start charging your Switch.

Nyko designed the power Pak to allow full access to all of the Switch’s standard buttons, ports, and vents, meaning you shouldn’t see any impact on how you game while in handheld mode. It also comes with a built-in kickstand.

The overall finish of the battery isn’t as premium as some other products on the market, but that’s a minor complaint for an otherwise powerful (and affordable) device.

Best Battery Pack

Nyko Power Pak

With a brilliant clip-on design and the power to double your battery life, the Nyko Power Pak is a great way to extend your gaming sessions.

Best Nintendo Switch Memory Card: SanDisk Ultra 512GB UHS-I microSDXC

SanDisk memory card on blue and purple background
SanDisk

Pros

  • Probably more storage than you'll ever need
  • You're not paying for speeds you can't use

Cons

  • Cheaper 256GB or 128GB models may better suit casual Switch owners

The SanDisk Ultra 512GB UHS-I microSDXC is the best bang-for-your-buck memory card for the Switch. Despite faster memory cards existing, the Switch has a maximum read speed of 95MB/sec as quoted by Nintendo. That means spending more on an expensive SD card won’t improve performance, regardless of whether you have an original, Lite, or OLED console.

These consoles don’t even have the additional row of contacts necessary to use the higher read and write speeds made possible by UHS-II and UHS-III memory cards, so spend your money on games instead. With the 512GB of additional space, you’ll have plenty of room to stock up!

If you don’t download a lot of Switch titles, you might want to opt for a lower-capacity card to save some money. The 256GB and 128GB variants are cheaper than most new indie games and will take years to fill up. Just remember that if you decide to upgrade at a later date, you’ll have to transfer the contents or download all stored titles again, which could be inconvenient.

Best Nintendo Switch Memory Card

SanDisk 512GB Ultra MicroSD

With maximum read speeds of 100MB/sec, this SanDisk Ultra microSDXC memory card meets Nintendo's specification for ideal Switch read speeds.

Best Nintendo Switch Case: Game Traveler Case

Game Travel Case on orange background
Game Traveler

Pros

  • Cheap and cheerful tough case for all Switch models
  • Doubles up as a stand with room for 8 game cards
  • Bares Nintendo's official seal of approval

Cons

  • Tougher, premium cases exist
  • Some Amazon reviews complain of a strong plastic smell

A case is essential if you want to keep your Switch in good condition while traveling. We don’t think you need to spend much money on a case, which is why the Game Traveler Nintendo Switch Case gets our pick. It’s tough, fits all models of Nintendo Switch, and comes in at less than $20.

The sturdy fabric outer shell should protect your Switch from bumps and drops, with a carry handle and soft inner lining to prevent the screen from getting scuffed in transit. There’s room for the Switch and up to 8 games inside, so you’ll need to carry your power adapter, controllers, and dock separately if you’re taking it with you.

The Game Traveler case will protect your Switch against most drops and stop your console from getting scratched up in a bag, but there’s a limit to the protection it provides. It’s a light case at a low price point, but tougher cases exist (particularly if you’re worried about crushing damage). A few Amazon reviewers have noted a strong plastic smell coming from the case, with many noting that this dissipates over time.

If you want something a little more expansive (and willing to pay more), give the Zadii Hard Carrying Case a look instead.

Best Nintendo Switch Carrying Case

Game Traveler Switch Case

The Game Traveler Nintendo Switch Case bears the Nintendo seal of approval and is tough enough to protect your Switch console on the move.

Profile Photo for Tim Brookes Tim Brookes
Tim Brookes is a technology writer with more than a decade of experience. He's invested in the Apple ecosystem, with experience covering Macs, iPhones, and iPads for publications like Zapier and MakeUseOf.
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Profile Photo for Jon Bitner Jon Bitner
Jon Bitner is a freelance writer who focuses on topics related to video games, science, and technology. His work can be found across the web, although he's a regular contributor to Digital Trends, Slickdeals, TVGuide, CordCuttersNews, and TheGamer. Before starting his writing career, Jon worked in the biotechnology industry, where he produced monoclonal antibodies to treat cancer patients.
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