The Nintendo Switch is gaming giant Nintendo's highest-selling console of all time, as of December 2021.
Still, that doesn't mean it's a flawless or stress-free system. Even the mighty Switch has its fair share of inconveniences, risks, and annoyances.
But that's where accessories come in.
Nintendo Switch accessories extend the console's functionality, spruce up its appearance, and simply make your life as a Switch owner infinitely easier.
In this comprehensive guide, we'll:
- Highlight 8 super helpful Nintendo Switch accessories
- Explain the problems that these accessories eliminate
- Offer tips and ideas to help get you inspired when shopping for them
Ready to gear up?
Let's dive right in!
#1: Pro Controller
Joy-Cons are an innovative new take on the game controller concept, no question. With motion sensor technology and a unique dual-wield configuration, it's definitely easy to kick back and relax on the couch while controlling your in-game avatar.
But that comfort and innovation doesn't come without sacrifices.
The relatively small size of the standard Joy-Con controllers can make them pretty tricky to operate when your game requires quick, precise button presses or has a lot of command options.
That's particularly the case for the following game genres:
- First-person shooters (FPS) like Fortnite or Apex Legends
- Frantic fighting games like Super Smash Bros. or The King of Fighters
- Rhythm games like Project DIVA or Fuser
The Joy-Cons' individual directional buttons and distinct dual-wield concept (as opposed to the more coordinated, consolidated nature of a single two-handed controller) can also cause precision to fall by the wayside.
Go Pro (Controller)
To enhance your gaming experience and reduce stress on your hands (and your brain), a Nintendo Switch Pro Controller or similar accessory is just the ticket you need.
With its ergonomic design and generous button spacing, a Pro Controller is a viable solution to the Joy-Con's limitations and definitely a worthy addition to your accessory collection. It also doesn't require any extra effort to get started -- unlike the stock controller grip that you have to attach Joy-Cons to every time you use it.
The Nintendo Switch Pro Controller and similar third-party controllers come in tons of different colors and designs, so take some time to find one that resonates most with your play style.
If you need a little inspiration to get you started, we recommend the officially licensed HORIPAD (pictured above) from third-party giants HORI. They're great to pick up and play with, and the bold colorful designs never fail to get heads turning as well. They come in both wireless and mini versions too!
#2: Charging stands
Invest in an upgraded stand for your Nintendo Switch and your body will be sure to thank you down the line.
With the sheer degree of portability the Switch offers, you're no doubt going to be playing it whenever you're out on the road -- whether it be on a train or a plane.
Unfortunately, the stock retractable stand isn't exactly stable (or sturdy), which means you risk the console toppling over and sustaining damage at the slightest jolt of your vehicle.
The only other initial option, then, would be to hold the Switch undocked like a jumbo-sized Game Boy -- and as we saw with the Wii U GamePad, neck pains and muscle cramps sustained from hours holding a bulky video game system isn't exactly a recipe for fun.
Get a solid foundation
A specialized Switch stand is the perfect solution for these woes, allowing you to rest the undocked console on a flat surface with a truly solid foundation of support.
There are lots of stands out there to choose from, but if you're going to be playing portable, you can't go past a stand that doubles as a charger. Whether it be a quick power supply top-up or just a long night of portable gaming, a Nintendo Switch dock and charger is one accessory you'll definitely want to pick up.
Many charging stands even go the extra mile and incorporate other convenient tech into their design, like a very welcome cooling fan!
#3: Carry cases
Any in-game adventurer will no doubt attest to the importance of a proper carry case for your inventory, and for us gamers it's no different.
Read on to find out the benefits a case will provide.
A quality carry case is essential for any person who plans on taking their Nintendo Switch out into the wild.
Sure, you can try leaving the console unprotected inside your bag as you roam about town -- you'll save the 30 odd dollars that it costs for a case. But when you're constantly brushing against fellow commuters or trying to shield yourself from less-than-stellar weather throughout the day, the risk of damage to your delicate Switch and the electrical components inside it is ever present.
So at the end of the day, you have to ask yourself: What's 30 dollars for some external protection, when the alternative is 300 dollars for a new Switch to replace the one that broke?
Steady and sturdy does it
A case for your Nintendo Switch acts as both a protective shell and a convenient storage hub for everything that goes with it.
Ideally, you'll want a case that comes with straps to hold the Switch securely in place; those are precious goods inside, so like the safety of a car seat belt, the less rocking about inside the better.
A sturdy reinforced exterior will work wonders when it comes to shock absorption and other external dangers. It might be tempting to give soft cases or even pouches a spin -- given how cute and affordable they can be -- but for valuable possessions like a Switch, do remember that function often far outweighs form.
Spacious yet smart
In the same vein as the charging stand mentioned above, you want to get the most bang for your buck with your carry case. Make sure there's enough compartments to house not only the Switch itself but also game cards, Joy-Cons for you and a friend or two, charging cables, and other peripherals.
The important thing to remember here is that bigger doesn't necessarily mean better. The whole point of using a case is to make the most of the Switch's portability, after all, so choosing one that's as bulky as a Nintendo 64 won't exactly be doing you any favors. You don't want to be carrying around more than you need to.
One of the eternal struggles with going portable is deciding how many games to bring along. Honestly, you'll probably be fine with a case that can hold five to ten, not including the one already inserted into your Switch. It's nice to have a handful (or two) when you're on the go, as obviously some games are more suited to certain situations than others: Sure, if you're on a seven-hour flight from Japan to Australia, a highly engrossing RPG or visual novel can easily help you while the hours away. But a quick five-minute bus ride? Ditch the story-driven adventure and opt for some simple arcade fun like Tetris or Street Fighter instead.
#4: Game card holders
Ensure you’re never caught short without your favorite game again by adding a Nintendo Switch game card (cartridge) holder to your list of accessories.
Because goodness knows they can be easy to lose sight (and possession) of!
A very large library
As at December 2021, the Nintendo Switch has more than 5,000 games in its library. And while digital-only titles and region-specific sales no doubt take up a meaningful portion of that number, one thing's for certain: that's a whole lot of games!
A larger catalog on offer obviously means the potential for more games in your actual possession, so it's best to be able to keep them all organized in one place.
Game card holders can hold dozens of games at any one time, meaning you’ll always have something to play no matter where you are or what mood you're in.
A very small card
Size-related difficulties go both ways.
While there can sometimes be a strange discrepancy in Nintendo Switch Game Card dimensions, the fact is they're smaller than a run-of-the-mill matchbox -- which is very small indeed.
Obviously, the double whammy of portable gaming and small hardware means that it can be incredibly easy to lose or misplace your cartridges. And although you no doubt want to be sure you have all of them where they should be, at the same time you surely don't want to be lugging around each game's individual jewel case either!
A game card holder keeps things compact and convenient so that not only do you have more space in your bag, but also more peace of mind during your travels as well.
(Note: For simplicity we'll collectively refer to skins, decals, shells, covers, kisegae kits, wraps, and other accessories that change the actual appearance of your Switch as skins in this guide.)
Accessorizing and personalizing go hand in hand, especially in the context of the Nintendo Switch.
If you're feeling tired of the console's standard gray body or its red and blue Joy-Cons, why not grab some skins to spice things up?
Here's why it's a good idea.
Special editions are scarce
While special editions often accompany major franchises and game releases, like Monster Hunter Rise, the recent reality is that it's exceedingly hard to get your hands on these from day one. (Two years on and many gamers are still trying to buy a PlayStation 5, after all.)
Luckily with console skins, you can make your Switch is truly special without having to rely on a special edition at all. They're also obviously a lot easier to produce, distribute, and stock on store shelves -- so you can be sure their supply and demand will never be unreasonably out of balance.
Lost in the mix
A big part of the Nintendo Switch's appeal is the community aspect of it. Considering how portable it is -- not to mention the casual, dynamic nature of many of the games on it -- you'll inevitably be carrying your Switch and Joy-Cons with you to parties and other gatherings with friends. (The Switch's official launch trailer from 2016 definitely played this up on more than one occasion.)
What does that mean for your beloved console and controllers? It means they'll easily get lost in the mix.
What's to stop your friend from interstate accidentally taking home your Switch at the end of the day? Or worse, not realizing it doesn't belong to them until after they accidentally delete all the data off it?
What about those Joy-Cons your little brother bought you after saving up all his pocket money? You definitely wouldn't want someone who happened to be at the same gaming party as you taking those home by mistake.
Use skins to switch up the look and feel of your Switch, and you can avoid all these troubles and more.
Nintendo Switch, your way
The rather uninspired gray of the Nintendo Switch lends itself really well to aesthetic changes. Maybe that's why Nintendo went with it as a standard color in the first place?
The best thing about Nintendo Switch skins is the countless number and variety of them. To borrow a phrase from Smash Bros. Ultimate, quite literally everyone is here -- and that means you're bound to find something you like in no time.
Here's a snippet of some awesome skins on the market:
- Cute characters like Pikachu, Kirby, and Rilakkuma
- Epic anime and game protagonists like Naruto and Metroid's Samus
- Your favorite basketball team logos
- Dark, brooding heroes like Batman and Spawn
- Abstract, psychedelic symbols and patterns
- Minimalist designs
The possibilities are endless!
#6: Ring Fit Adventure
The ring accessory in Ring Fit Adventure is an essential add-on in every sense of the word: without it, you won't actually be able to play the game at all. Luckily, the two come as a set anyway, so unless you're buying the game card itself secondhand, you shouldn't have anything to worry about.
Let's see what all the fuss (and craze) was about!
The COVID-19 pandemic still won't go away, some three years after the underlying virus's initial discovery. That means you've no doubt needed to make some fairly significant life adjustments -- and unfortunately, physical activity outdoors and in crowded spaces (like the gym) is probably one of them.
Thankfully, Nintendo's cardio and strength training RPG Ring Fit Adventure allows you to get in some much needed huffing and puffing from the comfort of your living room. No need to risk heading down to a crowded gym or public exercise area if you can get an intense workout right in front of your TV!
Accessory to adventure
The Ring Fit Adventure retail package consists of the game itself and a special controller accessory shaped like a Pilates ring. You attach one Joy-Con controller to the ring and one to your thigh, then carry out various physical exercises in order to move your avatar around the game world and defeat enemies.
The demand for this quasi-replacement to the outdoors was so great during the early stages of the pandemic that stores couldn't keep up with the disappearing inventory. In fact, for a time in Japan you'd often see electronics shops and toy stores only offering Ring Fit Adventure to special lottery winners.
Luckily supply and demand for Ring Fit Adventure is back in balance these days!
#7: Racing wheels
Don't settle for stock controllers when it's time to burn rubber. Go all out and supercharge your next race with some realistic steering wheels instead!
Feel the need for speed
Racing games like Mario Kart 8, Cruis'n Blast, and the delightful Asphalt 8 are all about dynamic action and the thrill of navigating curves, slopes, and chasms at breakneck speed. The rush of adrenaline you can get from the safety of your living room couch is second to none.
For that reason, confining your movement to your Joy-Con's directional pad or joystick is the ultimate buzzkill. Where's the fun in that?
For the best racing experience, go with a racing wheel accessory instead. Just imagine you and a group of friends clamoring to reach the finish line while frantically flailing your arms about. What could be more entertaining?!
The key is variety
As is the case with all Nintendo Switch accessories, one of the real joys when it comes to racing wheels is the variety on the market.
For young racers (or rambunctious friends!), wireless handheld wheels are a great choice. These will generally have you slotting your Joy-Con controller into the accessory itself, much like Ring Fit Adventure above. And while that requires extra physical effort on your part, that's exactly where the joy lies: since there's no base support for the accessory, you're free to rock back and forth and bump into your friends as you drift your way around tight corners! (Think the back seat of a school bus whenever it makes a sharp turn.)
If you're more of a revhead that just wants to enjoy as realistic a drive as possible (albeit in a powerful sports car), a more deluxe model with its own base support is where you'll want to look. Check out the aforementioned HORI's sweet Mario Kart Racing Wheel if you're at a loss for where to begin; its integrated controls, textured grip, and stylish color scheme make it deserving of a place on your shelf.
#8: Golf clubs
Golf games like Mario Golf: Super Rush are a nice change of pace from the exhausting world of aerobics and street racing.
A golf club accessory not only makes your game that much more enjoyable, it'll also ensure your form and technique are up to par when you make a trip down to your local golf course for real.
Curious as to why? Keep reading and you'll find out!
The importance of muscle memory
Muscle memory is absolutely critical in sports, music, and pretty much any other physical activity you can think of.
The first time you try to hold down a guitar chord, ride a bicycle, or even wrap a present, both your brain and your limbs are going to have trouble operating in sync (and in a way that gets the job done).
But do it enough times in a consistent manner with proper technique -- plus the right tools -- and even a complete novice can become a seasoned master one day.
Obviously, the reverse also holds true: poor form, sporadic practice, and incorrect equipment can make your proficiency truly suffer.
By the same token, playing golf with a standard Joy-Con can hinder your game rather than help it. Especially when you're relying on its motion sensor capabilities and swinging it like a Wii Remote!
Get closer to the real thing
In addition to being more fun to use, a golf club attachment or accessory for the Nintendo Switch has two practical benefits: its length and weight.
Obviously you're not going to find a weighty steel or graphite shaft to perfectly replicate your favorite club. But considering a regular Joy-Con is about 7 inches (18 cm) long and weighs a little under 2 ounces (50 grams), you're going to want any sort of upgrade you can get.
Plus there's the added advantage of these accessories having a realistic center of gravity more akin to an actual club.
Indeed, get too accustomed to a Joy-Con swing and your power allocation and distance perception during a real golf game might very well take a turn for the worse!
Here’s a look back at all the accessories we explored in this guide:
- Nintendo Switch Pro Controller
- Charging stands
- Carry cases
- Game card holders
- Ring Fit Adventure
- Racing wheels
- Golf clubs
These awesome extras really enhance your game and make being a Switch owner that much easier.
Which ones do you own?
Accessories to the rescue
True to its name, the Nintendo Switch and its myriad accessories give you plenty of opportunities to switch things up.
Whether that be from a functional standpoint or an aesthetic one, the result is the same: vast quality of life improvements and greater customer satisfaction.
Of course, lifesaving accessories and stress-reducing add-ons also allow you to spend more time and effort on actually enjoying your games — which is what matters most!
If you're ready to gear up with some seriously helpful Nintendo Switch accessories of your own, check out the Nintendo Switch product category at ZenPlus. You'll find all the accessory types listed here and then some!
Over to you!
What accessories for the Nintendo Switch can you never leave home without?
How many games do you bring with you on your travels?
Got another Nintendo Switch topic you'd like us to cover?
Other articles you'll enjoy
If you can't get enough of the Nintendo Switch, you won't want to miss these other articles on ZenPlus:
- Buy or Bye? What's New in Zelda: Skyward Sword HD
- Smash Ultimate’s Final DLC: Please, Sakurai-san, Let it Be One Of These!
- 10 Sweet Game Boy Games Perfect for Nintendo Switch Online
Thanks for reading!