Are Nintendo Switches Waterproof? 


Are Nintendo Switches Waterproof? 

*This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

The Nintendo Switch is a video game console released in March 2017. The Switch is the first Nintendo console to use a touchscreen as its main interface and includes detachable controllers called Joy-Cons that can be attached to one or both sides of the system. 

It has many features not seen on other consoles, such as removable (and rechargeable) Joy-Cons, internal storage capability, multiple HDMI outputs, multiple USB ports and compatibility with amiibo figures. 

Some versions of the Switch can be “docked” to an included base station via an HDMI connection and have a more traditional console experience with an included set of controllers for players who prefer to play without using their own devices/smooth tablet input.

The Switch has been praised for its handheld-like portability, its innovative controllers, and its games. 

It has also been criticized for being too expensive and having a smaller library of games than the competition. 

Have you heard that Nintendo made their new Switch waterproof and can now be used in the ocean, lake, or pool and wondered if that was true? 

Unfortunately the Nintendo Switch is not waterproof. It is also not water resistant which is why you should avoid getting it wet as water will damage the electronic components of the Joy-Cons and the console itself. 

The Nintendo Switch is not meant to be submerged in water. It’s rated as being “splash proof” not waterproof. The phrase “splash proof” is a rating that sometimes gets confused with waterproof, and may lead people to think it means you can submerge it in water. It doesn’t, at least not without the risk of damaging it or your games on the Switch.

Splashproof means that you can have an accidental spill or splash of water on the device without causing any real damage, but that doesn’t mean you can take your Switch swimming. If you drop it while playing there’s a good chance that it will be damaged by the impact with the ground as well. 

The Nintendo Switch has some awesome features like the portable tablet, detachable Joy-Cons and Rumble options. Many would assume that if you put your Switches into the dock station everything is protected on the device itself. While the Switch is protected while in the dock, it’s not protected during play. 

Because of this, it’s possible that your Switch could be damaged by a fall or another unexpected event. 

You can almost guarantee that if you drop it, or worse, if you allow your children/niece/nephew to use it incorrectly, you will end up with a battered and damaged Switch that will most likely end up in the garbage (or needing expensive repairs). 

The Nintendo Switch is 100% portable and you will want to take it with you everywhere you go so your kids can play wherever they are, not just at home. 

Water Is one of the biggest issues you will encounter with this new device! This is why you will want to put your Switch in a waterproof case to keep it safe.  You can buy a great waterproof case for your Switch right here. 

Can a water damaged Nintendo Switch be repaired?

If you own a Switch and it has been dropped in water and is not working properly the last thing you want to do is pay to buy a brand new one. This is why many people want to just fix the one that they currently have. 

A water damaged Switch can be repaired. Depending on how bad the damage is though, it may be cheaper to buy a new one rather than trying to fix the damaged one. 

If your Switch has been water damaged, you will want to keep reading to see the different types of water damage that can happen to a Switch. 

There are 3 major types of damage that can affect a Nintendo Switch; meaning that your device may still be operational after being exposed to water. These are:

 1: “No interior Water” Damage

This type of damage occurs when no amount of water gets into the device. The logic is simple, no water inside means that there is no interior damage. With the damage on the outside there may be some cosmetic problems. This means that it will still do the same job as a working Nintendo Switch but with cosmetic issues, like the screen (or the touch part of the screen) not working correctly.

 2: “Minor liquid” Damage:

This type of damage occurs when liquid gets to either the motherboard or the motherboard and control chips on them. Liquid only has to penetrate this far for the device to be unusable. 

 3: “Fully Submerged” Damage:

This type of damage occurs when liquid gets to the motherboard and the control chips on them. With this type of water damage, the device is not usable at all. You can still fix this type of water damage, but you will need to disassemble the device first to access the motherboard and chips.

The next step is to explain how Nintendo Switch repairs go.

Repair Process:

1. Remove the Nintendo Switch from the water by removing the battery and taking it out of its dock.

2. Remove the cover from the Switch with a butter knife, or other tool that will not scratch the housing. Make sure that you remove all of the screws beforehand so you don’t accidentally screw things up after replacing them in their holes, especially if they are hard to access (like screws at the bottom of a metal plate).

3. After removing all of the screws, separate each piece of plastic housing on top of each other to expose some board space underneath. Also make sure not to scratch anything except for any stickers on there as these may be stuck on there pretty tightly and could be damaged when being peeled off.

4. Remove a screw to remove the two screws on either side of the main board connecting it to the PCB (printed circuit board). This will allow you to pull the main PCB out.

5. Removing the main PCB exposes your screen and buttons as well as a lot of components that are really hard to reach without taking the whole console apart. To do this, you will need a small flathead screwdriver and preferably a split ring tool (like ESD clip tool) or a smaller box knife/spudger (Sharkoon smart spudger, or Spudger Tool).

6. After removing the screws, separate the metal plate from the plastic housing gently and pull out the plate. You may also need to get some pliers/needle nose pliers to help you when installing a new screen or button for repair.

7. Removing a screen or button is pretty simple, just pull it off gently and keep track of it because they are all pretty much the same size and shape. Here you will also find some screws that you don’t need to remove anymore, so take note of these and put them on a different screw holder if you need them later on in upgrading your Nintendo Switch.

8. Install a new screen or button and reinstall the metal plate/housing back on top of the main board.

9. For any internal components, you will need to take out a screw first and then pull it out gently, this will expand the housing space that you have to work with. After disassembling all of the internal components, make sure that they are all lined back up properly before putting the screws back in.

10. Reconnect the main PCB with screws and put some sticks of hot glue in between the PCB and housing plate to keep it in place if necessary.

11. Reassemble the device and put in a battery, power it on to test.

12. If the device still doesn’t work, clean off any dust that may have accumulated and consider replacing any components that were compromised by water (speakers, etc).

That’s pretty much everything you need to know before getting into fixing a Nintendo Switch that has been water damaged. Even though you can now fix your Switch if it is water damaged, most of the time it is cheaper to simply replace the entire console rather than just repairing it. This is because parts for the Switch are extremely expensive, and you can normally buy a new Switch for cheaper than replacing the main components in the one that has been water damaged. 

How do you clean Nintendo Switch dust?

What’s the best way to clean dust out of a Nintendo Switch or dock? Obviously you want to clean your Switch, but you don’t want to break it. This is where many people struggle as they are cheap, but they also want to clean their Switch and keep it looking nice. 

There are some good ways to do this as well as some bad ways. If you have sensitive consoles that have dust in them or an issue with dirt in their ports, then the last thing you want to do is tap the back of them and hope for the best. It’s one of those situations where if you’re not careful, you’ll probably be asking yourself how Nintendo Switches work and what they do when your Switch starts acting weird again.

When it comes to cleaning your console, there are some tried and true methods that you can use. So let’s take a look at what you should do when it comes to cleaning your console.

You can clean the dust out of your Switch by using an air duster, or compressed air can. Blowing the dust and dirt out of your console is the easiest and safest way to clean your Switch without damaging your device.  

The other thing you can do to clean out your Nintendo Switch is use a microfiber cloth and a little bit of water. The idea here is that the microfiber cloth will soak up all the dust and dirt in your console and then put it into the water. 

I’ve been using this method for years now and it has worked really well for me. The only thing you need to watch out for is that you don’t get water in your console connections. This method works really well for any problems that are caused by dirt or dust in your console ports.

If your console is dust free and functionality isn’t affected, I would not worry about trying to clean the Nintendo Switch or dock any further.

If you don’t know what a Nintendo Switch’s internal components look like, then do yourself a favor and Google it before proceeding further. There’s nothing worse than reading an article and getting overly specific details that you can’t apply to your situation.

Now that you know what to do, let’s take a look at some of the things that you should consider before proceeding.

First and foremost, it’s important to understand the difference between micro-motors compared to main motors. The micro-motors within the Nintendo Switch are very similar in function and operation with their counterparts found in VCRs and game consoles from a long time ago. If this were a main motor Nintendo console, the durability would be questionable at best given the design of these components as well as how much more frequently than not these things are used.

The micro-motors are responsible for spinning the gears in each Switch game cartridge. These motors are very much like those found in VCRs. The amount of wear and tear on these motors is dependent on how you treat your Switch and Nintendo game cartridges. A big component here is the amount of force that you apply when putting a Nintendo game cartridge into your Switch console.

The goal here is to push the cartridge in without applying any excessive force to the cartridge itself as this could potentially damage the internal components of the Nintendo Switch itself. If you are worried about the longevity of your Switch console and you’re in a situation where you have to push down hard on the cartridge, then I recommend looking into other methods such as putting something under the Switch to prop it up or using an adapter player.

All this being said, if you’ve been around since the Nintendo 64 days, you probably remember how many times we had to take cartridges out and put them back in. The fact that so many of us did not kill our game consoles is pretty amazing. However, this doesn’t mean that there weren’t times when we did too much.

The good news is that if you are careful with your Nintendo Switch console and games, you shouldn’t be too worried about damaging it. I’m not just talking about putting the cartridge in the wrong way or upside down. Using excessive force when putting in a cartridge can damage the internal components of the console and may also eliminate your warranty as well.

While there is a chance that you could do some serious damage if you are not careful with inserting the cartridge, this shouldn’t be the biggest of your concerns. When it comes to dust, water damage, or physical damage, this should top your list. You’ll be okay if you’re careful and follow the steps above to maintain a dust free Nintendo Switch.

Matt Robbs

There is nothing quite so enjoyable as bringing back memories from your childhood. We used to spend hours playing pinball in my friends basement and that really got me involved in everything retro!

Recent Posts