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Welcome to the beginner’s guide to the Nintendo Switch! If you’re new to the world of gaming, or just new to Nintendo’s Switch console, you’ve come to the right place.
This is not a gift guide where I will just give you a brief overview of the console. Oh no, I will go into everything you need to know whether buying the Switch as a holiday gift for a friend or loved one, or an any-day gift for yourself.
We’re going to break down everything you need to know about the Switch system, from its key features and benefits to how to set up parental controls and purchase games on the eShop. And don’t worry, we’ll do it all in a way that’s easy to understand, even for those who are a bit technologically challenged (I’m sure that’s not you of course).
Nintendo Switch Hardware and Design
First things first, let’s talk about the physical device. The Nintendo Switch is a portable console that can be played both at home and on-the-go. It’s a sleek little thing, measuring just 4 inches high, 9.4 inches long, and 0.55 inches deep.
It’s also surprisingly lightweight, so you can take it with you wherever you go without feeling like you’re lugging around a brick.
The battery life is also pretty impressive. Depending on how you’re using the Switch, you can expect anywhere from 4.5 to 9 hours of battery life. And if you do need to charge it, you can do so with the included AC adapter or by placing it in the Switch Dock (more on that later).
The Nintendo Switch is quite the little piece of hardware. It’s like they took a regular old console and said “you know what would be really cool? If we made it portable!”
Genius, right? I mean, who doesn’t love being able to play Zelda anywhere and everywhere that you want.
The design of the thing is pretty sleek, if I do say so myself. It’s got a nice little screen that you can detach and reattach to the Joy-Con controllers, depending on whether you’re playing on the TV or on the go.
The controllers themselves are a bit of a mixed bag, though. On one hand, they’re really versatile and can be used in a variety of different configurations. On the other hand, they’re so small that I’m constantly dropping them and losing them under the couch.
One thing I will say about the Switch system, it’s definitely not built for hardcore gamers. I mean, it’s not like you’re gonna be able to play the latest first-person shooter on it or anything. But it’s perfect for casual gaming, and for playing games on the go.
And let’s be real, sometimes you just want to play Mario Kart without having to sit in front of a TV for hours on end.
Overall, I have to give the Nintendo Switch props for being a pretty innovative piece of hardware. It’s not perfect, but it’s definitely a lot of fun to use. And honestly, what more could you want from a video game console?
The ability to play games on the couch? Check. The ability to play games on the go? Check.
The ability to drop the controllers under the couch and never see them again? Check and mate.
Now, let’s talk about the Joy-Con controllers. These are the two controllers that come with the Switch and can be used in a variety of ways. You can attach them to the sides of the Switch to play it like a traditional handheld console, or you can remove them and use one in each hand for motion control gaming.
You can also use them separately for multiplayer gaming, with each player holding one. It’s like magic, I know.
The Joy-Cons are basically just glorified versions of the Wii controllers from 10 years ago, but with some fancy new features. Like, remember how the Wii controllers had that little slot for the wrist strap? Well, the Joy-Con controllers have that too!
Except now it’s on the side, so it’s like you’re holding a tiny little suitcase. Very chic, Nintendo.
But let’s talk about the real crown jewel of the Joy-Con controllers: the motion controls. Oh yeah, that’s right, you can now play games by flailing your arms around like a lunatic.
I mean, I guess it’s cool if you’re into that kind of thing, but personally, I prefer to just sit on my couch and use the traditional buttons. But hey, to each their own.
And let’s not forget about the “HD Rumble” feature. I mean, I have no idea what that even means, but it sounds impressive, right? I mean, I’m pretty sure it just means that the controller vibrates a little more than usual, but hey, I’ll take it.
Overall, the Joy-Con controllers of the Nintendo Switch are a pretty solid choice if you’re looking to upgrade your gaming experience. I mean, they may not be the most revolutionary controllers out there, but they’ll definitely get the job done.
Plus, they’re great for impressing your friends with your fancy new motion controls. Just don’t blame me when you end up with a sprained arm.
The Nintendo Switch Dock
The Switch Dock is a device that allows you to connect the Switch to your TV. Simply place the Switch in the dock, connect it to your TV with the included HDMI cable, and voila!
You’re now playing your games on the big screen.
The Switch system will automatically switch to TV mode when it’s placed in the dock, so you don’t have to worry about fiddling with settings. If you have your dock plugged into the wall (which you will need to be able to play on your TV) it will also charge the console as soon as it is put into the dock.
And if your Joy-Cons are attached to the Switch it will charge them while it is on the dock too, making it an incredibly seamless process.
But wait, there’s more! The Nintendo Switch Dock also comes equipped with two USB ports, so you can charge your Joy-Con controllers and other accessories while you play. It’s like having a personal butler for your gaming needs.
And let’s be real, who doesn’t want a butler?
So if you’re tired of squinting at your Switch’s tiny screen and want to experience the true glory of your favorite games, the Nintendo Switch Dock is the way to go. It’s like upgrading from a VW Beetle to a Ferrari. Okay, maybe not that drastic, but you get the point.
So go ahead, treat yourself to playing on the Nintendo Switch Dock, and let the big-screen gaming begin!
The Nintendo Switch Online Service
The Nintendo Switch Online Service is an optional service that allows you to play games online, access a library of classic NES, SNES, N64, and Sega Genesis games, and save your game data to the cloud.
Playing with your Switch online will let you have tons of fun with your existing game library by playing against people all over the world (or around the corner if you prefer. To set up an online account, all you need to do is go to the eShop and purchase a membership.
A membership isn’t required to enjoy using the Nintendo Switch but if you love retro games like I do then paying the small monthly fee is worth it.
But that’s not all, folks! Nintendo Switch Online also includes a feature called “Nintendo Switch Online App”, which allows you to voice chat with friends and even use your phone as a controller for certain games.
I mean, who wants to hold a bulky controller when you can just use your phone, am I right? Plus, it’s way more discreet for when you’re trying to sneak in a quick gaming session at work.
So, what are you waiting for? Join the online party with Nintendo Switch Online and take your gaming experience to the next level. Trust me, it’s worth it.
Plus, it’s a great excuse to tell your significant other why you’re spending money on a gaming subscription.
The Nintendo eShop
If you’re a Nintendo Switch system owner, then you know that the online eShop is where it’s at. It’s like a digital candy store for all your gaming needs.
The eShop is where you can find all the latest and greatest games for your Switch (but just online), as well as some hidden gems that you might have missed.
Now, I know what you might be thinking, “But wait, can’t I just buy games at a physical store?” Sure, you could do that, but where’s the fun in that?
The eShop is where you can find an exclusive deal and discount (the eShop has a sale every few months as well) on a variety of Switch games that you won’t find anywhere else. Unfortunately, these deals and sales will rarely be on first-party Nintendo games and will never be on new releases.
Plus, the eShop is just so darn convenient. No need to leave your house, no need to put on pants (if you don’t want to, I won’t judge), just click and download.
But let’s talk about the real reason we all love the eShop, the indie games. Oh boy, let me tell you, the indie game selection on the eShop is something special. It’s like a treasure trove of hidden gems waiting to be discovered.
From pixelated platformers to atmospheric adventure games, the eShop has it all. And let’s not forget about the retro games, because who doesn’t love a good dose of nostalgia?
So, if you haven’t already, go ahead and check out the Nintendo eShop for your Switch.
Playing Switch Games
Now, let’s talk about the fun stuff: playing Switch games! The Switch has a wide variety of games available, from first-party Nintendo titles like Pokémon, Mario Kart, Splatoon, etc. to third-party games like Doom and Minecraft.
To play a game, simply insert the game card (if you have a physical copy) or select the game from the home menu (if you purchased it digitally).
If you’re new to gaming, it can be overwhelming to figure out which games to play. My advice is to start with the classics. Super Mario Odyssey and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild are both excellent choices and will give you a taste of what the Switch is capable of.
If you are purchasing the Switch console for a younger child then getting some easier games like those made in the Lego series will be a good choice as well.
Now let’s take a deeper look at some of the best games that are available on the Switch console. Now, I know there’s a ton of great games out there, but these are the cream of the crop, the top dogs, the best of the best.
So, without further ado, let’s dive in.
First up, we have “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild”. Now, I know what you’re thinking, “Oh great, another Zelda game.” But trust me, this one is different.
It’s like nothing you’ve ever played before. It’s like they took the Zelda formula, put it in a blender, and hit “puree”. It’s an open-world, sandbox style game that lets you explore the vast land of Hyrule however you want. And let me tell you, there’s a lot to explore.
You could spend hours just climbing mountains and finding hidden caves. It’s like “The Elder Scrolls” and “Zelda” had a baby, and it’s a beautiful thing.
Next up, we have “Super Mario Odyssey”. Now, I know what you’re thinking, “Another Mario game? Yawn.” But hold on, this one is different too.
This game is all about exploration and collecting moons (which are basically the new stars). You play as Mario and his new friend Cappy (who is a hat, yes, you read that right) and travel to different worlds, each with their own unique style. It’s like “Super Mario 64” and “Banjo-Kazooie” had a baby.
Last but not least, we have “Animal Crossing: New Horizons”. Now, I know what you’re thinking, “Another Animal Crossing game? Zzzzzz.” But hold on, this one is different too.
This game is all about building your own island paradise. You start off with nothing but a tent and a few tools and you have to build it up from there. You can fish, catch bugs, plant trees, and build houses.
So there you have it folks, some of the best games on the Nintendo Switch. Whether you want to explore a vast open-world, collect moons, or build your own island paradise, there’s something for everyone.
So grab your Switch and start playing, you won’t regret it.
Are you tired of your kids hogging the Nintendo Switch all day, every day? Well, fear not! The Switch has some pretty sweet parental controls that will give you back control of your precious console.
First of all, you can set playtime limits for your kiddos. This means you can set a timer for how long they can play for before the Switch automatically shuts off.
You can even set different limits for different days of the week, so you can give them a little extra time on weekends. It’s like the ultimate gaming curfew!
But wait, there’s more! You can also set content restrictions on the Switch. This means you can control what games your little ones have access to based on their age rating.
So, if you don’t want them playing that M-rated game that gives you nightmares, you can just block it. Easy peasy.
And, if you’re worried about your kids accidentally spending all your hard-earned cash on in-game purchases, you can set up a PIN code that they need to enter before they can make any transactions. It’s like a little financial gatekeeper.
In short, the Nintendo Switch’s parental controls are like a superhero sidekick for parents. With these controls, you can give your kids a little bit of freedom while still keeping them safe and on a budget. So go ahead, take a break and let the Switch do the heavy lifting for a change.
Alright folks, let’s talk about some of the accessories that you can get for your Nintendo Switch console. Now, I know you’re probably thinking “But wait, isn’t the console itself enough? I mean, it’s got all the games and everything!”
And to that I say, “Ha! You sweet summer child, you have so much to learn.”
First up, we’ve got the carrying case. Now, I know you’re probably thinking “But wait, I can just carry it around in my hands like a normal person!” And to that I say, “Ha! You’re not thinking big enough, my friend.
With a carrying case, you can take your Switch on the go with you and show off to all your friends that you’re a serious gamer. Plus, it’ll keep your console safe and sound from any potential drops or scratches (and that’s the real reason to get a case).
Next up, we’ve got the screen protector. . A screen protector will keep your screen safe from any potential scratches or smudges, ensuring that your gaming experience is always crystal clear. When your Switch console slides in and out of the dock hundreds or thousands of times the screen will start to scratch.
But having a screen protector will fix that issue.
And finally, we’ve got the Switch case. A Switch case will keep all of your games, controllers, and other accessories in one neat and tidy package, making sure you never have to fumble around for that one game you want to play.
It makes it easy to take all your physical games with you and you won’t have to look like a hobo by carrying everything in a Walmart bag.
So there you have it folks, some of the accessories you can get for your Nintendo Switch console. Trust me, they’ll make your gaming experience that much better.
When it comes to choosing which accessories you should get, it really depends on your needs. If you’re someone who takes their Switch with them everywhere they go, a carrying case is a must-have.
If you’re someone who plays a lot of multiplayer games, extra Joy-Con controllers (or even cheaper generic controllers) are a good idea.
Guide To Setting Up A Nintendo Account
Are you ready to set up a Nintendo Account on your shiny new Switch? Well, grab a snack and a beverage, ’cause we’re about to embark on a journey of setting up and linking and syncing and all that good stuff.
First things first, let’s make sure your Switch is all charged up and ready to go. You don’t want to be in the middle of setting up your account and have your Switch die on you, now do you?
Of course not. So plug that bad boy in, and let’s get started.
Next, we need to turn on the Switch and make sure it’s connected to the internet. I know, I know, it’s a no-brainer, but you never know, maybe you’re trying to set up your account in the middle of a power outage or something.
So, double check that your internet is good to go, and then proceed to the home screen.
Now, we’re going to need to create a new user. I know, it feels like we’re creating a whole new person, but don’t worry, you’re still you, just with a new Switch account.
So, go ahead and hit that + button, and create a new user. Once that’s done, we can finally get to the fun part – setting up your Nintendo Account!
To set up your Nintendo Account, you’ll need to go to the eShop and select “Nintendo Account.” From there, you’ll be prompted to sign in or create a new account. If you already have a Nintendo Account, go ahead and sign in with your existing login information.
But, if you’re new to the Nintendo Account game, select “Create a new account” and follow the prompts. And voila! You now have a Nintendo Account on your Switch. Now go forth and play all the games your heart desires!
Switch Lite Comparison
The Nintendo Switch and Switch Lite are both popular gaming consoles, but they have some key differences. Of course, you can find many different reviews online (and on our site as well) for both the Switch and Switch Lite so this will just be a quick overview not an in-depth review.
The original Switch has a sleek design and can be played in both handheld and docked mode, thanks to its detachable Joy-Cons and Nintendo Switch dock. The Switch Lite, on the other hand, is designed for portability and is only playable in handheld mode (meaning you can’t connect it to the TV).
The Switch Lite is also more budget-friendly (has lower prices) and has a smaller, more compact design.
Another major difference between the two is that the Switch Lite has a built-in controller and non-removable Joy-Cons, whereas the Switch controllers are detachable.
The Switch also has a slightly longer battery life than the Switch Lite although neither of them are short at all.
Ultimately, whether you choose the Switch or Switch Lite will depend on your preferences. If you’re looking for a gaming console that can be played both at home and on-the-go, the Switch is the better option.
If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly and portable option, the Switch Lite is a great choice.
Of course, the latest Switch console is the OLED version. It is essentially just an upgraded version of the original Switch system. Since it is only slightly better than the original Switch I wouldn’t recommend it unless you haven’t purchased a console yet.
And there you have it, folks! A beginner’s guide to the Nintendo Switch (I will cover the Switch OLED another day). Now, go forth and play!
Whether you’re new to gaming or just new to the Switch, this guide should have everything you need to know to get started. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me.
Remember gaming should be fun and enjoyable, so don’t take it too seriously, and enjoy the journey of discovering new games and experiences. Happy gaming!