It’s a good time to own a Nintendo Switch. Last year, the console was graced with smash hits like Mario Odyssey and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. This year, Nintendo kept the momentum strong by giving the console, and is just around the corner. Still, the base console kind of isn’t good enough. Whether you’re a long-term Switch owner, new to the console or thinking of picking one up for the holidays, you’re going to need a few things Nintendo doesn’t include with the console to truly make the most of it.
So far,, but there’s still a chance all of the accessories and add-ons that can help you make the most of your Switch will officially see discounts for Cyber Monday. Read on to find out what you should pick up over the holidays for your own selfish Switch needs, or for a gift to the big Nintendo fan in your life.
Disclaimer: CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page. Retail links are to Amazon unless otherwise indicated.
Tempered Glass Screen Protector
Nintendo’s hybrid portable console packs a big, beautiful capacitive touchscreen — but the Switch’s 6.2-inch display isn’t made of the same toughened glass as your phone’s screen. It’s made of plastic. That means it won’t ever shatter, which is good! It also means that it scratches easily. That’s bad.
Fortunately, that’s an easy fix: Tempered glass screen protectors will protect the Nintendo Switch’s display from scratches, dings and scuffs — with the added bonus of lending the screen a more premium-feeling touch experience.
Better still, glass screen protectors are easier to install than plastic ones, letting you enjoy a safer, bubble-free display.
Nintendo’s colorful, detachable controllers are a big part of what makes the console so magical — but the initial console only comes with two of them. That’s fine for a lot of games, but if you’re planning on playing local multiplayer games like Mario Party, you’ll want to pick up a few extra. They can get pretty expensive, but on Cyber Monday, Amazon is offering a variety of different colors for about $60 per set (discount applied at check-out.)
Nintendo Switch Pro Controller
The detachable Joy-Con controllers that ship with the Nintendo Switch are nice, but if you want to up your game, you’ll want a full size gamepad — and the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller is the gold standard.
Not only does the official Pro controller have a comfortable, offset dual-stick layout, large comfortable face buttons and satisfying shoulder buttons, but it’s the only official gamepad to support Nintendo’s “HD Rumble” force feedback. It does have one minor flaw, though: The Pro Controller’s d-pad is only OK. Despite this, it’s still the ideal controller for most Nintendo Switch games.
Better still, this one can be had for just $50.99 on Cyber Monday (discount applied at check out.)
If you absolutely need directional buttons worthy of your retro druthers, however…
8Bitdo SN30 Pro Controller
Miss the good old days? Check out the 8Bitdo SN30 Pro. It’s exactly what it looks like: a Super Nintendo controller with all the bells and whistles of a Playstation DualShock 4. It’s the perfect alternative to the official Switch Pro controller — not only does it match every button the official Pro controller has point for point (including dedicated home and screenshot buttons), but it also has full gyro controls, making it 100 percent compatible with every Nintendo Switch game. If you’re a fan of HD Rumble, be forewarned: The SN30 Pro’s rumble features lacks the subtlety of Nintendo’s proprietary controller. Still, you can’t beat the feel of those SNES buttons.
You know what’s about to release, just in time for the holiday season? Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. You know what the best controller is for Smash? The classic GameCube controller. It’s a little weird to be buying a gamepad designed for a console Nintendo hasn’t sold in almost two decades, but what can we say — Smash Bros. just doesn’t feel right without this oddball controller.
Bring your own gamepad
If none of those native Switch gamepads strike your fancy, you’ve got one more option: literally any other controller. If you have a spare PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Wii Remote or Wii U Pro Controller lying around, you can sync them to your Nintendo Switch using the 8BitDo Wireless Bluetooth Controller Adapter. A decent solution if you already have a lot of controllers around.
Oh, and if you’re a PC gamer, the dongle can be used to connect Nintendo Switch controllers to your PC, too. Not bad.
Get a good carrying case
The Switch may be portable, but you still don’t want to throw it into your backpack unprotected. There are a ton of different carrying cases to choose from — from the simple AmazonBasics case to slightly larger carrying cases like the Orzly Carry Case, which has extra room for a spare set of Joy-Con controllers.
Get more storage with a MicroSD card
The Nintendo Switch is great — but it doesn’t have a lot of internal storage. If you buy your games digitally, it won’t take long for you to fill up the console’s 32GB of internal storage. You’ll want to upgrade. There are plenty of amazing deals around Black Friday — including this Samung 128GB MicroSD card for just $20!
Joy-Con charging dock
Are you ready to lose friends and be angry all the time? Good, because Nintendo Super Mario Party is already out, and Smash Bros. is soon to come. Make sure your Joy-Cons are fully charged.
Anker Powercore 20100 Nintendo Switch Edition
The Nintendo Switch’s battery life is decent, but it won’t last through a cross-country plane flight. You can fix that with an Anker Powercore 20100 Nintendo Switch Edition. This huge battery will buy you hours of extra play time — but make sure you buy the official “Nintendo Switch Edition. There have been reports of third-party docks and charging solutions causing issues on the Switch.