The Nintendo Switch is nearly two years old as we come to the end of 2018, and the holiday season is well upon us. The Switch is a hotter item than ever. In fact, Nintendo announced in a press release that according to Adobe Analytics, in the US, the Switch broke the all time record for fastest selling Nintendo console in a five day period, from Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday. Since getting into the world of gaming on this platform can be rather intimidating, this guide is going to help those looking into getting a Switch, and hopefully even some of those who already own one.
The best place to start, is at the beginning. Getting the Nintendo Switch console itself is a rather easy first step. The console is listed at a base price of $300, anywhere you look. However, there are some places you can look into to get the most out of your purchase. Walmart is the best place to keep an eye out for these bundles. Recently, they have had a $300 Nintendo Switch bundle that comes with an added two wired controllers, perfect for Super Smash Bros Ultimate. While this bundle is currently out of stock, Walmart has these kinds of deals regularly. About one new bundle every month. Luckily, it doesn’t seem that these bundles are on a strict time limit. Click here to view their Nintendo Switch bundles page for more examples. Other stores also have good bundle deals, usually around the holidays. It just seems that Walmart has them more often. So feel free, and please do, shop around before purchasing.
After you get your hands on the console itself, there’s one accessory that is essential for all Switch owners to have. A screen protector, since the Switch has a plastic screen. This is great for preventing breakage, unfortunately it also makes it susceptible to scratches. A tempered glass screen protector is best, it will prevent scratches, and still fit into your dock. Most screen protectors for the Switch, whether officially licensed or not, will run you around $10-15, with many coming in packages of two. Take a look at the amFilm and the Hori protectors are affordable and trustworthy brands for anyone in need.
Another item that is highly recommended is a Micro SD Card. While not necessarily essential for every Switch owner, if you plan on buying a lot of AAA games be they physical or digitally, or plan on buying exclusively digitally, a Micro SD Card would be a really good investment. Some tips for buying Micro SD Cards:
- Make sure you’re buying from a legitimate seller
- Make sure it’s a trusted brand
- The Switch can hold up to a 2TB Micro SD, but they don’t exist yet.
- Look for sales
Other accessories are more up to personal preference, and how users game. If you’re going to mainly play with the Switch docked you’ll have different needs than someone who plays on the go.
Docked Gaming Suggestions
- Pro Controller-$69.99
- PowerA Wired Controller-$24.99
- Joy-Con Charging Grip-$29.99
- Controller Charging Dock-$18.99
Handheld Gaming Suggestions
- Carrying Case-$13.99
- Grip Case-$23.00
- Hori D-Pad Joy-Con-$24.90
- Car Charger-$12.88
- Hori Compact Playstand-$12.99
These accessories are worth looking into. Explore brands and search for deals, see what will work. Every person is different, and that’s a reason the Nintendo Switch is so great. Whether playing mainly docked or handheld, or even balanced between the two, these accessories can enhance the experience. However, it’s completely up to how someone plays, that crafts their unique experience.
Finally, the games! The Nintendo Switch has a little bit of something for everyone. The size of its library is constantly expanding, and with a collection of over a thousand titles, it is stacked with titles. Unfortunately, it has a lot of rubbish for us to dig through in order to find the gems.
- Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild-$59.99
- Super Mario Odyssey-$59.99
- Super Smash Bros: Ultimate-$59.99
- Octopath Traveler-$59.99
- Xenoblade Chronicles 2-$59.99
- Mario Kart 8 Deluxe-$59.99
- Super Mario Party-$59.99
- Pokémon: Let’s Go-$59.99
- Splatoon 2-$59.99
- Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Torna The Golden Country-$29.99/$39.99
- Golf Story-$14.99
- Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove-$24,99
- Hollow Knight-$15.00
- Stardew Valley-$14.99
- Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy-$39.99
- Starlink: Battle for Atlas-$74.99
- Megaman 11-$29.99
- Axiom Verge-$19.99
- Overcooked 2-$24.99
- Sonic Mania Plus-$29.99
- Dead Cells-$24.99
- Pokémon Quest
- Fallout Shelter
- Arena of Valor
Games to Look Out For
- Metroid Prime 4
- Luigi’s Mansion 3
- Animal Crossing
- Fire Emblem: Three Houses
- Yoshi’s Crafted World
- Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes
- Mortal Kombat 11
- Bayonetta 3
- Marvel Ultimate Alliance: The Black Order
- Pokémon Gen 8
There are obviously more great games than just these, and not every game will be for everyone. These games are all generally well received, many are even award winning titles. Keep an eye on Target and Amazon. Target often has buy two, get one free deals. While these usually exclude recent titles, it still allows the games to be purchased for cheaper than if bought separately. Target also has 10-15% off select titles, at any given time. Amazon also has great deals consistently on games. At any given time, they’re almost guaranteed to have at least a few titles that are 10-50% off. These deals often include recent games, and Nintendo exclusives.
Nintendo Switch Online
The Nintendo Switch Online service is either a great addition, or an unfulfilling experience. For $20 a year for a single account, or $34.99 for up to eight accounts, Nintendo offers a few benefits. First, the ability to play online. This only applies to paid games. So, for games like Fortnite or Paladins, the membership is not needed for access to play. Instead, it’s games like Super Smash Bros Ultimate or Mario Kart 8 Deluxe that will require a paid membership. Fortunately, not everyone has the intention to do this. Which is the first step towards seeing if the membership is necessary. The service will be required for online play, unfortunately.
The Other Benefits
Second, the online service gives you access to Cloud Saves. This is great for transferring data to a new console, protecting your saves from potential damage during repairs, and saving memory on your system and SD Card. Unfortunately, some games don’t have access to Cloud Saves even with the membership. Click here to view these games.
There’s also the Nintendo Entertainment System App. The NES App gives a collection of classic titles, that are updated monthly. It allows online play for games, and a “pass the joy-con” option, that allows single player games to be experienced together. With the app it also allows the ability to voice chat while playing online. These features recreate the classic era of Nintendo in a modern fashion, while maintaining everything that makes it so beloved.
To use the voice chat for most games that allow the option on the Switch, it requires the download of the Nintendo Switch Online app onto a smart device. When a game is booted up that has voice chat, the app is what is used to create a party, and for the actual communicating.
Finally, it will eventually give you access to exclusive deals. What exactly these deals will be, is currently unknown. In 2019 it will hopefully have details revealed more.. Interested in learning more about where the Switch is currently at and what 2019 looks like for it, just click here.
Redeeming Gold Points
Gold Points are Nintendo currency that can go towards Switch games, and memberships. Each coin is the equivalent of one cent, and are earned from purchasing both digital and physical games. Digital games are redeemed automatically. However, for physical games the process is more complicated. Here are the steps:
- Put the game cartridge into the system
- Highlight the game icon and press start
- Go down to “My Nintendo Rewards Program”
- Click on “Earn Points”
- Follow the rest of the prompted instructions
It will also only allow you to redeem points for a physical game, if the game has been out for less than a year.
To check the total number of gold points owned, click on the player icon in the top right corner of the eShop. Whenever a game is about to be purchased, before paying there will be an option to redeem coins. Gold Points are utilized this way. When using gold points, it doesn’t prevent the customer from still gaining coins from the purchase. However, the number received will be decreased.
Nintendo Switch Guidance
There it is. Switch owners will find everything needed to begin their journey here. Have a question or need something clarified? Drop a comment below!
I’ve been involved with the world of video games since I was able to sit in my dad’s lap and watch him. Not long after that I started playing myself, and it’s been a naturally growing passion ever since.