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Buying a Nintendo Switch? Here's what else you should buy

At a minimum, expect to add games and a microSD card.
March 13, 2023

While it’s now facing competition from the Valve Steam Deck, not to mention Sony and Microsoft’s consoles, the Nintendo Switch is still thriving and will probably continue doing so until its replacement arrives. If you’re buying a Switch as a gift, or picking up one for yourself, here’s what you should buy with it to make it a fun experience on day one.

Perfect games for new Switch owners

dock nintendo switch
Curtis Joe / Android Authority

Does the Nintendo Switch come with games?

In most cases, no. You can potentially find bundles when shopping, and some games are free with a Nintendo Switch Online subscription, but nothing is automatically included.

The good news is that over six years into its lifespan, the Switch now has a sizable library of classics, a few of which are easy choices for new players.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

One of the Switch’s launch titles, Breath of the Wild helped revolutionize not just the Zelda series but action RPGs in general. There’s a strong emphasis on physics and free exploration, to the point that there’s nothing stopping you from confronting the main villain at any time — you’ll just be repeatedly annihilated until you develop your skills and resources. Many Switch owners would consider this a must-have.

Super Mario Odyssey

New Donk City in Super Mario Odyssey

It’s hard to imagine owning a Nintendo system without at least one Mario platformer, and the obvious choice here is Odyssey. It’s a 3D title where the main gimmick is Cappy, a sentient hat you can toss to attack or control objects and people. Beyond that though, Odyssey has fantastic level, music, and character designs.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

It’s good to have at least one multiplayer option, and Mario Kart has been a staple for generations. MK8 Deluxe supports up to 4 racers on a single Switch, 2 to 8 via local wireless, and as many as 12 over the internet. There are now 48 courses to choose from, among them fan favorites and ones based on Nintendo titles like Zelda and Excitebike. If you can’t play with friends, you can always race solo.

Extra controllers and controller accessories

Nintendo Switch Pro Controller review box
C. Scott Brown / Android Authority
  • Nintendo Switch Pro Controller: Nintendo’s loathe to admit it, but the Switch’s bundled Joy-Cons aren’t the best for a lot of games. The Pro Controller is a more familiar gamepad, and if you buy one, another player can use the Joy-Cons.
  • HyperX ChargePlay Quad: If you don’t want to mount Joy-Cons back on your Switch every time they need power, the Quad can recharge two pairs simultaneously.
  • Nintendo Joy-Con Wheel: This is only worth buying if you plan to play racing games, naturally, but it makes Joy-Con motion controls more intuitive. Nintendo includes two wheels in the box, so it’s useful for split-screen multiplayer titles like Mario Kart.

Other Nintendo Switch accessories you might need

  • SanDisk microSDXC memory card: You absolutely need some sort of microSD card to save downloads on, since the Switch has just 32GB of internal storage. We’d suggest a 128GB card as a default. If you expect to download a lot of games, you may want 256GB or 512GB. You don’t necessarily need a Switch-branded card.
  • KIWIHOME Switch Dock Charging Adapter: If you want an alternative to the native Switch dock, particularly for travel, KIWIHOME’s product meets all the necessary specs in a more compact package. The only thing you’ll be missing is a stand to hold your Switch upright.
  • Marseille mClassic Upscaler: Unlike the PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series X, the Switch is natively capped at 1080p resolution when connected to a TV. The mClassic is a middleman that redraws images in 4K, ensuring Switch games look as sharp as possible.
  • Game Traveler Nintendo Switch Case: You’ll need some sort of case if you plan to use a Switch as a portable device, not just docked with your TV. Many cases will do, but if you’re looking for something dedicated, this one combines a ballistic nylon exterior with a satin interior, and can hold up to 8 game cards in addition to your Switch. There’s even a built-in viewing stand, propping up the console when you’re playing with separate controllers.

Read more: The best Switch games for kids