In just over a week, all those Nintendo Switch Lite pre-orders will be fulfilled and we can all get in on the super portable fun. But before then, let’s talk about all the supplementary gear you’ll need to pick up before your new toy arrives September 20.
The Switch Lite is, first and foremost, a portable gaming machine. This means you’ll need protection to properly transport your Switch Lite to and from destinations.
If there’s one big problem with the original Switch, it was the Joy-Con drift. It’s not yet clear if Nintendo’s done anything to rectify this in the Switch Lite, but given the fact that the console lacks replaceable Joy-Con, owners should do everything they can to mitigate any impact on the joysticks.
Pick up a case with a sturdy outer shell and enough padding to protect it from all the bumps it’d receive inside a bag, like these options from PowerA, Nyko, and HORI. Unfortunately, any felt or fashion-style bags won’t do the trick. (Sorry Snorlax case.)
Additionally, you’ll want to get a screen protector—to defend your screen. Having a scratched up screen is not anyone’s idea of a good time. And $9 for a pack of three is a small price to pay to keep your $200 gaming machine’s screen pristine.
Depending on how bright your screen is and what game you’re playing, your Nintendo Switch Lite will last anywhere between 3 to 7 hours. Suffice to say, you’ll need more power for a longer trips. You don’t want to end up like me and kill your Switch’s battery midway through a train ride to Connecticut when you have crops to harvest in Stardew Valley.
If you’re like me and want a dedicated travel charger, you can’t go wrong by picking up a spare Nintendo Switch AC Adapter, but any reliable USB-C Power Delivery charger and certified USB-C cable will do in a pinch.
If you like the convenience of going all-digital with your games, you’ll need a MicroSD card, like this Samsung unit. The Switch Lite offers a paltry 32GB of internal storage, and some of that is reserved for use by the handheld.
I’d recommend sticking with triple-digit cards, like 128GB and 256GB, since the Nintendo Switch’s digital library is massive and there’s a lot of gems there. You’ll be surprised how quickly it can fill up with free games like Fortnite and DC Universe.
Those flimsy earbuds you own are fine to use with your Switch. But, if you’re looking to upgrade the sound quality of your games, or you want your voice to sound better on comms for online play (more on this later,) you’ll need to invest in a pair of portable gaming earbuds, like the ones offered by HyperX and Turtle Beach.
Games are better played together, and while couch co-op is still the most fun version of gaming with your friends, online play is a solid alternative. For that, you’ll need a Nintendo Switch Online subscription.
Individual or Family plans (allows up to eight Nintendo Accounts) are available. While some games, like Warframe, don’t require it, there’s other benefits you may want, too, like access to classic NES and SNES games and the ability to purchase retro-style controllers.
If you’ve got Amazon Prime, you can get a year’s worth of Nintendo Switch Online for free. Until September 24, Twitch/Amazon Prime subscribers can get up to a year of Nintendo Switch Online benefits. (If you’ve got Amazon Prime, you can sign up for Twitch Prime for free.)