Nintendo Switch – Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Edition

Nintendo Switch Gift Guide

Buying a Nintendo Switch for yourself or someone else? Looking for a gift for someone who already has a Switch? This Nintendo Switch gift guide will help you out. It’ll go over common questions both gamers and non-gamers have. And it’ll list both essential and optional accessories. The items selected for this guide are among the favorites of the Switch community.



Nintendo Switch Console


Games


Controllers


Essential Accessories


Additional Accessories

Nintendo Switch Console

The Nintendo Switch console is available in many options. There are two regular versions (console and accessories, no game). And several bundles, which include the console (sometimes themed) and a game. At MSRP most bundles do not provide a discount. But they can be special to someone who’s a big fan of a particular game.

Regular Nintendo Switch
Nintendo Switch console with Neon Blue/Neon Red Joy-Cons

Nintendo Switch console with Neon Blue/Neon Red Joy-Cons

Nintendo Switch with Neon Blue and Neon Red Joy-Con

The iconic Nintendo Switch.

Includes:

  • Nintendo Switch console
  • Joy-Cons (blue and red)
  • Joy-Con grip (turns Joy-Cons into a more classic controller)
  • Dock (connect Switch to TV or display via HDMI)
  • HDMI cable
  • Power adapter

Nintendo Switch with Gray Joy-Con

A more subdued looking Nintendo Switch.

Includes:

  • Nintendo Switch console
  • Joy-Cons (gray)
  • Joy-Con grip (turns Joy-Cons into a more classic controller)
  • Dock (connect Switch to TV or display via HDMI)
  • HDMI cable
  • Power adapter
Nintendo Switch Bundles

Nintendo Switch – Diablo III Eternal Collection Bundle

  • Same hardware as the Nintendo Switch with Gray Joy-Con.
  • Dock and back of the Switch console have Diablo III art.
  • Digital download code for Diablo III Eternal Collection ($60 MSRP).
  • Diablo III themed Switch carrying case.

The bundle is the same price as buying the Switch and game. The carrying case is free. Exclusive to GameStop.

Nintendo Switch – Fortnite Double Helix Bundle

  • Same hardware as the Nintendo Switch with Neon Blue and Neon Red Joy-Con.
  • 1,000 V-Bucks (Fortnite in game currency, $10 value).
  • Unique character outfit, back bling, glider, and pickaxe (in game items).

Same price as the regular console, this is a good choice for big Fortnite fans.

Nintendo Switch – Mario Tennis Aces and 1-2-Switch Bundle

  • Same hardware as the Nintendo Switch with Neon Blue and Neon Red Joy-Con.
  • Digital download code for Mario Tennis Aces ($60 MSRP).
  • Digital download code for 1-2-Switch ($50 MSRP).

The bundle gives you 1-2-Switch for free. Exclusive to Walmart.

Nintendo Switch – Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Edition

Nintendo Switch – Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Edition

Nintendo Switch – Pikachu & Eevee Edition with Pokemon: Let’s Go, Eevee!

  • Same hardware as the regular Nintendo Switch consoles.
  • Joy-Cons are Eevee and Pikachu themed with their colors.
  • Dock and back of the Switch console have Pokemon art.
  • Digital download code for Pokemon: Let’s Go, Eevee! ($60 MSRP)
  • Poke Ball Plus ($50 MSRP). It acts as a controller for the Pokemon game and can carry a digital Pokemon around in the real world.

The bundle is the same price as buying the Switch and Pokemon: Let’s Go + Poke Ball Plus bundle.

Nintendo Switch – Pikachu & Eevee Edition with Pokemon: Let’s Go, Pikachu!

  • Same hardware as the regular Nintendo Switch consoles.
  • Joy-Cons are Eevee and Pikachu themed with their colors.
  • Dock and back of the Switch console have Pokemon art.
  • Digital download code for Pokemon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! ($60 MSRP)
  • Poke Ball Plus ($50 MSRP). It acts as a controller for the Pokemon game and can carry a digital Pokemon around in the real world.

The bundle is the same price as buying the Switch and Pokemon: Let’s Go + Poke Ball Plus bundle.

Nintendo Switch – Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Edition

  • Same hardware as the Nintendo Switch with Gray Joy-Con.
  • Dock and Joy-Cons have Super Smash Bros. art.
  • Digital download code for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate ($60 MSRP).

The bundle is the same price as buying the Switch and game.

If getting a Nintendo Switch console for Christmas (or birthday or whenever) you can update it and have it ready to play ahead of time. Check out my Setup the Nintendo Switch for Christmas Morning guide.


Games

Physical vs Digital Games

There are two formats for Nintendo Switch games: physical and digital.

Pokemon: Let's Go, Pikachu!

Pokemon: Let’s Go, Pikachu!

Physical Games

  • Sold in any store that also sells the Switch.
  • Discounts from retailers.
  • Buy pre-owned copies for less.
  • Loan to friends and family. Or resell.
  • You control the copy.
  • Have to swap cartridges when changing games.
  • If lost it is gone.

Digital Games

  • Can launch immediately from the Switch.
  • Can loan to friends and family, but can’t both play at same time.
  • Even if you lose your Switch you can re-download the game.
  • Nintendo eShop doesn’t have discounts as often or deep as retailers.
  • Can’t resell or even give away.
  • Nintendo can take it away from you under extreme circumstances.
  • Need a larger microSD card to hold your game collection.

Most Switch owners use a mix of physical and digital games. All games are available as digital. But not all are available as physical, although the popular ones usually are.

If buying for yourself you’ll want to decide which you want to use. Physical saves you money (if willing to wait for a deal) and you can resell games when you’re done. But you have to travel with and swap out cartridges. Digital is quick and easy, and you won’t ever lose the actual game. You’ll more often than not have to pay full MSRP, but if you usually buy on launch day then the cost is the same.

If buying for someone else find out if they have a preference. For physical games you can get them the one they want easily enough. If they prefer digital then buy them a Nintendo eShop gift card. They have to buy the game with their own Nintendo account, so a gift card is the best option.

Popular Games

These are among the most popular Nintendo Switch games this holiday season. If you aren’t sure what to get it is hard to go wrong with Legend of Zelda, Mario Kart, Pokemon, Super Mario, and Smash Bros.


Controllers

Controller preference is a personal thing for a gamer. Some prefer one style while others prefer another. It can depend on what we’re use to and what game we’re playing. When buying a controller for someone else it is best to get something they’ve told you they want.

Pro Controller

The Pro Controller is considered the best for the Nintendo Switch. It is wireless, the battery lasts for 40 hours, and it feels good in your hands. The heftier controller is great for shooting games, like Fortnite and Splatoon 2.

For new Switch owners I recommend trying the Joy-Cons out before you buy a Pro Controller. They have worked out well for most players with most games.

Joy-Con Charging Grip

This is the same as the Joy-Con Comfort Grip included with the Nintendo Switch. But you can connect it to the dock to recharge a pair of Joy-Cons. Handy if you have an extra pair of Joy-Cons. One pair can charge on the Switch while the other charges on this. With 2 players both can use a grip.

Extra Joy-Cons

Joy-Cons Neon Pink/Neon Green

Joy-Cons Neon Pink/Neon Green

The Nintendo Switch includes two Joy-Cons. Turn them 90 degrees and you have two individual controllers. If you want to do 4 player games, such as Mario Kart and Super Mario Party, then you’ll need an extra set of Joy-Cons.

Joy-Cons come in many colors. They all work the same, the difference is only in their appearance. You can get a set that matches what you have. Or get something new and change things up sometimes. Any pair of Joy-Cons can connect to the Switch.

Surge Nintendo Switch Grip Kit

Playing multiplayer games with single Joy-Cons is fine, but they are a bit small. Adults with larger hands may find them uncomfortable. Before gathering for the holidays consider getting a Surge Nintendo Switch Grip Kit. They attach to the Joy-Cons and make them much more comfortable to hold. Get one kit for every pair of Joy-Cons you own. The included thumb caps may also help, but some find them a distraction.


Essential Accessories

There are a lot of accessories made for the Nintendo Switch. Many are useful, but these are essential according to the Switch community.

Screen Protector

A screen protector is a cheap way to protect the most vulnerable part of the Switch. You can still use the touch screen. When ready to install run a hot shower in the bathroom and do the install there. The steam will reduce the dust in the air, making it easier to keep the space between screen and protector clean.

amFilm Tempered Glass Screen Protector for Nintendo Switch

  • Most recommended brand.
  • Comes in a 2 pack, useful in case the first install isn’t perfect.
  • Low cost. Anything cheaper will be less quality.
Switch Carrying Case
Hestia Goods Switch Carrying Case

Hestia Goods Switch Carrying Case

If your Switch ever leaves home you’ll want a carrying case. There are different models. The most recommended hold game cartridges and have an accessory pocket. The Switch with Joy-Cons goes in the bottom. Flaps protect the Switch and hold games. The upper section holds accessories, preferable with a closing zipper.

Hestia Goods Switch Carrying Case

  • My personal Switch case. The one pictured in my reviews.
  • Cloth zipper tab for upper accessory pocket, so no scratching.

ButterFox Carrying Case

  • The most recommended model by Switch community.

ButterFox Carrying Case, Large

  • Same Butterfox case, but with a deeper upper accessory pocket. Can hold the Switch’s AC adapter.

Nintendo Switch Deluxe System Case

  • Good for traveling with the full Switch system, including the dock and a controller.
microSD Card

The Nintendo Switch can use a microSD card to store data beyond its built-in 32GB storage. Digital games, game updates, and screenshots can be set to save to the microSD card. Game save data is always saved to the internal storage.

The Switch has a limited read speed of 100MB/s. But testing has shown that the game load times differ less than a second between a slow and fast card. In the end size and cost per GB are what matter, not read/write speed.

SanDisk Ultra 64GB microSD Card (~$0.22 per GB)

  • Best option if doing almost no digital games.
  • Not the best deal. I recommend 128GB minimum.

SanDisk Ultra 128GB microSD Card (~$0.18 per GB)

  • Best for Switch owners doing a mix of physical and digital games.
  • Inexpensive with plenty of storage.

SanDisk Ultra 200GB microSD Card (~$0.20 per GB)

  • Good for Switch owners going all digital.

SanDisk Ultra 256GB microSD Card (~$0.21 per GB)

  • Good for Switch owners going all digital.

SanDisk Ultra 400GB microSD Card (~$0.28 per GB)

  • Largest microSD cards currently available.
  • Prices have come down recently, but still the most expensive option.
  • Not necessary for the vast majority of Switch owners.

Additional Accessories

These are accessories that are useful to the right player. But none of them are essential to every Switch owner.

Charging Stands

A downside to the Switch’s design is you can’t plug it into power while in tabletop mode. Using its built-in kickstand blocks the USB-C port at the bottom. This is a problem if you want to play tabletop mode while charging, using wired controllers, or USB headphones. Charging stands allow access to the USB-C port while still playing in tabletop mode. Note none of these offer video output and are not a replacement for the Nintendo Switch dock.

Nintendo Switch Adjustable Charging Stand

  • Official charging stand from Nintendo.
  • Switch plugs into stand. A single USB-C port is available on the side.
  • Small, doesn’t fold up.
HORI Nintendo Switch Multiport USB Playstand

HORI Nintendo Switch Multiport USB Playstand

HORI Compact Playstand for Nintendo Switch

  • Nintendo licensed.
  • Raises up the Switch, allowing access to USB-C port.
  • Folds down for easier packing.

AmazonBasics Playstand for Nintendo Switch

  • Raises up the Switch, allowing access to USB-C port.
  • Folds down for easier packing.

HORI Nintendo Switch Multiport USB Playstand

  • Nintendo licensed.
  • Switch plugs into stand. 1 USB-C port and 4 USB-A ports are available on the sides.
  • Good for connecting several wired controllers or other accessories.
  • More USB ports than the Nintendo Switch dock.
Power Banks

Power banks (aka portable chargers) are lithium battery packs that connect to USB devices. They offer a way to recharge your device on the go, without the need for a wall outlet. The Nintendo Switch is a power hungry device. With the more popular, high end games the system will run for about 2.5-3 hours. A power bank can extend that up to 13 hours. They are a necessity for Switch owners who travel or have long commutes.

You can learn more about power banks and the Switch in the Power Bank Buying Guide. But here’s a short list of recommended power banks for various Switch owners.

AUKEY PB-Y13 10000 USB-C PD | Review

  • An extra 4+ hours of playtime.
  • Small and light in a commute or carry on bag.
  • You’ll also need a USB-C to USB-C cable.
Top: Anker PowerCore 13400 Nintendo Switch Edition. Bottom: Anker PowerCore 20100 Nintendo Switch Edition.

Top: Anker PowerCore 13400 Nintendo Switch Edition. Bottom: Anker PowerCore 20100 Nintendo Switch Edition.

Anker PowerCore 13400 Nintendo Switch Edition | Review

  • An extra 5.5+ hours of playtime.
  • Fits well in a Switch carrying case.
  • One of two power banks licensed by Nintendo for use with the Switch.
  • Includes necessary cable.

ZMI QB820 | Review

  • An extra 7.5 hours of playtime.
  • Also works great with a USB-C laptop.
  • Includes necessary cable.

Anker PowerCore 20100 Nintendo Switch Edition | Review

  • An extra 8.5+ hours of playtime.
  • One of two power banks licensed by Nintendo for use with the Switch.
  • Includes necessary cable.

AUKEY PB-Y14 20000 USB-C | Review

  • An extra 9+ hours of playtime.
  • Slower charge the other models listed here, but still fast enough to keep up with gaming.
  • Good for gifting on a budget.
  • You’ll also need a USB-C to USB-C cable.
RAVPower XTREME 26800 PD and cable in a Nintendo Switch case

RAVPower XTREME 26800 PD and cable in a Nintendo Switch case.

RAVPower XTREME 26800 PD | Review

  • An extra 10 hours of playtime.
  • Within limits set by the FAA. If flying out of another country check with your airline on battery size limits.
  • Includes necessary cable.

Anker PowerCore+ 26800 PD w/PowerPort Speed 1 USB-C

  • An extra 11+ hours of playtime.
  • Within limits set by the FAA. If flying out of another country check with your airline on battery size limits.
  • Includes a USB-C wall charger to fast charge power bank, and charges the Switch, too.
  • Also includes necessary cable.
Chargers

An extra USB-C wall charger is nice for Switch owners who travel or want a second charge location at home or work. You could use the included Nintendo Switch AC Adapter. But that usually means digging it out from behind the TV. A second charger is much more convenient, and not that expensive.

You can learn more about third party chargers and the Switch in my Charger Buying Guide. But here’s a short list of recommended chargers for various Switch owners.

Nintendo Switch AC Adapter | Review

  • Get a second official Nintendo Switch AC Adapter.
  • Only wall charger licensed by Nintendo for the Switch.
  • Not travel friendly.
  • Doesn’t work well some other USB-C devices.
  • Has a built-in cable.
  • Good for peace of mind.
AUKEY PA-Y18 included in the box

AUKEY PA-Y18 18W PD Wall Charger

AUKEY PA-Y18 18W PD Wall Charger | Review

  • Single port USB-C.
  • Charges Switch in handheld mode.
  • Bit slower charge rate than other models listed here. But still fast enough to charge while you play.
  • Travel friendly.
  • Very small and light weight.
  • You’ll also need a USB-C to USB-C cable.

ZMI PowerPlug Turbo | Review

  • Single port USB-C.
  • Charges Switch in handheld mode. And will power the dock.
  • Great for other USB-C devices up to 13-inch laptops.
  • Travel friendly.
  • Includes necessary cable.

Inateck 60W PD USB-C Wall Charger | Review

  • Single port USB-C.
  • Charges Switch in handheld mode. And will power the dock.
  • Great for other USB-C devices up to 15-inch laptops.
  • Travel friendly.
  • Includes necessary cable.

Anker PowerPort II PD | Review

  • 1 USB-C port & 1 USB-A port
  • Charges Switch in handheld mode.
  • Good for charging Switch and phone at same time.
  • Great travel charger for many different devices.
  • You’ll also need a USB-C to USB-C cable.

AUKEY PA-Y13 46W PD Charging Station | Review

  • 1 USB-C port & 2 USB-A ports
  • Charges Switch in handheld mode. And will power the dock.
  • Good home or office charger for Switch and up to 2 other devices.
  • You’ll also need a USB-C to USB-C cable.
Anker PowerDrive Speed+ 2

Anker PowerDrive Speed+ 2. Cable not included.

Anker PowerDrive Speed+ 2 | Review

  • Car charger, fits in power port (aka cigarette lighter).
  • 1 USB-C port & 1 USB-A port.
  • Charges Switch in handheld mode.
  • Good for road trips, charging Switch and phone together.
  • You’ll also need a USB-C to USB-C cable.

Nintendo Switch High Speed Car Charger by Hori

  • Car charger, fits in power port (aka cigarette lighter).
  • Built-in USB-C cable.
  • Charges Switch in handheld mode.
  • Licensed by Nintendo for the Switch.
Other Accessories
Poke Ball Plus Charge Stand

Poké Ball Plus Charge Stand

PowerA Nintendo Switch Joy-Con Charging Dock

  • For Switch owners with two or more sets of Joy-Cons.
  • Up to 4 Joy-Cons hang and charge from stand.

Poké Ball Plus Charge Stand

  • Great for Pokemon fans who have the Poke Ball Plus accessory.
  • Place Poke Ball Plus on stand to charge. Won’t roll around.
  • Attractive for display.

Nonda MI22SLRN USB-C to USB 3.0 Adapter

  • For Switch owners with USB headphones.
  • USB headphones work with the Switch as of 4.0.0 update.
  • Connect USB-C to USB 3.0 adapter to bottom of Switch.
  • Connect USB headphones to adapter.
  • Also works for wireless headphones that use a USB dongle.

Nintendo Switch Wired Internet LAN Adapter by HORI

  • For household with no or weak Wi-Fi. Or very serious online multiplayers.
  • Adapter plugs into back of the dock and allows you to connect wired Ethernet to the Switch.
  • Licensed by Nintendo for the Switch.