The Complete Nintendo Switch Buyer’s Guide

Inventory is going to move fast

The Nintendo Switch is finally here! If history repeats itself, Nintendo may have problems keeping up with demand. If you see a Switch in stock, I’d recommend quick action! Hardware prices should be standardized across all vendors.

For games, there are two ways to get 20% off all preorder titles:

  • Sign up for an Amazon Prime 30-day trial membership (6-month for students). If you used up your trial, sign up for one month for just $11.
  • Sign up for the BestBuy Gamers Club Unlocked 2yr membership for $30

We’ve compiled all the Nintendo Switch hardware, accessories, and launch titles in one comprehensive article. Without further ado…

The Hardware

Nintendo Switch Console Set (check out our review)

The inventory status is just as bad as we imagined. Don’t be surprised if the Switch is out of stock at all stores.

The Nintendo Switch Console Set includes the Switch console itself, the Switch dock, the left and right Joy-Con controllers, the Joy-Con Grip (non-charging), two Joy-Con straps, an AC adapter and an HDMI cable to hook the whole thing up to your TV. There are two different versions to choose from, but they differ only in color – the Gray Version and a Neon Version that makes the left Joy-Con blue and the right Joy-Con red. Note that you can also buy the controllers separately to create your own color combos (all red, all blue, one blue, one red, and so on).

Nintendo Official Controllers

Next up, think about investing in a few extra Joy-Con controllers. By default, you’ll have two with your Switch: one Joy-Con (L) and one Joy-Con (R), which will serve you for all single-player games and a few two-player games, as you slide both off the system and hand one to a friend (just like Karen). If you’ve got more than one friend, though, and want to play four-player games like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe or eight-player games like Super Bomberman R, you’ll need more Joy to share. Lots of different color combos to choose from!


The Nintendo Switch Pro Controller isn’t absolutely essential, but no doubt many gamers will swear by it thanks to its more traditional form factor and the fact that, unlike the Joy-Cons, it’s got Nintendo’s classic cross-shaped D-Pad on it – that’s a crucial component in many gamers’ minds, especially when it comes to old-school games like Street Fighter II.

Games Releasing in March

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild – Standard (check out our review)

Nintendo’s new, epic Legend of Zelda sequel will be rolling out to retail in three different editions. At the most basic level, you’ll get just the game itself in a normal Switch case. Guides and collectibles are available as well.


The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild – Special Edition

The mid-range tier of Breath of the Wild ownership comes in the form of the “Special Edition,” which nets you the game itself, a carrying case for your Switch to make it look like Link’s Sheikah Slate, a Sheikah Eye collectible coin, a stylishly rugged cloth map of the new land of Hyrule and a 24-song OST.



The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild – Master Edition

Finally, the top-tier, jam-packed, sure-to-be-scalped-on-eBay version of Breath of the Wild is the “Master Edition,” which contains everything from the Special Edition bundle plus a replica statue of the weather-worn Master Sword, as it appears in the game. That’s a lot of stuff!



1-2-Switch (check out our review)


Super Bomberman R


Just Dance 2017


Skylanders Imaginators Starter Pack


Snipperclips Digital Download



The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth Plus (Releases 3/17)


Has-Been Heroes (Releases 3/28)


The following games are only available as digital purchases:

Games Releasing Later This Year
A Note on 3rd Party Accessories

Since the Nintendo Switch is as brand new release, we’d recommend sticking with either Official Nintendo or Officially Licensed 3rd party products. The Nintendo Seal of Approval means that the item has been evaluated and certified by Nintendo to be fully compatible with the console. This is especially important when the actual system is not yet widely available, and unlicensed parties may have to go solely by official specs to create their accessories. The exception to this rule are memory cards, since Micro SDXC is a universal format and there are no “Officially Licensed” memory cards available here in the States anyways.

Nintendo Official and Licensed Controller Accessories

If you’re buying extra Joy-Cons, you might as well by extra Straps to go along with them – they’re the cheapest accessories in the whole Switch lineup, and they might very well save you from reliving the “accidentally throwing the controller through the TV” fails of the Wii era when you’re playing motion-controlled games like 1-2-Switch and ARMS. The Switch comes with two black Straps in the box, but there are other colors available.


This one’s a little confusing, so I’ll explain. The Switch comes bundled with the Joy-Con Grip which you slide the Joy-Con controllers into in order to make them approximate a “normal” controller shape for when you’re playing your Switch on your TV. That packed-in Grip is just a piece of plastic, though. This optional “Charging Grip” is the same size and shape, but adds the extra benefit of charging your Joy-Cons.


Similar to the included Grip, the Comfort Grip combines the two Joy-Cons into a single controller. The double-injected rubber offers a better handhold than the included Grip’s very slippery plastic.


This very practical accessory will charge up to four Joy-Cons simultaneously. The controllers simply slide into place, and it is entirely powered via USB.


The protective armor serves the dual purpose of offering scratch and drop protection for the Joy-Cons and proving an easier handhold.


Similar in design to the Armor Guards, the Gel Guards are made of silicone and are lighter and thinner than the Armor Guards. This means they offer less overall protection, but still provide adequate scratch resistance and a nice soft feel and sticky grip to the Joy-Cons.

Extra Storage

Right out of the box, the Nintendo Switch has 32GB of built-in memory. That’ll cover almost everyone for Day 1’s downloads, but if you’re planning on becoming a frequent eShopper and see yourself buying lots of digital-only releases like Shovel KnightFAST RMX and Sonic Mania in the near future, you’ll want to look into upgrading your Switch’s storage by investing in a Micro SDXC Card. The Switch only has one memory card slot, so your best bet would be to get enough space to last the Switch’s lifetime. Note that we haven’t listed prices because they fluctuate so often.

Nintendo Official and Licensed Cases

This is the only case/screen protector option if you want to get something directly from Nintendo instead of a 3rd party.





Nintendo Official and Licensed Charging Adapters

You’d think a common wall plug would be something you’d only need one of, but with the moveable nature of the Switch that won’t be the case for everyone! Presumably you’ll integrate the one included AC adapter into your home theater setup. If you want to, say, play the Switch in Handheld Mode for long stretches of time in your bed, or if you want to take it with you on long trips and want to plug it in at the airport, you might want to invest in a second one. Car chargers are also available if it’s more convenient for you to charge on the go, literally.

Other Official and Licensed 3rd Party Accessories

The Switch has a built-in kickstand that’s meant to be used to set the screen up on a flat surface for “Tabletop Mode” gaming, but the kickstand’s a little thin and awkward. If you want something more robust, consider HORI’s well-crafted PlayStand, which will securely hold your Switch in place. You can adjust the angle of the screen, too, which you can’t do with the kickstand. This is also the only way you can charge the Switch while in “Tabletop Mode”. The charging port is located on the bottom edge of the Switch, so using the built-in kickstand would obstruct any access to it.


This is a simple USB 3.0 to 10/100/100 gigabit ethernet adapter that allows you to connect your Nintendo Switch to the internet. The Switch operates on WiFi, but we all know that a wired connection is much more reliable during online gaming. Since it plugs into the Switch dock, you’ll generally only be using it at home. Based on the internals and specifications, it’s very likely that standard USB 3.0 to gigabit LAN adapters will work fine, although we can’t be 100% sure until we test it out firsthand.


Since I personally use the Afterglow LVL 3 Gaming Headset for my Xbox One and love it, I am going with the same headset for the Switch. Most unlicensed 3.5mm wired gaming headsets should work, although again we can’t be 100% sure until we test it out firsthand. Despite the fact that the Switch has Bluetooth, the official report is that wireless Bluetooth headsets will NOT be compatible.

Where are the Power Banks?

The Nintendo Switch charges off a USB Type-C port. Since USB Type-C is a universal standard and there are plenty of power banks that connect to USB Type-C, we thought that maybe you could use these power banks as a portable power source for your Switch. Unfortunately, we tested this theory out on our Nintendo Switch unit and the results were a little disappointing. Although the Switch does indeed charge, it does so at a very slow rate. So slow, in fact, that if you were to run the console while charging off a power bank, the battery will still eventually die. Once we figure out where the issue lies, we’ll feel more comfortable recommending a 3rd party power bank. If you still want to buy a power bank for the Switch, pick one that delivers at least 2.1A per port and has a high battery capacity.

Eric Song is IGN’s Commerce Manager and finds new deals for you 7 days a week in his Daily Deals article. You can follow him on the official IGN Deals Facebook and Twitter pages or his personal Twitter, @esong82.

Lucas M. Thomas assembles Out This Week every week, and when he’s not doing that, he’s assembling magazine pages as the Editor-in-Chief of Nintendo Force Magazine. New subscriptions available now through Patreon! You can follow him on Twitter, @NintendoForce.

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