Nintendo Switch: Everything you need to know!


The Switch is easy to set up and get started with right away, but sometimes you need a little help with the details.

If you’re just starting out with the Switch, Nintendo’s hybrid gaming console, or if you’ve been playing Zelda for weeks, there may be a few things you didn’t know you could do with it. We spent much of our play time figuring out how to do everything with the Switch, and here’s the ultimate guide.

What’s new with Nintendo Switch?

March 13, 2018: Nintendo updates Switch operating system to version 5.0

Nintendo has just pushed out a major update to the Switch console that brings better social integration, whitelisting games in Parental Controls, dozens of new user icons, and more. The update also comes with a controller update, which adds stability for Joy-Con controller syncing. Here’s what’s new in version 5.0.

  • Facebook and Twitter friends that also use Nintendo Switch can now be added through Friend Suggestions
  • Using the Nintendo Switch Parental Controls app, add specific software titles to your whitelist to exclude them from the console’s Parental Controls Restricted Software setting
  • Captured videos in the Album will be restricted by Parental Controls depending on the Restricted Software setting and Software Rating Organization
  • To keep the Parental Controls PIN private, the default method for PIN entry has been changed to entering using the Control Stick and buttons instead of the on-screen number pad
  • Select from 24 new ARMS and the Kirby series icons for your user
  • Digital software purchases made from a PC or smart device will start downloading sooner than previously, even if the Nintendo – Switch console is in Sleep Mode
  • Receive notification when pre-purchased software is ready to play
  • Filter News to view only unread news or news from specific channels
  • Nintendo Switch Pro Controller grip colors will now display in the Controllers menu

How to update your Nintendo Switch

March 7, 2018: Use your My Nintendo Gold Points to buy games in the eShop on Nintendo Switch!

Nintendo just updated its My Nintendo Rewards program with new rewards for the Switch. You can now use those Gold Points you’ve earned toward games in the eShop. Gold Points are given as an incentive for Switch users for buying games, especially digital ones.

Digital purchases made in any Nintendo eShop (Switch, 3DS, or Wii U) will earn you 5% of your purchase. Physical game cards purchased for the Switch will earn you 1% of your purchase.

One Gold Point is equal to one U.S. cent.

So, for example, if you purchase a digital game for $59.99, you’ll earn 300 Gold Points. If you purchase a physical game card, you’ll earn 60 Gold Points. 300 Gold Points translates to $3.00 and 60 Gold Points translates to $0.60.

As you can see, digital purchases yield a much higher reward.

You can shore up your Gold Points for up to a year from the last day of the month of their originally earned date (for anyone that got a Switch when it first launched, Gold Points for the games you purchased right away are going to expire this month!).

Here’s the fine print for the new Gold Points rewards program for Nintendo Switch.

  • Gold Points expire after 12 months on the last day of the month in which they were earned.
  • Purchases made on Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch, Nintendo 3DS, or Wii U, or on (where available), will automatically earn Gold Points based on 5% of the total paid amount (excluding any points or discounts used).
  • When purchasing retail package versions of Nintendo Switch software, points will be awarded when the software is registered via the HOME Menu on Nintendo Switch.
  • Purchases of Nintendo 3DS or Wii U DLC do not qualify to earn Gold Points. Additionally, subscriptions, passes, in-game items, or virtual currency do not qualify to earn Gold Points.
  • When redeeming a download code, Gold Points will be issued automatically.
  • Gold Points for physical Nintendo Switch software can only be claimed within one year of the game’s original release date for countries in the North American and Australian regions, and within two years for the European region.
  • Gold Points can be used toward eligible digital game and DLC purchases for the Nintendo Switch system, excluding passes, automatic renewals, in-game items, and virtual currency.

October 19, 2017

Nintendo just updated its Switch operating system to version 4.0. One of the biggest additions is the ability to record video gameplay. You can also now transfer user and save data to a different Switch and preorder digital games, which will pre-download onto your Switch so you’re ready to play the moment they launch.

Here’s everything that’s changed in version 4.0.

  • Video Capture enabled in some games
  • 12 new Super Mario Odyssey and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild profile icons
  • Transfer user and save data to another Switch
  • Pre-purchase enabled in Nintendo eShop
  • News Channel Feed updated, removing a subscription removes content from the feed
  • Match software versions with local Switch consoles
  • Stop hiding TKIP Wi-Fi networks from listings
  • System Stability Improvements

Sept. 5, 2017

Nintendo just pushed out an update to the Switch OS. Version 3.0.2 is now available to download. Here are the system update notes:

Improvements Included in Version 3.0.2

  • Nintendo Switch Online
  • Added online play in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, and Peru. This is currently available for free until the paid online service launches in 2018.
  • General system stability improvements to enhance the user’s experience

How to update your Nintendo Switch

July 20, 2017

The Nintendo Switch Online app is now available to download on iOS and Android devices. It currently only supports Splatoon 2’s online features, including voice chat. It is free to download and free to use until 2018, at which time it will cost $20 per year to use all of the included features.

Nintendo’s chat app is now available for download

Everything you need to go with your Nintendo Switch

You can get hours and hours of fun with your Switch right out of the box without needing anything but a game to play, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t already lots of great games and accessories to make your gaming experience even better. We’ve sifted through to find the best games and accessories available for the Nintendo Switch so far.

Nintendo is regularly launching digital downloadable games in the eShop, so be sure to bookmark our regularly-updated list of all Switch games you can get.

Every Nintendo Switch game you can get right now (and coming soon)

These are the best accessories you can get for the Nintendo Switch.

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  • Best accessories for Nintendo Switch
  • Best travel accessories for Nintendo Switch
  • Cool Splatoon 2 accessories
  • The Nintendo Switch Online app on iPhone

If you’ve decided the Switch is not for you, there are a lot of people out there willing to take it off your hands.

  • How to sell your Nintendo Switch

How to set up your Nintendo Switch

If you’ve just unboxed your Switch and haven’t even turned it on, or if you’ve gotten through the set up but need help adding your Nintendo Account, browse through our set up guides to help you.

  • How to set up your Nintendo Switch
  • How to create a new Nintendo Account
  • How to link your Nintendo Network ID with your Nintendo Account
  • How to set up multiple user profiles on Nintendo Switch
  • How to create and edit a Mii on Nintendo Switch
  • How to add or change Nintendo Accounts in the eShop on your Switch
  • How to add funds to your Nintendo Account
  • How to delete a user profile from your Nintendo Switch
  • How to pair a new Joy-Con controller to your Nintendo Switch
  • How to set up Amiibo on Nintendo Switch

How to set up and use Parental Controls on Nintendo Switch

Nintendo has made it very easy for parents to keep an eye on what their little ones are up to when playing games and socializing on the Switch. You can set up a child account, protect your Switch with parental controls, and monitor your children’s activities.

  • How to set up Parental Controls on Nintendo Switch
  • How to use the Nintendo Switch Parental Controls app
  • How to create and supervise your child’s Nintendo Account

How to use your Nintendo Switch

Once the initial setup is complete, there are a few additional customizations and special features you should know about. If you want to share a screenshot of that moment you took down that boss, or if you want to turn down your screen brightness to save some battery juice, we’ve got everything you need to know right here.

  • How to take a screenshot on your Nintendo Switch
  • How to share Nintendo Switch screenshots to Facebook and Twitter
  • How to add friends on Nintendo Switch
  • How to use Quick Settings on Nintendo Switch
  • How to enable Dark Mode on Nintendo Switch
  • How to tweak your Nintendo Switch settings to perfection
  • How to safely swap microSD cards on Nintendo Switch
  • How to stop Switch from automatically turning on
  • How to adjust the audio settings for Nintendo Switch in TV mode
  • How to transfer Nintendo Switch games to a microSD card
  • How to delete, archive, and reinstall digital games on Nintendo Switch
  • How to switch your Joy-Cons back to normal from sideways
  • How to clean your Nintendo Switch
  • How to update your Nintendo Switch software
  • How to update your Nintendo Switch controllers
  • How to make your user account first in line on the Home screen
  • How to use Channels to get updates on your favorite games
  • How to add your Wii U and 3DS friends to your Nintendo Switch
  • How to find out when your friends are online

Game Guides for Nintendo Switch games

We’ve been playing our fingers to the bones on some of the most popular games on Nintendo Switch. If you’re looking for help with a specific game, check our list of ultimate guides below.

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  • Minecraft: Nintendo Switch Edition – The ultimate starter kit
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  • Mario Kart 8 Deluxe: Everything you need to know
  • The most useful Amiibo for Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  • Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild – How to get warm clothes
  • Best Switch games to play after you beat Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild


No matter what you do right, there’s always something that goes wrong. If you’ve discovered that you’re Switch is running hot while in the dock, you’ve got dead pixels, or you jammed your Joy-Con controller when trying to put on the straps, we’ve got a troubleshooting guide for you.

  • Nintendo Switch: Troubleshooting guide

Nintendo Switch

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