Here's 11 Tips To Get The Most Out Of Your New Nintendo Switch Lite
Here's a few tip to get to get you and your Switch Lite all setup and ready to go!
Congratulations on the new Switch Lite! Now let's get to work. Whether you got a Switch Lite as a gift this holiday season or you picked one up yourself, setting it up is a breeze but there are a couple of things you should know. First off: Oh my god it's so cute, right?
If you got the regular Nintendo Switch instead, we have a selection of tips tailored for that experience you can check out here. OK, OK, let's get to it.
1. Learn Its Limitations
The first thing you should know about the Switch Lite is that it can't do everything the full-size Nintendo Switch can do. It can do most of the same things—the important stuff like play most of the same games and use the same accounts and controls—but there are a few features that have been omitted to make the Lite a bit smaller and sleeker than its larger sibling.
For instance, there are no Joy-Cons to disconnect from the Switch Lite. It can't be docked for playing on a TV, and it has a smaller battery than the full-size Switch (about six hours of gameplay depending on the game). The Switch Lite also doesn't have motion controls.
A very small selection of games can't be played (or they have reduced functionality) because they require motion controls, but you can play them properly if you buy the Switch's Joy-Cons and connect them to the Switch Lite. These include games like Super Mario Party, 1-2 Switch, Just Dance, and Fitness Boxing. To see if a game is compatible with the Switch Lite, check the game's physical packaging (or check the eShop) and look for a handheld mode icon.
2. Revel in Its Strengths
I can fit the Switch Lite in just about any shoulder bag, handbag or purse I own. It even fits in some jacket pockets. It's not that much smaller than the regular-sized Switch but those extra inches Nintendo shaved off make the Switch Lite one of the most portable devices I own, outside of my phone. Even if I don't think I'm going to use it, I bring it with me anyway. I mean why not? It weighs nine ounces, which is a tad heavier than the iPhone 11 Pro Max.
Also, colors! The Switch Lite comes in turquoise, yellow, and gray. There's also a special edition Pokemon Sword and Pokemon Shield version in gray, pink, and blue, though it can be hard to find. The original Switch is a well-designed and well-built console, but it's just not as sleek or stylish as the Lite.
3. Turn on the Battery Widget
It's not hard to find out how much battery your Switch has left, just hold the home button and the window that pops up will tell you. But in my experience, it can be a good idea (especially when traveling) to turn on the always-on battery widget on the home screen. This will display the battery percentage right beside the little battery bar. It's a little easier to tell how long you have left in Hyrule if you can see a specific number. To do that, go to System Settings > System > Console Battery % and toggle it on.
4. Explore the Dark Side
The Switch Lite is a handheld-only console, and staring at a bright white home screen can be a bit overwhelming if you're playing late into the night. I'd suggest turning on dark mode, which will turn the menus from white to a dark charcoal gray, which is much easier on the eyes. Here's how: Open System Settings > Themes and choose Basic Black.
5. Change Your Region to Access Region-Locked Games
Some regions of the world will see game releases a bit sooner than other regions. Thankfully, the Nintendo Switch is region-free, which means you can just change your region in the settings and access any region's Nintendo eShop. That's how so many Switch owners started playing Pokemon Sword & Shield before it hit store shelves in their countries. Here's how you do it: Pop open your Settings > System > Region and change your region to whichever one you'd like!
6. See How Many Hours You've Spent in Hyrule
It's not exactly essential information, but sometimes it's kind of nice to check on how many hours you've spent in a particular game. To check it out for yourself, hit your profile icon on the top-left corner of the home screen, then Profile. You can also check out how many hours your friends have spent in their games. Need to fill out your friend list? Well, read on.
7. Play With Friends
The Nintendo Switch, and by extension the Switch Lite, have an online service but it's not much use without some friends. To add friends, or let other people add you, you'll need to find your friend code. Just hit your profile picture on the top-left side of the home menu and click Profile. From here you can see your friend code, which you can provide to people who want to add you.
To add friends yourself, get their friend code, and from the same menu, go down to Add Friend. Enter the code, and you're good to go. You'll want to subscribe to Nintendo Online ($4 a month) to play any online games with them though. To do that, you can head here and sign in with your Nintendo Account. It'll also start backing up your saved games to the cloud!
8. Voice Chat With Friends
The Switch Lite would've been a good opportunity for Nintendo to revamp its bizarre voice chat solution, but unfortunately, we're stuck with the original method. To talk with friends over voice, you're going to need to download the Switch Online Mobile app on your phone and have it open when you're in-game. You can use headphones and a headset mic, but you're going to need one that's compatible with Nintendo's wacky voice chat system. The SteelSeries Arctis 3 Bluetooth is one of our favorites, but you can find more options in our best gaming headsets and best wireless gaming headsets guides.
8. Make an Extra Profile for Extra Saves
If you're playing a game with limited save slots, or if you don't want a guest to accidentally overwrite your saves, you can make another user profile and most games will give it a brand new set of totally separate save slots. To do that, open up System Settings > Users > Add User, then pick a name and you're good to go!
9. Force a Reset if It Freezes
Even the best electronic devices malfunction sometimes, and sometimes games are buggy. Sometimes they crash and lock up your console. If that happens, don't worry, there are a couple of things you can do to fix it. First, like most electronic devices, you can fix a lot of problems by turning it off then turning it on again. To do that, just hold the power button for a few seconds and it should turn itself off. Then, just turn it back on and see if your issue has been resolved.
If it hasn't turned off and you need to do a proper hard reset, just hold the power button down for about 12 seconds or more and that should force it to shut off. Wait about 30 seconds before powering it back on just in case.
The Nintendo Switch has some of the most fun accessories of any gaming device, and the Switch Lite is no exception. Here are a few recommendations:
Get a good screen protector: We like this tempered glass one from AmFilm.Invest in a MicroSD card: You'll need more storage to install more than a handful of digital games on your Switch Lite—this SanDisk is a good choice.Nab a fun carrying case: A small clamshell, like this one from Nintendo, or a full-on sling bag from Villager Supplies work great.
11. Play the Best Games
The Nintendo Switch has amassed a large collection of games, some of which are the best we've seen from Nintendo in years. It can be a little overwhelming, which is why we've rounded up some of our absolute favorites in our best Switch games guide.
You should absolutely pick up The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, as it's one of the best games of the decade. Super Mario Odyssey is another fun masterpiece, and then there's the first standard Pokemon game made for a console, Pokemon Sword & Shield, along with multiplayer classics like Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Splatoon 2. Don't forget the indie developers! Dead Cells, Cuphead, and Hollow Knight are all games you should check out.
There's a whole world of games to explore, whether in our guide or on the eShop. Whatever you pick, have fun, and enjoy your new Switch Lite!
Courtesy WIRED Magazine December 31st, 2019