The parents’ guide to… Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch

The Nintendo Switch is a console like no other. Thanks to its ingenious design that lets you play on your TV or take it on-the-go, it’s never been easier for your child to enjoy the games they’re playing.

So, whether they’re exploring the marvellously colourful kingdoms of Super Mario Odyssey, or taking the breathtaking The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild on a trip, here’s what you need to know about the Nintendo Switch!

What do I get in the box?

You get a Nintendo Switch console, a pair of Joy-Cons, a grip for your Joy-Cons to use when they’re not attached to the console, a dock that connects to your TV, a HDMI cable, and power supply.

If you buy certain bundles at GAME, you’ll also be able to snag extra games and controllers for the console.

What are Joy-Cons?

The Joy-Cons are the controllers for the Switch and are as innovative as any Nintendo have made. They slide onto the side of the Switch and you can play games with them connected or separated from the console.

The gyroscope built into the Joy-Cons means that some games will also support motion controls. For instance, in Splatoon 2, you can control your Inkling with the sticks, and aim by physically twisting your Joy-Cons.

You can also use split them up and use them as a singular Joy-Con. This is great for local multiplayer games like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, where two children can be given a Joy-Con each to play on a long road trip!

What is the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller?

The Pro Controller is different to the Joy-Cons in that is designed to be more like a traditional pad. So, while you can’t split it up into two, it does everything else that a Joy-Con can, as well as offering an ergonomically-friendly design. Perfect if you fancy having a play once the kids are in bed…

Can the Switch play games online?

Yep, it can! Nintendo have a paid-for service, which you will need if you want to play most games online. It costs £3.49 for a month to £17.99 for a year, while a family membership, which covers 8 Nintendo accounts, only costs £31.99, perfect if you’re buying for more than member of the family. Some games, like Fortnite, don’t need a Nintendo Switch Online membership.

Having said that, the online service is for more than just getting to play certain games online. For instance, you’ll get access to classic NES games, such as Super Mario Bros. 3, Donkey Kong, and The Legend of Zelda. On top of that, you’ll also get a chance to upload your saves to cloud.

What is the Nintendo eShop?

It’s a virtual storefront which you can buy digital games off, along with expansions for certain games. For example, if your kid wants Fortnite on the Switch, you would download it through the eShop. You can learn more about it here.

What is Nintendo Labo?

Nintendo Labo is a creation tool that lets you build your own cardboard toys. From RC cars to a mech suit, it’s a brilliant way to stretch your creative muscles. Plus, they’re designed to be as adaptable as possible, letting whoever uses it experiment to their heart’s content!