Nintendo Switch Frequently Asked Questions


Newbie Gamer
Aug 4, 2018
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Frequently Asked Questions for the Nintendo Switch

Switch Console

  1. How much does the console cost? $299.99 USD
  2. What comes in the box? The Switch console unit itself (the screen), a Joy-Con R, a Joy-Con L, a Joy-Con Grip (non-charging variety), a dock, a power cable, an HDMI cable, and Joy-Con straps.
  3. How long is the battery life of the Nintendo Switch? 2.5 to 6 hours depending on the game and brightness setting.
  4. Is the Switch region locked? The Nintendo Switch is not region locked, but developers can choose to region lock their games.
  5. Is there local system link play? Yes. Up to 8 Switch consoles can play together in local multiplayer wirelessly.
  6. Is there any Bluetooth support? The Switch uses Bluetooth 4.1 but currently doesn't support any third-party devices.
  7. How much internal storage does the Switch have? Does it support external storage? The Switch has 32GB of internal storage and supports Micro SD cards up to 2 TB, SDXC and SDHC formats up to UHS-I speeds. The largest readily available Micro SD cards are 256 GB but these are brand new and very expensive (above $100). The largest with the best value would be 200 GB which is in the $60 to $70 dollar range.
  8. Does the Switch have an achievement system? Right now, nothing has been said. We can infer from their smartphone apps that MyNintendo missions may be implemented and turn out to be Nintendo's form of an achievement system.
  9. Do physical media games need to be installed? Since the Switch is using cartridges instead of discs, installation is not necessary to counteract the slower load times of a disc drive.
  10. Does the dock improve the graphics capabilities? While there is no extra cooling or components in the dock, it removes the dependence on the console's battery thus allowing it to clock it's components higher resulting in a performance increase.
  11. Does the Switch have Streetpass like the 3DS? No. Nintendo has stated that Streetpass will not be a feature of the Switch.
  12. Where is save data stored? It is stored on the internal storage of the Switch system. It cannot currently be transferred to anywhere else.
  13. What is the size/resolution of the screen? The screen is a 6.2 inch LCD with a 1280×720 resolution.
  14. What type of speakers are on the Switch? The Switch includes stereo speakers and also supports linear PCM 5.1ch through HDMI.
  15. Does the Switch have a headphone jack? The Switch includes a stereo headphone/microphone jack.
  16. Can the Switch sense brightness? The Switch includes a brightness sensor.
  17. I want to use my Switch exclusively as a handheld system. Is this feasible? All games should be playable in handheld mode.
  18. I want to use my Switch exclusively as a home console in its dock. Is this feasible? To an extent, there are some games (a very small minority) that are only playable in handheld mode, as they use the touchscreen for gameplay.
  19. How do you wake up the Switch from sleep mode? Press the home button on a synced controller to wake up the console from sleep mode.
Switch Dock
  1. Can I purchase an extra dock? Nintendo is selling additional Dock Sets for $89.99 (USD), or the dock without the HDMI and cable and AC Adapter for $59.99 (USD).
  2. What connections does the dock have? The dock has two USB 2.0 compatible ports on the side, one on the back (launches with USB 2.0 support, but USB 3.0 support will be added in a future update), a System connector, an AC adapter port, and an HDMI 1.4 port.
  1. How do the Joy-Cons charge? Joy-Cons charge while connected to the Switch console itself while docked, the Joy-Con Charging Grip (sold separately, $29.99 USD) or the Joy-Con Charge Stand (licensed by Nintendo, made by HORI, sold separately, 29.99 USD).
  2. In what ways can I use the controller? There are three four different ways to play the Nintendo Switch controller wise. The Joy-Con are two small rectangular controllers that can be slid into the Joy-Con grip to play with a more traditional controller feel, held separately in both hands similar to the Wii Remote and Nunchuck with motion controls and HD Rumble (haptic feedback), or slid into the side of the screen to play games similar to the Wii U gamepad. Both Joy-Con controllers can be turned sideways and split between two people to be used similar to traditional NES controllers, but with joysticks instead of D-Pads. In addition you can also play using The Nintendo Switch Pro Controller (sold separately).
  3. Can the Pro controller be used when the Switch is undocked? Yes.
  4. What happens if I lose one or both of my Joy-Con controllers? You can buy a set of replacement Joy-Cons for $79.99 (USD MSRP), or a single Joy-Con (left or right) for $49.99 (USD MSRP).
  5. Does the Pro Controller have the same technology as the Joy-Cons? The Pro Controller contains HD Rumble, an accelerometer, a gyroscope and a NFC reader just as the Joy-Cons do. It however doesn't have an IR camera.
  6. Is the grip that comes with the Switch able to charge the Joy-Cons? The grip included is only for making the Joy-Cons into a single controller for a more classic configuration and not charging them. You are however able to separately purchase a grip that does for $29.99 (USD).
  7. How long do the Joy-Cons last on a single charge? Reportedly, the Joy-Cons last about 20 hours before needing to be charged again.
  8. How long does it take to charge the Joy-Cons? About 3 and a half hours.
  9. What buttons are on the left Joy-Con? The left Joy-Con includes the Left Stick (clickable), the Directional/L/ZL/SL/SR/−(minus) Buttons, the Capture Button, the Release button, and the SYNC Button.
  10. What buttons are on the right Joy-Con? The right Joy-Con includes the Right Stick (clickable), the A/B/X/Y/R/ZR/SL/SR/+(plus) Buttons, the HOME Button, the Release Button, and the SYNC Button.
  11. How do the Joy-Cons connect to the console? Bluetooth 3.0.
  12. What other technology is in the Joy-Cons? Both Joy-Cons have an accelerometer and a gyroscope as well as the HD Rumble technology. The right Joy-Con also has an IR Motion Camera.
Nintendo Account
  1. Where do you create a Nintendo Account? Navigate to .
  2. Can the user ID only be lower case letters? Yes.
  3. How short can the user ID be? The shortest allowed is 6 characters.
  4. How do I create an account for my child? This Nintendo Support page has the instructions to create a child account connected to your own.
Nintendo eShop
  1. Do Wii U and 3DS eShop cards work on the Switch? They do.
  2. If I have a balance in the Wii U/3DS eShops, will that balance be carried over to Switch? The balance will also be available on the Switch eShop.
  3. How do I connect to the eShop and purchase games? You must be connected via a Wi-Fi or Ethernet connection to be able to browse the eShop and download games.
  4. Can I purchase downloadable games elsewhere? Many retailers have the option to purchase a download code which you are able to use in the eShop to download the game. You can also visit to purchase digital games after accessing the eShop on the Nintendo Switch for the first time.
  5. How do I re-download a game I have already purchased? Navigate to your profile in the eShop. There is a re-download section there.
  6. Can games purchased on the eShop be shared between accounts/consoles? eShop games are linked to your Nintendo Account. You can only activate one console at a time for your Nintendo Account and your games are only playable on the current active console. While a console is active for your Nintendo Account, everyone on the console can play the games you’ve purchased.
  7. Is there a way to see all games available in the eShop? From the eShop, scroll up to the search bar and then select "Search filters". Leave the keyword blank to see everything available.
  8. What should I do if a game update won't download/there's an 'X' on the loading bar for the update? Some sort of error occurred. You will likely need to delete the game from your Switch and redownload it by navigating to your profile in the eShop and clicking into the redownload section.