How Nintendo Switch Works


I already told you how Nintendo Switch present hybrid features, to play in home or portable mode, depending on your needs. I will return to this specific point later. Now, instead, I would like to talk to you about all the elements that make up the console.

Nintendo Switch (base model)

How Nintendo Switch Works

Let's start analyzing Switch starting right from the consul, that is the central unit: here, therefore, is the complete list of the technical specifications of the Nintendo Switch in the basic version.

  • Sizes - 10,2 '' high, 23,9 '' wide and 1,39 '' deep (measures with Joy-Con connected).
  • Weight - approximately 297g (398g with Joy-Con connected).
  • Screen - capacitive touch-screen, 6,2 inches LCD, resolution 1280 × 720 pixels.
  • CPU / GPU - NVIDIA Tegra processor.
  • Memory - 32 GB of internal memory, of which 6,2 GB dedicated to the operating system. The memory is expandable using microSD memory up to 2TB.
  • Connectivity - Switch supports Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac compatible) and Bluetooth 4.1. Only in TV mode it is possible to connect the console also via cable, using a normal LAN adapter (not included).
  • Video output - the maximum resolution is 1920 × 1080 pixels at 60 fps, when the console is in TV mode (the console is connected to the TV using an HDMI cable). In tabletop and portable mode, the maximum resolution is 1280 × 720 pixels, i.e. that of the touch screen.
  • Audio output - supports PCM 5.1 linear. In TV mode, also output via HDMI cable (transmits all video and audio data to the TV).
  • Speakers – stereo.
  • USB connection - USB type-C port. It is used to charge the console or connect the Switch to the base.
  • Headphone / microphone jack - 3.5 mm audio jack.
  • Game card slot - only for inserting Nintendo Switch game cartridges.
  • MicroSD card slot- compatible with microSD, microSDHC, microSDXC memory cards. It is important to note that once the microSDXC card is inserted, an update of the console via the Internet will be required.
  • Sensors - accelerometer, gyroscope and brightness sensor.
  • Operating environment - temperature 5/35 ° C, humidity 20/80%.
  • Internal battery (not removable) - 4.310 mAh lithium-ion battery.
  • Battery life - there are two battery models, and you can distinguish them from the beginning of the product code: XAV and XKW. The first has an estimated duration between 2 and 6.5 hours, the second between 4.5 and 9. The duration obviously varies according to the game used: Nintendo estimates, for example, that for “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild ”the duration is respectively about 3 and 5.5 hours for the two models.
  • Charging time approximately 3 hours, charging the console in sleep mode.

Looking at the console, you may wonder if it is possible to use the Nintendo Switch as a normal tablet, for example to freely surf the web, work and download apps. The answer is no: Switch is designed for use only as a game console.

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Nintendo Switch Lite

How Nintendo Switch Works

Arrived on the market at the end of 2019, Nintendo Switch Lite it's a version economic e portable only of the console of the Kyoto company.

It has analogue and integrated buttons (there is no shortage of a button to capture images and videos, D-Pad, Home button and L and R back buttons), representing in fact a more "classic" version of the console, which in some ways recalls previous generations (who said Nintendo 3DS or 2DS?). However, this time there is only one 5.5 inch LCD touch screen with 1280 x 720 pixel resolution, also to keep the console as much as possible light (275 grams "against" the 398 grams of the "classic" Switch with Joy-Con connected).

Le dimensions are equal to 91,1 x 208 x 13 mm and there is one battery from 3570 mAh, which guarantees an estimated autonomy of 4 hours of gaming (test carried out with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild). The recharge time is instead of about 3 hours and there is no lack of support for microSD cards, microSDHC and microSDXC to expand the internal memory from 32GB (about 6,2GB of space is already reserved for the operating system). Present support for standard Wi-Fi 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac, Bluetooth 4.1 and NFC, as well as the stereo speakers, a door USB Type-C it's a audio jack from 3,5mm.

For the rest, in case you were wondering: yes, there is a NVIDIA Tegra processor and the game cards for Nintendo Switch. Put simply, you can play all the titles available even for the “base” console that support the portable mode (there is a special symbol on the back of the package or just take a look at the item Compatible game modes present in Nintendo eShop): you will simply do it on the go, without a TV.

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Nintendo Switch OLED

How Nintendo Switch Works

In 2021 another version of the console arrived: Nintendo Switch OLED. As you can tell from the name, the latter focuses mainly on the display.

In fact, the technical specifications are essentially identical to those of the "base" console, except mainly for the screen, in this version it is a OLED from 7 inches which promises high contrast, thinner frames and intense colors (however nothing changes in terms of resolution, always 1280 x 720 pixels), and for the internal memory, which here becomes 64GB (always expandable).

For the rest, among the other innovations we find one LAN port placed on the base, one wider adjustable stand it's a improved audio sector. The user experience is therefore very similar to that offered by the "base" console, but Nintendo Switch OLED represents a more "advanced" model from several points of view. The device will exit theOctober 8 2021.

Base per Nintendo Switch

How Nintendo Switch Works

The name says it all: la base per Nintendo Switch allows you to insert the console and dock it through the USB Type C port; by connecting the base to the TV you can play in TV mode (remember to set the source to HDMI).

From the rear view you can get an idea of ​​the depth of the base and notice the presence of two USB sockets, which can be used to connect accessories.

How Nintendo Switch Works

By lowering the flap on the back, the socket for the power supply unit is visible from top to bottom, one USB socket and l 'HDMI output, to connect the base to the TV.

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Control peripherals


How Nintendo Switch Works

I Joy-Con are the main input devices for Nintendo Switch, and are equipped with accelerometer, gyroscope and Rumble HD.

Accelerometer and gyroscope allow the controller to "read" the movement made by the player: thanks to it you can, for example, use the Joy-Con as a ping pong racket or, orienting it horizontally, as a steering wheel in driving games. The Rumble HD, on the other hand, is an advanced vibration system that allows for tactile immersion in the game.

So far, the common characteristics. Here are the peculiarities of each controller: the left Joy-Con has a button dedicated to capturing screenshots: these are saved in Album, accessible from the menu item of the same name Home. The right Joy-Con, on the other hand, is equipped with an infrared camera, capable of detecting movement, distance and shapes, such as that of a hand. It can also be used to recognize amiibo, figurines that can be used as characters and power-ups in some games.

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Now that you have a clear understanding of the potential of the input system, you will however want to know, in practice, how to use the controllers: I'll settle you right away.

  • Joy-Con connected to the console - you can connect the controllers to the console, one on each side, and use it in portable mode.
  • Joy-Con disconnected from the console - one Joy-Con in each hand, each controller works independently.
  • Joy-con connected to the Joy-Con handle - Insert the controllers into the sides of the handle and use them as a single traditional controller. There is a version of the handle, the Nintendo Joy-Con Charging Grip, which allows you to recharge the controllers while in use.
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The control system is directly connected to the game: some involve the use of both Joy-Con, others only one. The same orientation of the controller, horizontal or vertical, depends on the title.

Each of the controllers can be connected to Joy-Con laces included in the package. The strap is joined to an interlocking part: this is fixed to the Joy-Con, improving the ergonomics of the handle and access to the buttons SR e SL.

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Pro Controller

How Nintendo Switch Works

Il Nintendo Switch Pro Controller is a classic pad, and is an alternative to using Joy-Con. Ideal for titles, such as "Super Smash Bros", which require the use of classic controls.

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Joy-Con steering wheel

How Nintendo Switch Works

Are you a racing game fan? If the answer is yes, you may be wondering how to use the Nintendo Switch steering wheel to make the driving experience even more realistic, perhaps for a group challenge a Mario Kart.

It is easy to say: the Joy-Con steering wheel it is nothing more than a plastic support where the Joy-Con is positioned horizontally. The accelerometer and gyroscope in the controller are capable of interpreting movement, and you can now manage the car as you would in real life by simply turning the steering wheel.

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Game mode

After discovering the features of Nintendo Switch and Joy-Con you can't wait to get into action, right? Perfect: below you can find out in detail how Nintendo Switch works and which are, in particular, the different ones game mode supported by the Japanese console.

TV mode

How Nintendo Switch Works

If you have minimal experience with consoles, you will surely expect to be able to play the classic way: in other words, you are interested in understanding how to use Nintendo Switch on TV, real? Then know that you don't have to do anything complicated: connect the base to the power supply (via the AC adapter) and to the TV (using the HDMI cable included in the package). Place the console (without the Joy-Con) in the cradle and you are ready to play.

It's just as simple as it sounds; however, if you prefer a higher level of detail, I recommend that you read the guide on how to connect the Nintendo Switch to the TV.

Portable mode

How Nintendo Switch Works

use Nintendo Switch as a handheld console, you just need to connect the two Joy-Con to the left and right side of the console and detach it from the base.

Of course, remember to bring the charging cable and, to protect the console from any bumps, consider buying one custody and / or a tempered glass for the screen (which is particularly delicate).

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If you want to avoid running out of charge while traveling, consider purchasing a power bank with USB-C support: you can find useful tips on this in my buying guide dedicated to power banks.

Tabletop mode

How Nintendo Switch Works

You can also play Nintendo Switch on the go using the integrated stand, that is the tab positioned on the back of the console, which, once opened, allows you to position the Switch vertically on any stable surface (a desk, the support surface of your seat on the train, the floor, etc.).

In this way, you can play with the controllers separate from the body of the console without having to connect the console to the TV.

How to play 2 with Nintendo Switch

How Nintendo Switch Works

What's better than sharing the game with friends? If you think so too, you are surely wondering like playing Nintendo Switch for two.

No sooner said than done: in the next few paragraphs, I'll tell you about how to use Switch for both multiplayer gaming in local (using the two Joy-Con supplied) that online, taking advantage of the service Switch Online.

The first multiplayer game option is also the most obvious: if provided by the game, each Nintendo Switch can support up to 4 players locally, both in TV mode and in tabletop mode. It is important, however, to consider that the game also determines the type of control required.

For some games, one Joy-Con per player is sufficient (so, with the two Joy-Con included in the package, you already have everything you need to challenge a friend); for others, however, each player needs a pair of controllers each. In this second case, it will be necessary to have two additional Joy-Con.

There is a second option, namely the wireless in locale: Up to 8 Nintendo Switches can be connected wirelessly to play together in competitive or cooperative mode, but each participant must have a copy of the game in addition to the console.

If a game allows the mode wireless in locale, you will find the relative option in the menu: the interface itself will guide you to invite other players, until the start of the game. I specify again for greater clarity: an internet connection is not required. The consoles communicate directly with each other: you can play in the car, on the beach, at the bar, wherever you can think of.

Internet connection is required for the game mode multiplayer online, for which a subscription to the service is also required Nintendo Switch Online, which I will tell you about in more detail in a later chapter of the tutorial.

How to set up Nintendo Switch

How Nintendo Switch Works

La initial switch configuration it does not present particular difficulties: it is sufficient to follow the instructions on the screen to be able to complete the procedure successfully.

Worried about making some mess anyway? Do not panic: in this case, you can consult the paragraph relating to the first configuration of the Nintendo Switch of my guide on how to create a Nintendo Switch account, where I have explained to you exactly how to proceed.

The creation of a Switch user account it is a necessary operation to be able to use the console and you can do it immediately after the initial configuration of the same.

Now, however, I want to focus on some important operations that you can perform by selecting the item Settings from the menu Home, such as connecting the Switch to the internet, shutting down and updating the console.

How to connect Nintendo Switch to the Internet

How Nintendo Switch Works

Connect the Switch to the Internet it is a mandatory step to make software updates, play online and purchase digital content from Nintendo eShop. There are two ways to connect the console to the Internet: in Wi-Fi e cable.

set up a Wi-Fi connection on the Switch, you will need to have an internet connection and a Wi-Fi router that you know of SSID (i.e. the name of the network) e Password (i.e. the security key). Have no idea what they are? Quiet - you can usually find them out on the device or by reading the instruction manual.

Data in hand, place the Nintendo Switch within range of the router and, from the menu Home, select System settings. From here you just need to select the items Internet e Internet settings.

The Switch will then perform a scan and show the list of available Wi-Fi networks. Choose the network of your interest from the list and enter your password: a pop-up window Successful connection will notify the successful outcome of the procedure.

connect the Switch to the Internet via cable instead, you will need to have an Internet connection, a router, a LAN cable (not included) and a LAN adapter (not included).

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Before starting, the console must be set in TV mode: it is the only one that allows configuration via cable. The LAN adapter has a LAN cable input on one side and a USB output cable on the other.

Once this is done, connect the router to the adapter with a LAN cable, then connect theLAN adapter toUSB input positioned on the back of the Switch base: at this point, the console should automatically recognize the connection.

Otherwise, as with the previous configuration, select from the menu Home the voice System settings: from here, select the item Internet, Then Internet settings and, finally, Cable connection.
the message Successful connection will notify the successful outcome of the operation.

How to turn off Nintendo Switch

How Nintendo Switch Works

Do you need a break from gambling? Then you have to rely on the menu Power, which allows you to activate the rest mode (stand-by) and turn off the Switch completely.

To access it, you have to press the key Power, which you find positioned at the top left, on the upper edge of the console: just press it for 3 seconds, so as to bring up the just mentioned menu Power and be able to select the item Shutdown options and, therefore, the option for switch off or activate the sleep mode of the console. For standby you can also press the key for just one second Power.

Do you want more details? For example, find out how to carry out the procedure from smartphones and tablets, or more detailed information on rest mode? In this case, I refer you to my guide on how to turn off the Nintendo Switch.

How to update Nintendo Switch

How Nintendo Switch Works

Update Nintendo Switch it is a fundamental operation to maintain the performance and security of the console, as well as to obtain new features. However, it can be perceived as a delicate operation. Don't worry - it's actually child's play!

To update Switch manually, from the menu Home, select the voice System Settings. Then scroll down the menu that is proposed to you, until you find the item System and select it. At this point, click on Console update. Switch will check if an update is available and, if so, launch the download.

turn on automatic Switch updatesinstead, select the item System settings from the menu Home and then go on System. At this point, scroll down the menu that is proposed to you, until you find the item Automatic updates, and enable the option in question. Easy, right?

How Nintendo Switch works online

How Nintendo Switch Works

After putting yourself to the test in single player and challenging friends and family in Switch's local multiplayer modes, have you decided to compete against players from other parts of the world?

The first requirement, as you imagine, is that the title you intend to play is supporting this mode. Other than that, you need a subscription to Nintendo Switch Online, the Nintendo service dedicated to online gaming.

Activating a Nintendo Switch Online membership allows you to: play in mode multiplayer online, for qualifications that provide for it; access a game catalog of the historic NES (eg "Super Mario Bros.", "The Legend Of Zelda", "Donkey Kong" and "Ghosts'n'Goblins"), available both locally and online; enable the save to the cloud game data; download theNintendo Switch Online app for Android and iOS, with which to communicate through other players in voice chat (on titles that allow it) and invite other users to play online; access exclusive offers for the purchase of software and hardware.


How Nintendo Switch Works

The first option is to subscribe to the service by purchasing an individual subscription, which is valid for one account only (a free 7-day trial is available). In this case, you can choose between various plans.

  • 30 days (€ 3,99).
  • 90 days (€ 7,99).
  • 365 days (€ 19,99).

The second option is to create a family group (allows you to group up to 8 individual accounts) and opt for a family membership: the only "cut" available is 365 days (at a price of € 34,99) and all family group accounts can take advantage of Nintendo Switch Online .

It is also possible to come across promotions that allow you to have a few months of Switch Online for free, for example the promotion that allows you to have up to 12 months of Switch Online through Twitch Prime (for more information on Twitch Prime, see my tutorial dedicated to the service).

How to sign up

How Nintendo Switch Works

Once you have decided which type of membership is right for you, the last step is thepurchase of the subscription.

In order to register, you must have a Nintendo account. This is not your user profile on Switch, to which it can be associated: you can consider it as a sort of "administrative" account through which you can access various Nintendo services. Doesn't that seem perfectly clear to you? You can find an extended explanation in the paragraph on how to create a Nintendo Account of my guide on how to create a Switch user.

There are several ways to purchase a Nintendo Switch Online membership: log in to Nintendo eShop directly from the console (just select the icon Nintendo eShop from the menu), visit the Nintendo official site or buy one scheda Nintendo Switch Online at authorized physical and online retailers. In the latter case, you will then have to visit the Nintendo eShop to enter the card code and activate the subscription.

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How to play online multiplayer mode

How Nintendo Switch Works

The last thing to do is to launch a game that supports the online multiplayer mode and follow the on-screen instructions. Usually, you can find the option already in the main menu; the next steps vary from game to game, but everything is guided on the screen.

To give an example, from the home menu of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe you can select Online Game and access a menu that allows you to challenge opponents from around the world or from specific geographic areas.

Nintendo Switch games

At this point, I hope you have a much clearer idea about the Nintendo Switch. But it seems to you that something is still missing, doesn't it? You're absolutely right: I have yet to tell you about games, a decisive element in decreeing the success or failure of a console.

From this point of view, no problem: Nintendo has built over the decades an extraordinary title park, with characters now considered part of the history of gaming itself: Mario, Yoshi, Link, Donkey Kong, Pokémon, and the list could go on and on. in the long run. Now, however, ban the chatter and let's see how to buy games on Switch.

Game cards

How Nintendo Switch Works

The format of the Switch games is not the usual disc, but one card, to be inserted in the appropriate slot on the upper right side of the console. You are spoiled for choice: I would like to give you some suggestions with a selection of the best-selling titles ever.

  • Super Mario Odyssey - Mario's latest adventure, as well as the biggest and most varied ever, with brand new open world elements and the ability to play in local co-op.
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  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild - the latest and award-winning adventure in the Link and Zelda saga. The launch game of Switch, as well as one of the best of this generation (not only for what concerns the Nintendo home console)
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  • Mario Kart 8 Deluxe - the most popular arcade driving game ever. Being the fastest is not enough: you must be able to take advantage of the bonuses present on the track and avoid the numerous pitfalls, including the now infamous blue shell!
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  • Super Smash Bros. - a crossover fighting game (the characters come from different narrative and playful “universes”) with innovative fighting dynamics. Have you ever thought about who could win in a fight between Ken from “Street Fighter” and Pikachu?
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  • Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze - the latest adventure of Donkey Kong and his crazy family. One of the funniest and most varied platformers currently on the market.
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  • Splatoon 2 - a very special third-person shooter: it is, in fact, a fight with no holds barred… and octopuses! A very creative and colorful variant of paintball, which is easy to get addicted to.
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  • Pokémon: Let’s go, Pikachu! / Pokémon:Let’s go Eevee! - choose whether to start with Pikachu or Eevee and pursue the goal: gotta catch'em all!
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Digital download from Nintendo eShop

How Nintendo Switch Works

As is now common practice, purchasing a physical copy is not the only way to get a game: the digital download is in fact available on Nintendo eShop. The digital shop not only allows you to download paid titles, but also numerous free games of excellent quality: think for example of Tetris 99 e Pokémon Quest, without forgetting the infinity of indie titles available at very affordable prices.

You can find an explanation on how to download free Nintendo Switch games in the guide I dedicated to the topic; for paid games you have to follow practically the same procedure (but choosing a different price range in the console store).

How Nintendo Switch Works

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