So you’re planning to get a Nintendo Switch and you might think just getting the $400 box with the console is enough to get your Nintendo gaming fix. However, there’s quite a lot more than the console you require in order to bring your new gadget to it’s fullest potential. Here’s just that: a starter pack with everything you need.
With this, you don’t have to rack your brains to figure out what you need and constantly go back online to buy the things you need in waves. I made that mistake when I got my Switch about a month ago, so I’ve compiled this list to help all Switch newbies to get started!
This is very crucial if you’re planning to use your Switch as a party entertainment device. Your friends and family are totally going to want to join in on the fun no matter how much they had previously said that it was a waste of time. In addition to four-player Mario Kart, some games (like fighters) require one player to use 2 Joy-Con so if you only have the set that came with the console you’ll find that you can only play versus CPUs – pretty dull huh? So think of it as an investment and pick up another pair of Joy-Cons.
Other alternatives: Nintendo Pro controller or any type of controller compatible with Switch.
A problem that most people find with the bundled Joy-Con straps is that the L button on the top is too far away. For a person with small hands and short fingers like me, I have to stretch my finger a bit just to press it. This does get uncomfortable for long periods of time and doesn’t make it easier to play a movement intensive game – in this case, Mario Kart.
For less strenuous games like Snipperclips, the strap is great, but if you really want the controller feel and avoid straining your left index, Joy-Con grip kits are for you. These come in a variety of different colours but are mostly have the same or similar form factor. They are definitely affordable and in my opinion, a necessity for 4 player Mario Kart.
The Switch is not only a console but also a portable handheld, and with all handhelds, you need a case to prevent scuffs and scratches. Even if you primarily play docked mode a carrying case is a must for easy transport. Ones that have pockets to store extra Joy-Cons and a few game cartridges are the best.
Something I thought I wouldn’t need is an SD card on my Switch. I’ve heard from a friend that he had no problems with the 32GB storage within the Switch, but I found myself needing to get one just after a few game purchases. An SD card is very crucial if you’re planning to play online games like Fortnite or Paladins. Game bundles also take up dozens of GB so make sure you pick up at least a 64GB if you’re planning to get these types of games.
Though the Switch is hugely fun with many people playing, if you only buy multiplayer games you’ll find yourself itching for a more solo-focused adventure. This is where games like Zelda Breath of the Wild comes in. You need at least one of these solo oriented games to kick-start your switch journey.
The way you want to play your Switch is up to you, but no one can deny the laughs and bitterness that come from playing party games with your friends and family. Even if you don’t seem keen on it, watch a few trailers and buy a popular game – I’m sure you’ll change your mind. For gamers travelling overseas or even to just a relative’s place there are times where you find that there is no space to plug in the AC adapter and you can’t play your Switch docked because of that. This is especially apparent in some hotels where the power outlet for the TV is in the wall and the nearest one is about a meter or so away. You can try to make a limbo cable from the TV to the powerpoint but I strongly recommend either getting a power strip or a longer HDMI cable to solve this problem. The power strip is a more viable option for travellers going overseas too as you can plug other devices into the strip and not worry about loading 4 adapters into your luggage. Great news for gamers who play during commutes or kids that play outside all the time: the Switch uses USB C. The thing is, however, that the box only contains an AC adapter. If you have a phone that uses USB C cable you can use that with a power bank to charge the console when it’s running low on battery wherever you are. If not, I highly recommend that you get one! They’re cheap and widely available these days too so don’t miss out on this quality of life purchase.
On to some of the more boring stuff is a cleaning kit. Everything collects dust, including your Switch, and dust can really be a nuisance when it gets into ports or any other cavities. This is precisely why you need a cleaning kit, preferably with those mini air blower things. Within the cleaning kit is also a screen cleaner to wipe off your oily fingerprints and dust on the screen. Also worth noting is if other people use your Joy-Cons their sweat and grime (and yours too) will be on it so make sure to clean those with some rubbing alcohol every now and then too.
No matter how much you care for your Switch and never drop it (yeah right) You still need insurance for the screen. It’s no doubt one of the most important things when playing handheld so don’t cheap out and think that you can just “be careful”. Some people prefer to get tempered glass and all but I think just those basic plastic sheets are enough. Make sure to avoid doing this yourself unless you’re great at doing it. Many phone accessory shops offer this service so you can bring your Switch there with the screen protector that you’ve bought and enquire if they can do it for you.
So that’s a wrap for the Switch Starter Pack. Happy gaming!