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Nintendo Switch Sports isn’t really built for the Switch Lite

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It’s playable, but not ideal

A “Sportsmate” swings her racket in a game of doubles tennis in Nintendo Switch Sports Image: Nintendo

Nintendo Switch Sports, out Friday on Nintendo Switch, brings back the motion-controlled fun of Wii Sports for the modern era, letting players enjoy bowling, soccer, badminton, and more with their Joy-Cons. It’s great! But if you’re a Nintendo Switch Lite owner, be aware that the experience is much more limited, thanks to the game’s dependency on motion controls.

Switch Lite owners will need an external set of Joy-Cons to play Nintendo Switch Sports, similar to how earlier motion-control-dependent games like Ring Fit Adventure and 1-2-Switch work. (Nintendo Switch Pro Controllers are not compatible with Nintendo Switch Sports, Nintendo says on its support website.)

But there are more severe limits on local multiplayer in Nintendo Switch Sports on a Switch Lite, so if you were planning on playing a close-quarters game of doubles tennis, for example, that’s not possible locally. Nintendo Switch Sports requires TV Mode (outputting video to a television or monitor) for local play with two or more players in games like tennis, badminton, volleyball, and chambara. Some game modes, like soccer and bowling, have “pass-and-play” options, where one set of Joy-Cons will get the job done, but only in certain modes.

Of course, Nintendo Switch Sports does support online play, so if local multiplayer isn’t a concern, Lite owners have that option to turn to.

Nintendo makes note of these kinds of restrictions in Nintendo Switch Sports’ listing on its website, noting that the Wii Sports sequel only supports TV mode and Tabletop mode, and that “software compatibility and play experience may differ on Nintendo Switch Lite.”

Nintendo Switch Lite owners are likely well aware of restrictions such as these on the handheld-only Switch by now, but for those hoping to get the most out of Nintendo Switch Sports, the standard Switch is the better option.

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