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Best Nintendo Switch, Switch Lite, and Switch OLED accessories

Our favorite game accessories, controllers, chargers, and more

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A Nintendo Switch and the new Nintendo Switch lite, side by side Photo: Michael McWhertor/Polygon

While the Nintendo Switch, Nintendo Switch OLED, and Switch Lite’s built-in controllers and screens let you enjoy games all on their own, accessories can make their experiences even better, enhancing and upgrading these all-in-one systems.

Polygon’s Nintendo Switch accessories buying guide explores some of our favorite add-ons for the portable consoles. Below, you’ll find our favorite games that come with their own accessories, plus some of the gear we personalize our Switch experiences with.

Table of contents

Games with their own accessories

These Nintendo Switch games come with accessories for one-of-a-kind gameplay experiences, working in tandem with the Switch’s hardware and getting you moving.

Ring Fit Adventure

Ring Fit Adventure is part fitness journey, part role-playing game. To play, you must use a special controller accessory called the Ring-Con as well as a leg strap to squeeze out chest presses, jumping jacks, and other workout activities. Your physical movement determines your progress through the story.

a woman in exercise gear holds a yoga pose with the Ring-Con while playing Nintendo’s Ring Fit Adventure
Your workout moves control the game in Ring Fit Adventure
Photo: Nintendo

The workouts are legit and are great even for fitness newcomers. Regardless of your athletic prowess, you’ll grow along with the game’s story, which can take months to complete.

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit

While there are various Joy-Con steering wheel accessories for the Nintendo Switch — and even a full-sized steering wheel — Mario and his kart are some of the most interesting Switch accessories.

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit Image: Nintendo/YouTube

Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit turns your living room into a racecourse by combining different pieces of gear. The kit comes with several cardboard gates that you place around your home to construct a racetrack. Then, by using either the Mario or Luigi toy race cars, the vehicle's built-in camera “sees” the track. The camera-enabled cars pair with your Switch, which lets you drive from the racer’s perspective as you zip around your home.

Nintendo Labo

The Nintendo Labo kits make ingenious use of cardboard cutouts that transform into new controllers and accessories. Each set comes with a handful of cardboard sheets and a game cart that is equal parts instruction manual and a portal to several playful activities.

As you pop out pieces of cardboard from their sheets, the Labo game cart will instruct you about how to fold and create your cardboard accessories. Within a few minutes, you can turn your Nintendo Switch into a small race car machine, a wearable robot suit, or even a suite of virtual reality experiences.

Nintendo Labo VR Kit - profile view of Jeff holding Blaster Toy-Con
You can turn cardboard sheets into a VR blaster
Photo: James Bareham/Polygon

The kits are harder to come by in 2021, but they are worth the hunt. If you end up finding a kit via an online retailer or through a secondhand seller and want to play the game in English, try to find a copy local to your region or the World Edition.

Nintendo Switch controllers

One of the selling points of the Switch and Switch Lite is that each console comes with its own set of controllers. While these small gamepads are clever and easy to use for most people, there are other controller options that can enhance your experience with the consoles.

The Switch can have its standard Joy-Cons replaced with third-party gamepads, but it can also pair with handheld controllers via Bluetooth. Keep in mind that some Bluetooth controllers from other manufacturers may not be able to wake your Switch from sleep as first-party controllers can. Also, third-party companies may have controllers with rumble, and none seem to compare with the detailed HD rumble that Nintendo’s gamepads deliver.

Nintendo Switch Pro Controller

If you’re looking to upgrade your controller experience on the Nintendo Switch, you might want to consider the first-party alternative: the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller.

The Joy-Con grip versus the Pro Controller
The Pro Controller is bulkier than the Joy-Con grip, but very comfy
Photo: Jeff Ramos/Polygon

This standard-sized controller fits most hands more comfortably than the Switch’s other alternative control scheme: two Joy-Cons in the grip accessory that comes with the console. The Joy-Con grip is a decent alternative if you don’t want to waste money, but keep in mind that you have to remove your Joy-Cons and place them back on the Switch to charge them. If you want to charge your Joy-Cons in a grip, you’ll need to shell out an extra $30.

The Pro Controller, on the other hand, has a size and weight similar to other controllers from its contemporaries. This added bulk makes the controller feel more familiar and comfortable. It has a dedicated D-pad, larger face buttons, more prominent analog sticks, and much easier-to-hit shoulder buttons. Unlike the Joy-Cons in their grip, which is two small controllers trying to act like one large controller, the Pro Controller feels like a complete package. It also has an amiibo reader, HD rumble, and a gyroscope.

Fixture S1

If you ever wished there was a way to use your Pro Controller while still playing your Switch in handheld mode, then check out the Fixture S1.

The Fixture S1 Nintendo Switch accessory
The grip is tight and never feels like it’s going to fall off
Photo: Jeff Ramos/Polygon

This device is a clip that attaches to your Pro Controller and has a sliding connector for your Switch. Once the body of the console is slotted into the S1’s holder, you can position the angle of the screen for more comfortable viewing. One of our favorite use cases for the S1 is being able to comfortably play our Switch laying flat in bed, with our head propped up on a pillow and the controller on our chest. The accessory also comes with a carrying case that protects itself, your Pro Controller, and the Switch console.

If you own a Switch OLED, the current model of the Fixture S1 will not work with the console. However, the creator is working on an updated model.

Hori Split Pad Pro

The Hori Split Pad Pro is a pair of attachable controllers that you can use instead of the much smaller standard Joy-Cons. These large gamepads significantly increase the bulk of the Switch, but what you lose in portability, you make up for in comfort.

A Split Pad Pro next to two Joy-Cons and a Pro Controller
The Split Pad Pro vs. Nintendo’s Pro Controller and Joy-Cons
Photo: Jeff Ramos/Polygon

We praised the Split Pad Pro for most games, and we found it was especially helpful when playing more complicated games like Monster Hunter Rise. The larger controllers make complex actions in first-person shooters and fast-paced games easier to command when in handheld mode. The gamepads even have additional buttons on the back that you can assign to customize your experience.

PowerA Wireless GameCube Style Controller

For Super Smash Bros. players who honed their skills on a GameCube controller, you can rekindle your muscle memory with the PowerA Wireless GameCube Style Controller.

The PowerA Wireless GameCube controller
It’s almost like the GameCube original, but wireless
Photo: Jeff Ramos/Polygon

This gamepad feels similar to the classic wired GameCube controller, plus it has all the benefits of the wireless WaveBird controller, without the added bulk.

Since this controller is wireless, that means Super Smash Bros. Ultimate players don’t need to bring multiplayer controller dongles with them like in the old days. PowerA’s recreation of the controller also adds an extra shoulder button on the left side that’s missing from the GameCube original.

8Bitdo Pro 2

The 8BitDo Pro 2 merges some of the best design qualities of classic Nintendo hardware with modern features to create a controller that combines the best of both worlds.

The 8Bitdo Pro 2 Nintendo Switch controller
The Pro 2 mixes classic and modern designs
Photo: Jeff Ramos/Polygon

At first glance, the Pro 2 looks like a contemporary take on the Super Nintendo Controller. It has a sleek and flat face with textured grips that feel better than the slicker handles on Nintendo’s Pro Controller. Not only that, but the controller’s handles feature additional triggers on the back that you can use 8Bitdo’s software to assign to different buttons. The software is worth installing because, in our testing, the initial strength of the controller’s standard rumble was a bit much for calmer games like Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

The analog sticks are aligned on the bottom of the gamepad, just like a PlayStation controller. This layout differs from the Joy-Cons and Nintendo’s Pro Controller (and Xbox controllers), so it may take some getting used to, especially if you play a lot of first-person shooters like Fortnite or Doom Eternal.

8BitDo Arcade Stick

The Nintendo Switch has plenty of classic titles and puzzle games that work with any of the controllers listed above. However, you can give all those games a more retro spin by playing them with 8BitDo’s Arcade Stick.

The 8Bitdo Arcade stick
The Arcade Stick connects via Bluetooth or wirelessly with this dongle
Photo: Jeff Ramos/Polygon

This classic-style arcade stick plugs directly into your Switch via USB or connects wirelessly with Bluetooth or the included wireless adapter. Either way, the clicky buttons and ball-shaped joystick feel reminiscent of what you’d find in an arcade cabinet. The responsive controls make games like Pac-Man 99, Puyo Puyo Tetris 2, and Lumines feel great, especially when you slam the joystick left and right when you need to move around quickly.

The buttons are also laid out ergonomically with a downward slope to better accommodate your thumbs, unlike old-school layouts that placed buttons in a straight row. This makes playing fighting games like Street Fighter III: Third Strike and Dragon Ball FighterZ feel just as fluid as they would if they were played on a modern arcade machine.

Nintendo Switch headphones

Now that the Switch supports Bluetooth headphones, any pair of wireless headphones or earbuds like Apple’s Airpods will work fine. However, there are some use cases where you might want a dedicated pair of headphones for playing your console.

Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2

The Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2 headphones are a chunky yet surprisingly lightweight and comfortable pair of gaming headphones. Once you plug the headset’s wireless dongle into a USB port on the Switch dock, the console will automatically route audio straight to the device.

The Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2
Despite their size, these headphones are very comfortable
Image: Turtle Beach

The gel-infused earcups help the Stealth 700 stay cool and comfy. The clamping force on the headset might seem tight at first, but the padding on the headphones does a great job of delivering a comfortable fit, even if you’re wearing glasses.

While the Stealth 700’s comfort is remarkable in its own right, its dual wireless functionality is one of its best features. If you pair the headset to your Switch via the wireless dongle, you can also pair the device to your phone via Bluetooth and use two streams of audio at the same time. We loved using this feature to play games like Pokémon Unite and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. The dongle provides all the game audio, while our Bluetooth connection streamed Discord calls from our phone. The headphone’s included microphone allowed us to clearly hear our own voice, the game audio, and our calls perfectly. Plus the Stealth 700 has two volume dials to control the audio from both sources. This allowed us to perfectly dial in the volume of both our games and our voice chats.

When playing the Switch handheld, you can connect the headset via Bluetooth to enjoy the same comfort on the go.


The Nintendo Switch consoles have a decent battery life when playing in handheld mode. If you’re away from your dock and need to charge the system, you can simply plug the console into a USB-C port. However, if you’re not near an outlet, you can always use a charging brick to charge the console.

While most charging bricks will do the job, a safe option is the officially licensed Anker PowerCore Nintendo Switch Edition. The device comes in two sizes, 13,400 mAh and 20,100 mAh, which Anker says can add 10 and 15 hours of playtime, respectively.

SD Cards

If you don’t need physical copies of your games, you can always download them from the eShop to a microSD card. The larger capacity on your card, the more games you can store on the system to play at any time.

SanDisk has several officially licensed microSD cards, like this 512GB Animal Crossing-themed card to smaller sizes with everything from a star from the Super Mario Bros. franchise to The Legend of Zelda.

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