The Nintendo Switch is only days away from being released, and it’s not enough to come home with the console. The Switch, unlike the Wii or Wii U, doesn’t come with much.
There’s no pack-in game. The main Nintendo Switch bundle is just the hardware: the console, the left and right Joy-Con controllers, two wrist straps for them, one Joy-Con grip, one dock, an HDMI cable and an AC adapter. That’s it.
So the question is, aside from games, what else might a Nintendo enthusiast need for their Switch on day one? Polygon has put together a small “survival guide” to help you figure out what to spend your money on this Friday.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Let’s get the most important category out of the way: games. Depending on how you look at it, the small number of games launching alongside the Switch at launch may be beneficial. While you may not appreciate the lack of titles to play, your wallet certainly will. If you’re on a budget and looking to pick up one game, your best bet is The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
Breath of the Wild was first announced in a 2013 Nintendo Direct and originally given a 2015 launch. It was delayed twice and will launch alongside the Switch on March 3. Considering the Switch’s slim launch library, Breath of the Wild seems like the best bet. The open-world game includes an environment 12 times the size of the one in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. That probably makes the $60 price tag seem less severe.
Breath of the Wild, of course, is not a multiplayer game. The Joy-Con controllers are meant for local multiplayer. What does the Switch have to offer there?
Snipperclips - Cut it out, together!
Whether you’re trying to figure out how the Joy-Con controllers work — including the HD rumble feature — or want to experience completing tough puzzles with a friend, Snipperclips - Cut it out, together! seems like the game to do it. We’ve been pretty obsessed with its concept since first seeing it a few months ago. Snipperclips has modes for two- and four-player co-op play.
In the two-person version, players take control of either Snip (an adorable red blob) or Clip (an equally adorable yellow blob). The players are armed with a pair of scissors that allow them to cut away at their blobs’ bodies and create new shapes. The goal is to cut away until the blobs form the specific shape needed to complete the puzzle. Players can recut their blobs’ shapes at will and start from scratch if they make a mistake.
Snipperclips - Cut it out, together! will be available for $19.99 at launch.
The Switch has 32 GB of internal storage, same as the deluxe model of the Wii U. If that’s not enough space for you — for game saves, downloaded games or whatever — external memory cards are a must. The Nintendo Switch supports micro SDHC and micro SDXC cards.
There are plenty of options on the market. Here are two of the best and most cost-effective. The Samsung EVO Plus 64 GB micro SDHC is the cheaper alternative. It has speedy read and write speeds, and according to The Wirecutter, it’s one of the fastest micro SD cards on the market right now. At the time of this writing, it was on sale at Best Buy for $24.99.
If you don’t think you’ll need 64 GB, there is a 32 GB version of the Samsung EVO Plus card. It is currently on sale for $19.99. At just $5 more, it might be worth it to grab the 64 GB card.
How much memory do you need? You probably won’t know until you see games’ download sizes. It’s not launching in the West (yet) but Dragon Quest Heroes 1 & 2 is 32 GB. Here’s the latest list of launch games and their download sizes, to judge how much memory you may need at the outset.
The Switch will support SDXC cards up to 2 TB, but cards of that capacity aren’t on the market yet.
Nintendo is selling an official carrying case for the Switch. In addition to a protective sleeve, it also comes with a screen protector, which is highly encouraged if you plan to use your Switch on the go. The official Switch carrying case will comfortably hold the Switch, both Joy-Con controllers and up to five games.
The combo pack is available for $19.99 at GameStop. There are other options from third-party companies, including this one by RDS Industries, but for the same price you’re going to miss out on the screen protector. Considering you just spent $299 on the console, it seems like a bad idea to forgo protecting the screen.
All of which brings us to the last item you’ll need in your survival kit — the screen protector.
The screen protector falls into the same trap as the carrying case. Again, you’re going to want to go with Nintendo on this. The screen measures at 6.2 inches, which is along the same lines as certain tablets — but not precisely. Your best bet again is the $19.99 combo pack, which includes the screen protector. If it weren’t for the Joy-Con controllers connecting to the side, we’d suggest going for a bigger screen protector and DIY-ing the job, but you don’t want to mess around with such a new purchase.
If you haven’t pre-ordered a Switch and are interested in picking one up, be sure to check out our guide on where to go this Thursday night. Best Buy and Walmart will have the Switch in stock, so if you don’t mind lining up, you may be able to snag one. If you’re still hesitant about picking up the Nintendo Switch, be sure to check out our review of the console.