WITH great deals on new consoles, many people will be picking up a Nintendo Switch for the holiday season.
This year has been a strong year for Nintendo with a huge number of amazing games coming out for the platform.
If you’re not sure what you need to set up your new console, don’t worry because we’ve got you covered.
Here’s the best tips and tricks for setting up your Nintendo Switch to enjoy over the holidays.
Nintendo Switch: How to connect it to your TV
The Nintendo Switch is a hybrid console, meaning that you can use it both on your TV and on the go.
If you have a Switch Lite, please note that it cannot be connected to your TV and is a handheld-only console.
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For those who have the original Switch or Switch OLED, you don’t actually connect the console to the TV.
You should find a dock inside the box alongside a power cable which goes in the wall, and an HDMI cable which goes in the TV.
Plug these in and your Switch is ready to connect to the TV. Simply put the Switch in the top slot on the dock and you’re ready to go.
You can remove the joycon controllers from the sides of the console while it’s docked. You don’t need a second set in order to play.
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For a more comfortable experience while playing on your TV, you can plug the joycon controllers into the included joycon grip.
Nintendo Switch: How download and store games
Firstly, the Nintendo Switch comes with limited internal storage, but you can expand this by purchasing a microSD card.
This is essential if you mostly play digital games, and we would recommend getting a minimum of a 128GB card.
To install it, all you need to do is flip open the microSD panel on the bottom of the console, and pop it in.
Next, you’ll need a Nintendo account. Unlike Xbox or PlayStation, you will need to set this up on your computer as you can’t do it through the console.
After this is done, turn on your Switch for the first time, and you'll be asked to create a profile.
You can then link your account to your profile by connecting to the internet; click on the picture in the top left, go to ‘Profile’ and then ‘Link Nintendo Account’.
You can have up to eight accounts on one Switch, which can be used for different members of the family.
You can then buy games from the Nintendo eShop and download them onto your console from your library ready to play.
Nintendo Switch Online is not needed to do this. You only require this in order to play online games.
Accounts from different regions can also be linked to the same console, meaning you can play games that are exclusive to different countries, or that come out in certain regions first.
Games without global release times often release in New Zealand before other countries, getting to play games almost a day earlier than the West Coast of the US.
However, it can be a little awkward to top-up these accounts, as you will need a prepaid Nintendo card from that country in order to buy games.
Nintendo Switch: How play online with friends
Many Nintendo Games, such as Splatoon 3, Pokémon Scarlet & Violet, and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, come with exclusive online features that require a subscription.
There are two tiers of subscription, and only the basic one is needed to play online with friends.
You can sign up for a seven-day trial of Nintendo Switch Online directly through your console.
It automatically signs you up for monthly renewal, but you can turn this off on the same page where you sign up.
It is much cheaper to purchase a yearly subscription online, than it is to do this monthly renewal, if you think you will use it throughout the year.
The basic Nintendo Switch Online subscription also lets you play a catalogue of classic NES and Super Nintendo games.
The more expensive Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack also gives you access to Nintendo 64 and Sega Mega Drive games, as well as extra courses for Mario Kart.
However, if you just want to play online the Expansion Pack is not required.
Nintendo Switch: How to extend your battery life
One of the main issues with the Nintendo Switch is that the battery doesn’t last long in handheld mode.
There are a few easy ways which you can extend this if you are going to be away from a charging port for a long time.
The first is to change your Switch to ‘Flight Mode’ which can be done by holding down the Home Button.
Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are one of the biggest drains on a console's battery life and this can extend playtime by hours.
However, you will not be able to download games or play with friends online while in Flight Mode.
Secondly, you can turn down the screen’s brightness from the same menu. This is the second largest drain on battery, so turn it down as low as possible while the game is still visible.
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Finally, turn vibration off whenever possible in the in-game menus to further extend your playtime.
Written by Georgina Young on behalf of GLHF.
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