The Nintendo Switch just had it’s best week of sales ever, continuing to build momentum into 2020 even without any dramatic Black Friday bundles or really much change from its original MSRP of $299.99. If you’re a proud new owner, congratulations: you can now play The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and you’ll be happier for it. But fair warning: the little machine is also accessory hungry, and you can easily spend $200 more just outfitting the thing. There are controllers, custom docks, fancy cases, etc. It’s easy to get overwhelmed, so let’s establish a baseline. There are two accessories that every Switch owner should have, and the rest is gravy.
The first is a microsd card. This is such an essential part of owning a Switch that it seems even a little much to call it an accessory: it’s more like an internal component the price of which has been left out of MSRP. You can own a Switch without one, I suppose, but you’ll run out of the anemic internal memory in an instant, and that’s going to severely limit the games you can play on the thing. There are a ton of incredible games that are only available as downloads, for instance, and no microSD card means you can only carry a couple at once.
Luckily these things are not all that expensive and go on sale all the time. Sandisk makes the most popular ones out there, and you can tailor your size needs towards what you expect to play: I have a 200 GB and I download everything, it suits me well. Sandisk makes a Nintendo-branded card for a moderate upcharge that’s reportedly a little bit faster, as well.
The second is one that you might already have, because it’s useful for all sorts of non-Switch-devices. But if you’re planning to play handheld, an external battery pack will dramatically expand your ability to do that. The battery life on this thing is pretty solid for a device of this kind, but even so it’s very helpful to be able to double or triple that life with a handy little brick in your pocket.
You could also extend the life of your Switch with a battery case, but I’d recommend a pack instead: they’re more flexible and don’t interfere with the pretty little thing’s silhouette.
Again, there’s a Nintendo-branded pack offered as an upsell, but this shouldn’t be necessary. Anker makes solid battery packs in a lot of sizes, so consider your needs and what you might want to get. If you’re curious about the technical details, check out this Digital Trends piece. I use the Anker Powercore and it does me well.
The Switch is an excellent little device, but it will become dramatically more versatile with these two add-ons. If you know someone who got a Switch for Black Friday, either would make a handy stocking stuffer.