I’ve seen a bunch of “ten must-buy Switch accessories” articles floating around. “Must buy” being a pet peeve of mine, I wanted to put together a list of products you should actually consider.
To start off, I’ll say that Nintendo actually packs everything you really need in the box. Buy the Switch and a game and you’re set. You’ve got a set of controllers, the dock, and cables. That said…
I don’t recommend buying physical media these days. I bought Zelda on a GameCard because it’s a large download, but I don’t plan to ever buy another physical game for the system. Zelda’s card will just stay in the system and never come out. If you are going to buy your games on GameCards, you don’t need to buy an SD card right away. If you intend to download them, you’ll want an SD card because the Switch doesn’t have much onboard storage.
Here is The Wirecutter’s review of microSD cards. It likes a Samsung card but as a rule I don’t buy that company’s products. I bought a 200 GB version of the SanDisk card mentioned in the review.
How big a card should you get? I think at least 128 GB, and shoot for 256 if you can swing it. The Switch will take up to 2 TB. Over the few years I had a Wii U I wound up with something like 50 GB of downloads games and files. Expect Switch games to be bigger and for it to last longer. One note: you can delete games and download them later. Your save data is stored on the console’s onboard memory. Hopefully Nintendo will add online backups as well.
I have Nintendo’s own carrying case and I like it, but it’s not perfect for every purpose. (Also supply seems scarce.) It’s perfect if I want to carry just the console and its attached Joy-Cons with me, which is what I want most of the time. It has a flip-up stand that’s great for playing in tabletop mode, as the built-in kickstand is only suitable for very stable, level tables.
As I said, most of the time I’m taking with me only the Switch and its Joy-Cons, so this case does fine. It has a small mesh pocket, but putting even just the Joy-Con straps in the pocket makes the case bulge out. Forget about including a cable and USB plug or a second set of Joy-Cons. My general feeling is that I want the Switch to be in a case to keep it a bit protected from dings as I move it around, but in general if I’m going anywhere it’ll be inside my backpack, and I can put headphones, cables, extra controllers, etc. in that.
I haven’t tried out other cases, but I’m interested in Waterfield Designs’s offerings. I’d check them out if the Nintendo case doesn’t seem like what you need. I have their iPad sleeve and like it a lot.
I don’t use the screen protector included with the case. I’m fairly good about not scratching up my stuff but also not that precious about scratches if they happen. I could get a huge gash across the screen of course but I don’t like how screen protectors feel to the touch.
You might not need to get any extra controllers. I find the Joy-Cons to be very nice to use. That said, the Pro Controller is very, very nice, and has incredible battery life. I think I’ve charged it twice, maybe three times, in the months I’ve owned it.
You might consider getting a second set of Joy-Cons instead of a Pro Controller. A pair is only $10 more than a Pro Controller, and for games that support single Joy-Con play, like Mario Kart 8, you’ll be able to have four people playing.
I see no reason to get the Charging Grip even if you do get a second set of Joy-Cons. They rarely need charging because they get power whenever they’re plugged into the Switch.
Charger and Cables
The larger 12 W USB plugs that come with iPads will charge the Switch. The small 5 W ones that come with iPhones will not. If you don’t want to have to swap cords constantly on vacation, the four-port Anker chargers that The Wirecutter recommends it work well.
I also have one of Anker’s USB-C-to-A cords. The Switch does come with a cable but you don’t really want to be yanking that every time you travel, do you?