The Switch is a great console, and a lot of people are getting into it for the first time right now. But to get the most out of the Switch and its games, whether you play in docked mode, portable mode, or both, you’re going to want a few extras. And video game accessories are often pretty pricey.
Enter our latest Shopping Challenge. In keeping with the Switch’s relatively low price (especially if you go for the Switch Lite), we wanted to see how much improvement you could get in terms of hardware and accessories for just $100. The selections below are the best we could find within that budget.
Note that prices on accessories are more fluid than some other electronics. If you can’t find the exact model we’ve selected when you’re looking, search around—odds are you can find a substitute at or near the price, keeping your own budget low.
Save Your Fingers With a Wireless Controller
The Joy-Cons that come with the Switch are fine for portable play, and breaking out the “controller” adapter is okay for a while. But if you’re going to bite into a long game while docked with your TV, you want a conventional, full-sized controller. The $70 Pro controller from Nintendo doesn’t fit in this budget, but PowerA’s copy of the design is more than acceptable.
It includes all of the Switch’s buttons with some surprisingly good ergonomics, plus two extra programmable buttons on the back. There are at least a dozen different versions of this controller based on characters from Nintendo and others, but you can generally find at least one under $40. Be aware that at this price, it’s missing rumble and NFC features. It’s also not rechargable—it takes a pair of AA batteries.
PowerA Enhanced Wireless Controller for Nintendo Switch Black
This wireless controller is a great budget alternative to the Switch Pro controller.
Save Some Space With a Better Dock
Nintendo’s official Switch Dock is unnecessarily bulky, and getting a second one will cost you ninety bucks. Third-party options, including this tiny hockey puck-shaped one from J&Top, include all the same functionality for a fraction of the price. This phone stand-style construction makes it easy to pop the Switch in and out, and is also much easier to throw in a backpack for a co-op party. Note: This dock is designed for the original Switch—it will charge the Switch Lite, but won’t work for video.
J&TOP Portable Charge TV Dock for Nintendo Switch,Replacement Dock with Electronic Chip for Nintendo Switch
This third-party alternative to the Nintendo Switch dock is only a fraction of the price, and it's easier to travel with, too.
Save Your Screen With a Glass Screen Protector
The Switch has many fine design points, but its vulnerable plastic screen is not one of them. That goes double if you’re buying a Switch for your kids or you plan to travel with it frequently. These tempered glass screen protectors—for either the original Switch or Switch Lite—will keep that screen crystal-clear. Keep the extras around if the originals should crack, but to be honest, I’ve had my Switch for almost three years now and haven’t needed to swap it out once.
amFilm Tempered Glass Screen Protector for Nintendo Switch 2017 (2-Pack)
This glass screen protector will keep the Switch's vulnerable plastic screen pristine.
Save Your Wrists With a Comfy Grip
The Switch is designed for portability, but that doesn’t necessarily make it comfortable. If you’re in the habit of draining the battery to the dregs in portable mode, you might want to grab one of these TPU cases that can slip over both the tablet and the Joy-Con controllers. Giving a little extra heft and squishiness to the design can make it a lot easier to play, especially for intense multiplayer games. Different versions are available for the Switch and Switch Lite.
TNP Nintendo Switch Case Cover for Console & Joy-Con Controller - Travel Friendly TPU Plastic Shell Protector, Anti-Scratch Shockproof Protective Nintendo Switch Accessories (Black)
These TPU cases can make long play sessions on your Switch much more comfortable.
Save Your Switch With a Travel Case
There are elaborate padded cases that can protect your Switch and every possible accessory at once. But if you’re on a budget, you’re probably just going to toss it into a backpack or a suitcase. This slim, form-fitting case can protect the Switch’s most vulnerable bits, while letting more durable controllers and docks tumble free in your luggage of choice. Once again, be sure to choose the correct case for either the original Switch or Switch Lite.
tomtoc Carry Case for Nintendo Switch, Ultra Slim Hard Shell with 10 Game Cartridges, Protective Carrying Case for Travel, Portable Pouch with Original Patent and Military Level Protection, Gray
This form-fitting Switch case is great for throwing on your other luggage.
If you have any of the above accessories already, you might consider swapping out some alternates that will still keep you within budget. The Switch doesn’t work with Bluetooth headphones for some reason, so this adapter from Bionik is a great addition if you have a pair you already like.
The Switch is also something of a battery hog, so an external USB battery can top you off. You might also want a second power adapter or HDMI cable, just so you don’t have to fish behind your TV for every trip. Lastly, if you’re ready to start getting crazy-custom, you can look into replacing the entire shell for a fun stylistic shift.