1) MY SWITCH WON'T TURN ON, HOW DO I HARD RESET?
Some users have found their console won't turn on. Besides the obvious flat battery, which we're sure you've already thought of, your next option is hard reset. Here's what Nintendo says:
"There is a chance that the console has frozen with a black screen. Look at the console in a darkened room and see if any light is coming from the screen. If so, the console has frozen. Hold the POWER Button for 12 seconds or more to turn the console off.
Then,press the POWER Button again
That last bit is important. You can't just hold down the button to reset the console, you have to then press the button again to turn it on.
If you have this problem and this solution didn't help, please let us know in the comments.
2) JOY-CON L DOESN’T WORK PROPERLY
This has unfortunately been a pretty common problem among early units, and a particular issue for us.
While playing Zelda: Breath of the Wild with the Switch in its Dock and the Joy-Con either in the Grip or held in each hand, at times players can lose control of Link on the left analogue stick, housed in the left Joy-Con. Link will continue wandering in a direction for a few seconds before the player regains control, which can significantly hamper the gameplay experience.
After testing, it seems that when the line of sight between console and Joy-Con is impeded, the console has huge problems reading the input of Joy-Con L. I’ve tested this myself in the console’s analogue stick calibration options and it’s clear that even by simply placing my hand over the controller the Switch has real trouble tracking the analogue stick input.
We contacted Nintendo, and the response was “we are now investigating, and we cannot make any further comments now.” So hopefully a fix is on its way, but we don’t know when.
Until Nintendo comes up with a solution, keeping a clear line of sight between Switch and Joy-Con helps alleviate the issue significantly.
Also don’t let your fingers rest atop the Joy-Con while playing, as this can sometimes affect the signal.
Not ideal, but right now it's the best way to avoid the frustration.
In our experience, the problem doesn’t occur in handheld, tabletop mode or while using the Pro Controller .
3) MY BATTERY PACK WON’T CHARGE THE SWITCH
The Nintendo Switch supports USB-C, meaning you can theoretically charge the device using any portable battery pack. However, the Switch includes a substantial battery to power it, and therefore you’ll need a pretty powerful battery pack to charge it quickly enough.
A standard battery pack's voltage output may be too low to charge the device. Also, the Switch seems to require a USB-C to USB-C charger in order to get its power fast enough. In our review battery testing, for instance, an Anker PowerCore 20100 was only able to charge the device 3% in 15 minutes, despite having a powerful enough output to match the Switch AC Adapter's 5V/3A charge. It’s important to pay attention to a battery pack’s potential output as well as how much charge it can hold.
We'll be testing the USB-C to USB-C version of that portable battery charger soon to see how that impacts charging performance.
4) MY GAME CARTRIDGE DOESN’T WORK
It’s possible that, when you place a cartridge in the Switch, the console won’t acknowledge that there's a game inserted. Try removing and then re-inserting the cartridge into the console and seeing if the game works then.
If the cartridge still doesn’t work, try inserting another game (if you have one) to see if it's a hardware or software issue. If this isn’t possible, the best bet is to return the game and try another cartridge before being able to assess whether it's the Switch or game that's at fault.
5) CAN I USE MY WIRELESS HEADPHONES?
Nope, sorry. The Nintendo Switch doesn’t support wireless headphones. Although the device has Bluetooth, this is reserved for the Joy-Con and Pro Controller. To use headphones they must be plugged directly into the Switch.
This is less than ideal when gaming on the go or even at home on the TV and you want to keep the volume down. If you’ve got a pair of wireless headphones which lack a headphone jack, you may want to invest in another, cheaper pair to play the Switch on your travels.
Alternatively, there are Bluetooth adapters that will plug into the headphone jack so you can connect to wireless headphones. We're getting one in to test first to make sure it works, however, so watch this space.
6) DOES THE SWITCH SUPPORT BACKWARDS COMPATIBILITY?
Again, you’re out of luck. Because of the Switch offering proprietary software storage in the form of game cartridges, you won’t be able to play your Wii U, GameCube or any other previously released Nintendo console games with this device. You could, however, buy them again via the Switch Virtual Console, but then we have another problem…
Where’s the Virtual Console?
So, the Virtual Console – one of the major selling points behind any Nintendo system – won't be ready in time for the Switch launch.
Nintendo is keeping its cards close to its chest about when the VC will be coming to the Switch, stating that an announcement will be made in the future. Unfortunately this is a “wait and see”.
7) I’VE RUN OUT OF STORAGE – WHAT DO I DO?
Good news! It’s very easy (and relatively cheap) to expand the storage of the Nintendo Switch. Nintendo has been pretty poor with its offering of only 32GB of internal storage on the Switch, 6GB of which will be taken up by the operating system, meaning it won’t be long before you’ll need to expand.
Thankfully, the console supports microSD cards, which aren’t too expensive at retail outlets. Simply stick your microSD card in the slot found underneath the kickstand.
8) MY KICKSTAND BROKE OFF – WHAT NOW?
Did you shove your console in the dock without closing the kickstand? You silly billy, don’t worry, Nintendo has thought about this and built it into the design of the Switch. The reason why the kickstand is made from a cheaper and flimsier piece of plastic than the rest of the device is because of this very situation. Nintendo expects players to snap the stand off.
Simply stick it back in and it should clip back in place. Nintendo does, however, warn against continuous wear and tear, so try to learn from your mistake.
9) MY TV KEEPS CHANGING CHANNEL WHEN THE SWITCH IS DOCKED
This is a problem a few people have run into, and unfortunately once again there doesn’t seem to be a definitive solution outside of a patch from Nintendo.
It appears that when the Switch is placed into the dock, it sends a signal to the TV, which means the TV then changes to whichever input the console is outputting to. This is frustrating if you only want to stick the thing on charge and not continue playing.
Also, randomly, my TV (a Samsung KS7000) has switched over from Freeview to the Switch’s HDMI, as if at times the console will decide to send a signal to my telly to let it know it’s still around.
There have been a couple of potential solutions, and whether they work or not depends on a few different things.
One solution is turning off your TV’s HDMI-CEC, which automatically switches the channel based on when you turn on devices like game consoles. I did this, and it proved only a temporary fix.
Instead, I’ve simply had to grin and bare it by either simply docking the console when the adverts are on and flicking back to what I was watching, or charging the Switch undocked by plugging the AC adapter directly into the bottom of the machine. This is one that feels like it needs a firmware update from Nintendo.
10) MY JOY-CON GRIP ISN’T CHARGING THE CONTROLLERS
That’s because the Grip that comes with the console doesn’t charge the controllers. Yup, that’s right, to charge the Joy-Con they need to be attached to the Switch itself. The Joy-Con include a battery life of around 20 hours, but when they run out of juice, they must be attached to the Switch.
You can, alternatively, buy a Joy-Con Charging Grip which allows you to play and charge the controllers at the same time. But, as noted in our review, for £30 it’s an incredibly pricey accessory considering its tacky build and limited functionality. You’re better off saving your money and just playing in handheld mode for a while to get you through the evening before charging the Joy-Con overnight.
11) MY GAME CARTRIDGE TASTES FUNNY, WHAT'S UP WITH THAT?
Nintendo coats the cartridges with a substance that makes them taste unpleasant to discourage children from putting them in their mouths. So, you know, find something else to chew on...