How to Connect a Nintendo Switch to Your TV

It’s game night with your friends. Everyone’s tired of the same old board games. You’re looking for a way to show your new Mario Kart skills. Thankfully, there’s a Nintendo Switch in your bag and a TV near a room full of people.

Here’s everything you need to know about connecting your Nintendo Switch to a TV.

What You’ll Need to Connect a Switch to Your TV

There are four parts to every Nintendo Switch to TV connection: the Switch, the dock, an HDMI cable, and controllers. Here is how each of them works.

1. Nintendo Switch

The main Nintendo Switch device works independently of a TV connection as a handheld gaming device. However, many Switch owners connect it to the TV when playing in large groups or simply have a preference for a larger screen.

2. Dock

The Nintendo Switch dock functions as both a charger and a connector to the HDMI cable. Since the HDMI cable is only an output channel, the Nintendo Switch dock still needs to be connected to an AC plug to work.

While Nintendo sells an official dock for Switch users, some third-party docks work similarly for a cheaper price. However, we don’t recommend this as there are many documented cases of damages that can invalidate your Switch warranty.

3. HDMI Cable

The HDMI cable is used to connect the Nintendo Switch dock to the TV. It transfers both video and sound to your TV. In place of the official Nintendo Switch cable, third-party HDMI may also work in case of emergencies. It is best to use the official Nintendo HDMI cable that comes with your device upon purchase.

4. Controllers

Switch Controller

When docked, we can operate the Nintendo Switch with the controllers, from a distance. For every Nintendo Switch, you can pair up to eight controllers at a time. Different controllers will have their limitations, but you can mix and match wired and wireless controllers.

Steps to Connect a Nintendo Switch to Your TV

If you have all the parts listed above, here are all the steps you need to complete in order to connect your Nintendo Switch to Your TV.

1. Open the back cover of your dock

Switch Dock Back

At the back of your dock, there is a hinged cover. Once you open it, there will be three ports; AC adapter, USB, and HDMI Out.

2. Plug in your AC Adapter

On the top part of the back of your dock, you will find the AC Adapter port. Connect your AC adapter to a wall socket or extension cord. Test if your socket is working before proceeding with the next steps.

3. Attach Your HDMI Cable

On the lowest part of the back of your dock, connect your HDMI cable. Then, connect the other end to an HDMI port on your TV. Most Switch docks will work with any standard HDMI cable.

4. Put Your Nintendo Switch in the Dock

Nintendo Switch Dock

Put your Switch on the charging slot by lining it up with the connector inside the dock.

5. Remove Your Nintendo Switch Controllers

If you plan to use the same controllers for your gaming, remove the Joy-Cons from the sides of the Switch while it is on the dock. When left connected, Joy-Cons will continue to charge until full.

6. Set Your TV

Set your TV to the right HDMI channel. To test if you connected to the right channel, you can check the HDMI port number on the back of the TV or scan channels when the Switch is awake.

7. Start Playing

Once you have successfully connected your Nintendo Switch to your TV, you can wake up the Switch by pressing any button on a paired controller.

How to Connect Nintendo Switch Without a Dock

If you suspect that your Switch dock has an issue or prefer not to bring a dock when traveling, there is another way to connect it to a TV. You can use an HDMI cable which is connected to a USB-C converter. With this, you can connect your TV directly to your Switch instead of having to use the dock.

Can You Connect a Switch Lite to Your TV?

The option to connect the Switch to your TV is only available for the standard Nintendo Switch model. Because of different hardware specs, you cannot connect the Switch Lite to a TV because it does not contain the compatible ports or have video out.

Related: Nintendo Switch vs. Switch Lite: Which Console Should You Buy?

Tips to Using a Nintendo Switch With Your TV

There are plenty of reasons why you should buy a Nintendo Switch. Once you bite the bullet, here are some quick tips to make the most out of your Nintendo Switch when connected to your TV.

Utilize the Nintendo USB Port for Faster Internet

Many people don’t realize what the USB port at the back of the Nintendo Switch dock is for. Because it is USB 2.0 compatible, the port behind the hinge works with several devices. For example, if you want faster internet speed, you can connect your Switch to a LAN connection with a LAN adapter.

Buy More Controllers

Switch Controller Pro

You can use Joy-Con controllers two per player, with a maximum of four players (or eight individual controllers).

Joy-Con controllers count as a pair even when used with the grip accessory. It limits USB (wired) controllers to the two Switch dock USB sockets.

Related: The Best Nintendo Switch Controllers Money Can Buy

Make Your Controller Battery Last Longer

There’s nothing more annoying than losing a multi-player game because your controller is out of battery. According to Nintendo, they’re supposed to last for up to 20 hours on a full charge. However, many of us regularly forget to charge them, especially when they’re extra controllers that are not regularly connected to our handheld Switch.

To make your battery last longer, you can opt to turn off vibrations. Go to System settings > controllers and sensors. Under Controller vibration, select Off. Aside from a slight improvement to battery life, it can also be helpful for players who find them uncomfortable.

Switch controllers use Li-ion batteries that prevent overcharging. In fact, these types of batteries stop working when left uncharged for too long.

USB-C Adapters

There is currently no way to connect wirelessly or cast a Nintendo Switch display to your TV. However, you can still connect your Switch to your TV on the go with a USB-C to HDMI adapter.

Get the Most Out of Your Switch

A red and blue Nintendo Switch

While there are tons of other consoles out there, the Nintendo Switch stands out with its extensive library, portability, and ease of use. With its capability to connect to TVs, it’s a highly versatile console that is perfect for playing on the go or with big groups of friends.

To make the most of your Switch, you can make use of the various accessories that can improve your gaming experience. From high-end controllers to LAN adapters, there are plenty of ways to make your Switch party unforgettable.

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