As we’ve never seen anything like it before, every gamer was expecting some Nintendo Switch problems to surface at launch. The console is all video game lovers can talk about.
The arrival of Nintendo Switch isn’t just exciting because it’s something new in gaming. There’s much more going on than that. The system was born out of Nintendo’s desire to do right by the concepts of the Nintendo Wii U, while pivoting to its strength in the mobile gaming console realm. The Nintendo Switch is both a living room console and a handheld console.
Nintendo Switch games are in single digits, but surface those expected Nintendo Switch problems have. Members of the video game press have had the console in their hands for roughly two weeks. In that time, they’ve managed to uncover a few niggling hardware issues. One problem will have users wishing they’d purchased Nintendo Switch screen protectors. There’s also what’s fairly described as the Nintendo Switch problems we expected.
Here are the Nintendo Switch problems we’re tracking now. When possible, we’ve included fixes for the issues sourced directly from the community or Nintendo’s own support channels. We’ll continue to update this breakdown going forward.
Nintendo Switch Problems
- Left Joy-Con Signal Loss
- Can’t Add USB Storage
- Nintendo Switch 2.0 Software
- Missing Nintendo Switch Voice-Chat
- Joy-Con Grip Won’t Charge Joy-Cons
- No Apps for Nintendo Switch
- Colored Screens when Waking Nintendo Switch
- Can’t Transfer Nintendo Switch Saves
- Unlocking Online By Adding a Nintendo Account
- Nintendo Switch Can Scratch Easily
- Dead Nintendo Switch Pixels
- Nintendo Switch Wi-Fi Issues
Nintendo Switch Problems: Left Joy-Con Signal Loss (Updated)
One of the issues uncovered by early reviewers is slightly troubling. The Nintendo Switch comes with two Joy-Cons, one made to fit onto its left side and another made to fit onto its right side. It’s the left that’s reportedly giving users issues.
Almost every reviewer has complained of the left Joy-Con periodically losing a signal when attached to the Joy-Con Grip that Nintendo includes with the hardware. Why this is happening is unclear, but the controller will reconnect after a few seconds. This doesn’t happen when connected directly to the Nintendo Switch. You’ll need to manually sync it back to the console from the settings.
Update: An enterprising YouTube video creator has posted a way to fix the left Joy-Con’s reception issues. The bad news is that his fix involves having to make modifications inside the controller, meaning Nintendo may be forced to issue a recall.
Nintendo Switch Problems: Can’t Add Storage Using USB 3.0 Port on Dock
The Nintendo Switch’s television dock includes a single USB 3.0 port, but don’t assume you’ll be using it to add storage to the console like you can with the Xbox One and Sony’s PS4. The console’s software doesn’t support external storage through USB. If you want to add more storage, you’ll need to pick up a MicroSD card. A slot for adding MicroSD storage is located underneath the kickstand.
Nintendo Switch Problems: Nintendo Switch 2.0 Software Update
When you get your Nintendo Switch, it won’t be in working order. Games will play fine, but the console’s social systems and eShop won’t be there. You’ll need to download the Nintendo Switch software update that’s making the rounds right now.
Do not tether your Nintendo Switch to your Android powered smartphone or iPhone to download this software update. Instead, use your home internet connection. You don’t want to go gobbling up a month’s allotment of data by accident.
Nintendo Switch Problems: Missing Voice-Chat & Lobbies
It’s very clear that Nintendo had to make some big compromises to meet its deadline for the Nintendo Switch release. At least, it’s hard not to look at the console’s multiplayer functionality and not come away with that impression.
Free multiplayer goes live in March, but the wider service that’ll add things that gamers have become accustomed to on Xbox One and PS4, things like voice-chat and lobbies, won’t be live until later this year. There’ll be a Nintendo Switch companion app for smartphones that assists with some of the online experience too. When this service does arrive, Nintendo will begin charging for all online multiplayer, the company says. Discounts for digital games downloaded through the eShop will also be included in the subscription.
Nintendo Switch Problems: Joy-Con Grip Won’t Charge Joy-Cons
This is more of a misunderstanding than a problem with the system. Nintendo includes a Joy-Con Grip with every system. Lots of marketing materials show the Joy-Con Grip charging the Joy-Cons too. Problem is that the Grip featured in those materials isn’t the same as the one included in the box at no addition charge.
Unless you’ve purchased the Joy-Con Grip that includes charging, you’ll need to dock your Joy-Cons to the side of your Nintendo Switch when they need charging.
Nintendo Switch Problems: No Apps for Nintendo Switch (Update)
Missing Nintendo Switch apps is another misunderstanding. Nintendo has said publicly that it aimed to first create a great video game console. That’s why the software on the Nintendo Switch is so laser-focused on that task.
Update: Nintendo’s Reggie Fils-Aime says that the console doesn’t have Netflix and Hulu because they were not “differentiators”. According to him, they will make an appearance sometime in the future.
Nintendo Switch Problems: Orange, Black and Blue Screens When Waking
Members of the Nintendo Switch community on Reddit report getting orange, black or blue screens when trying to wake their Nintendo Switch consoles from sleep. Why this is happening remains unclear. Holding down the console’s power button and waiting for the display to turn black solves the issue.
Nintendo Switch Problems: No Way to Transfer Saves
It’s not your imagination, the Nintendo Switch doesn’t allow you to move games or game saves to external storage. Right now, that means that if you damage your system, you will need to start your games all over. “At this time, it is not possible to transfer save data from one Nintendo Switch system to another,” Nintendo told Polygon.
Nintendo Switch Problems: Missing Online Functionality & Nintendo Accounts
To get the most of your Nintendo Switch, you’ll need what’s called a Nintendo Account. This account can be linked to the local account you may have already created for your console.
After pressing the Home button, head to the Systems Settings area. Then select Users. Select the profile you’d like to link and choose Link Nintendo Account.
Regardless of the reason, the Nintendo Switch does not have apps available for download. That means you can’t watch Netflix or Hulu Plus. There’s a web app that allows you to connect to Wi-Fi hotspots, but that’s all. Currently, there aren’t any publicly announced plans to add apps to the Nintendo Switch.
Nintendo Switch Problems: Scratches & Skins
This isn’t good news for anyone that plans on using the Nintendo Switch dock often. According to website Glixel, the Nintendo Switch’s touchscreen display can get scratched easily when removing it from the dock. To prevent this, it’s a very good idea to invest in Nintendo Switch screen protectors.
Additionally, Dbrand was forced to cancel all of its Nintendo Switch skins after it realized that the console’s finish doesn’t hold up well to glue. You’ll want to stick with Nintendo Switch cases and covers and avoid skins. Skinit maintains that its products use an adhesive that doesn’t harm the console’s finish.
Nintendo Switch Problems: Dead Pixels on the Screen
A number of Nintendo Switch users are reporting that their console came with dead pixels. Dead pixels are tiny areas on the display that won’t change colors. We don’t know the scope of the issue right now. The problem is big enough that Nintendo has added an area for it to its FAQ section at Nintendo.co.uk.
“Small numbers of stuck or dead pixels are a characteristic of LCD screens. These are normal and should not be considered a defect,” the entry reads. If you have this issue, try returning your Nintendo Switch for another.
Nintendo Switch Problems: Bad Wi-Fi
Some users are reporting that their Nintendo Switch consoles can’t maintain a solid Wi-Fi connection, even when they are very close to the source of the Wi-Fi. Nintendo hasn’t posted any guidance on this issue, but it’s a good idea to return your console if it’s having this problem. It seems unlikely that a software update would be able to fix this issue.
The Nintendo Switch is now available for purchase for $299.99. That price doesn’t include a game, but does include a Joy-Con Grip, Dock, 2 Joy-Cons, wrist straps, an HDMI cable and a USB Type-C power cable.