Do you always rank last place in every Mario Kart 8 race? Do you get blown to bits when you’re trying to revive someone in Fortnite? Have you lost count of how many times you’ve accidentally committed suicide by falling off a platform now that Nintendo launched DOOM on the Switch?
If this sounds familiar, then you might not be the most adept Switch player in the world — but that’s okay! Out of any of the gaming consoles, the Nintendo Switch is the most forgivable, user-friendly system. Besides, it’s only a matter of time before you iron out the kinks in your gameplay. Until then, you can take a look at this guide to see if any of the following issues are holding you back from reaching your full potential.
Take a body break
It doesn’t matter how competent you are as an assassin in Skyrim, gaming puts a strain on even the most accomplished players. All that time and energy you’ve devoted into becoming the best at what you do puts pressure on your joints — especially when you spend most of your weekends playing. With arms held out and hands gripped tightly around a small controller, the typical gaming posture isn’t kind to your body.
Whether a dabbler or binge-player, it’s a good idea to acknowledge reality from time to time and stretch. You shouldn’t wait until you start cramping to admit you’ve played too long. Like how a dry mouth signals you’re dehydrated too late, muscle spasms and fatigue are a delayed symptom of your gaming. Rather than waiting until you’re in pain, you should try following this stretching guide every 30 minutes to protect your hands and wrists against carpal tunnel or tendonitis.
You can also invest in a set of grip-enhancing Switch skins to help you keep a hold of your controllers without hurting your hands. Some designers consider function as important as style, like dbrand when they created their 100% safe Nintendo Switch skins. These skins include a texturized surface, so they give your Switch controller some grip. Not only do they take some of the strain off playing for long periods of time, they also look great. Check in with this customizing opportunity to see what your console looks like draped in vibrant jewel tones and carbon fiber Switch skins.
Back up your games
The Switch only has 32 GB in internal storage. This is the equivalent of the basic iPhone, Galaxy, and Pixel model smartphones, all of which come with a standard 32-gig device unless otherwise upgraded. Now compare this to the PS4’s 500 GB hard drive and the Xbox One X’s astounding 1 TB hard drive.
With internal storage more akin to a handset than a gaming console, the Switch needs help with data storage. You can boost its memory by adding a Micro SD card to your gaming experience. Luckily, the Switch’s games don’t eat up too much data on their own. Dragon Quest Heroes, the biggest Switch game, is 32 GB, so a 128 or 256 GB card should work. The folks at Nintendo Life created a list of the best cards for your Switch to help you make the choice.
Invest in a charging stand
As consoles go, the Switch is the only system that performs equally well as a handheld device as it does as an at-home console. Perhaps not the first but definitely the best 2-in-1 console, the Switch can do a lot of things. It can accompany you on a long commute and distract you from the smelly person sharing your bus bench seat. It can entertain friends once you split the Joy-Con between players. It can sync with the big screen and become your standard home console. But it can’t charge while you play it unassisted.
Nintendo’s biggest design flaw in the Switch is the location of its charging port. It’s at the bottom of the system, an area of the console that gets covered when you enable tabletop mode and set it in its Nintendo brand kickstand. This setup can interrupt your dedicated practice as you try to improve your abilities.
Though Nintendo might have forgotten the orientation of their Switch when they built their kickstand, numerous third-party stands didn’t. You can find an accessory like the HORI Compact Play Stand that compensates for the charging port’s location, so you can plug in without stopping the game.
At the end of the day, your playing ability hinges on time. Experience is the greatest accessory to a stellar rack record. If you’re going to invest hours and hours into gameplay, you might as well be kind to yourself. Give yourself a break and make things easier by incorporating these tips into your habits. Eventually, you’ll see your performance improve.