What’s the best Nintendo Switch console for you? This guide will recommend the best console for your budget and needs, based on hours of gameplay experience and hands-on testing.
The three current Nintendo Switch models – the Nintendo Switch, Switch Lite, and Switch OLED – all share similar (but not identical) designs, games, and software. What’s different is the price, size, controls, and screen. The most recent Switch OLED is the most expensive, with a 7-inch display and 65GB internal storage for games, while the Switch Lite is the cheapest, but limited to handheld games rather than TV docking. Whichever you ultimately choose, the Switch is still going strong with an ever-expanding library of new Switch games, and all three are among the best portable gaming consoles. It’s hard to make a bad choice!
Why you can trust our advice ✔ At Pocket Tactics, our experts spend days testing games, phones, tech, and services. We always share honest opinions to help you buy the best. Find out how we test.
How to choose the best Nintendo Switch
While the standard Nintendo Switch is going to be the right choice for the largest number of players, the Switch OLED and Lite each have some unique benefits. These are the things to think about when you’re shopping for a new Switch:
- Play modes: The Nintendo Switch Lite only supports a handheld gaming mode. The Original and OLED offer Tabletop and TV modes, so you can play without having to hold them and plug them into a TV. They both come with a Nintendo Switch dock and HDMI cable.
- Size: If you enjoy handheld gameplay, the dimensions of the Switch might be important. As the Switch Lite is the smallest, it’s best for young players and those with small hands. While all three models are 0.55 inches deep, both the OLED and original Switch are longer and higher. They’re best suited to docked gameplay or larger hands.
- Price: Do you have a tight budget? If so, the Switch Lite is the cheapest, followed by the Original and then the OLED.
- Battery: If you want to play predominantly while you’re traveling, battery life might be an important consideration. The Nintendo Switch Lite has a lower life of 3-7 hours, while both the Original and OLED give you around 4.5 – 9 hours. Of course, how much juice you actually get will vary between games.
- Design: Do you want to show off your unique personality with a bold and bright Nintendo Switch? Maybe you’d rather have a sleek white version. The Switch Lite comes in a wider range of fun hues, including turquoise, yellow, and coral.
Read our how we test page to find out more about how we put these lists together. If you still have any questions, check out the FAQs below:
Which is the best version of the Nintendo Switch?
While the Lite and OLED both have some unique benefits, we still think that the standard version remains a decent middle-of-the-road option that’ll be the best choice for most people – especially anyone who wants to play a lot on their TV screen.
However, if you plan on using handheld mode more often and money is no option, get the OLED.
On the other hand, if you’re looking to save some money and don’t mind being limited to handheld only, the Lite is the best choice for you.
Is the Nintendo Switch or OLED better?
In terms of pure specs, the OLED is better, though not by much. On the inside, the two consoles are pretty much the same, but the OLED has a much better screen. The screen doesn’t make any difference for those who play exclusively on the TV, but if you’re a handheld player, you’ll see a huge step up in picture quality on the OLED.
Is Nintendo Switch worth it in 2024?
In our opinion yes, the Nintendo Switch is still worth it in 2024. Even if a new Nintendo console is on the horizon, there’s still an enormous library of games to play on the Switch. Knowing Nintendo, when the next console comes out, the Switch will still be the only way to play a lot of its most enjoyable exclusives, so it’s worth having if you’re a gaming fan – especially since its library is so big.
We hope that helps you decide which of these will be the right Switch for you. Soon you’ll be sitting down to enjoy all the best Switch games. Check out our best Nintendo Switch accessories guide for a selection of essential extras to get the most out of your Switch console. If you’re shopping for a young person, read our guide on the best Switch games for kids, which will give you some idea of what they might like to play.