Play chess on Switch and mobile

If you’re trying to figure out how to play chess on Switch and mobile, we’ve made a list of all the best games to help you get to grips with the Queen’s gambit.

Beth Harmon from The Queen's Gambit waiting for you to play chess with her, as a hand in the foreground holds a phone with on of the best mobile chess games on the screen

Here at Pocket Tactics, we spend a lot of time talking about exciting new games, but sometimes, you can’t beat a classic. I don’t mean classic as in something from the late nineties either, I’m talking real classics here, the stuff that kings and queens would have played in their day. Of course, we’re talking about taking time out of your busy life to play chess, one of the oldest and still somehow most popular games in the world, with thousands playing every day to try and rise to the rank of grandmaster.

So, if you want to join in the fun and checkmate a friend, we’ve put together this guide on how to play chess on mobile and Switch. We’ve also got guides on how to play Minesweeper, how to play Solitaire, and how to play Pac-Man on Switch and mobile. Or, for more table games on the go, be sure to check out our picks for the best pool games, ping pong games, and poker games to see where your skills lie.

Here are the best games that let you play chess on mobile and Switch.

Play chess - Family Chess on Nintendo Switch, showing two hands playing the game on the Switch

Family Chess

With touch controls, a host of animated characters to bring the board to life, and plenty of difficulty options to make things accessible for everyone, Family Chess is the primo Switch chess title for those who aren’t looking to take things too seriously with online competition. Perfect for the family who can never seem to find their chess board, Family Chess is the ideal candidate for a game to keep the kids quiet in the back of the car or can’t stand another game of Uno.

Play chess on mobile - an illustration of a phone with a chess board on the screen, and multiple pawns around it


With over 50k tutorials, puzzles, and mini-lessons, the app is the best way for new players to learn the game without spending a penny. It also just happens to be a social hub full of some of the world’s best chess players, and you can even pick up tips from tutors who use the app to teach the grandmasters of tomorrow. Of course, there are also online casual and competitive modes, so you can take it easy while you learn, or apply your hours of practice to the heat of tournament play.

Key art for Chess Minimal with a blue and white chess board

Chess Minimal

Chess Minimal might live up to its name in visual design, but there’s much more under the hood than you might think at first glance. With a selection between 5-minute blitz, 15-minute rapid, and 30-minute regular games, you can test your skills in your preferred arena against fellow players and watch your ELO rating skyrocket in real-time. This chess sim also features touch support and local multiplayer, so even if you do still need a little training with friends before heading online, the option is there.

Play chess - Promo screenshot of Magnus Training app with several screenshot of different menus

Magnus Trainer

Is there any better way to master a game than under the watchful eye of the best in the world? If there is, no one had better tell the developers of Magnus Trainer, a zen-like chess title with official support from Magnus Carlsen, the Norwegian grandmaster himself. Not only is this title one of the most effective when it comes to honing your skills as a chess player, it’s also the prettiest on this list by a country mile, with a serious Monument Valley vibe across almost all of the tutorial levels.

Play chess - Key art from Chess Clash of Kings with a flaming knight piece

Chess Clash of Kings

There are few chess sims on Switch as comprehensive as Chess Clash of Kings, with ten unlockable levels of difficulty, a selection of fantasy RPG-influenced pieces, and over 400 puzzles that are designed to improve your checkmating skills. It’s also worth mentioning that Chess Clash of Kings has an undo button, yes, an undo button! So if you regret the placement of your bishop, you can try your turn again with a simple click.

There you have it, our picks for the titles you should head to when you’re wondering how to play chess on Switch and mobile. To clear some space for more chess apps on your phone, check out our guides on how to delete apps on iPhone and how to delete contacts on iPhone.