Even if you primarily use your Nintendo Switch as a living room console, situated in its dock and hooked up to your TV, you’ll probably want to take it on the go from time to time. That’s...kind of the portable’s whole deal. Even figures released by Nintendo show that roughly 80 percent of Switch owners use their hybrids portably either some or all of the time. (To the other 20 percent: You do know it’s also a handheld, yeah?)
Of course, bringing an expensive, fragile piece of technology into the great outdoors is a risky proposition. But choosing a perfect Switch case merits some consideration, as no two are alike. Want something with a hard shell or a soft shell? Seeking form or function? Not looking to spend more than you would on a sandwich? In the world of Nintendo Switch cases, anything is possible.
As with most Nintendo-adjacent products, your best bet is to pick up something approved or produced by Nintendo itself. Anything with the Nintendo Switch logo on the packaging will get the job done, sure, but few can match the style of that Animal Crossing: New Horizons case. Yes, this Beverly Hills Hotel-looking Switch case—which was first unveiled last March alongside an Animal Crossing Switch model that flew off shelves—is still up for grabs. Bonus: It comes with a screen protector.
Trawl Etsy, and you’ll find all manner of eye-wateringly cute Switch cases, including some stylized with pastel strawberries, Totoro (from My Neighbor Totoro) pastiche, or corgis drinking boba (aww). You could easily burn an evening thumbing through the listings without even realizing. Allow me to present an alternative: cat ears. Yes, GeekShare’s feline-inspired case not only looks but is shaped like a cat. The zipper even looks like a tail.
Look: It’s ten bucks. It’s totally nondescript. It does the trick (protecting your Switch while also offering storage space for cable and cartridges). If you’re fine with a no-frills case, no reason to splurge, right?
Buy From: Amazon
Despite its hard exterior, Hori’s hardshell case is just three ounces. It’s aesthetically pleasing to boot, available in designs inspired by various Nintendo icons, like Mario, Zelda, and Pikachu. (Hori also sells a model bundled with Mario- and Luigi-themed Joy-Con thumbcabs.) I’d say this carrying case is ideal for traveling—given that it’s impossible to predict just how turbulent a cargo hold can get—but it’s a good bet you’d want your Switch in your carry-on anyway.
Hide & Drink’s leather Switch carrying doesn’t offer as much protection as other Switch cases (it’s a bit too roomy), but it sure looks cool as hell. Done up entirely in sumptuous leather, it’s striking enough that, if you’re tapped out on playing your Switch for the time being, you could repurpose this thing as a dopp kit. Just ignore that the manufacturer sounds like a trendy cocktail bar from 2013.
Buy From: Amazon
WaterField’s CitySlicker case is essentially a bespoke messenger bag—from its distressed leather to its fold-over silhouette—except designed for a Switch, not a 13-inch MacBook and a couple of scribbled-to-death legal pads. For an additional cost, you can tack on extra features: a carabiner, a leather strap, game-card slots for 10 or 20 games. Or, if you’re feeling extra fancy, you can spring for the company’s upmarket “Switchpack,” which has room for a Switch Pro Controller, too. Kotaku EIC Patricia Hernandez has had this case for years, and it’s held up extremely well.
Buy From: WaterField