So you’ve gotten yourself a fancy house in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. You’ve told Tom Nook to shove it and you’re grinding your way to having all the cool clothes and home decor you could possibly want. But here’s the problem: it’s hard to play the Switch all day for a number of reasons, including debilitating hand cramps, running out of power, and maintaining any semblance of dignity.
Let's start with the first problem: comfort. The Switch is probably very comfortable for children, but if you have adult-sized hands, it can become a problem. Luckily, there are some solutions:
The best Switch controllers
I never play with my Switch docked, but I’m sure at least some of you do. For long sessions, it probably is better to play while sitting on the couch, rather than laying on your bed propped up by a pillow in various positions (though that’s certainly what I’m doing.) The little gadget that Nintendo includes (the thing that you click your Joy-Cons into) is fine, but a full-sized controller is going to be a lot easier on your hands.
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To begin, there’s Nintendo’s first party Pro Controller. It’s a really good controller, and the see-through design accents are a pleasure to look at, but it’s pretty pricey at $69.99. Luckily there are a few more affordable controllers on the market.
Enter the PowerA Enhanced controller. It's basically a third-party clone of the Pro Controller, but is that such a bad thing? Here's the thing: at $49.99 I would say you should save up for Nintendo's controller because these lack rumble, but some models of the PowerA controller are discounted to $39.99, which is a good deal if you're hell bent on using a more traditional controller.
Finally we have the Hori Split Pad Pro controller. This chunky fellow is a Joy-Ccon replacement that gives you plenty of substance to grab onto. It also includes customizable buttons, is officially licensed by Nintendo, and will make your Switch look hilarious while docked. Note that for whatever reason Hori didn't include rumble in the Split Pad Pro.
The best Switch grips
If you have a Switch Lite, or if you’re like me and you refuse to play your OG Switch on a TV, you can give your hands a break by using a grip. Yes, it increases the bulk of your adorable little handheld, but clutching the Switch’s thin little love handles with your grown-up-sized mitts is a recipe for hand cramps, pure and simple. Here are some of your options:
The Meqi Grip Case is, by all accounts, a classic grip case: you put your Switch into it and there are two meaty handles off to the side that improve your grip. However, this particular grip also includes a number of slots for you to stash your games in.
This is just a big dumb grip for your Switch. One neat thing about the Satisfye grip for the Switch is that it has asymmetric handles. I have no idea whether that’s a good or bad thing, but here’s what Amazon user Rebecca said about it:
"If you are like me and use your switch as a handheld console, this is the perfect accessory. I needed something to prevent wrist pain for smaller hands trying to have full access to the controls for BOTW without using a pro controller. The asymmetrical handles seem strange but feel perfect in the hand. This lets me game for hours at a time without noticing that I'm on a handheld console. It does make the switch rather large to carry so I typically remove the case for transport (I don't spend hours gaming away from home). Easily removed and hasn't left a mark on my console or joycons, although my joycons aren't the standard soft finish like the original joycons. Ergonomic doesn't even begin to explain how perfect this feels in the hand."
The best Switch battery packs
As great as the Switch is, it’s not known for its battery life, so if you’re going on a mad Animal Crossing binge (handheld,) you’ll either need to be tethered to the wall (lame) or use some kind of battery to boost your juice. This can be a little tricky, though, because the Switch requires something called USB Power Delivery, or USB PD. You can read more about what USB PD is here, but as long as your charger or battery uses this power delivery standard, you’re good to.
I’ll be honest, battery cases sketch me out. They just look so weird, and often I wonder about the quality of the charging circuitry. That’s why I’m recommending this ZeroLemon monstrosity: it may not look that nice, but ZeroLemon is a real company that has been making battery packs for several years.
Similarly, I picked a battery from RavPower because it's a reputable brand but doesn’t ask for an arm and a leg like Mophie does. The economy’s in freefall, remember? Plus, this RavPower battery has a really attractive look, and at 15,000 mAh it will keep your Switch topped up, but isn’t a gigantic brick. Plus you can use it to charge your phone, so two for one, right?
Bonus: a chair to relax in
Okay, maybe you already have all the sitting or laying furniture you need in your home (which you are now confined to.) But if this quarantine has made me realize anything, it’s that I need to reconsider my stance on bean bag chairs. I’m just going to say it: bean bag chairs aren’t just for stoner college students anymore. If I’m going to drown my sorrows in a multi-hour marathon of fishing, building, and tweaking in Animal Crossing, I want to be fully swaddled in beans.