The Nintendo Switch is one of the few game consoles that you can actually find right now. While Nintendo’s hybrid handheld isn’t as powerful as a PS5 or Xbox Series X, we can actually help you find where to buy Nintendo Switch, which is more than what can be said about consoles from Sony or Microsoft.

As such, if you are looking for Christmas gifts, a Nintendo Switch is a good choice, not least because of its excellent library of games and easy portability.

However, if you buy a Switch for yourself or a loved one, you’ll quickly find that there’s not much in the box. For $ 300, you get the Switch, two Joy-Con controllers, and not much else. (Some packs include Mario Kart 8, which is a good board game, but might not hold your attention that long otherwise.)

In other words, if all you’re buying is the Switch itself, you’ll end up with nothing to play with, no way to transport the device, and a disappointing set of controllers.

During Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday, my coworkers and I discovered a variety of Nintendo Switch deals and started chatting with each other about must-have Switch accessories and which ones were just nice to have. If you’re buying a Nintendo Switch this holiday and want to get the most out of it, here are the three things you should buy with your new console.

Nintendo Switch Pro Controller

Nintendo Switch Pro Controller

(Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

Having to spend $ 70 on a Nintendo Switch Pro controller as soon as you buy the console is admittedly a kick in the pants. Nintendo should have made its Joy-Cons more comfortable, or at least given potential buyers the option of choosing a regular controller rather than two tiny detachable ones. But the point is, Joy-Cons aren’t great peripherals and the Nintendo Switch Pro controller is. This is especially true for the hands of adolescents and adults.

If you’ve never played with them before, Joy-Cons are weird beasts. Rather than a traditional controller, the Switch comes with two small detachable ones that live on either side of the console’s center shelf. These are great when playing in portable mode. But when you hook up your Switch to a TV docking station, you either have to hold the Joy-Cons in your hands like motion controllers or squeeze them into a cheap controller holder. The mount places the analog sticks at odd angles to each other. It also puts a ton of distance between some buttons, while squeezing others too close to each other.

The Switch Pro Controller mimics a more traditional Xbox-style peripheral, with large handles, comfortable shoulder buttons, and a real D-pad. It’s bigger and easier to handle, and the battery lasts up to 40 hours. You can treat the game like a full-time job and only load it once a week.

While there’s no excuse for the device’s high price tag (or its lack of a 3.5mm audio jack), the Switch Pro Controller is a must-have if you intend to dock your Switch and play. to solo adventures for hours.

Nintendo Switch Carrying Case

switch box

(Image credit: Nintendo)

While it’s not as exciting as a brand new game or as intriguing as a complex controller, you do need a carrying case for your Nintendo Switch. Whether you opt for the traditional LCD screen or the more sophisticated OLED Switch, the screen is not immune to damage, especially when you store it in a bag with your keys, coins, laptop and other everyday objects with sharp edges. Even if you go for a hard screen protector, a case is still necessary to protect the inner workings of the Switch from dust and debris.

There are thousands of Switch carrying cases out there, and they all have their pros and cons. Some are simple and inexpensive, with just a little bit of padding and a zipper. Others are elaborate and expensive, offering additional features such as portable chargers and dedicated controller compartments.

While I can’t make a general recommendation for Switch cases, I can tell you about the one I have: the official carrying case for Nintendo Switch, which costs $ 20 and is about as simple as it gets. It’s a switch-shaped case with padding on both sides, slots for five games, and a foldable console stand. It also comes with a screen protector.

When I first bought my Switch, an employee at the Nintendo store in Manhattan recommended it to me, even though they were out of stock. That he’d rather send me home empty-handed than sell me another business says it all.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

breath of the wild

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Okay, technically it’s not a prop. But it is essential. While researching which Black Friday sales to highlight in an article, one of my coworkers asked me what I thought was the biggest purchase related to Switch. Without missing a beat, I recommended The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

After four years of the hype, I guess you’ve heard something about Breath of the Wild before. Tom’s Guide gave the game an unprecedented five out of five star rating in our Breath of the Wild review; we named it the best game of the decade. Breath of the Wild isn’t just the best game on Switch; it’s one of the best games Nintendo has ever made, period.

For those who haven’t played it yet, Breath of the Wild takes the traditional Zelda story and turns it around. In this vast epic fantasy, Link has failed in his quest to save Hyrule and awakens from suspended animation 100 years later with one last chance to save the world from the evil Calamity Ganon. To do so, he will have to explore the enormous map of Hyrule, from its snow-capped mountains and desert canyons, to its rolling meadows and rocky shores. The breadth of the game is amazing, supported by 120 mind-boggling puzzles and tons of gear that you can customize however you like.

Simply put, if you’ve got a Switch, you need Breath of the Wild to go with it. And if you don’t have a Switch, you should consider buying one, if only for Breath of the Wild.

Nintendo Switch propped up on a desk with the image of Animal Crossing New Horizons on the screen.

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

If you follow these tips exactly, your Switch purchase could end up looking quite expensive. Between $ 300 for the console, $ 60 for the game, $ 70 for the controller, and $ 20 for the carrying case, you’re looking at a total of $ 450 – essentially a Switch plus half the cost of another Switch.

And yet, I think these three things can uplift your entire Switch experience. You need something to play, and Breath of the Wild is as good as it gets. The Pro Controller lets you play for long periods of time without hand cramps or recharging. And a carrying case means you can take your console with you wherever you go.

Also, it’s still $ 50 less than a PS5 or Xbox Series X – and you can actually find everything I mentioned here in stock before Christmas. That alone could save you a lot of heartache while on vacation.