The mall is overrun with desperate shoppers working against the clock, the peppermint mocha is back on the menu at popular cafés, and winter is coming — if it hasn’t arrived already. And with it comes all the usual suspects: cold, snow, and ice.
As the portable console you take everywhere, your Switch needs some help to survive the worst of the season. If you expect to take your Switch out into the cold, check in with these essential maintenance tips.
A set of better headphones: fitting around your headgear
Whether you’re a fan of earmuffs, headbands, or tight-fitting beanies, your choice of headgear is integral in the fight against cold ears — or worse, frostbite. Although you may be ready to wear any kind of hat that promises to keep you warm, not every option is simpatico with your headphones. Some, like a fur-lined aviator cap or fluffy earmuffs, interfere with over-ear headphones.
When the temperatures drop, switching over to your winter wardrobe and winter tires are on your list of chores. Now, it’s time to add switching to your wintertime listening set-up to your to-do list. Small earbuds are a simple way to get the best of both worlds: wearing your favorite bulky hat and listening to the soundtrack of Breath of the Wild.
Although some players have a little luck with Bluetooth earbuds, most report wireless headphones of any kind don’t work well with the Switch. Sticking with a set of wired earbuds like the Panasonic ErgoFit is a better bet.
They’re small enough to fit under any headgear, and they delivery quality sound despite a very modest price tag. They also come set up with a mic and play/pause button in case you want to use them with your phone.
A Nintendo Switch Skin: protecting against the elements
When pelted with rain, sleet, slush, snow, or some combination of all four, you make sure to wear your best winter jacket, beanie, and gloves, right? Then why would you leave your Nintendo Switch to fend for itself, naked and afraid? Though it has no blood coursing through its veins, the Switch is affected by the elements just like any other warm-blooded creature. It needs the protection of a water resistant, grip-enhancing Switch skin.
Skins are like the winter parka for the Switch. But don’t let that fool you; those who appreciate the portable, sleek size of the Switch won’t have to worry about bulking the Switch out in the name of protection. Skins are small yet mighty.
When you shop from a company like dbrand, you’ll be able to find awesome skins for your Switch controllers that are made to measure. They won’t bloat your controllers or console itself. In fact, if it weren’t for premium textures like black marble or yellow carbon fiber, you wouldn’t be able to tell these skins covered your Switch with the naked eye. Luckily, they come in a variety of designs, so you can show off a protected and personalized console all winter long.
A backup battery: preventing cold weather battery drainage
You know that stiff feeling in your fingers after spending too much time in the cold? It’s like you’re trying to control a particularly lag-y character through boring tasks like unbuttoning your coat and untying your shoelaces.
You aren’t the only one to be a little slow on the uptake after the cold sets in. Your Switch’s batteries are similarly handicapped by the cold. The Switch operates on lithium-ion batteries. While they tolerate temperatures around 32°F or 0°C without major issue, you will notice a difference once temperatures drop below -4°F or -20°C. These temperatures are challenging for the lithium-ion to hold a charge, so you might notice they drain faster than normal.
Before you’re left out in the cold without any juice, you should consider packing a backup battery with your Switch. The Anker Power Core 21000 mAh gets the official stamp of Nintendo, having tweaked their durable USB-C battery specifically for the 2-in-1 console. Holding 2.5 charges, it adds up to 15 hours of playtime. It’s also QI-enabled, making it a powerful battery pack for wireless devices.
Don’t wait until it’s too late
Winter is coming, and once it arrives, it will last a long time. If you expect to transport your Switch through the cold or play it at bus stops, make sure you prepare it for the season.
If you’re already planning on shopping online for the holidays, why not add a few “you” items to the list? Be your own Santa and order what you need for the season. A little proactive maintenance can help you avoid the worst Old Man Winter can throw at you and your Switch.