A mystery box filled with miniatures to enhance your RPG campaigns. All official miniatures and for a bargain price!

Buy Miniatures Box »

Not sure what game to buy next? Buy a premium mystery box for two to four great games to add to your collection!

Buy Premium Box »
Subscribe Now »

If you’re only interested in receiving the newest games this is the box for you; guaranteeing only the latest games!

Buy New Releases Box »
Subscribe Now »

Looking for the best bang for your buck? Purchase a mega box to receive at least 4 great games. You won’t find value like this anywhere else!

Buy Mega Box »
Subscribe Now »

Buy 3, get 3% off - use code ZATU3·Buy 5, get 5% off - use code ZATU5

Beginner’s Guide To Nintendo Switch

nintendo switch

The Nintendo Switch has been with us for just over five years now, and it’s still one of the best gaming options out there.

Here we’ll walk you through a brief history of Nintendo as a company and its consoles. We’ll also help you decide which Switch model is the best for you, what exclusive games are available for the console and how to use it's interface.

The History Of Nintendo

The company we now call Nintendo formed in the September of 1889. They started out as manufacturers of Hanafuda, traditional Japanese playing cards. For historical context, the Eiffel tower had only finished construction six months earlier and the London police were still investigating the crimes of Jack the Ripper. It would only be one month later that Thomas Edison would unveil his first motion picture.

For decades Nintendo enjoyed success with their playing cards, but by the 1950s their luck seemed to be running out. The interests of the Japanese public had gravitated towards other pastimes. In a bid to stay profitable, Nintendo branched out into all kinds of other avenues including a taxi service and instant ramen noodles.

By the 1970s, Nintendo had refocused itself on entertainment and toys. Throughout the 70s they also produced many popular arcade games. When the videogame industry crash of 1983 occurred, many thought they were entering the home console far too late. In a big risk, 1985’s Nintendo Entertainment System proved to be a massive success and is credited with reviving the videogame market in the U.S.

Since then, Nintendo has been respected as a titan of the videogame industry. They’ve had more smash hit successes with the Wii, followed by less stellar performances with the Wii U and everything between.

The history of Nintendo consoles covers seven home consoles and seven handheld consoles. Now the Nintendo Switch combines the best of both worlds, with many seeing it as their best console ever.


  • Color TV-Game – 1977-1980
  • Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) – 1983
  • Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) – 1990
  • Nintendo 64 – 1996
  • Gamecube – 2001
  • Wii – 2006
  • Wii U – 2012
  • Nintendo Switch – 2017


  • Game & Watch series – 1980-1991
  • Game Boy – 1989
  • Virtua Boy – 1995
  • Game Boy Color – 1998
  • Game Boy Advance – 2001
  • Nintendo DS – 2004
  • 3DS – 2011
  • Nintendo Switch - 2017

Excusive Games

If you want to turn on your console, dive right in and start having fun with your mates in minutes, you can't go wrong with the Switch. For party games you’ve got classics like Mario Kart, Mario Party and Smash Bros. There's also newer titles like Switch Sports, ARMS and Splatoon.

Of course, it’s not just multiplayer. If you want to go solo on epic adventures there’s Mario Odyssey, Breath of the Wild, Kirby & The Forgotten Land, Luigi’s Mansion and more.

The Switch also has a lot to offer for RPG fans. If you want to dip your toes into the genre and catch some critters then the Switch is a perfect for you with the various Pokemon games. There's Miitopia if you want a very personal journey starring you and your friends. There's even Ringfit Adventure if you want to exercise while you slay your enemies. If you like more tactical RPGs, there's Fire Embelm, Triangle Strategy, Octopath Traveller, and Xenoblade chronicles too.

Nintendo Switch Models

The Nintendo Switch comes in three models: the Nintendo Switch Original, the Switch OLED and the Switch Lite. The difference between the models comes down to where and how you can be play them. Each has almost the exact same internal specs, with memory storage being the only notable difference. The main thing to consider when choosing a model is how you wish to use it. The Lite can only be used in handheld mode whereas the other two can be used in handheld, tabletop or TV mode.

A few further points to consider on each model:

Nintendo Switch

  • Middle of the line price option, starting at £310.
  • Can be used in TV, tabletop or Handheld mode.
  • Can play all Nintendo Switch software.
  • 32GB Internal Storage.
  • The handheld console has a 6.2 inch LCD screen.
  • Battery life of approx. 4-9 hours.
  • Is the only model guaranteed to work with all LABO accessories, as they were designed with this model in mind.

Nintendo Switch OLED

  • Most expensive of the three models, starting at £326.
  • Can be used in TV, tabletop or Handheld mode.
  • Can play all Nintendo Switch software.
  • Has a LAN port for faster wired internet connections.
  • 64GB Internal Storage.
  • The handheld console has a 7 inch OLED screen. This gives the handheld console a brighter, crisper, more vivid display compared to the other two.
  • The handheld console has the best speakers out of the three.
  • Best quality build and materials.
  • Battery life of approx. 4-9 hours.

Nintendo Switch LITE

  • The cheapest of the three models, starting at £216.
  • Can only be played in Handheld mode; there’s no connecting to a TV here.
  • Cannot play a small selection of games that require joycons / other accessories to play.
  • 32GB Internal Storage.
  • Has the shortest battery life at approx. 3-7 hours.
  • If you only want to play the Switch in handheld mode, the lower price of the lite makes it the obvious choice. If you want to play on TV also, how much you want to pay and what extra features you want will be your deciding factors.

What You Get

  • The Nintendo Switch console.
  • The regular switch and OLED models come with a pair of Joycons matching the colour scheme of the console.
  • Nintendo Switch Dock (Regular and OLED models only)
  • A HDMI Cable.
  • Joy-Con Straps
  • A Joy-Con grip controller.
  • AC Adapter Power Cable / Charger for Switch Lite.
  • In addition to this, you will find various booklets and paperwork explaining the Switch and your purchase. Various bundles might include extra games as physical copies or download codes, membership for Nintendo Switch Online and other accessories, but this is what comes in every box.

Setting Up The Nintendo Switch

Regular / Oled Switch

Firstly, plug the AC adapter into the back of the switch dock. After doing this, your switch will be charging whenever it is docked. You’ll want to ensure the Switch has enough charge to last through the setup process, so let it charge a little while.

You should also connect the HDMI cable from your dock to your TV/Monitor. This means your switch will play on your TV whenever it is docked.

Slide the Joycons into the side of the Switch console. When they’re fully slotted in, you should hear a light click and now you don’t have to worry about them falling out.

You do exactly the same to slot them into the Grip Controller or into the straps.

If you want to remove them again, just press the small black button on the upper side of the back and slide them out gently.

Switch Lite

Setting up the Switch Lite is almost exactly the same as the regular Switch. In fact, as there is no dock, connecting to a TV or Joycons there’s even less to think about.

Just make sure the Switch Lite has some charge in it before following the next steps.

All Switch's – Setting Up The Software

After ensuring the Switch has some charge, turn it on via the button at the top of the console. The instructions on the monitor or switch screen will give you simple visual instructions to follow here.

This will include selecting a default language for your Switch, connecting to your wi-fi network, and selecting a time zone.

After this, you will be prompted to set up an user profile. This involves selecting a profile icon, choosing a nickname, linking a Nintendo Account. If you don’t have a Nintendo Account right now, you can always create one later.

You’ll also be given the chance to sign up for Nintendo Switch Online and set your Parental Controls, both of which we’ll go over in my detail soon.

You may need to download a System Update after setting your Switch up.

To do this go to System Settings – the second-to-last icon on the right. From here, scroll all the way down to System. Press A and Press A again on System Update to begin the update. This shouldn’t take more than a few minutes.

Using The Nintendo Switch

The most noticeable thing you’ll see when starting up the Switch is the big menu in the middle with all the squares. These might be empty when you first start with the switch, but will fill up with games and apps as you download them. Move the analog sticks or press the face buttons on the left Joycon to navigate through these, the user profiles and to the lower menu. Just press A on anything you want to open, whether it be a game or app.

By selecting a User Profile, you can see:

  • Play Activity: What games you’ve played, when you played the and how long for.
  • Friends List: See all your friends, including who is online and what they’re playing.
  • Trending with Friends: See what games are popular with your friends.
  • Online Play Invitations: if someone has invited you to play a age online, you’ll see it and can join from here.
  • Friend Suggestions: Find people to add to your friends list from your recently played games, social media and Wii U and 3DS Accounts.
  • Add A Friend: Add a friend here by searching for nearby Switches or entering their friend code.
  • User Settings: Here you can change your user nickname icon. You also manage various settings related to your friends, play activity and membership account.

On the menu below your apps and games, you can access various thing relating to your count and Switch.

  • Nintendo Switch Online: Here you can manage your Nintendo online account including your cloud saves and accessing the online retro game library.
  • News: Here you’ll be updated with news on all the games you play, as well as new releases and important updates about the Switch in general.
  • Nintendo eShop: Here you can download new games, browse offers, redeem download codes, redownload previously bought games and more.
  • Album: This is where you’ll find all the screenshots and videos you’ve taken on the Switch.
  • Controllers: Manage your controllers from here, including checking the battery of your current ones and adding new controllers.
  • System Settings: All the options and settings for your Switch can be found here. Stuff you can change is your display/monitor settings, Parental Controls and Internet settings, managing your User Profiles and data, your Switch theme and Miis, and so on.
  • Sleep Mode: Put the Switch on rest, able to resume playing your apps and games later.

Playing Games

Playing a game is as simple as selecting it on the central app menu. If your game is downloaded onto the Switch, just press A on it, select which user profile you want to play with and begin playing.

For Cartridge games, these will have to be inserted into the Switch on the top-right side of the console. After that, they can be played just like downloaded games.

Parental Controls

The Parental Controls for the Switch is managed through an app for your smartphone. With this app you’ll be able to manage settings for each User Profile on the switch. With this you’ll be able to control:

  • The age rating of game they can play.
  • An allowance of playtime on different days of the week.
  • See what games they have been playing, and how long for.
  • Restrict messages with other users, and access to online gaming.
  • Restrict purchases in the eShop.

Online Services & Features

With a Nintendo Online Membership, you’ll be able to:

  • Play games online with friends or compete against strangers. Popular online titles on Switch include Mario Kart 8 Delxue, Super Smash Bros Ultimate, Animal Crossing: New Horizions and the Splatoon games.
  • Have access to a library of over 100 NES and SNES games.
  • Automatically back up all your save data online.
  • Use the Nintendo Switch Online app on your smartphone to see who’s online, what they’re playing and more.

The premium service is called Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack and with that, you’ll also get:

  • Automatic access to DLC for certain games, such as the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Booster Course Pass and the Animal Crossing: New Horizions Happy Home Paradise DLC.
  • Access to an ever-expanding library of Nintendo 64 and Sega Megadrive games.
  • With the standard membership you can pay monthly, three-monthly or yearly. For the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack option, you must pay yearly.


Everything you need to have fun with the Switch is right there in the box. But if you want to customize your gaming experience, there’s a large range of options to do so.

You can buy extra controllers and grips. These can be as simple as wired or wireless controllers in the style of previous Nintendo consoles, such as the N64 or Gamecube, or just some extra Joycons. There’s also pro controllers and special controllers for specific games – like racing wheels for Mario Kart.

If you do a lot of gaming on the go, then getting a play stand and a travel case for your Switch might be ideal.

One of the most iconic Nintendo accessories are Amiibos. These are figures and cards of popular Nintendo characters that can be scanned into your games to add new content to them.

If you want to do a lot of online gaming, then gaming earphones or a headset will be perfect for you. After all, you want to hear their cries of despair after hitting them with that perfectly timed green shell, don’t you?

For those wanting to get a bit more creative and DIY, Nintendo Labo is the perfect fit. These kits let you build your own gaming accessories, customizing how you want to play to your exact wants and needs.

Of course, these are only a few examples. There’s lots of extra accessories you can add to have even more fun with your Switch.


The Nintendo Switch is the ideal console for gaming with your mates and family. There’s a lot more to this deceptively powerful little gaming machine than we’ve covered here, but this knowledge should set you on your way to having tons of fun with it.

If you also want to learn about the Xbox or PlayStation, check out the guides we have on those too.