Connecting the Nintendo Switch to Laptop and PC
Can I connect my Nintendo Switch to my laptop?
The Nintendo Switch officially lets you play on your own screen in portable mode and on a smart TV screen when connected, but those aren’t the only options. You can connect the Switch to a laptop and play games like Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Animal Crossing New Horizons on your PC. But it does take a bit of work. Here’s how.
The instructions in this guide apply to the original Nintendo Switch console, not the Switch Lite.
What you need to connect your Nintendo Switch to your laptop
To view the Nintendo Switch game on a laptop, you need to purchase an HDMI video capture card. This is necessary because laptop models generally do not support the HDMI In feature.
You may remember using an HDMI connection to mirror your computer screen to a monitor or TV screen. This is an HDMI output port which cannot be used to import other media to your laptop screen.
Any capture card can be used for this process as long as it has a USB-C connection and an HDMI input port. There are several great capture cards to choose from, but Elgato cards are generally considered the best option by gamers due to their affordability, build quality, and ease of use.
For these instructions, we are using an Elgato HD60 HDMI capture card and the free Elgato Game Capture HD software. The capture card can be purchased from Amazon, while the software can be downloaded for free from the official Elgato website.
If you’re using a different capture card to connect your Switch to your laptop, the steps should be almost the same. Likewise, most game capture software works the same, so if you have another program that you prefer to use, you can use it instead of Game Capture HD.
Connect Nintendo Switch to Laptop
To play with the Nintendo console on your laptop, you basically use your laptop screen as a TV screen, so you can leave the console in its base during the entire setup process.
- Unplug the HDMI cable from the Nintendo Switch on the TV.
- Plug the Nintendo Switch’s HDMI cable into the HDMI input port on your Elgato HD60 HDMI capture card. This whole process can take a lot of power, so it’s a good idea to plug your laptop and console base into a power source.
- On your laptop, open Game Capture HD.
- Turn on the Nintendo Switch by pressing the Home button on any connected controller.
- Connect the USB cable that came with the Elgato HD60 to the capture card and your laptop.
- After a few seconds, you should see the Nintendo Switch home screen inside Game Capture HD. If the Elgato Game Capture HD software does not detect the Nintendo Switch, make sure the HDMI cable is connected to the capture card’s input port, not the output port. It should be on the same side as the USB cable.
- Select the full screen icon in the upper right corner of Game Capture HD. The program should fill the entire screen.
- Be careful not to touch the mouse or keyboard. You can now play your games with the Nintendo Switch on your laptop just like you would on a television.
This same technique can be used to view media from any other device that has an HDMI cable, such as a Blu-ray player or Xbox One console.
If you can afford a decent capture card with USB 3.0 Type-C support, take a look at the Elgato Game Capture HD60 S. It costs around 175 euros and lets you play with your Nintendo Switch on your computer. portable without any delay. The HDMI cable goes from the base of the switch to the capture device, and the USB 3.0 connector goes from there to your laptop. Simply download the Game Capture HD software from the Elgato website, and you’re good to go. It is perfect for anyone who travels and cannot take a monitor with them everywhere.
Can I connect my Nintendo Switch to my PC?
Simply Not directly, you need to use the above or connect it to the monitor directly.
Another way to play Nintendo games on your laptop
If you don’t have an HDMI capture card and can’t afford one, a good alternative is to play the PC versions of your favorite Nintendo Switch games on your laptop.
With the exception of top tier franchises like Super Mario, Animal Crossing, and Pokemon, many games available on the Nintendo Switch can also be purchased from the Microsoft Store app store on Windows 10, Epic Games, or Steam. Some popular online games, such as Minecraft and Fortnite, even support storage between devices. This means you can continue a game you started on the Nintendo Switch on your laptop, then bring all that progress back to the Switch when you’re ready.
If you regularly buy console games on your PC and have an Xbox One console, you might want to take a look at Xbox Play Anywhere titles, which let you buy both the console and PC versions of the game for the price. of a single game.
Many Nintendo controllers are also compatible with a laptop or desktop computer, so in most cases, you won’t have to learn new commands either.