Can the Nintendo Switch Lite Play all Games?

Nintendo announced its hybrid gaming console called the Nintendo Switch in 2017. While most of the world was intrigued and excited, many found themselves put off by the $300 price tag and felt like they would never use the TV docking function of the Switch, so they couldn’t justify paying for it.

To please that section of their customer base, Nintendo came out with the Nintendo Switch Lite in 2019, which retails for only $199.

Nintendo Switch vs the Nintendo Switch Lite

The significant difference between the Nintendo Switch and the Switch Lite is the fact that the Lite does not have the removable joy-cons, making it a handheld-only device.

Since the joy-cons don’t separate, this is a single-player device. You can use a controller with it to use the switch lite as a screen, but you can only connect one. If you want to play multiplayer you would either have to play an online multiplayer game, connect two controllers to your Switch Lite, or you would have to join into a local co-op mode with other Switch players.

This also means that it can’t be docked to a TV screen as the original Switch can. You’re only able to use the screen on the device itself.

Can the Nintendo Switch Lite play all Nintendo Switch games?

About 90% of all switch games are optimized to be played by a single player in handheld mode, or have a mode where it turns into a single-player game. All of the games made this way are playable on the Switch Lite without any problems.

The rest of the games that are either made to be played by multiple people on the same screen or require you to take off the joy-cons, such as Mario kart or Luigi’s mansion 3, cannot be played on the switch lite as the lite is a single-piece device.

Which version of the Switch is the better option?

If you want to be able to play all of the games Nintendo has to offer without having to think if they would be supported or not, the original Switch is the better option over the switch Lite. Still, if you’re someone that wants to play a select few games and won’t be needing the docking capabilities or the convenient multiplayer mode, the cheaper, Switch Lite would also work well for you.

How to join a local co-op on the Nintendo Switch Lite

Since you can’t dock or remove the Switch Lite controllers, you will have to use it in tabletop mode to join a local co-op game.

  1. Connect a wireless controller with your switch lite by going into your Switch’s “Settings menu.”
  2. Select the “Controllers” option
  3. Get your controllers. These would have to be compatible with the Switch so you would either have to use spare joy-cons or a Switch-Pro Controller.
  4. For the joy-cons: Press the SL and SR buttons to make them show up as individual controllers or press the right controllers ZR button and the left controllers ZL button to make them show up as a single controller.
  5. For the Pro-Switch Controller: Press the small button next to the USB-C port, and it will show up on the Switch as a single controller.
  6. Once connected, press the “A” button on your controller to start playing your game!

Note: If you are playing using a joy-con rotated 90 degrees, the “A” button will move 90 degrees as well. So you would have to use the “X” button instead.