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Let's suppose you want the video and audio output of your Nintendo Switch on your computer screen. All you need to do is use a USB capture device, like the Elgato HD60 S+. This tool replaces the old-school Elgato HD60 S and offers new features. This new capture card is perfectly suitable for passing the video and audio of your Switch to the computer.
Moreover, it also enables you to capture video from the Switch. However, you need to ensure your PC or laptop fulfills the requirements of the capture card. If it does, there won't be any lag. These capture cards work well on systems with Microsoft Windows. Macs are also officially supported.
If you have a Playstation4, Playstation 5, or an Xbox Series Console, you can use this capture card to record your gameplay without lagging. It takes time and effort to set it all up, but the results are worth it.
Ever since the Switch System Software 11.0.0 came out, it has become possible to connect a Nintendo Switch to a PC with a USB C cable, which is connected directly to the USB port of your computer.
The Switch will instantly appear on your computer screen, just like any other USB drive. Here is what you need to do.
- First, go to "system settings."
- From there, go to "data management."
- Click on "manage screenshots and videos."
- Then click on "copy to a computer."
If a "connected to a computer message" reaches you, you can access a Switch drive within your operating system. After you are done, don't forget to disconnect.
Smart Device Transfer
You can also use the Smart Device Transfer function to send images and videos from the Switch to your computer.
Once you get these media on the smart device, they can easily be synced to a cloud or transferred to your computer, just like sharing any other file on your PC, Laptop, or smartphone.
The only downside is that you can't move more than 10 images simultaneously. Here are some simple steps you need to follow when taking this route.
- Choose an album icon on your Switch's home screen.
- Choose the video or image you want to transfer.
- Next, select "posting and editing" and "send to smart device."
- You have the option to choose between sending files individually or in the form of a group.
- Then, the Switch will show you a QR code that needs to be scanned by your smartphone and connected to a Wi-Fi hotspot.
- After the connection is made, the Switch will show a new QR code. Once you scan this code, a web page will open with your content on it.
- You can use the browser to save them to your device.
This is a great solution on Nintendo's part, but it doesn't mean it will work for everyone. On the bright side, you can access data directly from your SD card. If you want to copy all of the content from the Switch to your Laptop or your PC, you can remove the SD card and view all the contents with an SD card reader or a card adapter.
Before removing the SD card, make sure the switch is turned off. Moreover, it is never a good idea to alter the contents on your SD card unless you are 100% certain of what you are doing and why you are doing it. Moreover, you also have the option to back up the contents of your SD card, just in case something happens to the card.
Play the PC Version Instead
The good news is that several third-party Switch games are available in the form of PC ports. So, if you are in the mood to play those same games on your computer or Laptop, you can purchase them on your PC or Laptop.
Sadly, you will have to make the purchase twice, but luckily, the PC versions are much cheaper than the actual ones.
Of course, this is no use if you plan on using the same files on your Switch. The sad news is that only a handful of games on Switch cloud syncing options for their PC versions. Popular names in this category include The Witcher 3, Diablo II Resurrected, and Divinity Original Sin 2.
Connect Controller or Joy-Cons to Your PC
Some people try connecting a Pro controller or a Joy-Con to their PC rather than connecting the actual Switch. While it's better to use a Playstation controller or an XBOX controller when playing, hooking a Nintendo controller to your computer is much easier.
In the case of Joy-Con controllers, each controller will be seen by your PC as a separate device. This works well for retro games with 2 players, but the same cannot be said about modern games.
One option in this regard is manual mapping of the controls in the game to each Joy-Con. However, this won't be supported by most titles. To use your Joy-Cons as a single controller, you can resort to the BetterJoy application. The BetterJoy app is compatible with any game that has an XBOX controller.
As you can see, there is no direct way to connect a Nintendo Switch to your Laptop or your PC. At best, you can use your PC as a glorified television, but all it does for you is capture game footage and nothing else. Buying a capture card is a viable option, but it is expensive, and if you don't have too much money to splurge, you can opt for an alternate action plan like using a portable monitor.