Between wireless controllers and wireless headphones, Bluetooth is one of the most popular technologies around today. Nearly every major device uses Bluetooth in some way, and that includes the Nintendo Switch.
When it first launched, the Switch’s Bluetooth features were pretty limited. And while it’s still not the best device for Bluetooth fanatics, it now supports both Bluetooth headphones and controllers.
Here’s how Bluetooth works on the Switch, and how to connect your headphones or controllers.
Yes, the Nintendo Switch has Bluetooth
The Nintendo Switch uses Bluetooth to connect with both wireless controllers and audio devices.
To pair Bluetooth headphones or speakers with your Switch, make sure the console is updated and then open the Settings menu. Scroll down to Bluetooth Audio and select Pair Device, then connect your headphones.
Just note that once you’ve connected a pair of Bluetooth headphones to the Switch, you can only connect two wireless controllers (or one pair of Joy-Cons). And your headphones will disconnect while playing local multiplayer.
Most official Nintendo Switch controllers are wireless, and they all connect in the same way.
On the Switch’s home screen, select the Controllers icon and then Change Grip/Order. At that point, you’ll likely just need to press your controller’s shoulder buttons at the same time. If you’re trying to pair a totally new controller, you might also need to press the controller’s SYNC button.
But what if you want to play your Switch with a controller from another system – say, the PlayStation DualShock? There’s no built-in way to do it, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.
If you’re willing to spend a few extra dollars, you can go on Amazon and buy a Nintendo Switch Bluetooth adapter. These adapters plug right into your console or dock and let you connect extra Bluetooth devices.
The best Nintendo Switch Bluetooth adapters to buy
You’ll plug it into your Switch’s charging port when in handheld mode, or into the Switch’s charging stand when it’s docked. Just note that you might experience some audio delay compared to the built-in wireless headphone feature.
If you’re instead looking to connect a non-Nintendo controller to the Switch, check out 8BitDo’s Wireless USB Adapter. Not only will it let you use controllers like the DualShock, it’ll let you remap the buttons too.
The Switch’s native Bluetooth features will absolutely be enough for most users. But if you’re a big Bluetooth aficionado, you might want to invest in a Bluetooth adapter or two.
It took a few years, but the Nintendo Switch finally supports Bluetooth headphones right out of the box. It only takes a few moments to set the feature up, but it has a number of limitations.
That’s why you can also use a Bluetooth adapter, which is more work but gives you more options.
Here’s how to connect Bluetooth headphones to your Nintendo Switch, using either the built-in Bluetooth feature or a Bluetooth adapter.
How to connect Bluetooth headphones to your Nintendo Switch
Using the built-in Bluetooth
Before anything, make sure that your Nintendo Switch is updated. The Bluetooth pairing feature is only available in the most recent versions of Switch’s operating system, so you’ll need to update to unlock it.
Your Switch should let you know when there’s an update available, but you can check manually by opening System Settings and scrolling down to the System tab.
Once you’ve updated:
1. Open your Switch’s System Settings menu by selecting the gear icon on the home screen.
2. Scroll down to the Bluetooth Audio tab, and then select Pair Device.
3. Put your Bluetooth headphones into pairing mode and hold them close to the Switch.
4. When your headphones appear as an option on the Switch, select them and let the devices connect.
Once connected, all sound will come through the Bluetooth headphones until they’re disconnected. In the future, the devices should connect automatically. You can disconnect or unpair your headphones from the Switch by returning to this menu and selecting your headphones.
But connecting Bluetooth headphones to the Switch comes with some restrictions.
While connected, you can only use up to two wireless controllers (or one pair of Joy-Cons).
Your headphones will be disconnected during local multiplayer.
Bluetooth microphones won’t work.
Some users have also claimed that using the built-in Bluetooth feature makes the console very quiet. If you feel the same, go to the System menu and make sure that the Lower Max Headphone Volume option is turned off.
If you don’t feel like dealing with these restrictions, you can connect your headphones with a Bluetooth adapter instead.
Using a Bluetooth adapter
Bluetooth adapters are tiny dongles that connect to your Switch’s charging port or dock and let you connect Bluetooth devices. These don’t just have to be headphones – some, like the 8BitDo Wireless Adapter, will let you connect non-Nintendo controllers to your Switch too.
When it comes to Nintendo Switch games, the more the merrier. Multiplayer gaming only enhances the fun, especially when you and your friends or family are playing together in the same room.
A Switch console can support eight controllers connected at the same time. This means four pairs of Joy-Cons (or eight if you’re playing them individually), eight Pro Controllers, and up to two controller hubs (each of which supports four controllers, again adding up to eight).
Once you’ve got your controllers, here’s how to sync them.
How to sync a Nintendo Switch controller with your console
The best way to sync a Nintendo Switch controller will depend on what sort of controller you have.
The easiest way to sync a pair of Joy-Con controllers to a Nintendo Switch is simply to slide them onto the physical console. The right- and left-hand Joy-Con controller will then be linked to that Nintendo Switch until affixed to a different console, or until the remote pairing steps below are followed.
You can also sync a Pro Controller by connecting it to your Switch’s dock with a USB-C cable.
To pair controllers remotely:
1. From the Switch’s homepage, scroll down to the “Controllers” tab – it looks like a single gray Joy-Con – and click it.
2. Select “Change Grip/Order.”
3. If you’re trying to pair a new controller or Joy-Con, you’ll want to press and hold its SYNC button (a small circular button, usually on the top) for about five seconds before moving on to the next steps.
4. If you want to use a Joy-Con (or multiple Joy-Cons) as an individual controller, take it out of the Switch and press both its shoulder buttons at the same time – they’re labeled “SL” and “SR.” It may take a few presses for the Switch to recognize them.
5. If you want to use two Joy-Cons as a single controller, press the shoulder buttons on each Joy-Con at the same time. They’re labeled “ZL” and “ZR.” You can add up to four Joy-Con pairs.
6. If you want to pair a Pro Controller, press its shoulder buttons, “ZL” and “ZR,” at the same time.
If a controller that worked before won’t sync, press the SYNC button anyway (again, the small circular button). Your Switch may have forgotten the controller and needs to be reminded of it again.
If you’re using a controller hub, just connect the hub to your Switch’s dock via USB and plug your controllers into the hub. They should work automatically.
If you ever want to share gameplay footage of your gaming sessions with friends, your PlayStation 4 has you covered with recording ability and basic editing tools. It can even retroactively record the previous 15 minutes of gameplay without you having to hit record.
Here’s how to do it all.
How to record gameplay on PS4
Recording gameplay on your PS4 can be accomplished by pressing the Share button on your PS4 controller twice in quick succession. The recording can be stopped at any time by clicking the button twice again.
How to autosave recorded gameplay on PS4
Your PlayStation 4 automatically records the last 15 minutes of gameplay and saves it in your device’s video cache.
1. Press the Share button on your PS4 controller. Only press the Share button once. Pressing it twice will start a new recording and wipe the cache.
2. Select Save Video Clip or hit the Square button on your controller.
How to edit and share PS4 recorded gameplay
1. From the PS4 Home Screen, select the Capture Gallery.
2. Find and select the clip that you want to share.
3. Press Options and select Trim.
4. Navigate through the timeline using the D-Pad on your controller until you find where you want the clip to start.
5. Press L2. You can also press X and then select Start Here.
6. Navigate to where you want the clip to end and press R2. You can also press X and then select End Here.
7. Press OK and select whether you want to save the trimmed version as a new clip or overwrite the existing one. Saving as a new clip will preserve the original, whereas overwriting it will result in the loss of the original clip.
8. Now, select the clip in the Capture Gallery and press the Share button on your controller. Select if you want to upload it to Twitter or YouTube, and select Share to begin the upload.
Video games are more advanced than ever. And while that means bigger games and better consoles, it also means that a lot of gamers are left behind.
That’s why more and more companies are investing in accessibility tools. These tools are designed for gamers with disabilities, and help them enjoy games without restrictions.
One console that has a wide range of accessibility tools is the Xbox. Both the Xbox Series X/S and the Xbox One have a variety of features that make gaming accessible.
Here’s everything to know about the Xbox’s accessibility features, including why they’re made and how to enable them.
Why Xbox offers accessibility features
In its 2020 annual report, the Entertainment Software Association found that 46 million people who play video games have some kind of disability or require the use of assistive technology.
Yet, the industry still has a long way to go in terms of increased accessibility, according to Ian Hamilton, a committee member of IGDA-GASIG, an advocacy group aimed at removing the barriers to better accessibility in gaming.
“We’re not yet at the stage when it can be assumed that even the basics – subtitles, remapping, text size, color blindness, effect intensity – will be covered, let alone the point where we really need to be, where anyone can pick up any game and have a reasonable expectation that they won’t be unnecessarily locked out,” Hamilton said.
By including these features on the Xbox, Microsoft is serving a community of gamers that’s both incredibly large and historically neglected. It’s an important step in making sure that video games are for everyone, not just those who can play them perfectly.
Xbox consoles have some of the best accessibility features
Gamers tell Insider that when it comes to accommodating players with the widest range of disabilities, from auditory, visual, and physical impairment, Microsoft – the parent company of Xbox – is ahead of the rest on several fronts.
Since Microsoft debuted its controller and additional accessories, the company has gone one step further. Last year, they announced the Xbox Accessibility Guidelines, which outlines better gameplay settings for players with disabilities.
The Game Reliability Engineering team and the Gaming Accessibility Team also now offer an “industry-first, platform-provided game accessibility testing program,” according to Xbox, that encourages developers to have their games evaluated and tested before release.
Microsoft has made sure that both consoles and PCs have built-in settings accessible to all players, including a larger suite of accessibility accessories.
How to enable accessibility features on an Xbox
To adjust the accessibility features on your Xbox Series X/S or Xbox One, you’ll first need to open your device’s Settings menu.
If you don’t know where to find it, use your controller to select My games & apps, then scroll through the app menu.
You can also find it by pressing the Xbox button on your controller and navigating to Profile & System panel. Once you find the Settings option, select it with your controller.
After you’ve opened Settings, use your controller to scroll down to the Ease of Access menu. From here, you can customize your accessibility settings.
The Narrator will narrate on-screen and in-game text for you. You can enable it from the Ease of Access menu.
1. In the Ease of Access menu, select Narrator.
2. Use your controller to select the Narrator on option. If the box is checked, Narrator is enabled; if the box is unchecked, it means Narrator is turned off.
3. Once you’ve enabled Narrator, you can customize various features associated with it. Move your cursor to the Narrator options field. This will let you adjust the Narrator’s voice, volume, and pitch, among other options. Choose the settings that best suit your needs.
To turn the Narrator on or off quickly while playing, press and hold the Xbox button until it vibrates, and then select the Menu button.
The Magnifier is essentially a digital magnifying glass; it zooms in on specific parts of the screen so that they’re easier to see.
1. In the Ease of Access menu, select Magnifier.
2. Use your controller to select the Magnifier on option. If the box is checked, the Magnifier is enabled; if the box is unchecked, it means the Magnifier is turned off.
3. To learn more about the Magnifier and how to use it, select Controller shortcuts.
By default, you can turn the Magnifier on during gameplay by pressing and holding the Xbox button until it vibrates, and then selecting View. You can then use the triggers to zoom in and out, and the right stick to pan around the screen.
If you then rapid-tap the Xbox button twice, you can resume playing with a magnified screen.
If you’ve ever watched Netflix with subtitles, you already know what closed captioning is. But for the uninitiated: closed captioning is an on-screen transcription of what’s being said during a video or game, so that viewers can understand what’s happening even if they can’t hear everything.
1. In the Ease of Access menu, select Closed captioning or just Captioning.
2. To enable closed captioning in your device’s default style, select On using default style. To enable closed captioning and customize its features, select On using custom style.
If you’ve chosen to customize your closed caption style, you’ll see a variety of different options appear on your screen in drop-down menus. Use your controller to select the settings you want.
Transcription is a process that converts speech or dialogue into readable text. It’s useful for multiplayer games where there are often many voices speaking at once.
Keep in mind that game transcription is only available for certain games; if the game you’re playing doesn’t support this feature, you won’t be able to use it during said game.
1. On the Ease of Access menu, select Game transcription.
2. There are separate options available for game transcription and party chat transcription (for online multiplayer gaming). The Speech-to-text option will transcribe other players’ voices on your screen. The Text-to-speech option will read your typed chat messages aloud so that other players can hear them, while Let games read to me will narrate in-game text for you. You can also choose between several voices for these narrators via a drop-down menu.
3. Once you’ve decided what setting(s) you want to enable, select those options. When you’re finished, each of the options you chose should have their boxes checked, and the drop-down menu will list the voice that you’ve chosen.
High contrast colors
“High contrast” is a feature that adjusts your console’s colors and screen brightness to make it easier on the eyes. If contrasting colors make gaming visually easier for you, you may want to enable this.
1. In the Ease of Access menu, select High contrast.
2. Select the High contrast drop-down menu.
3. Select either the light theme or dark theme, depending on your preferences. Press A once you’ve chosen the option you want.
If your Nintendo Switch isn’t working correctly and you’ve tried to troubleshoot your issue to no avail, your first step is to contact Nintendo Support via online chat, text message, or phone. If that doesn’t resolve your issue, it’s time to send in your console to a repair center.
All Nintendo products are covered by a limited hardware warranty which covers manufacturing defects for 12 months from the date of purchase, so any repairs done during this time frame should be free. However, if your device isn’t working correctly because of physical damage, it might not be covered. The turnaround time for repairs may be a few weeks.
How to set up a Nintendo Switch repair
Before you send in your Switch for repair, you should first contact Nintendo’s customer support to troubleshoot the particular issue, if possible, and then initiate a repair order.
8. Fill out the repair details, your shipping details, and your billing information.
9. Once you’re finished filling out your repair order, click Complete. You will receive an email with repair instructions shortly after.
How to package your Nintendo Switch for repair
Once you’ve set up your repair order, it’s time to package your Nintendo Switch and send it to Nintendo.
1. Write a repair letter and include it with your Nintendo Switch. The letter should include basic information like your name, return shipping address, and phone number. It should also include your repair order number, a brief description of the problem with your Nintendo Switch, and a list of all of the items enclosed in the package.
2. Place your Nintendo Switch and letter in a plain box, wrapping it in clear cling wrap (the kind you use in the kitchen) then padding it well to prevent damage during shipping.
If you’re reusing a box, remove or completely cover any old labels. It must be a box and not a padded envelope.
Do not include any games or accessories (unless those are part of the repair order). If including small items or games, put them in a sealable plastic bag.
Know that stickers and screen protectors may not be returned, so if you’d like to keep them, remove them from your Switch before sending.
3. Attach the shipping label provided by Nintendo to the box. Alternatively, write the repair center address, your return address, and the repair order number on the outside of the box.
4. Seal the box with tape and drop it off with the appropriate shipping carrier.
There’s no denying that the PlayStation 5 is a very big console. It’s not the kind of device you can take everywhere you go – but that doesn’t mean you need to leave your games behind.
PS Remote Play is a free feature that lets you stream your PS5’s screen to a Mac, PC, iPhone, iPad, or Android device. You can also stream to another PS5 or even a PS4. It’s a great way to play your favorite games on the go.
Here’s how to set up Remote Play on your PS5, and then use it to play on a computer, phone, tablet, or another console.
How to use PS5 Remote Play
First, we need to set up Remote Play on the PS5 itself.
1. Turn on your PS5 and open its Settings app by selecting the gear icon in the top-right corner of the home screen.
2. Select System, and then Remote Play.
3. Toggle on the switch next to Enable Remote Play.
4. In the left sidebar, scroll down and select Power Saving, and then Features Available in Rest Mode.
5. Toggle on the switches next to both Stay Connected to the Internet and Enable Turning On PS5 from Network.
1. Once downloaded, open the PS Remote Play app on whichever device you downloaded it to.
2. On the screen that appears, click or tap Sign In to PSN and log into your PlayStation Network account (you just need an account, not a subscription). You might also need to enter a two-step verification code.
3. After you log in, you’ll be given an explanation of how to connect the PS5 controller to your device. You can do that now or later.
4. You’ll be asked which console you want to connect to. Select PS5.
5. Your device will take a few moments to detect, wake, and connect to the PS5. Once it does, your PS5’s screen will appear on your device, along with some on-screen controls. You can control it like this, or connect the DualSense controller.
When you want to quit, just close the Remote Play app. Or if you’re in the mobile app, tap the gear icon and then Disconnect.
Remember that streaming your PS5 to another device takes a lot of internet bandwidth. It won’t work over mobile internet, and even on fast Wi-Fi connections, you should expect some lag and quality drops.
Before you start playing your Nintendo Wii or Wii U, you’ll need to sync your Wii Remote to the console. If you’ve paired headphones to your phone via Bluetooth before, then you’re probably familiar with the general steps.
Here’s how to sync a Wii Remote with a Wii or Wii U, and what to do if they won’t connect.
How to sync your Wii Remote to a Wii
1. Turn on your Wii and open the SD card cover on the front of the console to find the SYNC button. It’s a dark red square.
2. Grab the Wii Remote you want to sync and remove the battery cover to find its SYNC button – a small red button below the batteries.
3. Press and release the SYNC button on the Wii Remote. The four lights on the front of the Wii Remote will blink.
4. While the lights on the Wii Remote are still blinking, press and release the SYNC button on the Wii console.
5. When the four lights on the Wii remote stop blinking and one light remains lit (indicating the player number, one to four), you’ve successfully synced the remote.
Repeat these steps for any additional Wii Remotes. You can pair up to four Wii Remotes with a console at once.
How to sync your Wii Remote to a Wii U
1. With your Wii U turned on, grab the Wii Remote you want to sync and remove its battery cover to find the small red SYNC button. If you have a Wii Remote with a hole in the battery cover that leads to the SYNC button, you can just use that.
2. Press and hold the SYNC button located on the front of the Wii U console for a few seconds until you see the sync menu appear on-screen.
3. Press the SYNC button on the Wii Remote. The four lights on the front of the Remote will start blinking, and once it pairs with the console, only one will remain lit. It’ll also appear on-screen in the 1 box.
Repeat these steps for any other controllers you want to pair. You can sync up to four Wii Remotes to a Wii U, but only one GamePad can be connected at any given time.
How to sync your Wii Remote with a PC
Your Wii Remotes and consoles connect using a Bluetooth connection. This means that your Wii Remotes can be connected to other devices – like computers.
If you want to connect your Wii Remote to your PC – to use it with the Dolphin emulator, for instance – here’s what you’ll do.
1. Open the Control Panel and select Add a device.
2. When your PC starts searching for devices to connect to, press the SYNC button on the back of your Wii Remote.
3. An option will appear in the list of devices labeled Nintendo RVL and a series of letters and numbers. Click this, and then click Next.
4. You’ll be asked for a passcode. Just click Next without entering one.
The PlayStation 5 comes with 825GB of storage space. However, you can only use 667.2GB of that space – the rest is taken up by mandatory system files. This means that if you play a lot of games, it won’t take you long to run out of storage.
Luckily, you aren’t stuck with the default 825GB. If you need more space on your PS5, you can connect an external hard drive and move all your games onto it. You can even play PS4 games straight from the drive, meaning that they never have to take up space on your PlayStation again.
Here’s how to set up an external drive on your PS5 and expand your storage space.
How to set up your PS5’s external storage
Before you start, note that using your hard drive for PS5 storage will erase everything already on the drive. If there’s anything you want to keep, move it somewhere else before connecting your hard drive to the PS5.
1. Turn on your PS5 and plug the hard drive into one of the USB ports on the back. The USB port on the front doesn’t support hard drives.
2. Open your PS5’s Settings menu by clicking the gear icon in the top-right corner of the home page, and then select Storage.
3. Select USB Extended Storage, and then Format as USB Extended Storage.
Your PlayStation will format the drive and turn it into an extended storage space. Don’t unplug the drive or your PS5 until it’s done.
Once it’s formatted, your hard drive will be linked to the PS5. You can’t use it to store data from other devices until you unpair it from the PS5 (check out the How to delete games from your PS5’s external storage section below for more info).
How to move games to or from your PS5’s external storage
None of your games will move to the drive automatically, although any PS4 game you download from this point on will download onto the drive by default.
While the drive is connected, you can play any PS4 game on it without moving it back. If you want to play a PS5 game that’s stored on it, however, you’ll have to move the game back onto the console first.
To move your existing games, you’ve got two options.
Through the Game Library
1. Open your PS5’s Game Library. You can find it as the right-most option in the list of apps on your home page.
2. Scroll over any game you want to move and press the Options button on your controller.
3. In the menu that appears, select Move to USB Extended Storage.
4. A new menu will appear with a list of all your games, separated into two tabs: Move PS4 Content and Move PS5 Games. Go through these tabs and select all the games you want to move, and then select Move in the bottom-right corner.
Through the Settings menu
1. Open the Settings menu and select Storage.
2. If you want to move games onto the hard drive, select Console. If you want to take games off the hard drive, select USB Extended Storage.
3. In either menu, click Games & Apps.
4. The same menu with all your games will appear. Go through them and select all the games you want to move, and then select Move in the bottom-right corner.
How to delete games from your PS5’s external storage
Once again, you’ve got two options.
If you want to delete a specific game
1. Open the Settings app, select Storage, and then USB Extended Storage.
2. Click Games & Apps to open a list of everything on your external hard drive.
3. At the top of the screen, select the Delete Content tab.
4. Select all of the games you want to delete, and then click Delete in the bottom-right corner.
If you want to delete everything on the external hard drive at once
1. Once again, open the Settings app, select Storage, and then USB Extended Storage.
2. Click the three dots (…) next to the Safely Remove from PS5 option.
3. Select Format as exFAT.
This will erase everything on the drive, and return it to factory default settings. This means that if you want to use it with your PS5 again, you’ll have to set it up from scratch.
This is also the method you’ll use if you want to totally unpair the external hard drive from your PS5 and use it with another device.