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Here's how to connect the Nintendo Switch to your laptop
The Nintendo Switch officially supports gaming on its own screen in handheld mode and on a connected TV screen when docked. However, these aren't the only options. You can plug the Switch into a laptop and play games like Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Animal Crossing New Horizons on your computer. But it takes a bit of work. We'll show you how to do it below.
The instructions in this guide apply to the original Nintendo Switch console and not to Switch Lite.
What do you need to connect the switch to a laptop?
To view the Nintendo Switch on a laptop, you will need to purchase an HDMI video capture card. This is necessary because laptop models generally do not support HDMI In functionality.
You may remember using an HDMI connection to mirror your computer's screen to a monitor or television screen. This is an HDMI out port and cannot be used to import any other media onto your laptop screen.
Any capture card can be used for this process, provided it has a USB-C port and HDMI input. There are several great capture cards to choose from, but Elgato cards are generally considered the best option by gamers because of their affordability, build quality, and ease of use.
For these instructions we will use 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 Elgato official website.
If you're using a different capture card to connect your Switch to your laptop, the steps should be almost the same. Most game capture software works in a similar way. So if you have any other program that you prefer, you can use this instead of Game Capture HD.
How to connect the Nintendo Switch to a laptop
To play your Nintendo Switch on your laptop, you basically use your laptop's monitor as a television screen, so you can keep your Nintendo Switch in the dock during the entire setup process.
- Disconnect the Nintendo Switch's HDMI cable from your TV.
- Plug the HDMI cable from the Nintendo Switch into the HDMI input of your Elgato HD60 HDMI capture card. This entire process can be energy intensive. It is therefore recommended that you plug both your laptop and the Nintendo Switch dock into a power source.
- On your laptop, open Game Capture HD.
Turn on your Nintendo Switch console by turning on a connected controller Home page to press.
- Connect the USB cable that came with the Elgato HD60 to the capture card and your laptop.
- After a few seconds, you should see your Nintendo Switch home screen in Game Capture HD.If Elgato Game Capture HD software does not recognize the Nintendo Switch, make sure the HDMI cable is plugged into the In port on the Capture card and not the Out port. It should be on the same side as the USB cable.
Choose that Full screen Icon in the upper right corner of Game Capture HD. The program should fill the entire screen.
- Be careful not to use your mouse or keyboard. The Nintendo Switch footage should automatically expand to fill the entire screen by itself. You can now play your Nintendo Switch games on your laptop as well as on a TV.The same technique can be used to view media from any other device that has an HDMI cable, such as a computer monitor. B. a Blu-ray player or an Xbox One console.
Another way to play Nintendo Switch games on a laptop
If you don't have an HDMI capture card and can't afford one, you can play the PC versions of your favorite Nintendo Switch games on your laptop.
With the exception of first-party franchises like Super Mario, Animal Crossing, and Pokemon, many of the video games available on the Nintendo Switch are also available in the Microsoft App Store on Windows 10, Epic Games, or Steam. Some popular online games like Minecraft and Fortnite even support cross-save between devices. That means you can resume a game you started on your Nintendo Switch on your laptop and then transfer all of the progress to your Switch when you're done.
If you regularly buy console games on PC and have an Xbox One console, check out Xbox Play Anywhere titles. These allow you to buy the console and PC versions of the game for the price of a single game.
Many Nintendo Switch controllers are also compatible with a laptop or desktop computer, so you don't have to learn any new controls for the most part.
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