Connecting the Nintendo Switch console to a TV can be a little confusing. Unlike traditional video game consoles – handheld or designed for home use – the Switch works either way. This is similar to how PlayStation Portable could connect to the TV. But things are slightly different as the Switch has a dock for playing on the TV.
Part of the confusion comes from the fact that Nintendo Switch uses a USB C port to connect to both power and export content to a TV. This is why you need to use the switch dock, as it allows you to connect both power, and HDMI output to the switch. Unfortunately, you cannot output a video signal while in handheld mode. This would really come in handy for streamers using a capture card.
Step 1: Connect Dock to Power
The first thing you need to do is connect the Switch dock to power. To do this, you will need the Switch’s power cord which is a USB-C plug. Flip open the flap on the back of the Switch dock and plug in the power cord to its respective port.
Step 2: Connect Dock to TV
Now that your dock has power, you must connect it to your TV. The Switch comes with an HDMI cord, but any HDMI cord will do. Plug one end into the back of the Switch dock next to the power supply.
Step 3: Go to HDMI Input on the TV
Most TVs require you to do this with the remote control. Once you are on the correct input, nothing should show up until the Switch is docked and turned on.
Step 4: Dock the Switch
If you haven’t done so, insert the Switch console into the dock. You will feel the switch slide into the USB port, and it should light to indicate it is charging.
Step 5: Remove Controllers
If you will play with the Switch’s Joycons, you need to remove them from the console. The easiest way to do this is to remove them after docking the console. To do so, press the buttons on the backside of each Joycon and gently slide them upwards until they are detached.
Step 6: Power on the Switch
Once everything is connected and ready to go, you can power on the Switch console. You can press the power button on the console while it is docked or long-press the home button on the right Joycon until the console wakes up.
In the following video, Tech & Design demonstrates how to connect your Nintendo Switch to your TV.
Step 7: Start Playing a Game
After the console powers on, it should start displaying on the TV. From there, you can use the Switch like you normally would by playing games.
Play Switch on TV Without a Dock
Many want to know if they can cast their Switch display on a TV or even a capture card while playing. The answer to this is a resounding no. Unfortunately, the Switch can only display one output at a time, meaning it will use its built-in screen or cast to a TV when docked. If your dock is lost or damaged, you can purchase a new one from Nintendo or Amazon.