Splatoon 2, perhaps even more so than the series’ original outing, combines two of my greatest loves: video games and clothes shopping. So is it any wonder that, with visions of oh-so-stylish Inklings still dancing in my head, I have recently turned to the important task of properly accessorizing my Nintendo Switch?
By this point, you’ve no doubt acquired the basics, those being things like a high-capacity microSD card and a Pro Controller or additional Joy-Cons. With that in mind, I’d like to draw your attention to some more exotic fare—exemplary import items and other stand-out third-party entries.
Here are my five current favorite accessories for the Nintendo Switch.
Toast Nintendo Switch and Dock Covers
I have a problem with my Nintendo Switch dock. It doesn’t, like, scratch my touchscreen or anything, it’s just rather bland and unattractive. If having yet another nondescript piece of black plastic on your entertainment center is also getting you down, Toast has a number of enticing options.
Though better known for its real wood and leather phone covers, Toast now supports a number of video game systems with unique veneers that really kick up the eye appeal of your console. These thin wooden covers come in multiple small pieces with the rounded covers jointed so they hug every curve of your device, each backed with a strong adhesive that sets quickly so you can get back to gaming.
Available in four different wood types, you can “Toast” your Switch and Joy-Cons, your system dock, or your whole setup. That being said, the material used to color the Switch’s plastic body doesn’t seem to respond well to adhesives, so removal may damage your console in the form of small, pinprick-sized areas where the colored plastic is pulled off during removal.
To Toast’s credit, they make no secret of this, and you are warned on the site and in the installation instructions that removal of the veneers may damage your system. Therefore, I’d only recommend you apply them to your Switch and Joy-Cons if you’re in it for the long haul.
However, your Switch Dock (and your Joy-Con Grip, assuming you spring for the full system set) can be safely Toasted for the short-term or the long, and it’s a wonderful way to really make what is an otherwise dinky little system stand pop. Either way, installation is a breeze, and the overall product quality is top-notch.
Category: Console Customization
Price: $24 (dock-only), $39 (Switch-only), $59 (full system)
Rating: 3.75 out of 5 wooden Joy-Cons
Review materials provided by: Toast
Joy-Con Hard Covers
If you’re looking to accessorize your Joy-Cons with something that offers a perfect blend of both safety and style, look no further than these rigid covers from Keys Factory. Made of a two-piece, snap-together shell, you simply place them over the Left or Right Joy-Con and squeeze to lock them into place.
While the front is a smart, shiny plastic, the back is designed with ridges to help you hang onto your controller, and they have a great, solid feel whether docked into the Switch itself or played free-hand.
Current designs include black, which can, at last, make those dull grey Joy-Cons match your Switch itself, and two different Splatoon 2-centered designs: Ink splatters (Type A) or squids (Type B). The only catch? These accessories are currently import-only.
Category: Safety and Protection
Price: $12.99 (black), $17.99 (Splatoon 2 Type A and Type B) Note: At the time of writing, Splatoon 2 Type A is on sale for a discounted $9.99 via Play Asia.
Rating: 5 out of 5 squid tentacles
Review materials provided by: My own meager bank account
Front Cover for Nintendo Switch
Like the coordinating Joy-Con covers, the Front Cover for Nintendo Switch (also by Keys Factory) doesn’t exactly dazzle you with its name. It does, however, add a fun and functional slant to Switch protection.
Basically, this is a tablet touchscreen cover. It snaps securely onto the back of your Switch and protects the screen with a resilient outside and a soft, scratch-resistant inside. This does, however, pose a couple of unique problems. First, when playing the system in handheld mode, you’ll need to hold the front cover flap back behind your system a bit until it becomes a little more broken in. Second, you’ll have to remember to gently place it over the front of your system dock when playing in TV mode, as it would otherwise make your Switch too thick to fit/connect with the internal USB-C connector.
Both of these, however, are minor qualms, and I’ve really fallen in love my Front Cover. As I mentioned, these coordinate with the Joy-Con Hard Covers, which means you can get it in basic black and two distinct Splatoon 2 designs.
Category: Safety and Protection
Price: $18.99 (black), $29.99 (Splatoon 2 Type A and Type B) Note: At the time of writing, Splatoon 2 Type A is on sale for a discounted $24.99 via Play Asia.
Rating: 4 out of 5 Inkling thumbs up
Review materials provided by: My compulsion to coordinate my electronic devices
Nyko Clip Grip Power
I pretty much came out of the proverbial gate touting the strengths of Nintendo’s first-party Joy-Con Charging Grip. At under $30, it’s significantly cheaper than a Switch Pro Controller, but it offers a similar, more traditional controller setup for those who don’t like the separate one-Joy-Con-in-each-hand experience. Currently, though, I’m inclined to see Nyko’s competing Clip Grip Power as a more enticing option.
Not only does it come in at $5 cheaper, it also boasts a central storage compartment for up to 7 games and two extra microSD cards as well as a detachable mount that holds your mobile phone. You simply attach your Left and Right Joy-Con to each sliding port, remove the clip from the back and attach it to the mounting slot up top, and then open the holder to accommodate your phone.
While the Nintendo Charging Grip looks—let’s face it—freaking identical to the bundled regular Grip, the Clip Grip Power has a wider base that makes it feel even more like the Pro Controller. And its included 3000mAh internal battery can be used to top off your Joy-Cons, your phone, or the Switch itself, making it a suitable travel companion.
My only caution is that, depending on the size of your phone, the clip feature can really make it feel rather top-heavy and uneven. Of course, if you’re not planning to use Nintendo’s communication app—which I’ll get into momentarily—shouldn’t be a concern.
Category: Controller Accessory
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 tethered cell phones
Review materials provided by: Nyko
HORI Nintendo Switch Splatoon 2 Splat & Chat Headset
Nintendo’s app-based system for Splatoon 2 party chat is… less than optimal. Basically, it’s only really useful if you’re playing with friends via a private room, and, even then, it limits you to chat within your own team once a match starts—thus taking away your ability to use the glorious power of smack-talk against your opponents. In truth, my friends and I usually elect to use Skype for a group call while we play, that way, using the game’s Friends menu, we can usually stay in the same matches together and banter no matter which side of the color divide we may end up on.
Whatever your chatting habits, HORI’s Splat & Chat Headset is a cute solution for a perplexing problem. Modeled after an actual in-game item, this Splatoon 2-themed headset includes a detachable mic, a squid-shaped splitter (one end of which goes into your Switch and the other your phone’s headphone jack), and decorative ear cover plates in green and red.
I’ve heard a number of complaints about this device, most specifically about the sizing, but, as a smaller guy, this hasn’t been an issue for me. The overall audio quality is about what I expected from a $30 set of ‘phones, and the splitter, while functional, is more of a novelty.
Overall, this headset is likely of more use for cosplayers than multi-players, but as a die-hard Splatoon fan, I was sort of honor bound to pick it up. While I actually kind of like it, even I can admit that it’s a strange solution to an even stranger problem.
In truth, since I tend to do most of my Splatoon-playing in TV mode, the splitter/second audio source functionality isn’t really even strictly necessary. Mostly, I just put my phone in my Nyko Clip Grip (or simply set it down beside me) plug in the Splat & Chat directly, and I can get any needed game audio by adjusting the volume of my television.