Can You Use The Switch Lite As A Controller? Here’s What You Need To Know

Do you want to know if the Nintendo Switch Lite can be used as a controller? The answer is yes, but there’s more to it. With new technology comes all sorts of questions and understanding how things work can sometimes be tricky.

In this article we’ll break down what you need to know so that you can make the most out of your gaming experience with the Switch Lite. Read on to find out everything you need to know about using the Switch Lite as a controller.

Yes, the Nintendo Switch Lite can be used as a controller for certain games. For example, it is compatible with Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe in TV Mode by connecting to the main console via wireless communications. The Switch Lite also works as a controller when playing some games on PC or Android devices through the use of its built-in gyro controls and buttons.

What Is The Nintendo Switch Lite?

The Nintendo Switch Lite is a compact, portable version of the popular Nintendo Switch gaming console. It was first released in September 2019 as a more affordable and portable alternative to the original Switch, which can be docked for use on a television or played in handheld mode.

One of the most notable differences between the Switch Lite and the original Switch is its form factor. The Switch Lite is smaller and lighter, making it more comfortable to hold and play for extended periods of time.

Additionally, the Switch Lite is solely a handheld device and cannot be docked for use on a television. This means that it does not come with detachable Joy-Con controllers and cannot be used with the Switch’s various docking and charging accessories.

Another key difference is the Switch Lite’s price point. At $199.99, it is $100 cheaper than the original Switch, making it a more accessible option for gamers on a budget. Despite the lower price tag, the Switch Lite still boasts many of the same features as the original Switch, such as the 5.5-inch multitouch display and the ability to play all Switch games that support handheld mode.

Despite being a more portable and budget-friendly option, the Switch Lite is not without its limitations. It does not have detachable controllers, and it can’t be used to play games on a TV. The Joy-Cons are integrated into the system and cannot be removed.

Additionally, many of the Switch’s accessories, such as the Joy-Con grip and charging dock, are not compatible with the Switch Lite. However, it is still a great option for gamers who are looking for a more portable and affordable way to play their favorite Switch games.

How Does It Differ From The Original Switch Model?

The original Switch model, also known as the Switch (model HAC-001), was first released in March 2017. The main differences between the original Switch model and the newer Switch model, known as the Switch Lite (model HDH-001), include:

  1. Size and weight: The Switch Lite is smaller and lighter than the original Switch.
  2. Display: The Switch Lite has a 5.5-inch display, while the original Switch has a 6.2-inch display.
  3. Joy-Con controllers: The Switch Lite does not have detachable Joy-Con controllers, meaning it is not able to be played in a tabletop or TV mode.
  4. Battery life: The Switch Lite has a longer battery life than the original Switch, with up to 7 hours of battery life compared to the original Switch’s battery life of up to 6.5 hours.
  5. Price: The Switch Lite is less expensive than the original Switch.
  6. Color options: The Switch Lite is available in three color options, including yellow, turquoise, and gray, while the original Switch is only available in the standard gray color.
  7. Docking: The Switch Lite doesn’t come with the ability to dock with a TV.
  8. IR sensor: The Switch Lite lacks infrared sensor for motion control.

Are There Any Limitations When Using The Switch Lite As A Controller?


The Nintendo Switch Lite is a dedicated handheld gaming device, and as such, it cannot be docked and connected to a TV. This means that certain games that require the use of the Joy-Con controllers’ motion controls, such as “1-2 Switch” and “Super Mario Party,” are not compatible with the Switch Lite.

Additionally, games that require the use of the Joy-Con controllers in separate configurations, such as “Mario Kart 8 Deluxe” and “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate,” will require the purchase of additional controllers to play in those modes.


While the Switch Lite does have a built-in control scheme, there are limitations to the precision and accuracy of the controls. The Joy-Con controllers offer more precise and accurate controls, particularly when it comes to motion controls and the use of the right Joy-Con’s IR camera. The Switch Lite’s built-in controls also lack the haptic feedback feature of the Joy-Con controllers, which can add an immersive level of immersion to some games.

Physical Size

The Switch Lite is designed as a handheld device and is smaller than the original Switch. This can make it more comfortable to hold and play for extended periods of time, but it can also make it more difficult to use the buttons and control sticks comfortably. The smaller size also means that the screen is smaller, which can make it more difficult to see in-game details, especially for players with visual impairments.


While the Switch Lite does have the capability to play multiplayer games, there are some limitations to the experience. The device can only connect to other Switch consoles wirelessly, so players will not be able to connect to other players online. Additionally, the Switch Lite does not have a kickstand, so players will need to use a separate stand or prop up the device in order to play multiplayer games in tabletop mode.

Accessories Needed To Make This Work Properly

Extra Controllers

To fully experience the capabilities of many Switch games, additional controllers are needed. Games such as “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” and “Mario Kart 8 Deluxe” require separate Joy-Con controllers to play in certain modes.

Additionally, games that rely on motion controls, such as “1-2 Switch” and “Super Mario Party,” cannot be played with the Switch Lite’s built-in controls and will require the use of Joy-Con controllers.

Storage Expansion

The Switch Lite has a built-in storage capacity of 32GB, which may not be enough for some players. To store more games, DLC, and save data, a microSD card is needed. These cards come in various capacities, and it’s recommended to get at least a 128GB card to ensure enough storage space for future games and content.

Protective Case

As the Switch Lite is a portable device, it’s recommended to invest in a protective case to protect it from scratches, dings, and other forms of damage. These cases come in various styles and materials, from silicone covers to hardshell cases, and can also provide added grip and comfort while playing.

Screen Protector

To further protect the Switch Lite’s screen, a screen protector is recommended. These protectors are applied to the screen and can prevent scratches and other forms of damage to the display. There are many different types of screen protectors available, including tempered glass protectors, and it’s important to ensure that the one you choose is compatible with the Switch Lite.

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