What are the USB Ports for on the Nintendo Switch?

When the Nintendo Switch was about to be released, there was lots of anticipation as to what the device was capable of. And also about both the peripherals and the console itself. After the release, a good deal of speculation centered on the USB ports on the Switch, and even now many aren’t really sure how they can be used. In this article. What are they good for?

Where Are These USB Ports?

There are technically four USB ports on the whole Nintendo Switch system. One of these is the USB Type C port on the bottom of the console. The other three are located on the dock. Two of those are on the side with the last USB port inside the back cover, which you’ll have to open to gain access to. This port is right in between the AC Adapter and HDMI output. Although the plug inside is marked as USB 3.0, Nintendo labels them in the technical specifications as only USB 2.0 compatible.

nintendo switch usb ports

What Are These Ports for?

The USB port on the bottom of the console is used only for two things, charging the device and connecting it to the dock. Avoid attaching any third party devices on the console’s USB port. Doing so runs a risk of damaging the device itself.

The three ports on the dock, on the other hand, can be used in several ways. As they’re USB 2.0 compatible, they can be plugged into a lot of devices that can utilize the port.

nintendo switch what are usb ports for

What Devices Are Compatible with the Switch USB Port?

LAN Adapter – If you want to connect your Switch to a router, rather than using Wi-Fi, you can plug the LAN Adapter to the USB port located inside the dock. The USB port can then either be plugged to a wired internet connection or to the wireless modem if you wish.

Joy-Con Chargers – Joy-Con Chargers can be plugged onto the side USB ports. As there are two ports on the side, you can charge both controllers at the same time. Avoid using third party chargers though. This may damage not only your controllers but the dock as well.

USB Bluetooth headphones – Surprisingly, any headphone that has a USB 2.0 protocol can’t be used with the Nintendo Switch. It seems that the audio system of the console was designed to either work with the HDMI cable or Bluetooth. That said, if your Bluetooth headphone can be used with a USB extender, then you can connect it to the Switch. Although it can be plugged into any of the three ports, it’s more convenient to use the ones on the side.

USB Keyboard – Although you can’t actually use the keyboard to play games, you can enter passwords or use text chat by attaching a USB keyboard.

USB Compatible Bluetooth Devices – As long as the Bluetooth device can be connected to a USB, the Switch will most likely work with it.

USB Hub – These are devices used to increase the number of USB ports in a device. Just connect the hub to a USB port and you’ll be able to attach more devices to your dock.

What are the Other Ports on My Switch Dock For?

The only other ports on the dock are the HDMI Out and the AC Adapter port. The AC Adapter port, as the name suggests, connects to the outlet that you plug onto a wall socket to charge your system. The HDMI Out port connects to your display through an HDMI cable.

Is It Safe to Use Third Party Devices on My Switch USB Port?

Nintendo discourages the use of third party devices on your Nintendo Switch. This is more of a buyer beware kind of thing. Normally, as long as the USB device that you’re using isn’t of suspect quality, there’s little chance for it to damage your system. Unlike third party AC adapters and docks, the USB ports are meant to be connected to different peripherals.

nintendo switch

Support for Other Devices

Although the Switch has been out for a while, not everyone is familiar with all the ports and peripherals that comprise the system. It may come as a surprise then that the console’s USB ports can support a good number of other devices.

Do you know of other uses for the USB ports in the Nintendo Switch? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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