Can Nintendo Switch Lite play all games?

If you’ve read my comparison between the Nintendo Switch Oled and Nintendo Switch Lite, you’ll probably know that I took the path less chosen with the Switch Lite. 

The next most common question that I get when we have the debate of which Nintendo Switch is the best is;

“Can the Nintendo Switch Lite even play all the games?!”

Yes. Well, mostly. 

There are indeed titles that don’t support Handheld mode which the Switch Lite is. But, you do have the option of pairing external joy cons to your Switch Lite. 

The following do not support Handheld mode:

Titles that do not support Handheld mode on the Nintendo Switch

  • Nintendo Switch Sports
  • Ring Fit Adventure
  • Fitness Boxing 1 and 2
  • Just Dance
  • Super Mario Party
  • Nintendo Labo

How to tell if a Switch game doesn’t work on Nintendo Switch Lite?

Simply look at the back of your physical Switch game box, or check the eShop game page for the Play Modes icons.

There are three icons indicating TV (docked mode), Tabletop mode and Handheld mode.

Here’s are two examples:

Source: Nintendo Switch Sports eShop page
Source: Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon™  eShop page.

You should see these icons at the back of your physical Switch game too: 

Are there games that play better with the detachable Joy Cons?

Of course. 

Even though it’s not my thing, I’m not going to deny that if you’re playing games like Overcooked with friends, you’ll definitely need multiple detachable Joy Cons. 

Even single player games like the interesting Dr Kawashima’s Brain Training come with minigames that make use of the IR function of the right-hand Joy Con. 

And then there’s the HD Rumble feature. I personally felt the difference after moving my Pokémon Scarlet from the Nintendo Switch OLED to the Switch Lite. While the rumble isn’t necessary, it is useful to notify you of certain in-game events. 

Does the Nintendo Switch Lite have gyro?

Yes, Switch Lite comes with a gyroscope and accelerometer sensors! 

There’s no loss of function when it comes to these notion capabilities on the Switch Lite, so no worries, you still can play Splatoon 2 and any other games that have gyro aiming like The Legend of Zelda (Breath of the Wild).

You cannot experience Nintendo Labo with Switch Lite

Nintendo Labo works by attaching the console body to the Toy Con. Although there are workarounds, it is better to get the Nintendo Switch OLED if you want the full Nintendo Labo experience.


In short, if you’re looking forward to playing games with your friends on a single console, then the Nintendo Switch OLED or Regular would be a better choice for you. 

If you’re like me and prefer to enjoy your games alone while lazing on the bed, the Switch Lite might be a lighter and more portable option (although the display may not be as bright or intense).





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