How to Set up and Use a Nintendo Switch Microphone

Voice chat with peeps while playing your favorite games

What to Know

  • Plug your headset into the audio jack along the top of the Switch or the USB-C port on its bottom (or the USB port on the dock).
  • Connect the headset to your mobile device and use the Nintendo Switch Online mobile app.
  • You can also use your mobile device's built-in microphone to chat with the Nintendo Switch Online app.

This article explains how to set up and use a microphone for Switch. Instructions apply to the Nintendo Switch Lite and the original model.

How to Use the Audio Jack With a Nintendo Switch Gaming Headset

What We Like
  • It's easy to connect a mic to the Nintendo Switch.

  • Doesn't require a Nintendo Online subscription to work.

  • Can use basic earphone models with built-in mics.

What We Don't Like
  • Voice chat only works with Fortnite and Warframe.

  • Fortnite voice chat is unstable on the Switch.

  • Wireless headsets aren't supported.

Each Nintendo Switch console features an audio jack along its top and a USB-C port on its bottom. Both of these can be used to connect compatible earphones or headphones and support most microphone models.

Microphones connected to either port can be used to voice chat while playing Fortnite or Warframe. All you do is plug in the microphone and begin talking. A Nintendo Online subscription isn't required.

A Turtle Beach Ear Force Stealth 700 headset.
Turtle Beach

When your Nintendo Switch is docked for TV play, you can connect a USB microphone to the USB port on the dock for voice chat.

Fortnite and Warframe are the only video games that support microphone chat using this method. It's also unstable in Fortnite, with the game often not registering a microphone at all on random occasions.

Nintendo Switch Voice Chat Online App

What We Like
  • Supports most major Nintendo video games.

  • Supports Bluetooth microphones.

  • Supports smartphone and tablet built-in microphones.

What We Don't Like
  • Only a few supported titles.

  • Requires a Nintendo Switch Online subscription.

  • Using a Nintendo Switch and smartphone for gaming at the same time is messy.

Nintendo runs its own Nintendo Switch Voice Chat, a first-party voice chat solution, but it's limited and convoluted. It requires the use of an iOS or Android device, the Nintendo Switch Online app, and an active Nintendo Switch Online subscription.

Nintendo Voice Chat app

It's more complex than plugging your microphone into your Nintendo Switch and talking. Still, it works well and supports all headphones and microphones you can connect to your smart device, including the best Bluetooth headsets and microphones. You can also use the device's built-in microphone for voice chat, which is useful for those times when you can't find your accessories.

The downside is it requires a paid monthly subscription, and it only supports around ten or so games.

Use Third-Party Gaming Chat Apps with Nintendo Switch

What We Like
  • Using these apps is free.

  • Supports communication with friends on different platforms.

  • Voice chat continues when changing games or turning off the Switch.

  • Supports all microphone and headset models.

What We Don't Like
  • Using an additional device for voice chat may frustrate some.

  • Initial planning with friends can take a while.

The most popular way to voice chat with a microphone while playing video games on a Nintendo Switch is to use a third-party app on your smartphone, tablet, or computer.

To link accounts on Discord, select Connect Accounts on the Add Friend screen.

Using another voice chat service or app is often free, can be used while you play a video game, and can involve friends on other consoles like the Xbox One and PS4. What's more, this method supports most headset and microphone models if using a smart device.

Most models are supported when using a modern computer or laptop.

When using an app on a smart device for voice chat, connect to Wi-Fi so that you don't use your cellular data.

All you need to do to voice chat using this method is to have your friends download the same app onto their devices, then begin a group call or chat.

Here are some of the most popular apps used for video game voice chats:

  • Discord: A popular service that supports free text-based chat rooms and group calls.
  • WhatsApp: A popular phone call alternative app. WhatsApp is also great for video game voice chats.
  • Skype: Not popular with kids, but parents may have an account they can use.
  • Xbox: The official Xbox apps support voice chat. This is a good option if you have a lot of Xbox network friends. Download the Xbox iOS app or get the Android Xbox app. You can also download the Windows 10 Xbox app.
  • Line: Line is the WhatsApp of Japan. It's popular with those who live in Japan and international users who are interested in Japanese culture, anime, and video games. It supports group calls with up to 200 people.

Until Nintendo introduces better support for microphones, headsets, and voice chat, this method is the best way to communicate while playing games on the Nintendo Switch.

What's a Good Nintendo Switch Gaming Headset?

When looking for a microphone for Nintendo Switch, keep in mind which method you'll use to voice chat with your friends. In general, any microphone or headset with support for a 3.5mm audio jack will work on a Nintendo Switch, in addition to the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, Android devices, and computers.

If you plan to use an iPhone or iPad for Nintendo Switch voice chat, check the port at the bottom of the device, as newer models no longer support 3.5mm connections. These devices use Apple's proprietary lightning port.

While there are several Nintendo Switch-branded microphones and headsets, such as the Turtle Beach Recon 70N Gaming Headset, you don't need to buy one of these to voice chat.

  • How do I test the microphone on a Nintendo Switch?

    To perform a microphone test on your Nintendo Switch, open System Settings from the Home menu. Tap Other Settings and go to page two to select Mic Test. Speak into the microphone. If you see colored volume bars, it's working. Select Finish when you're done.

  • Why is my Nintendo Switch microphone not working?

    If your microphone isn't working, ensure chat is enabled in the game you're playing. If it's enabled, try disabling and then reenabling the chat feature. You should also ensure your Voice Chat Method is set to Open Mic and not Push-to-Talk.

  • How do I connect a Nintendo Switch to a TV?

    To hook up your Nintendo Switch to a TV, open the dock's back cover and connect the AC adapter and HDMI cable. Plug the AC adapter into a wall outlet, and plug the HDMI cable into your TV. Detach the Joy-Con controllers, put your Switch into the dock, and then power on the Switch and your TV.

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