What Games Can You Play on Nintendo Switch Lite?

Almost all Switch games work, but some need detachable Joy-Cons to play

The Nintendo Switch Lite is Nintendo's latest revision of the Nintendo Switch. A more portable version of the console, you can't place it within a Nintendo Switch dock, and you can't detach its Joy-Con controllers. That can bring with it some disadvantages when it comes to what games are compatible with it.

What Games Can You Not Play on Nintendo Switch Lite?

Technically all games will start on your Nintendo Switch Lite. The problem lies in whether you can play the game properly. Some games require you to have detachable Joy-Con controllers, which means you can still play them if you have a separate pair of controllers. 

Here's a list of the games that require separate controllers and for you to prop up your Nintendo Switch Lite.  These games are known as titles that don't support handheld mode, so you'll need those separate Joy-Cons.

  • 1-2-Switch
  • Just Dance (all versions)
  • Super Mario Party
  • Fitness Boxing
  • Fitness Boxing 2: Rhythm & Exercise
  • Ring Fit Adventure

Nintendo Labo sets also don't work with the Nintendo Switch Lite. These sets require you to place the base console within some of the cardboard constructions that come with the kits. It's possible to create a homemade workaround if you get creative, but it's simply not possible for the most part. 

Do Some Games Only Partially Work on Nintendo Switch Lite?

Yes, a small handful of games can have issues with the Nintendo Switch Lite but mostly still work.

Dr. Kawashima's Brain Training for Nintendo Switch requires the IR camera found in the bottom of every right-hand Joy-Con for hand gesture counting activities, so you're unable to play this mode on a Nintendo Switch Lite. 

Super Mario Odyssey has a handful of moves that require you to use motion controls. On the Nintendo Switch Lite, you'll need to shake the whole console to initiate them. 

Why Won't All Games Work on Nintendo Switch Lite?

It's primarily down to how the Joy-Cons aren't detachable from the Nintendo Switch Lite. That's why if you buy a separate pair, you can often circumvent the issues with games. It's not always guaranteed, though, such as with the Nintendo Labo, which requires a particular console size. 

How Do I Know if a Switch Game Doesn't Support Handheld Mode?

Look at the back of any Nintendo Switch game box, and you'll see a series of icons indicating the game's compatibility. The game box will list how you can play the game. If the Handheld Mode box is blanked out, you can't play the game in Handheld Mode, which will be a problem if you have a Nintendo Switch Lite and no spare controllers. 

Are There Any Games That Only Work on Nintendo Switch Lite? 

There are no specific games for Nintendo Switch Lite right now. All games work on Nintendo Switch, with only the handful listed above that may have issues with the Nintendo Switch Lite. 

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