Use your computer to play with the Switch console. The Nintendo Switch officially supports gameplay on its own screen in portable mode and on a connected TV screen when connected, but these aren’t the only options. You can connect the Switch to a computer and play games like Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Animal Crossing New Horizons on your computer. But it takes some work. We show you how below.

What you need to connect the Nintendo Switch to the laptop

To view the Nintendo Switch on a laptop, you need to purchase an HDMI video capture card. This is necessary because laptop models generally do not come with support for HDMI In functionality.

Any capture card can be used for this process as long as it has a USB-C connection and an HDMI In port.

How to connect the Nintendo Switch to the laptop

To play your Nintendo Switch on your laptop, you basically use your laptop monitor as a TV screen, so you can leave your Nintendo Switch in its dock for the entire setup process.

1. Unplug the Nintendo Switch HDMI cable from the TV.

2. Connect the Nintendo Switch HDMI cable to the HDMI In port on your capture card.

3. This whole process can take a lot of power, so it’s a good idea to plug both your laptop and Nintendo Switch Dock into a power source.

4. On your laptop, open your Game Capture HD.

5. Turn on your Nintendo Switch console by pressing the Home button on any connected controller.

6. Connect the USB cable that came with your newly purchased HDMI video capture card and to your computer.

7. After a few seconds, you should see the Nintendo Switch main screen in Game Capture HD.

8. Select the full screen icon in the upper right corner of Game Capture HD. The program should fill the entire screen.

9. Be careful not to touch the mouse or keyboard. The Nintendo Switch footage should automatically expand to fill the entire screen by itself. You can now play your Nintendo Switch games on your laptop just like you would on a TV.

Other ways to connect the Nintendo Switch to the laptop

If you don’t have an HDMI capture card and can’t afford to buy one, a great alternative is to play PC versions of your favorite Nintendo Switch games on your laptop.

With the exception of first-party franchises like Super Mario, Animal Crossing, and Pokemon, many of the video games available on the Nintendo Switch can also be purchased from the Microsoft Store app store on Windows 10, Epic Games, or Steam.

Some popular online games, such as Minecraft and Fortnite, even support cross-saving between devices. This means you can continue a game you started on your Nintendo Switch on your laptop, then transfer all progress to your Switch when you’re ready.

Many Nintendo Switch controllers are also compatible with a laptop or desktop computer, so you won’t need to learn new controls to play.

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