Unlike the Nintendo Switch, the Switch Light has one major caveat: It’s made for games that support handheld mode. This includes a plethora of titles such as Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Super Mario Odyssey, and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and many more.
While Switch Lite users will be able to play practically every game in the standard console’s library, several games will either be inaccessible or impractical to play on the portable console. Nintendo suggests looking at the back of every game you want to buy or checking the game’s page in the Nintendo eShop to see if it supports handheld mode.
Even if a game does not support handheld mode or uses tabletop mode, you’ll still be able to play it on the Switch Light, but it will require players to connect to the game wirelessly using Joy-Cons. You’ll also need to invest in a playstand if you want to be able to prop up your Switch Light since it ditched the flimsy kickstand.
Nintendo Switch games that don’t support (or are impracticable in) handheld mode
Nintendo Labo, the weird cardboard DIY experience, won’t be supported on Switch Lite. That means no Variety Kit, Robot Kit, Vehicle Kit, or VR Kit. Considering Labo builds require you to detach the Joy-Con and dock the console in cardboard slots, it makes total sense why it’s not supported on Switch Lite. It simply isn’t possible.
While Labo is a neat idea, the majority of fun comes from creating the builds. The actual games that you can play after completing your creations are pretty shallow. We doubt anyone is rushing to the store to buy a Switch specifically for the gameplay in Labo.
Super Mario Party
Super Mario Party only supports docked and tabletop mode. You cannot dock the Switch Lite, nor does it support tabletop mode, so that means you cannot play Super Mario Party on the console as is. You’ll want a stand to prop the Switch Lite up if you decide to go the wireless Joy-Con route, and you’ll have to buy one or two sets of Joy-Con ($80 for a pair) if you want to play with a full party. You’ll wind up spending roughly $250 to get the whole show up and running. Super Mario Party is good, but it’s not that good.
1-2 Switch is in the same boat as Super Mario Party, except it’s restricted to two players. But we’ll be honest, playing this bizarre launch game in “tabletop” mode isn’t very appealing. 1-2 Switch requires players to sit or stand in front of or on the side of the console to play the mini-games, which range from milking a cow to an old-fashioned duel.
1-2 Switch is best played on a TV screen, and it’s really more of a tech demo showing off the Switch’s HD Rumble feature anyway, so it shouldn’t make or break your decision.
Just Dance series
Just Dance 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020 will work on Switch Lite, but again, you’ll need to purchase extra Joy-Cons to connect wirelessly to the console. Just Dance, Ubisoft’s long-running dance rhythm series, is ideally played on a TV since you need to have some distance between yourself and the screen. Following along to the dance moves on the Switch Lite’s 5.5-inch display probably won’t be a great way to play.
A workout game centered around — you guessed it — boxing, Fitness Boxing use Joy-Con motion controls to add some exercise into your gaming routine. You’ll be throwing a lot of punches in this game and it’s highly recommended to play on the big screen. The tabletop mode in Fitness Boxing isn’t bad, but again, buying an extra Joy-Con is required for Switch Lite play.
Ring Fit Adventure
Described as an exercise RPG, Ring Fit Adventure sends you on a quest to defeat enemies using a variety of gameplay mechanics. By using the Ring-Con (similar to a pilates ring) and the Leg Strap, the game tracks your movement, similar to the Just Dance games. Though the action may remind you of Wii Fit or Just Dance, this is definitely an adventure game that gets you moving.
To progress through the story – and ultimately defeat the main boss – you must run, jump, and perform other stances. Though it’s not especially original, the characters and progressions keep you moving. Plus, there are mini-games and additional modes to enhance your workout.
You can technically play Ring Fit Adventures on a Switch Lite, but you need additional accessories (a pair of Joy-Con controllers). Unfortunately, playing this game on a Switch Lite isn’t ideal since you will have to stand too far from your console. It detracts from the experience if you can’t see the small screen well enough to appreciate the adventure. Additionally, you won’t be able to connect a Ring-Con controller to your Switch Lite.
Ring Fit Adventure is a fun way to be active, but finding the game and Ring-Con in stock has been hit or miss.