Are you in the middle of packing for a long flight and wondering “Can I actually bring my Nintendo Switch on the plane?” Trust me, you’re not alone! As a frequent and anxious flier, I am always thinking of ways to make those long flights more entertaining and relaxing.
The good news is that you absolutely can bring your Nintendo Switch on your next flight! Here are also a few tips and considerations to keep in mind so you can get through security without a hitch and level up your in-flight gaming experience.
- 📃 Can You Bring a Nintendo Switch on a Plane? [Per TSA Rules]
- 🧳 Tips for Putting a Nintendo Switch in Checked Luggage
- 👮🏻 Tips for Traveling with a Nintendo Switch in a Carry-On
- Can You Play a Nintendo Switch on an Airplane?
- Best Nintendo Switch Accessories for the Plane
- Best Games to Play on the Airplane on the Nintendo Switch
- Quick FAQs for Bringing a Nintendo Switch on a Plane
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📃 Can You Bring a Nintendo Switch on a Plane? [Per TSA Rules]
The Switch falls under the category of a full sized video game console, which is allowed in both carry on and checked luggage per the U.S Transportation Security Administration website.
🧳 Tips for Putting a Nintendo Switch in Checked Luggage
Can you put a Nintendo Switch in checked luggage? Yes. But just because you can, here are a few reasons why you shouldn’t:
- Battery Concerns – the Nintendo Switch uses a lithium-ion battery, which is considered hazardous material per the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). While extremely rare, lithium batteries can overheat or expand to cause a fire in the cabin which is why the FAA recommends packing it in carry-on baggage. If you do decide to pack your Nintendo Switch in checked luggage, make sure to completely power it off to protect it from unintentional activation. Also, all spare (uninstalled) batteries for your Switch must be placed in your carry-on.
- Protection – items in your checked bags are more likely to get damaged or stolen. If you choose to check-in your Switch, buy a protective case and pack it carefully so it doesn’t move or get squashed. If you’re worried about your bags getting lost or stolen, consider buying an Airtag and place it inside your suitcase.
👮🏻 Tips for Traveling with a Nintendo Switch in a Carry-On
The best place to pack your Nintendo Switch is in a carry-on bag. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when traveling with your Switch in your carry-on, especially when you go through security:
- Get a separate case for your Switch – You will need to place your Nintendo Switch in a separate bin when you go through security. To make this process easier, put your Switch in a protective case and pack it somewhere that’s easily accessible in your carry-on bag. Once you get to security, you can take out just the case. Most airports will allow you to keep your Switch inside the case but this is dependent on the person screening items as they go through the X-ray screening.
- Write down your Switch serial number somewhere safe ahead of time – I’ve traveled with my Switch many times so this has never happened to me but it is possible for your Switch to get stolen in the process of security screening (this happened to someone on Reddit a few years ago). For the best chance of getting your Switch back:
1. Enable parental controls to block anyone from using your Switch without the passcode
2. Write down (or take a picture) of your Switch serial number so you can track it down in case it gets resold
3. File a complaint
Can You Play a Nintendo Switch on an Airplane?
100%, you absolutely can play games on your Switch on a plane! To do so, you will need to put your Switch on airplane mode which turns off all wireless communication such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
Make sure to buy and download offline games ahead of time since Flight Mode blocks online features that otherwise would allow you to buy, download, and play online games.
To turn on Airplane mode:
- Go to System Settings
- Select Flight Mode from the left menu
- Press “A” to activate/deactivate
💡Re-Enable Bluetooth: Go to System Settings > Flight Mode > Controller Connection (Bluetooth). This will allow you to connect your bluetooth headphones and pair your Joy-Con controllers if they weren’t attached to your Switch prior to activating Flight Mode.
Best Nintendo Switch Accessories for the Plane
1. Nintendo Switch Carrying Case
The most important accessory for your Nintendo Switch is a carrying case. Ideally, you’ll want one with an upper accessory pocket and a bottom flap where you put your game cartridges. I bought mine from Target several years ago but this one on Amazon is almost identical.
2. Power Bank
💡Consolidate your cables when possible. All of my personal devices use a USB-C cable, including my laptop. If there are power outlets available on the plane, I’ll use my laptop charger to charge my Switch so it charges faster.
A power bank is always at the top of my travel essentials packing list. This is my favorite because it allows me to charge multiple devices (including the Switch) multiple times.
3. Joy-Con Grip
If you know you’re going to play a game that’s hard to play in handheld mode for long periods of time, then I’d recommend bringing your joy-con grip that comes with your Switch. This will allow you to set your Switch up in tabletop mode without risking losing one of your joy-con controllers or having to bring a separate pro controller.
Switch Accessories to Leave at Home
- Nintendo Switch Charging Stand – if you want to be able to charge your Switch and play in tabletop mode at the same time, then you may want to purchase a portable charging stand. I would only recommend bringing this if you plan on playing on your Switch throughout the entire flight. Otherwise, you can charge your Switch whenever you take a break to eat, watch a movie, or sleep.
- Pro Controller – I don’t personally think a pro controller is worth the bulk and hassle unless you find playing with the joy-con controllers unbearable. If you do decide to bring a pro controller in your carry-on, know that it has a lithium-ion battery and so you may need to place it separately during security checks.
- Nintendo Switch Dock – since you won’t be able to set up a docked Switch on your flight, only pack it if you need it at your destination. I’d recommend stuffing something in between the dock to prevent it from getting squished and wrap it in some clothes for added cushioning.
Best Games to Play on the Airplane on the Nintendo Switch
Any game that you enjoy qualifies as a great game for you to play during your flight.
However, there are some Switch games that are equally enjoyable and also:
- Engaging enough to play for hours on end
- Episodic so you can play in spurts &
- Available offline while your Switch is in Flight Mode.
Below, you’ll find a list of highly recommended Switch games that are especially great for longer trips, including my personal favorites that I always bring with me whenever I fly with my Switch:
⭐ Animal Crossing: New Horizons (my personal favorite)
I love cozy games and Animal Crossing: New Horizons is my favorite of them all. The main storyline is that you move to a deserted island and complete tasks to transform it into a paradise. It’s a calm and casual game with infinite possibilities that makes it perfect for unwinding and passing the time during your flight.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is the Switch compatible version of the fan favorite racing game. On the rare occasions I get tired of fishing or decorating my island, I’ll play Mario Kart and race a few times while trying to shave seconds off of my best times.
Super Smash Brothers
Super Smash Brothers is another one of my favorite Switch games. I only play in story mode whenever I fly so I still have hundreds of bosses I need to beat before I finish the game. Similar to Mario Kart, I love that each boss battle is self-contained so I can play in spurts.
Super Mario Odyssey
If you’re looking to play through and beat a storyline, I’d recommend Super Mario Odyssey where you can help Mario rescue Princess Peach (yet again). The animation is absolutely gorgeous and the platformer has more of an open world feel compared to other Mario games.
Disclaimer: I love Super Mario Odyssey but I can’t play it because it activates my motion sickness (even when I’m on the ground). If you’re thinking about bringing this game on your next flight, I’d recommend trying it out first to see how it makes you feel.
Super Mario Party
Super Mario Party is the perfect game to bring if you’re traveling with friends. You can face-off each other in mini games in your quest to collect the most stars, or play collaboratively against the bots.
Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Another great open-world game to play on your next flight is Breath of the Wild. As Link, you can explore the world of Hyrule, solve puzzles, and battle enemies as you uncover the mysteries of the world around you. Best of all, there are plenty of save points so you can pause and continue as you please.
Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle
Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle is a whimsical, strategy game where the Mario world meets quirky rabbit-like creatures to solve puzzles and battle enemies. It’s entertaining, tactical, and turn-based, making it easy to pause and pick up again.
Quick FAQs for Bringing a Nintendo Switch on a Plane
Yes, the Nintendo Switch uses a lithium-ion battery which is why it’s recommended to bring it with you as a carry-on item. If you do decide to put your Switch in a checked bag, make sure it is completely powered off.
Like all other electronic devices, you’ll need to disable the wireless features of your Switch. You can do this by going to “System Settings” > activate “Flight Mode.” If desired, you can re-enable Bluetooth settings so you can re-pair your joy-con controllers or a bluetooth headset.
Yes! Click here for the list of games you can play on a plane in Flight Mode.
Yes, the Nintendo Switch is typically classified as an electronic device and subject to the same rules as a laptop or cellphone. However, to be extra sure, always check the list of items you’re allowed to bring into your destination and pack your Switch in a carry-on.
Final Thoughts: Can and Should you Bring a Nintendo Switch on a Plane?
Good news! Yes, you 100% can bring your Nintendo Switch on your next flight, just like your cell phone and other handheld devices.
To breeze through airport security, pack your Switch in a separate case so you can easily take it out of your carry-on luggage when placing it in a separate container. Remember, you will need to keep your Switch on Flight mode during your flight (i.e download games ahead of time and be sure to pick ones you can play offline). If you’re looking for inspiration, feel free to reference my list of favorite games above.
So for your next flight, pack your Nintendo Switch and let me know in the comments if you also think it’s a good idea to always bring your Switch when you fly. 😊