The Nintendo Switch is one of the highest-selling game consoles of all time, and for many reasons. Its versatility as both a docked and handheld device makes it ideal for those who value adaptable and on-the-go gameplay.
While the Switch is compatible with most HDMI cables, there are a few other factors to consider before purchasing that can save you from having to run back to the store after your cable frays, or going through the hassle of returning or exchanging for a better fit for your setup.
Amazon Basics High-Speed HDMI Cable
This high-speed HDMI cable offered by Amazon Basics is a great, sturdy option for a low price. Offered in variable lengths of 3, 6, 10, 15, and 25 feet, there is an option for every setup. You can purchase it in packs of 1, 2, 3, or 24.
It is a CL3 rated cable suitable for in-wall installation if you want to keep your cables hidden or out of the way. This male-to-male end cable is made with 26AWG copper conductors that are triple-shielded with durable rubber for added protection. It’s great for PC and console gaming as well as most home theater setups.
This comes with a few downsides, however. This cord’s extra-thick rubber layer runs much thicker than other HDMI cables. This can make it difficult to arrange behind a mounted wall monitor or furniture. The thick rubber also makes the cable less flexible than other options, and the added weight requires additional support to hang.
Also, despite being advertised as high speed, this cable struggles with 4k audio, specifically HDCP. When used with certain devices, this cable does not transmit the dialogue track, which obviously interferes with the entertainment experience.
Supports: 4K video at 60Hz, 2160p, bandwidth up to 18Gbps
Pros: price, variable length, multi-pack options, durability
Cons: thickness, rigidity, difficulty maneuvering
PowerBear 4K High-Speed HDMI Cable
PowerBear’s 4K High-Speed HDMI cable is another high-quality budget-friendly option. This cable comes in a variety of lengths from 0.5 feet to 75 feet. For longer cables, signal boosters are recommended to ensure a consistent quality of connection. It is sold in packs of 1, 2, or 3.
PowerBear’s cable is a CL3 rated cable suitable for in-wall installation. It is made with 30WG copper wiring that is triple tin shielded and covered by double-braided nylon, which is more flexible than standard rubber cables. The male-to-male connectors are gold-plated to support high-quality connections, but the plating scratches easily when plugging and unplugging.
The connector ends are oval-shaped which can be difficult in tight spaces, but PowerBear also includes two 90° adapters to avoid harsh bends and protect the longevity of your cable. Unfortunately, while the cable is rated for 4k video, its 4k performance is hit or miss. If you’re specifically looking for 4k compatibility, you’re better off looking at other cables.
Supports: 4K video at 60Hz, 1080p, bandwidth up to 18Gbps
Pros: durability, flexibility, variable length
Cons: unique rounded connector ends, fragile 90° adapters
Highwings High-Speed Braided HDMI Cable
This cable by Highwings is a user-friendly plug-and-play without any added adjustments needed prior to use. This cable comes in lengths of 1.5, 3.3, 6.6, 10, 15, 33, 40, and 50 feet. Unlike other 4k-rated cables that may not live up to their advertised capabilities, this Highwings cable has excellent 4k performance.
Highwing’s cable is made with pure copper wiring protected by sturdy braided nylon with premium aluminum male-to-male connectors. It is a little thinner than other HDMI cables, which is perfect for narrow spaces, and the braided nylon construction is ultra flexible. This cable is not CL3 rated and is not approved for in-wall installation.
This is a directional cable with the “in” and “out” ends that you may have to adjust depending on which devices you plan to use. The connector ends are blocky to support a “joint” that will prevent the cord from fraying but requires more space when plugging them in.
Bending the cable near the plug-in point can also lead to a loose connection, popping audio, and flashing images. This cable is best used in spaces where there’s plenty of clearance for the cord to flex naturally without putting pressure on the connection point.
Supports: 4K video at 50/60Hz, 1440p, bandwidth up to 18Gbps
Pros: durable, thin, plug-and-play
Cons: not CL3 rated, thick connector ends, unidirectional
Capshi 4K HDMI Cable
This HDMI cable by Capshi is another affordable, high-quality option. It is available in lengths of between 1.5 to 50 feet. Each cable is sold individually.
Capshi’s cable is made of 28 AWG copper wire protected by braided Nylon. Its male-to-male ends are plated in 24K gold and protected with aluminum shells. Though it is durable, this cable is not CL3 rated and not suitable for in-wall installation.
According to the packaging, the Capshi cable is only rated up to 1080p, but it does appear to work with compatible 4k devices. While the shorter lengths for Capshi’s cable support 18Gbps, longer cables may vary. The 50 foot option only supports 10Gbps.
Additionally, the plug ends on this cable are around 2 inches, which is a lot longer than most HDMI cables. These plugs can stick out from the back of your devices, causing connectivity issues (especially with longer cables) and kinks. However, as long as you’ve got enough clearance behind your devices, this cable from Capshi is a great option.
Supports: 4K video at 60Hz and 2K at 120Hz, 1080p, bandwidth up to 18Gbps
Pros: price, durable, flexible
Cons: not CL3 rated, longer lengths do not support 18Gbps
What Cables Does the Nintendo Switch Come With?
The Nintendo Switch comes with a Nintendo branded high-speed HDMI cable. This cable supports 1080p at 60HZ. However, as it is only 3 feet in length, this limits your placement and installation options.
The Nintendo Switch also comes with one AC to USB-C charging cable, which connects directly to the tablet portion of the system or directly into the dock. Unfortunately, if you wish to take your Switch on the go and charge it using a carport or PC device, this cable will not be of help to you.
Supported Specifications for the Nintendo Switch
The Nintendo Switch supports relatively low output specifications compared to other gaming systems. The Switch’s ability to transform between a docked system and a handheld device is its key attractive point.
However, the innovative ability to transition between these two modes comes at the cost of its hardware and lower graphics and visual quality.
Docked, the Switch supports up to 1080p at 60fps, while in handheld mode, the system is locked at 720p and varies between 30 and 60fps.
However, these specs also vary depending on how demanding each title might be. Games with detailed graphics and lots of on-screen motion see a decrease in visual quality, particularly in the handheld mode.
Other Uses for HDMI Cables?
HDMI cables are useful to have in your home, and investment in a high-quality, durable cable can enhance your home theater and entertainment experience, at-home workspace, and even security system.
Here are some other devices that use HDMI cables:
- TVs, projectors, and PC monitors
- Laptops and computers
- Cable/satellite boxes and DVRs
- DVD, Blu-ray, and Ultra HD Players
- Camcorders and digital cameras, including home security camera systems
- Media streaming devices such as Roku, Fire Stick, and Apple TV
- Other game consoles
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some frequently asked questions when it comes to HDMI cables for Nintendo Switch.
What HDMI should I use for Switch?
The Nintendo Switch is built for HDMI 1.4b specifications, but any HDMI cable will match and fit into the port. All other specifics are entirely dependent on your own preferred placement and setup.
Here are some factors to consider before purchasing an HDMI cable for your Nintendo Switch:
- Length: Choose an appropriate length of cable to accommodate your desired distance near to or away from your TV or monitor.
- Flexibility: If there are more obstacles between your console and your desired screen, consider a more flexible cord that can withstand multiple high-degree bends without compromising the internal wiring.
- Durability: Cables that are frequently used for multiple purposes–such as connecting laptops, cameras, etc. – may require more durable connectors to avoid damage from plugging into and unplugging from multiple ports.
- Width: If you are arranging your wiring through a wall or through a narrow area, consider the thickness of the cable. Some cables may be more durable because they have a thicker protective coating, but may not fit in tight spaces.
Does the Nintendo Switch HDMI support 4K?
While the HDMI cable of your choice may in itself support 4K, 8K, or more, the Nintendo Switch itself does not yet have the hardware to support this heightened output.
There are rumors that a future iteration of the Switch will be upgraded to support 4K visuals, as the Dock for the most recent Nintendo Switch OLED supports 4K 60fps visuals. The future might see a more powerful Switch console paired with the current OLED dock to achieve this.
However, these speculations have yet to be confirmed by Nintendo.
Best HDMI Replacement Cable for Nintendo Switch
There is absolutely no reason for most consumers to go to spend hundreds of dollars on an HDMI cable at a big box electronics store. You can find quality HDMI cables on Amazon for a fraction of the price, but some are better than others for gaming on the Nintendo Switch. These five HDMI cables, however, are perfect for Switch gaming.