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YouTuber shows how to play Switch on TV without the dock

Why it matters to you

Switch owners who have experienced problems with the dock -- including scratches and overheating -- may be relieved that there's a solution.

Nintendo’s Switch has a hit with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, but the hardware itself isn’t without its share of problems. One of the issues that users are reporting is that the Switch’s dock, which officially is a necessary component if you want to play Switch games on a TV, can scratch parts of the system’s screen. YouTuber Switch It Up has a workaround, shown in the video above.

The process involves two extra components: a USB-C extension cable and a separate stand for the Switch console. The cable extender goes from the dock slot to the bottom of the Switch, which then sits on the external stand. The extra cable is really the crucial bit, the stand’s purpose being simply to let the Switch’s rear heat vents do their job. Given that the official Switch dock itself does a good job of covering those vents — another of its flaws — that part may not be as important.

That’s a good thing, since the HORI “compact playstand” the video recommended seems to be on back order, with an expected ship date of one to two months from Amazon. At least at $13 it’s cheap.

The tricky part is apparently connecting the female end of the USB extender into the port at the bottom of the dock — where the Switch normally sits. It can still be wobbly even when you get it right, Switch It Up said, implying it might occasionally pop out as well. So the solution is clearly imperfect, but for some it will be better than letting your Switch screen get all jacked up in the dock.

This solution also still requires an official Switch dock, so it does nothing for Switch owners hoping for a third-party solution for hooking their console up to multiple TVs without having to buy a rare and expensive extra dock from Nintendo. Simply buying an HDMI-to-USB-C cable should work in theory, but according to Kotaku it simply doesn’t.