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Can you play the Nintendo Switch Lite on a TV?

The Nintendo Switch Lite is a smaller, sleeker, more portable version of the original console, but can it connect to a TV? The answer is no. While many users may take this as an opportunity to come up with some kind of ingenious workaround, the fact remains that it’s just simply not possible. Here are the reasons why.

Why you cannot play the Nintendo Switch Lite on a TV

When you first examine the Nintendo Switch Lite, you’ll notice that it actually has the same USB-C port on the bottom that the traditional Nintendo Switch has. USB-C is capable of transferring power and video signals simultaneously, hence its use in the dock on the original system. The Switch Lite supports this same type of connection, retaining compatibility with the chargers already available on store shelves.

However, you won’t have any luck getting it to connect to your television. As YouTube creator Kevin Kenson showed in an explainer video, if you try to connect the Switch Lite to the TV in the same way you connect the standard Switch, there won’t be any signal at all.

Can the Nintendo Switch Lite be docked?

The Switch Lite is not designed to fit inside the standard dock. Since it does not have removable controllers, the analog sticks on either side of the console get in the way. If you wanted to charge your Switch Lite using a dock, you will need a modified or third-party version to do it.

If you get your hands on a smaller travel-sized dock — like the Dual USB Playstand By HORI — or move the original dock’s components into a different shell, you can place the Switch Lite inside and it will charge as if it were connected directly to a charger.

Through USB-C, the system can also connect to a hub with multiple ports. This will allow you to play the Switch Lite using a wired Pro controller which can reduce latency while gaming. Or you can simply use the dock as a playstand and pair it with some Joy-Cons. This will allow you to play games that require tabletop mode.

Can you transfer game data from Switch Lite to the Switch?

Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

Though you can’t play the Nintendo Switch Lite on your television, you can still transfer your data if you also have a standard Nintendo Switch. All you need is an internet connection and a subscription to Nintendo’s paid membership service. This will allow you to freely switch back and forth between the two, and continue playing the game on a TV.

Make sure you are subscribed to the Nintendo Switch Online service, and play your games on the Switch Lite like you normally would. Before you resume playing them through the docked standard Nintendo Switch, ensure that automatic backups are enabled, which will ensure that your game save data is up to date. This can’t be done on a few games, including Pokémon: Let’s Go and Dark Souls Remastered, but other major Switch games support cloud saves.

On your docked Nintendo Switch, just ensure that you are logged into the same Nintendo account, install the games in question, and your progress should carry over. When you go back to the Switch Lite, all progress you made on the standard Switch will go back, as well.

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