The Nintendo Switch features a touch-sensitive screen that can be used when the console is in its handheld mode, but until this point, Nintendo hasn’t given players a good alternative to their fingers for actually using it. When playing games like Super Mario Maker 2, a stylus is preferable, and now, at long last, Nintendo is selling its own Switch stylus.
Currently only available from the Nintendo UK website, the Nintendo Switch stylus functions differently from Nintendo’s other styluses. In the past, Nintendo touch displays have been resistive, meaning that pressure from the stylus pressed two sheets together to registered input. This style of screen limited input to single-touch, however, which is why the Wii U’s design seemed fairly primitive in 2012.
The Switch, however, has a capacitive display that doesn’t rely on pressure, and because of this, it requires a different type of stylus. The Nintendo Switch official stylus features cloth on the end and interacts with a screen’s electrostatic field in order to register input. It doesn’t require you to push down with any force, and it’s the same type of system used on your phone — it’s why you need special gloves if you want to keep your hands cozy while you text in the winter.
Nintendo released the new stylus to coincide with the release of Dr. Kawashima’s Brain Training on the Switch, as it requires writing for some of its mini-games. The best use of the stylus for most players, however, will likely be in Super Mario Maker 2‘s level creator mode. It’s already easier to make levels in handheld mode than with a controller on your television, but the stylus will make it all feel even more natural and similar to the Wii U’s system. It should also make navigating menus a breeze, and if Nintendo ever decides to make a full-featured drawing game for Switch, you’ll be ready to go.
For those outside the U.K. looking for an alternative, there are several options available. Digiroot offers a similar stylus with an extra disc-style tip for around the same price as Nintendo’s official product, and we’ve found it works well with the Switch in Super Mario Maker 2 despite being a third-party product.
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