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PSA: Don't Use Third-Party Switch Docks

If you have a Nintendo Switch, don't get a third-party dock for it.

While Nintendo's $90 option is pricey, reports suggest that alternatives are bricking Switch systems. A particularly detailed story from Kotaku gathered stories from Reddit, Nintendo's support forums and other internet message boards.

The Nyko Portable Docking Kit for the Switch. Credit: Mike Andronico/Tom's Guide

(Image credit: The Nyko Portable Docking Kit for the Switch. Credit: Mike Andronico/Tom's Guide)

The biggest named culprit is the Nyko Portable Docking Kit for the Switch, with users seeing an increase in issues after Switch update 5.0. Another dock from FastSnail seems to be causing issues as well, though there are some claiming that Best Buy's Insignia-branded docks are fine.

According to the Kotaku story, many of these gamers have found that the docks messed with the Switch's USB Type-C port, preventing it from transferring video to the TV and, worse, from charging. If it can't charge, the Switch will ultimately become useless, and you'll lose all of your save data, as Nintendo doesn't allow saves to microSD memory card and has no cloud option.

"Unlicensed products and accessories do not undergo Nintendo’s testing and evaluation process," Nintendo told the gaming news site in a statement. "They might not work at all with our game systems, and they could have compatibility problems with certain games, the Nintendo Switch system itself, and other licensed accessories and peripherals."

Nyko told Kotaku that it knows about the issue and is testing, but "we believe it is related to the way the Switch handles AV output for an external TV/monitor while the console is docked on the Portable Docking Kit." The company suggested that it has plans to replace the products, if necessary.

In the meantime, our advice is to stop using these docks if you have them, and to only use Nintendo's docks. While we're big fans of third-party peripherals here at Tom's Guide, we love our Switches more, and we'd hate for yours to burn out until third-party dock makers ensure the safety of the consoles they support.

Andrew E. Freedman

Andrew E. Freedman is an editor at Tom's Hardware focusing on laptops, desktops and gaming as well as keeping up with the latest news. He holds a M.S. in Journalism (Digital Media) from Columbia University. A lover of all things gaming and tech, his previous work has shown up in Kotaku, PCMag, Complex, Tom's Guide and Laptop Mag among others.