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The Nintendo Switch is one of the handheld consoles that the company produces for gamers. It is similar to the various versions of the 3DS that some players might be familiar with, but it has some added flexibility that most of those devices do not.

While the 3DS gives you the ability to enjoy colorful, beautifully rendered graphics in three dimensions, the Switch is all about changing its form factor entirely. With the Nintendo Switch, gamers can morph the console from a handheld device to a stationary one, much like a traditional gaming console for larger televisions.

In fact, using the Switch docking station, players can run many of their favorite games on larger monitors for their enjoyment. The Switch saves progress in the same ways you would expect any other gaming system to do, and you can pick up where you left off on your handheld device once you dock it and connect it to the screen of your choice.

With all of this moving around and changing formats, some people wonder just how durable the Switch is when it comes to longevity. We will dive deep into this topic in our next article here. To do that, we’ll cover what might happen if you think you’ve broken your Nintendo Switch.

We will cover aspects such as the casing, how durable the screen might be, whether Nintendo might be able to fix your Switch, and what the warranty says about coverage for it.

Depositphotos_204477828_S playing game on Nintendo Switch console close up

(Attribution: ©[skvalval]/Depositphotos.com)

Is the Nintendo Switch Hard To Break?

Typically, the Nintendo Switch seems hard to break, and users would have to try to do so actively. Of course, making a broad statement about the overall durability of electronics can be dubious, and there are many caveats at play here.

As with most things, the screen is probably the most delicate part of the Nintendo Switch, particularly if we are ignoring some of the more sensitive internal components.

Before we try to get into the specifics of just how durable the Switch is, we should say that you should still treat your device with care.

Don’t drop it, throw it, get it wet, or otherwise abuse it. Outside of buttons or joysticks, it has few moving parts that are at any high risk of damage, but it is still a gaming console at heart.

Be sure to treat your Switch the way you would your phone or any other relatively expensive electronic unit. Most players would not want to break their devices anyway, but the company’s warranty could also be of particular concern.

We will cover Nintendo’s warranty in more detail in a later section. However, doing anything that might intentionally damage the console could void this warranty, making it harder to repair. Nintendo may also find that simple negligence of misuse is enough to void its warranty, too.

With all of that said, many users claim to have dropped their Switches multiple times throughout their ownership of the console. In many of these cases, the devices seem to have suffered no noticeable damage at all.

Some players were even able to resell them later without any issues, and this was because the consoles still worked without any problems for new buyers. Along the same lines, there have been drop or stress tests for the Switch that produced interesting results.

In short, the Switch proves itself to be a durable console that should hold up well under normal use. This would include accounting for dropping the device accidentally from time to time. The latches for the Joycon controllers tend to be the most delicate parts on the outside of the case.

There’s plenty of good videos on YouTube that test the durability of a Nintendo Switch if you’re interested in how it holds up in different situations.

Is the Switch Screen Durable?

Yes and no. There are specific things about the Nintendo Switch screen that some players may find durable, and some things that other users might see as less durable. It all depends on the specific of what we’re talking about in relation to the screen for the Switch.

For example, because the screen is plastic, it is less likely to shatter or break than some other, older gaming screens. An important point to remember here is that the console was made with kids in mind.

Although many adults certainly enjoy the Switch and its various games, it is a console that appeals to younger target demographics as well, just like many of Nintendo’s other products. Because of this factor, the Switch screen seems difficult to shatter in a way that would make the device unusable.

On the other hand, it may be relatively easy for some players to crack the screen. Thin sheets of plastic may crack if dropped or hit in certain ways, and this is not uncommon for gaming screens of this type. Although large cracks can be annoying, the upside here is that a crack may not prevent you from playing and enjoying the Switch, at least until you can take it to the company’s qualified techs for repairs.

What Can I do If my Nintendo Switch Breaks?

If your Nintendo Switch has some problem related to hardware failure, you can try to have the company repair it under the terms of its warranty. This assumes that the warranty period for your device is still active, and we will go over what is in that warranty in a later section.

Any sort of defect that is not the result of mishandling the device should be something that Nintendo will repair on its own.

For anything else, you may need to contact repair technicians and pay for their services yourself. This could include people who work at authorized Nintendo satellite stores, or you might be able to go to third-party experts.

If you find that your problem is common, you can also try going through some tutorials on fixing it through YouTube. Keep in mind though that if you try fixing the console yourself, if you’re not an expert, you may cause more damage to it.

To add some extra protection to your Switch, you may wish to get a hard case for it. Although the usual outer case for the device should protect it quite well, you can add a secondary one for another layer.

In most respects, you’ll want to use a case that has a thick, hard enough layer to absorb impacts from various drops that might happen. This is particularly true for travel cases that can protect the Switch when you are not playing it.

As an added bonus, some cases can also carry accessories and other parts along with your Switch, making them handy accessories to have whenever you might want to travel with your portable system.

What Happens to My Digital Games if My Switch Breaks?

Digital content that you downloaded to the console itself will probably not be something you can recover. However, there are ways to back up your games and save data to the cloud.

As part of a service that you can purchase for your Switch, you will have access to cloud portals that will save your content online. Your download history and save data are things that are tied to your Nintendo ID.

Once you get a new Switch, you can log in with your existing ID, add your account to that new device, and find your old data. You should be able to recover save data and a history of your already purchased games digitally.

You may not recover save files for physical games depending on how damaged your switch gets, unfortunately. You can read more about Nintendo Switch memory cards in our article here.

Can Nintendo Fix My Broken Switch?

Yes, under certain circumstances, Nintendo can fix your broken Switch. If there is a hardware defect or fault somewhere in it, you should be able to take it to the company’s technicians for a free repair. You have a warranty period for some time after you buy your Switch.

This period covers manufacturing problems that might make your console unplayable. For any other kind of damage that falls outside of the specific terms of the warranty, Nintendo might still be able to repair it for you.

However, this sort of thing is not something that they will do for free. You will be responsible for paying for the costs of these kinds of repairs. Nintendo’s warranty for the Switch console is long, but it is also fairly standard in what it covers.

For some parts or damages that you might incur, you may be able to purchase pieces that you can use to repair the device. Something like this might include buttons that fall out, for example. You can get new buttons on the secondary market that you should be able to insert yourself. However, we should note here that some types of self-repair may void an active warranty.

This is particularly true if you want to open up the Switch in order to make repairs. Therefore, we recommend that you avoid doing so. Some simpler, surface repairs may be something your average Switch owner can do safely, however.

How Long Is the Switch Warranty & What Does It Cover?

The Nintendo Switch includes a warranty that lasts for a full 12 months from the original purchase date of the console. However, this warranty does not apply to any games or accessories you purchase for the device.

For ohysical games, players have a separate warranty, also covered by Nintendo, that should last for three months from the date at which they purchase those items.

As a side note, you might be able to get extended or additional warranty coverage from retailers selling Switch products.

Sometimes, these companies offer warranties of their own. They may run concurrently to Nintendo’s own warranty, and they might expand the protections on just what is covered under the terms and conditions of this warranty. You can look for these possibilities at any authorized reseller that stocks Nintendo products.

For basic coverage, the official warranty provides protections against problems in manufacturing or defects in workmanship for the Nintendo Switch.

If you encounter any problem with your console out of the box, or if anything not related to misuse comes up, the company will make every effort to repair or replace your Switch at no cost to you.

However, physical damage to the unit is not a condition of the warranty. This sort of thing would include breaks, scratches, or liquids. It may also include other things that are up to the discretion of the company.

This means anything that physically breaks on the console does not have warranty coverage. You may need to pay your own expenses to repair these issues, but extended or additional warranties might cover the problems, too.


The Nintendo Switch is a fun console to play with, and it is also fairly hardy in its construction. Even the screen, often the most delicate part of portable electronic devices, is made of a hard plastic that is more prone to cracking before it will break. The outer casing for the Switch protects the more sensitive internal components, too.

Although any sort of handheld console can sustain damage from misuse, you have options for repairing your Switch. If the warranty doesn’t cover the damage to the device, you can pay for someone else to repair it.