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If you want a gaming device that you can hook up to your television or use on the go, the Nintendo Switch is for you. The company released the Nintendo Switch in 2017 and exceeded the sales projections within the first month.
Encouraged by its success, Nintendo released a ‘Lite’ version of the Switch in 2019. This version focused more on its handheld features. Just like its big brother, the Lite version became a hit. Both have become one of the most profitable consoles in Nintendo’s history.
Because of its popularity, the Switch is a hot item to thieves. It’s easy to steal and resell it. Because of that, Switch owners are worried about what can happen to their game data if they lose their devices. We have some guidelines on what you must do if you lose your Switch console.
Is It Possible To Track a Nintendo Switch?
Unfortunately, Nintendo Switch has no built-in feature that allows you to track it. It does not have any kind of global positioning feature that can tell you where the physical device is.
For the most part, there is no way to track a Switch like you might track your phone. But that doesn’t mean that a Switch owner is out of options completely.
Many phones have a feature or app that allows you to find their current location if you lose them. Even without such a feature, there are one or two things you can do to track a Switch.
One of the best things you can do is visit any online Switch communities. Some even have dedicated forums where you might find fixes for this issue.
This does not mean there is any guarantee that someone else will find your Switch. However, you can make the community aware of the issue, and other Switch users will keep an eye out for any gaming consoles they might find.
If they do so, they can contact you on these forums to alert you of their success. While this is not a true tracking feature, it is still a good step you can take.
What Do I Do if My Nintendo Switch Is Lost or Stolen? (5 Things)
Alerting the community about what happened to you is a good idea. But there are several steps you can do to increase the chances of finding your lost or stolen Switch console.
1. Contact the Company
Nintendo needs to know that you are no longer in control of your Switch. Go to the company’s official support site for further help.
One of the best reasons to visit the site is to find regional support information. Nintendo has different contact numbers and other details based on where you live.
You can get personalized help from the company if you specify the region. Nintendo will ask you for some basic account information, including the serial number of your Switch.
2. Notify the Authorities
If you believe you’ve lost your Switch because of theft, it may be a good idea to let the relevant authorities know what has happened. Using the local non-emergency numbers in your area is best for this purpose.
Be ready to provide some basic identifying information. Additionally, provide any helpful information you can remember. It could include your suspect, where they may have taken it from you, what color and design the carrying case might be, and the unit’s serial number.
3. Get Rid of Your Payment Info
Even if you didn’t deactivate your Switch, remove any information that connects it to your payment portals. Doing so can prevent anyone who has it or finds it from using it to make purchases for which Nintendo then bills you.
Go to Nintendo’s official site to log in to your account. From there, you can visit the relevant section of your account to delete your current payment information.
4. Update Your Security Credentials
Getting rid of your payment options on the Switch is a good first step. However, you should also change any passwords on your Nintendo account for even more security.
If you’ve linked your Nintendo account to any of those you use for social media purposes, you should also change those passwords.
5. Look Around the Area
Although the authorities or people in the community who are nearby should be able to keep an eye out, try to check the area yourself. You can also visit areas that are likely to get and keep lost and found items.
How Do I Deactivate a Nintendo Switch?
In the past, deactivating a primary console would require you to have access to the Switch itself. Nintendo realized lost or stolen game consoles, particularly portable devices, where possible.
To help Switch owners who lost their devices, the company introduced a patch that allowed users to deactivate their consoles that were not in their possession. To do so, players would need access to the Nintendo Account that connected the profile to the device.
- If you need to deactivate your missing or stolen console, you can log in to your Nintendo account via the official site.
- Once inside, go to the Shop Menu area of the account site.
- Select the option that allows you to ‘Deregister’ the primary console.
- Follow the instructions on the screen to complete the process.
- After you finish this process, you’ll need to purchase or activate a new Switch and set it as your primary device.
Will I Still Have My Games if I Get a New Switch?
Yes, you can still keep access to your games if you get a new Switch. However, your access depends on how you set up your new Switch. Your games connect to your Nintendo account itself. Therefore, signing in to this account from your new Switch lets you see all the content you purchased from the store.
You need to get into your account library to download these items again. No need to worry, though, because you don’t have to pay for them again. To ensure everything proceeds smoothly, you should follow our steps above to register your new Switch as your primary console for accessing games.
Do this before you try to look at or download older content you already own. Additionally, ensure you’ve followed the steps for removing the registration from the previous device. You can only have one primary Switch console active per account.
Do Switch Games Save to Your Account?
Games themselves do save to your account, but game data does not. To get saved data for your games, you must have an active online membership for the Nintendo Switch.
With this service, you can access a cloud feature that remotely saves your game progress. Activating this service should allow you to restore the data for compatible games in the Switch library of titles. However, you must back up your data at least once before giving up the other Switch.
3 Tips To Keep a Nintendo Switch From Being Lost or Stolen
Because of its size and portability, it’s easy to leave or forget the Switch. However, there are a few things to mitigate the risks of loss or theft of the unit.
1. Use a Large Bag
Nintendo makes carrying cases that fit the Switch nicely. While this is a good option, you may wish to swap it for a larger bag. A bigger case is harder to lose. It is also easier to spot if you do misplace it temporarily.
Similarly, you can put the Switch in a smaller case that you keep in the larger one. It allows you to carry other things inside the bag without damaging the gaming console. Although it’s an added burden, it’d be more difficult for anyone to steal your Switch.
2. Tag the Switch
Even though the Nintendo Switch does not have its tracking feature, alternative solutions are available. For example, you can add a small Tile to the Switch’s body. This Tile is something you can track via an app, which would also give you the location of your Switch.
This is one option, but it does come with some limitations. Anyone who took your Switch might remove the tile. Further, using Bluetooth connectivity, most of these accessories only work at very short distances. While they are not useless, they may work best if you know you’ve misplaced your Switch nearby.
3. Use Surveillance
If you plan to leave your Switch somewhere that is reasonably safe, you can still keep an eye on it. Much of the video surveillance equipment on the market today alerts you if there is anyone inside the space. If you have a way to get such an alert, you may have more time to react if someone takes your Switch.
The Switch is a powerful hybrid game console that can work as a traditional home entertainment system. Part of its desirability is in how portable it is, but that portability comes with some risks. As a lightweight item with its carrying case, it may be simple enough for some bad actors to take your Nintendo Switch when you are unaware.
Some workarounds might allow you to track it at short distances, but it might be out of your range once you notice it is gone. If you lose your Switch to theft, it is important to deactivate it or revoke your payment and access credentials as soon as you can. Fortunately, you can keep your list of purchased games tied to your account.