Best Handheld Mode Games that Support Nintendo Switch Lite iMore 2020
The Switch Lite is here. And there — it's basically anywhere you are. As the smaller, lighter, handheld-only little brother of the Switch, the Switch Lite is a better mobile experience. And the fact it can use hand-me-down cartridges from the Switch means you won't necessarily replace all of your games. Some games do play better as a handheld and these are the best available for the Switch Lite.
- ★ Featured favorite: Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle
- 3... 2... Punch it!: Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
- We are Legion: Astral Chain
- Devil's details: Cuphead
- Splatter packed party: Splatoon 2
- RRrroohrrRGHHhhh!: Slay the Spire
- Builders paradise: Dragon Quest Builders 2
Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle is one of those crossover games you wouldn't expect to work, but boy does it! The gameplay offers more of a turn-based style that plays well with the handheld and smaller screen. And the puzzle-like scenarios are timed well to play whenever you have a few minutes of downtime.
If you are a Mario Kart fan like me, you won't be disappointed by Mario Kart 8 Deluxe on the Switch Lite. Mario Kart's clean and bright graphics look great even on the smaller screen. An entire Grand Prix seldom takes more than 30 minutes to complete, so it's a great game to play even if you only have a little time free.
The art style of Astral Chain is absolutely beautiful. At times, it can feel more like an animated show instead of playing a game. That's not to say there isn't some fantastic gameplay and story as well. Plus, none of that loses any impact from being played on a handheld. Grab your Legion and get to that crime-fighting.
If you have ever wondered what it is like inside of a 1930's cartoon — well, you don't need to wonder. Cuphead brings that classic design into the modern era in a challenging platformer. And platformers feel right at home on the Switch Lite. This game will beat you down with its difficulty, so your eventual win feels that much greater.
Splatoon 2's gameplay is comparable between docked mode on the Switch and handheld modes. However, when you are trying to hone in on those perfectly aimed shots having the screen in your hands can actually be better. There is less room for error with the handheld controls. Splatter some paint where you will; this is a great handheld option.
Slay the Spire is a roguelike deck builder game where the deck is different every time you play. No two games will be exactly alike, which creates strong replayability. While this game was initially designed for the PC, the port over to Switch was smooth; the controls feel like it was built for the Switch Lite.
Dragon Quest Builders 2 is both a fleshed out construction game and a full-fledged RPG game complete with interesting characters and areas to explore. While the controls can be a little frustrating at times, it's hard to dwell on that as you quickly become distracted by striking visuals as you quest or build out your functional town.
Pure handheld happiness
There are very few Switch games that are docked TV mode only. With so many games available to the Switch Lite, finding one that makes you happy won't be difficult. But that also means it's hard to pick the best handheld games. Having controls and graphics which feel good on a handheld is a large part of it, but at a certain point, so many games feel good that it comes down to preference.
Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe are prime examples of a game that feels good on handheld consoles. The controls are intuitive, the graphics are clean and strong on a smaller screen, and gameplay fits well into any amount of free time you have. However, despite some occasionally frustrating controls Dragon Quest Builders 2 remains one of my top picks. If you love RPGs and voxel builders, Dragon Quest Builders 2 is just too strong of a game to ignore. Maybe one of these will be your -best game on Switch Lite- as well.
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