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Can Nintendo Switch Lite play local co-op with standard Nintendo Switch consoles?

Nintendo Switch Lite Image
Nintendo Switch Lite Image (Image credit: iMore)

Can Nintendo Switch Lite play local co-op with standard Nintendo Switch consoles?

Best answer: Yes, anyone who owns the Nintendo Switch Lite can play local co-op games with a friend who has a standard Nintendo Switch console or the Switch OLED as long as the game being played supports handheld mode and doesn't require motion controls.

What is the Nintendo Switch Lite, and how is it different from the Nintendo Switch and Switch OLED?

The Nintendo Switch Lite is a smaller version of the Nintendo Switch and Switch OLED that doesn't connect to a TV or have removable controllers. It can also play most of the same games as the larger Switch.

The Switch Lite only weighs 0.61 lbs with a 5.5-inch screen compared to the larger console's 0.88 lbs and a 6.2-inch display. It comes in a few different colors including a now hard-to-find Pokémon-themed option. Since it is a smaller unit, it only costs $200, a good chunk less than the standard Switch's $300 price.

If you want to learn all of the ways that these two gaming systems differ from each other, check out our Nintendo Switch vs. Nintendo Switch Lite comparison.

Can Switch Lite play local co-op with Nintendo Switch Multiplayer abilities and limitations

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe on Switch Lite

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe on Switch Lite (Image credit: Rebecca Spear / iMore)

So, can Switch Lite play local co-op with Nintendo Switch? Absolutely, those who own a Nintendo Switch Lite can play local co-op games or even online multiplayer with users sporting either the original Switch, Switch OLED, or another Switch Lite. That is, as long as the game being played is compatible with the Switch Lite.

Some of the popular multiplayer titles you'll be able to play are Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, and more. Switch Lite games need to be playable in handheld mode because the console doesn't have removable Joy-Cons, HD rumble, or motion controls.

Now, if you're playing a game on your Switch Lite that requires motion controls or removable controllers, you'll still be able to play as long as you've purchased compatible wireless controllers, like the original Joy-Cons, and have them linked with your handheld system. We've done the work and compiled a list of the Switch games that might prove problematic on Switch Lite due to the use of motion controls, HD rumble, or detachable Joy-Cons. Whenever you play those games, you'll need to have an external controller handy.

Switch Lite owners can also play against others online as long as they have either a Nintendo Switch Online membership or a Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack membership. Once again, the ability to play a game will depend on whether or not the specific software supports handheld mode or if the owner also has a compatible wireless controller.

Rebecca Spear
Gaming Editor

Gaming aficionado Rebecca Spear is iMore's dedicated gaming editor with a focus on Nintendo Switch and iOS gaming. You’ll never catch her without her Switch or her iPad Air handy. If you’ve got a question about Pokémon, The Legend of Zelda, or just about any other Nintendo series check out her guides to help you out. Rebecca has written thousands of articles in the last six years including hundreds of extensive gaming guides, previews, and reviews for both Switch and Apple Arcade. She also loves checking out new gaming accessories like iPhone controllers and has her ear to the ground when it comes to covering the next big trend.