Bottom line: ExtremeRate's Nintendo Switch shells allow you to give your console a makeover. Everything is designed to match the shape of the official Joy-Con casing and works well. However, installing these shells can be challenging.
Matches shape of official Joy-Con shells
Comes with needed tools
Fits in the official Dock/carrying cases
Button symbols are hard to see
Difficult installation level
Easy to permanently damage or accidentally install things incorrectly
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Custom Switch casings give your Nintendo Switch a cool look that you can be proud to show off. Of course, Nintendo offers several Joy-Cons colors, but sometimes you want something a little more unique. Fortunately, ExtremeRate offers dozens of different designs to make your gaming accessories look awesome while you're playing the best Nintendo Switch games.
My first Switch console had grey Joy-Cons, which I found a bit bland, but thanks to ExtremeRate's shells, I was able to swap out the dull look for something more eye-catching. After testing ExtremeRate's Clear Atomic Purple set for Nintendo Switch, I can also verify that the buttons work excellently. However, the process of installing the shells can be very challenging and should only be attempted by folks who trust their ability to open and reassemble tech without damaging anything.
Warning: Modifying your Nintendo Switch voids any active warranties. Consider the risks before purchasing different Switch backplates or Joy-Con shells.
ExtremeRate Nintendo Switch Back Plate and Joy-Con Shells review What I like
When I opened up the packaging, I found the backplate and kickstand in one area and the three parts to the Joy-Cons shells and buttons in another. The box does include a screwdriver with two interchangeable heads so you can unscrew all of the parts you need to without requiring another tool. I suggest having a long pair of tweezers, though, since this allowed me to plug those tiny ribbon cables back into specific spots more easily.
For anyone who has never attempted to swap casings before, you should know that the process involves unscrewing and unplugging the circuit boards from the official Switch casings and then moving them over to the new shells. You need to be very careful not to damage anything or lose anything in the process.
If you need help, you can watch ExtremeRate's official installation video and follow it step by step.
Everything fits and works perfectly
ExtremeRate went to pains to make sure that every piece in their kits matches the shape of the official Nintendo parts. That way, you can rest assured knowing everything fits properly and will work with other Nintendo Switch devices. For instance, my Switch still fits perfectly in the dock and in the official carrying case, even with this new set of shells in place.
The buttons and triggers that came with my Clear Atomic Purple casing press in beautifully and react just as they should when I'm playing a game. However, it's important to note that if you don't install things properly, these buttons might not work correctly. More on that later.
So many designs to choose from
It was honestly hard for me to choose which ExtremeRate Nintendo Switch casing to go with. There are over 48 gorgeous options, including a range of colors and patterns. However, I'm incredibly happy with this retro-style seethrough purple custom Switch case that I eventually decided on. It's definitely prettier than the bland grey Joy-Cons that my Switch came with. Plus, my grey Joy-Cons were starting to look really worn, but now they look brand new.
ExtremeRate also sells Joy-Con shells, backplates, and buttons separately so you can mix and match for a truly unique look. Some of the options even include glowing buttons if you want something really flashy.
ExtremeRate Nintendo Switch Back Plate and Joy-Con Shells review What I don't like
This isn't necessarily something that I don't like, but rather a word of warning. In order to successfully switch over to the new casing, you're going to need steady hands, precision, a clean workspace, and an organized method. If you plug ribbon cables back into the wrong places on the circuit boards, lose one of the many small pieces, or accidentally damage something, then the Joy-Cons won't work properly. Worse still, it can be really hard to figure out what went wrong and so you might just have to purchase replacement Joy-Cons, and we all know how expensive those are.
Additionally, changing the casing on your Nintendo Switch or Joy-Cons can void your warranty. As such, swapping the official casing for a custom Switch design is something you should only attempt if you understand the risks and feel confident working with small computer parts.
While I love the look of this clear case, the see-through nature also makes it pretty hard to see the symbols on my buttons. I can't see the Home button icon very well, even in broad daylight and the A, B, X, and Y buttons are really hard to make out as well. Of course, if you're already familiar with the Joy-Cons, you'll be able to rely on memory rather than needing to look at the buttons, but it's something to be aware of. ExtremeRate also offers buttons in different colors, and those will be easier to see than these clear ones.
ExtremeRate Nintendo Switch Back Plate and Joy-Con Shells review Should you buy it?
ExtremeRate backplates and Joy-Cons shells are an easy way for you to get a custom Switch design. There are over 48 designs to help you get the look you like, and the parts match the shape and locations of everything you'd find in the official Nintendo parts. Anyone looking to give their Switch a visual upgrade should really consider making this purchase.
However, opening the Joy-Cons and backplate and then moving the microchips and other necessary parts to the new shells can be a difficult task. This should only be attempted by people who feel confident working with small parts and reassembling tech.
Feel like a new Switch
Give your Nintendo Switch a makeover with one of ExtremeRate's backplate and Joy-Con shell replacements. There are over 48 to choose from, and they all look and work beautifully.
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.
By Tammy Rogers