If you’ve become an avid Nintendo Switch player who’s considered looking for a screen protector to safeguard your hobby, you aren’t alone– and it may be one of the best gaming accessories that you can buy.
As an Animal Cross lover for many years, I was interested as the 2020 release of New Horizons not only sold well, but stunned the gaming world with sales exceeding $654 million worldwide. Those sales alone have brought extra attention to the Nintendo Switch, which may well have some of its best years ahead.
The holiday season was especially kind to the Nintendo Switch. The sales for the Nintendo Switch soared past the popular 3DS, landing the Switch in the top five best-sellers for Nintendo.
Analysts attribute the interest in the Nintendo Switch from not only impressive Animal Crossing Sales, but also the impact of the pandemic and more staying at home, as well as healthy sales for Ring Fit Adventure.
No matter what you credit the most, Nintendo Switch games are here to stay, and so are their players.
The problem? One of the biggest draws of the Switch–how highly portable it is–also means accidents happen, and one of the most common problems is a cracked or broken screen.
In this article, I’ll tell you why you probably need a screen protector for your Nintendo Switch, how to find the best screen protector, and my picks for screen protectors you can buy right now.
Do you need a screen protector for Nintendo switch?
Considering that you’re reading this article, I consider it safe to assume that buying a screen protector for your Nintendo Switch has at least crossed your mind. At the same time, you may be wondering if you really need to buy a screen protector, or if it’s an unnecessary cost.
The truth comes down to this: whether or not you buy a screen protector for your Nintendo Switch is up to you. It’s entirely possible that you’ll never have an accident.
But even the most careful users can have an accident happen, and, considering the relatively affordable price of Nintendo Switch protectors, I argue that the pros far outweigh the cons.
In fact, there are many reasons why you’d want to buy a Nintendo Switch screen protector.
How much does it cost to repair a Nintendo switch screen?
The first reason that you should consider buying a screen protector for your Nintendo Switch is cost. Should you have a scratched or damaged screen, the good news is that most time it can be prepared, meaning you won’t typically have to buy a brand new Nintendo Switch.
The bad news is that Nintendo won’t just repair your Switch for free. Though it depends on the specific condition, an average screen repair for a Nintendo Switch hovers around $80. While that may not seem terrible, from cost analysis, even once is substantial.
Consider that the Nintendo Switch retails for $299. That means that you’re paying an average of nearly a third of the original price–for an issue that, in many cases, could have been prevented with a relatively inexpensive purchase.
The value of a screen protector, of course, increases with how many times it may save you from the cost, and the hassle, of repairs.
While it is impossible to say what that value will be for you, at very least a good screen protector could save you time you’d have to spend without your Switch.
Does the Nintendo switch screen scratch easily?
Another reason to consider a screen protector for your Nintendo Switch is scratching. While the first problems for a screen that may come to mind may be a cracked or completely broken screen, even scratches, from minor to major, can really damper your playing experience.
Whether minor or major, scratches do happen and can make it hard to play, especially for games that require fast action. And when you’re lounging in your favorite gaming chair, the last thing you want is a scratched screen.
You may be surprised to find out just how easily the Switch scratches. While Smartphones typically feature a glass screen, the Switch doesn’t have that protective barrier, meaning something as simple as keys in a pocket can cause light to substantial scratches.
In other words: even if you’re careful, the best way to protect the screen on your Nintendo Switch is to buy a screen protector.
How do you find the best Nintendo Switch screen protector?
In order to find the best Nintendo Switch screen protector, there are a number of key factors that I investigate. From overall performance to quality, these factors play an important role in how worthwhile a screen protector is.
And of course, always make sure, above all, that whatever screen protector you decide to purchase is actually designed for the Nintendo Switch. The Nintendo Switch has a particular design, size, and shape, so not just any screen protector will do.
Material (Tempered Glass vs Plastic)
The number one factor you want to examine to select the best screen protector is the material. Normally, you’ll have a choice between plastic and tempered glass.
As you can imagine, plastic screen protectors will be less expensive. However, since screen protectors for the Switch are affordable as a whole, I highly recommend selecting tempered glass over plastic.
Compared with plastic, tempered glass is superior in many ways. Not only is tempered glass more durable, but it is also far less easily scratched. Since tempered glass is thicker, it holds up under high use better.
Tempered glass also is more equipped to protect against changes in temperature and humidity. Finally, tempered glass is more likely to remain clear, and, in some ways, easier to clean. Another alternative is PET, which is not as strong as tempered glass, but an affordable alternative.
Clarity and Transparency
Transparency greatly impacts your gaming experience as you play with a screen protector. In other words, the screen protector should have some label as to how transparent it is, so you understand what sort of visual quality you’ll be working with.
At a bare minimum, you want to look for a transparent label. As a bonus, some of the best screen protectors include a clarity rating. For a clarity rating, aim for 99 or above.
Pencil Lead Degree/ Hardness
Hardness sometimes referred to as pencil lead degree, refers to how easily scratched or damaged the screen will be on a surface level.
The scale typically begins at 6B, being the softest, and goes to 9H, which is the hardest possible. Not all screen protectors will indicate this, but it’s an added bonus if they do.
As the name suggests, screen protectors are tested with a pencil to determine scratch resistance. Thus, saying something is scratch-resistant is a great bonus, but having that hardness rating is even better.
Let’s face it: you want to make sure your Nintendo Switch is protected, but, at the same time, you don’t want to spend a lot of time installing the screen protector.
Luckily, installation is relatively easy for most protectors, but some come equipped with a step by step installation guide.
As a bonus, I like to look for screen protectors that include added features, such as anti-fingerprint to reduce smudges, warranties or generous return policies, and smooth edges so less dust will be trapped. Finally, touchscreen responsiveness or sensitivity is a good feature to keep an eye out for.
The Best Screen Protectors For Switch
Now I’ll give you my recommendations for the best screen protectors you can buy for Nintendo Switch right now. All of these screen protectors are highly rated by other customers; affordable, and come with must-have features to keep your Switch protected, no matter where you carry it.
Best Other Materials
There isn’t a big difference between budget and nonbudget screen protectors–you may only save a few dollars. Still, these manage to pack in great features and even policies and still deliver in terms of performance.
PDP – Ultra-Guard Screen Protector for Nintendo Switch – Transparent
This Nintendo Switch screen protector is sold through Best Buy for under ten dollars and comes with some of the best features I recommend.
Meant to protect from everyday scratches and bumps, the protector includes HD quality clarity and is easy to install with an application most anyone can follow.
Transparent, scratch-resistant, and anti-fingerprint, it comes with a 2-year warranty on parts and labor. Though not tempered glass, it’s a great price, has other good features, a very generous policy, and overall is a good buy for someone not looking to spend much money.
If you play Nintendo Switch for hours on end, hand cramping and other discomfort is a real concern. You may be surprised that you can buy a screen protector with a more ergonomic design.
You still, of course, should take adequate breaks from your playing session, but it’s also a nice bonus and an affordable one at that.
Tempered Glass Screen Protector for Nintendo Switch
Gamestop offers a unique tempered glass screen protector for the Switch for frequent use. Certified shatterproof, this is also handy, if, like me, you tend to be on the more clumsy side and worry about the prospect of breaking a glass screen.
Not only does it include a 9H hardness rating for scratch resistance and HD clarity, but it especially stands out with unique, rounded edges.
By using a curved edge design, your grip is both more secure and more comfortable. I also love the high sensitivity touch response features and simple installation.
Best Dust Free
Worried about your screen collecting dust? If you tend to be on the messier side, or just can’t be bothered to clean your screen protector, some screen protectors for the Nintendo Switch are specially designed to keep dust, lint, and related materials off.
That doesn’t mean you’ll never want to clean your screen, but it’s a plus for those of us who are naturally a little on the messy side.
Hori Screen Protector Filter for Nintendo Switch
Available through Walmart, the Hori Screen Protector for Nintendo Switch is certified both dust and bubble-free and thoughtfully designed.
The patented application makes for quick and seamless installation, and will cut back on the time it takes from purchase to getting to playing. Clear quality, PET protection is a fair alternative to tempered glass.
The clear protection also is especially responsive and keeps clean- great for use by younger players and people on the go alike.
For this category, I wanted to find the best screen protectors overall for most users. If you don’t have a specific need– such as a desire for a material other than tempered glass; dust free tech or an ergonomic design, I consider these screen protectors to be the best overall for the Nintendo Switch.
They also happen to all be available through Amazon, and highly reviewed by a sizable number of customers.
Best 2017 Version: Spigen Tempered Glass Nintendo Switch Screen Protector [ 9H Hardness ] designed for Nintendo Switch
For a 2017 version of the Switch, for the best Nintendo Switch screen protectors, I love the Spigen model, which comes in at around a mere eleven dollars. Keep in mind that this is designed specifically for the 2017 version, so this is best for players who have not bought the new Switch.
There’s plenty to like. A high touchscreen response, high level or clarity, plus special coating to prevent both fingerprint and grease smudges makes for a more enjoyable playing experience.
The glass screen protector also comes with a cleaning cloth and especially a simple installation process.
Best Overall: Screen Protector Tempered Glass for Nintendo Switch, iVoler Transparent HD Clear Anti-Scratch Screen Protector Compatible Nintendo Switch
At under ten dollars, this set of screen protectors are not only a steal but excellent for overall quality and features. The set includes 3 screen protectors, along with wipes, a squeeze card, and a simple installation guide.
For these reasons alone, it’d be a contender for best overall value. But beyond that, you’re also getting high definition viewing, with 99.9% transparent, lightweight tempered glass, and a scratch resistance surface with a rating of 9H hardness.
It even has a protective coating to cut back on fingerprint smudges, plus a high level of touch screen sensitivity. For these reasons, this is my absolute favorite screen protector for Nintendo Switch.
Buying a screen protector is the best way to enjoy your Nintendo Switch and protect it against everyday use, which can result in everything from surface-level scratches to more serious issues.
By spending less under thirty dollars, you can ensure that you’ll be enjoying everything from Animal Crossing to The Legend of Zelda for a long time to come.