How To Use Laptop As Monitor For Switch [Step by Step]

With the Nintendo Switch gaming console, you can play your games on the go, or on a big screen whenever you are at home. Connecting the console to a laptop will allow you to play your favorite games on a bigger screen on the go. Get to know how you can pair your Nintendo Switch console to a laptop screen. 

To play Nintendo Switch games through a laptop display, you need to connect the laptop to a video capture card, and then run Game Capture HD on the laptop. Alternatively, you could just download and run the PC versions of your preferred Nintendo Switch games on your laptop. 

A direct connection is not possible as the Switch console only has a single HDMI output port, and most laptops do not have an HDMI-In port. If you do not have a capture card, the alternative would be to download and run the PC versions of your preferred Nintendo Switch games on the laptop.

What You Will Need 

Well, it is not possible to connect the Nintendo Switch gaming console to your laptop display directly. This is mainly because laptops do not have an HDMI-in port. The only reason a laptop would have an HDMI-in port would be that it has a built-in capture card. 

Since these are hard to come by, you need to use an external video capture card to make this connection. In this regard, you need to have a few things, including: 

Nintendo Dock

Each Nintendo Switch gaming console comes with a dock. Normally, the dock is used to connect the console with a Smart TV display. You will also need this dock while connecting the Switch to your laptop. In this case, the gaming console will remain seated on its dock the whole time. 

Video Capture Card 

Game capture cards are essentially meant for streaming console gameplay through a PC. In its design, a video capture card features an HDMI-in as well as an HDMI-out port, which feeds to the laptop through a USB port. You only need to get a quality capture card to get a smooth and lag-free gaming experience. 

In this regard, you need to go for renowned brands like Elgato by Corsair. One of their popular game capture cards is the Elgato HD60 S. The latest version of this card delivers a 1080P video output quality at 60 FPS. 

Additionally, it features USB 3.0 type-C connectivity for a lag-free experience. Such would be a great option for connecting a Nintendo Switch console to your laptop display. However, you may need to get an older capture card—like the Elgato HD60— if your computer does not have a Type-C port.

Video Capturing Software 

Depending on the video capture card you decide to use, you will need to purchase or download the appropriate capturing software. The software should be capable of capturing the video from her console and streaming it to Twitch-like platforms. 

There are numerous premium as well as free software options to choose from in this regard. For instance, you could settle for OBS Studio, which is free to download and compatible with all operating systems. If you happen to be using an Elgato video capture card, it would be advisable to use the Elgato Game Capture HD software. 

You can download this software free of charge from the Elgato official website. The free version of the software will suffice as supports high-quality 720P and 1080P video streaming. Using this software with Elgato capture cards is guaranteed to reduce lag in the display. 

HDMI Cable 

You will need an HDMI cable to connect and transfer video and audio from the gaming console to the Video capture card. Normally, every Nintendo Switch comes with a quality HDMI cable as part of the accessories. This cable will do just fine for this application. 

If you do not have the cable, you need to purchase a new one right away. In addition to all these, you will need a working laptop, and of course the Nintendo Switch console. 

How to Connect the Nintendo Switch Console to a Laptop

Would you like to get the same big-screen gaming experience on the go, as you would with the Switch at home? You should consider connecting it to a laptop and use the laptop display as the gaming monitor for the Nintendo Switch console. 

The idea is to use the laptop screen as the display device while leaving the gaming console in its dock. The entire pairing process is known to be power intensive. As such, you should consider charging both the laptop and the gaming console beforehand. 

Once they are fully charged, you can start pairing them. The following steps will help you pair a Nintendo Switch console to your laptop:

Step 1: To begin with, you need to disconnect the Nintendo Switch console’s HDMI connection to the TV. Unplug the cable from the TV end and plug it into the HDMI-in port on the video capture card. 

Step 2: On your laptop, launch the Video Capturing software, which should be already installed. For the case of the Elgato video capture card, you need to launch the Game Capture HD software. 

Step 3: Now turn the Nintendo Switch gaming console on. This is accomplished by pressing the Home button on any of the connected Switch controllers. 

Step 4: Connect the USB cable that comes with your video capture card, such as the Elgato HD60, to any of the USB ports on your laptop. After a few seconds, the Nintendo Switch home screen should come up on the Game Capture HD software on the laptop. 

If the video capturing software on your laptop does not detect the connected console automatically you need to check the connections once again. Ensure that the HDMI cable is plugged into the HDMI-in port on the video capture card. 

In most cases, the HDMI-in port is located on the same side as the USB cable on the capture card. 

Step 5: Select the full-screen view on your video capturing software on the laptop. For the Game Capture HD, the full-screen icon is situated on the top-right corner of the software window. If you click on this icon, the program should fill the entire laptop screen. 

While doing this, be sure not to touch the keyboard or touchpad on your mouse. Once in the full-screen mode, you can now play your preferred Nintendo Switch games through the laptop screen as you would with a TV display. 

What is Nintendo Switch?

First unveiled on March 3, 2017, the Nintendo Switch is one of the most preferred gaming consoles available today. It is actually one of the popular game g console options for a home-gaming setup—allows for a large display experience through your TV screen. 

If you are used to playing Switch console games on such big displays, you may find it hard to play them on the small built-in display on the console. This is why a considerable number of gamers are looking forward to connecting their consoles to a laptop display.

This would offer them a large-screen console gaming experience on the go. So, how should you go about it?

Final Verdict 

If you find an HDMI capture card to be too expensive or do not have one readily available, you can also install and run the PC versions of Nintendo Switch console games on your laptop. In his regard, you will be glad to learn that most Nintendo Switch controllers are compatible with laptops. 

Most of the leading Nintendo Switch console games are readily available on other platforms like Steam, Microsoft Store app store on Windows 10, and Epic Games. All in all, connecting a Nintendo Switch console to a laptop is not all that complicated, provided you have the right video capture card and software.

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