Nintendo just added a bunch of crucial features to the Switch — here’s the rundown

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Nintendo

Nintendo’s wildly successful Switch console is already pretty great, but a new software update makes it even better.

Version 4.0 of the console’s operating system went live this week, and it adds some hugely important stuff. Here’s a breakdown of the big update!


1. Easily record video clips of games.

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Ben Gilbert/Business Insider

That little button underneath the Switch’s directional pad is the Record button, and it normally only functions as a means of snapping in-game screenshots. It’s a great little addition to the Switch that makes me feel like every game is an adventure to capture. I have dozens of screenshots that I’ve taken just because. It’s so easy to! Why not?

Now, if you hold down that button for a bit longer, it captures the last 30 seconds of gameplay in an editable video. For some bizarre reason, the new function only works with select games – here’s the current list of supported software, as of Thursday:

– “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild”

– “Splatoon 2”

– “ARMS”

– “Mario Kart 8 Deluxe”


Check out the new video recording function in this video from Nintendo:


2. Transfer data from one Switch to another.

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Nintendo

There are loads of reasons why you might want to transfer saved data from one Nintendo Switch console to another. One such reason is illustrated expertly by Nintendo in the image above: If multiple people have profiles on a single Switch console, and one of those people gets their own console, that person will probably want to move their data to the new console.

Now, thankfully, that’s possible.

It’s a relatively simple process that’s done over the internet – Nintendo spells out the whole process, step-by-step, on its support site.


3. Pre-order and, more importantly, pre-<em>load</em> games.

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Nintendo

“Super Mario Odyssey” is nearly upon us.

The next major game from Nintendo starring the infamous ex-plumber arrives on October 27, and the millions of people who own the Nintendo Switch are no doubt looking to play it as soon as possible. That’s why it was so smart of Nintendo to add the ability to pre-pay and pre-load games ahead of release.

The idea is simple: If you pay for “Super Mario Odyssey” through Nintendo’s online eShop on the Nintendo Switch before October 27, the game downloads and is ready to go for October 27, when it unlocks.

There’s no waiting for any downloads – you can start playing the game the moment it’s officially “out.”


4. Some excellent new user icons.

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Nintendo

It’s a small addition, but a delightful one: Nintendo added a dozen new user icons. There are a handful from “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild,” but the best ones are from the upcoming “Super Mario Odyssey.”

Perhaps you noticed the dinosaur with a mustache and cap above? That’s one of several ridiculous icons from the new Mario. There are other really good ones too:

Nintendo Switch (user icons)

Pretty great!


It’s super easy to get the system update:

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Nintendo

Just go to the System Settings icon in the main menu on the Switch, then select “System” from the next menu. From there, you’ll see a “System Update” option – select that! It took about four minutes from start to finish on my home network, including the download.

BEWARE: If you have any games open ahead of the update, and you need to save them first, you should do that. Anything open before the system update starts will be closed, and the console will reset.

Check out the full list of updates right here on Nintendo’s support site.