Best capture card for Nintendo Switch in February 2024

Product shots of the best capture card for Nintendo Switch with a Switch console on a red background
(Image credit: Future/Nintendo/Elgato)

Looking for an easy way to record gameplay footage on your Nintendo Switch console? You've come to the right place, as we've found the very best capture cards for streaming your adventures. Using a capture card is the most reliable and efficient way to share your gaming footage online without lagging or interruptions, and it's also a great option if you need to edit the footage first. 

The Nintendo Switch has no way of recording in-game footage, only capturing images, and doesn't support direct live streaming via Twitch or other platforms. So if you want to record your gameplay, you'll need a capture card with high-quality software and a PC to hook it up to (or an Xbox One console). Take a look at our FAQs below to learn more about streaming and using capture cards.

Investing in a capture card is a great way to relive adventures from your favourite Nintendo Switch games, but these cards don't come cheap. We know it can be difficult to choose the right capture card or even know where to start, so whether you want to record your gaming sessions for professional streaming or just for personal use, we'll help find one that suits your budget and lifestyle.

The best capture cards for the Nintendo Switch

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How to choose the best capture card

It's not so much about the brand when choosing a capture card for your Nintendo Switch, but more about what each product can offer. Think about what you value most when shopping for a capture card: is it the price? Or do you want it to be user-friendly? How about portable? Do you want maximum resolution? 

If you're a pro streamer then chances are you've already figured out exactly what you want/need in a capture card for the best performance. But it's important to consider your budget too, as you don't want to be overpaying for a branded device that can offer the exact same (or maybe even less) features and maximum output as an unbranded capture card from Amazon. 

We advise that you start with your budget, and then research into the very best specs you can get at this price point. If you're shopping for a younger gamer who's just starting out, then the last thing you'll want is an influx of cables that you don't know what to do with or complicated connectivity options.

FAQS

What else do I need for a capture card to work?

Aside from a regular Nintendo Switch console (note that the Switch Lite cannot output to a display),  you'll need an official Nintendo Switch docking station, a power source for the docking station, an HDMI cable, an external TV or Monitor, a stable internet connection, optionally: an ethernet cable, plus a PC, Mac or Laptop with at least 8GB of RAM that can run the compatible software with your capture card. 

You'll also need to decide on which streaming platform you want to use, whether that's YouTube, Discord, Twitch, or Facebook - and create an account for the preferred platform if you haven't already. Then there's broadcasting, and you might be required to run software with your capture card to be able to process the footage and upload it to another platform. 

Do I really need a capture card to stream from a Nintendo Switch?

If you happen to also have an Xbox One console, an external monitor, and a separate PC or laptop, then there is a way to stream from your Nintendo Switch using a slightly different method that doesn't involve a capture card. 

To do this, you'll need to put your switch into its docking station and then connect it to your Xbox One via the HDMI "in" port on your Xbox console. 

Next, boot up the Xbox App (OneGuide) on both your Xbox One console and your PC, and then you'll need to use software such as either Streamlabs or OBS Studio to begin streaming directly to Twitch, while capturing your Xbox app window (which will be displaying your Switch display screen). 

Do I need to install any extra software?

Depending on your capture card, you'll likely need to download and install some compatible software or alternatively use a free broadcasting app to stream and share your footage. The ones we would recommend using are OBS (Open Broadcaster Software), or there's an app you can get on smartphones called Streamlabs. 

Abi Le Guilcher
Ecommerce Writer

Abi Le Guilcher is Creative Bloq’s Ecommerce Writer. With a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Design for Game and Film, Abi enjoys almost anything creative and will either be found crafting or gaming in her spare time. Her previous experience as a retail assistant at CeX means she has a wide range of knowledge in both technology and media and loves to keep up to date with the latest tech. Abi is an avid cosplayer and has most recently worked with PlayStation and Santa Monica Studio on a promotional campaign for the release of God of War Ragnarök.

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