How To Know Your Nintendo Switch Version

Update: HI, everyone! I have updated this article with multiple new sections. It was in desperate need of a facelift! First of all, I’ve added sections that compare the Original Nintendo Switch to the Switch OLED and the Switch Lite. I have also added a section about how accessory compatibility is affected between the different versions. Finally, I’ve added a table that details the basic differences between all the different switch models and some videos. I hope you enjoy. Thanks again for visiting CareerGamers. Every second you spend here is massively appreciated. All the very best. Nick.

There are 4 different versions of the Nintendo Switch. 

The original Nintendo Switch, the upgrade of the original, the Nintendo Switch Lite, and the Nintendo Switch OLED.

You can easily differentiate between the original Nintendo Switch and the Switch Lite because they have so many differences.

For example, the original Switch has Joy-Cons while the Switch Lite has in-built controllers.

The designs of the two consoles are also very different so you can immediately tell them apart by looking at them.

It is, however, not easy to tell apart the original Switch from its upgrade, often referred to as the Switch 2.0, because of their similar appearance and features.

I actually experimented to see how easy it is to distinguish between the two models.

I placed the original Switch and the Switch 2.0 side by side on a table and asked a friend of mine to pick up the original.

He wasn’t able to, and though I had placed two similar game consoles on the table.

So begs the question

How do you know your Nintendo Switch version? You can identify Nintendo Switch consoles by looking at the packaging, serial number, and model number, production description, and price. Without looking at these five things you may not be able to choose between the original Switch, Switch 2.0, Switch Lite, and Switch OLED.

Read on to find out how to use each of the above differentiators to know which Nintendo Switch version you have or are looking to buy.

Normal SwitchNew Model SwitchSwitch LiteSwitch OLED
Model NumberHAC-001HAC-001 (-01)HDH-001HEG-001
Size4.0 x 9.4 in4.0 x 9.4 in3.6 x 8.2 in4.0 x 9.5 in
Weight0.88 lbs0.88 lbs0.61 lbs0.93 lbs
Screen Size6.2 in6.2 in5.5 in7.0 in
Battery Life2.5-6.5 hrs4.5-9 hrs3-7 hrs4.5-9 hrs
Internal Storage32GB32GB32GB64GB
Joy-Con DetachableYesYesNoYes
Enhanced AudioNoNoNoYes
Price (at launch)$299$299$199$349

Original Switch VS Switch 2.0

Switch Version 2.0 has a most Red box with no hand reaching for the Switch dock.

As I have mentioned above, the original Switch and the second version of the Switch look virtually identical and the performance is almost similar.

They do, however, have a few differences.

The main difference between the old switch and the new one is the battery life.

The Switch 2.0 lets you enjoy your favorite Nintendo game for up to nine hours, which is a big improvement from the original Switch 6.5 hours of play.

The extended battery life on the new Switch is attributed to a processor upgrade.

Other differences between the old and new Switch are hardly noticeable. Here are a few of them:

Screen brightness and polarization

The original Switch box has less red on the front and somebody is reaching for the Switch in the dock.

I have played games on both the original Switch and Switch 2.0. 

The resolution on the devices is similar, but I noticed the Switch 2.0 has a slightly brighter screen display than the original’s screen. This is something that isn’t easily detectable though.

Another difference that you wouldn’t know unless you play your new Switch outside while wearing sunglasses is that its screen is polarised differently from the original Switch.

Compared to the original the new Nintendo Switch polarised screen is unpleasant to look at when wearing shades. 

This makes it difficult to play the console outside when wearing sunglasses.

To me, the appearance feels like watching a 3D movie without the 3D glasses on.

Without sunglasses, you can’t tell the difference between the two Nintendo Switch screens.

They are both clearly visible and seem to block equal amounts of sunlight.

Joy-Cons Antenna 

Joy-Cons on the old Nintendo Switch have connectivity issues. 

Depending on how you hold them, the Joy-Cons could disconnect at the worst possible time as you play your game.

Where the Joy-Cons antenna is located on the old Switch model controller is blamed for the connectivity issues.

The Joy-Cons antenna for the Switch 2.0 has been moved to prevent disconnection issues experienced with the Joy-Cons in the old Switch.

Joy-Cons have their antenna placed inside them. 

So you would have to open up your controller to see the different locations of the antenna in the new and old Switch models.

How to tell apart the original Nintendo Switch from Switch 2.0

From the above section, you can see distinguishing between the original Switch and Switch 2.0 can be tough.

But, here are quick ways to spot the new model from the old model when shopping for your Nintendo Switch.


The original Nintendo Switch has a box with a grey background. On the box, there is an image of a hand placing the Switch in a dock.

The box of the Switch 2.0 is almost entirely red and doesn’t have an image of a hand placing the Switch in a dock. It instead has an image of the Switch dock next to Joy-Cons.

Serial Number

As you can see, my Switch is an old Switch.

If you’re buying your Nintendo Switch from a physical store you can check the serial number to know if it is an old or new model.

The serial number can be found at the bottom of the console’s packaging.

The serial number for the original Switch starts with XA while that of the Switch 2.0 should start with XK.

If you’re buying a pre-owned Nintendo Switch it may not have its box. 

You can, however, check the console’s serial number at the back of the console at the bottom.

If you’re buying your Nintendo Switch online check to see if the product listing includes the console’s serial number. Some listings on Amazon include it.

Model Number

The model number is clearly visible o the back of the Switch. This model number indicates that my Switch is the older model.

If the Nintendo Switch online listing you’re looking at doesn’t include a serial number look for the model number.

Original Nintendo Switch devices have model numbers that start with HAC while those for the new Switch start with HAD.

For example, the new switch with blue and red Joy-Cons has HADSKABAA as the model number and HADSKAAAA for the version with grey Joy-Cons.

If you’re at a physical store check the back of the Nintendo Switch to see the model number.

The original Nintendo Switch has HAC-001 as its model number while the new Switch has HAC-001 (-01).

Product Description

If serial and model numbers are confusing read the product description to find out the battery life for the Switch you’re considering buying.

Remember the original Switch has an approximate battery life of 2.5 to 6.5 hours while the Switch 2.0 has 4.5 to 9 hours of playtime.


If you see an amazing deal for a Nintendo Switch, it is most likely the older version. 

Nintendo is slowly phasing out the original Switch, and some sellers might lower their prices to finish their remaining stock.

So, if you see a good deal use the points above to ascertain if you’re buying the new version of the Nintendo Switch or the old one.

Comparing the Nintendo Switch OLED and the Original Nintendo Switch

The Nintendo Switch has been a revolutionary console in the gaming world, offering a unique blend of handheld and home console gaming. However, with the introduction of the Nintendo Switch OLED model, gamers have been presented with an updated version that offers several enhancements over the original. Here, we’ll delve into the key differences between the Nintendo Switch OLED and the original Nintendo Switch.


The most notable difference between the two models is the display. The Nintendo Switch OLED, as the name suggests, features a vibrant 7-inch OLED screen, which is larger than the 6.2-inch LCD screen of the original Nintendo Switch. The OLED display offers more vivid colors and better contrast, providing a more immersive gaming experience.


The Nintendo Switch OLED also boasts enhanced audio for handheld and tabletop play, thanks to its improved speakers. This means that whether you’re battling enemies or exploring virtual worlds, you’ll be able to enjoy clearer and more immersive sound.


When it comes to storage, the Nintendo Switch OLED has double the internal storage of the original model, boasting 64GB compared to the original’s 32GB. This additional storage space allows gamers to download more games and save more game data directly on the device.


In terms of design, the Nintendo Switch OLED is slightly larger due to its bigger screen but maintains a similar overall form factor to the original. One significant design improvement in the OLED model is the stand. The original Switch has a small, somewhat flimsy kickstand for tabletop gaming. In contrast, the Switch OLED features a wider and more robust stand, providing better stability.

Additionally, the OLED Model is slightly bigger. This means that if you are upgrading from a Launch Switch or a Switch 2.0, your accessories may not fit the Switch OLED.

Battery Life

The battery life for the Nintendo Switch OLED is similar to the improved battery life of the later models of the original Nintendo Switch, offering between 4.5 to 9 hours of playtime depending on the game and usage conditions. This is a significant improvement over the battery life of the earliest models of the original Nintendo Switch.

From my experience recently of playing Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, I’ve been getting around 6 hours from a full battery. On my old Switch, I’d get between 3-4 hours. So it’s a massive improvement.


The Nintendo Switch OLED comes with a new dock that includes a built-in wired LAN port. This allows for more stable online connections during docked play, which can be particularly beneficial for competitive online gaming.

In conclusion, while the original Nintendo Switch and the Nintendo Switch OLED offer the unique hybrid gaming experience that has made the Switch popular, the OLED model provides several enhancements. These improvements, including a better display, enhanced audio, increased storage, a more robust stand, and a dock with a LAN port, offer an upgraded gaming experience.

Comparing the Nintendo Switch and the Nintendo Switch Lite

The Nintendo Switch has been a game-changer in the world of gaming, offering a unique blend of home console and handheld gaming. However, with the introduction of the Nintendo Switch Lite, gamers have been presented with a more portable and affordable option. Here, we’ll delve into the key differences between the Nintendo Switch and the Nintendo Switch Lite.

Design and Portability

The most noticeable difference between the two models is their size. The Nintendo Switch Lite is a smaller, lighter version of the original Nintendo Switch, making it more portable and easier to carry around. The Switch Lite is designed solely for handheld gaming, unlike the original Switch, which can also be docked for play on a larger screen.


The Nintendo Switch features detachable Joy-Con controllers, allowing for versatile gameplay options, including multiplayer gaming right out of the box. On the other hand, the Nintendo Switch Lite has integrated controls, meaning the controllers are built into the device and cannot be detached. However, additional Joy-Con controllers can be connected to the Switch Lite for multiplayer games.


The Nintendo Switch Lite has a smaller 5.5-inch display compared to the 6.2-inch display of the original Nintendo Switch. However, both models offer a 720p resolution, ensuring clear and vibrant visuals.

Battery Life

The Nintendo Switch Lite offers slightly improved battery life compared to the original Nintendo Switch, due to its more power-efficient chip and smaller screen size. However, it’s worth noting that the difference is relatively minor and actual battery life will depend on the specific games being played and usage conditions.

Docking and TV Mode

One of the key differences between the two models is that the Nintendo Switch Lite cannot be docked to play games on a TV, unlike the original Nintendo Switch. This means that the Switch Lite is strictly a handheld device.


The Nintendo Switch Lite is priced lower than the original Nintendo Switch, making it a more affordable option for those who primarily play games on the go and don’t require the TV docking feature.

In conclusion, while both the original Nintendo Switch and the Nintendo Switch Lite offer the unique gaming experience that has made the Switch popular, they cater to different needs. The original Switch offers versatility with its detachable Joy-Con controllers and TV docking feature, while the Switch Lite offers greater portability and affordability, making it an ideal choice for on-the-go gaming.

Does it matter what Switch model I have? 

You can also get rough estimate of which Switch model you have by looking at the year it was made o nth back one the console.

It depends on how you prefer to play your Nintendo games.

If I was to advise you on which Switch to get, I would tell you to buy the Nintendo Switch and not the Switch Lite.

The Nintendo Switch Lite costs less than the original Switch retailing at $200, but it is mostly a handheld console.

With the Nintendo Switch, you can play in handheld, tabletop, and TV mode.

The Switch Lite is also not compatible with all Nintendo Switch games

If you’re trying to decide whether to buy the original or Nintendo Switch 2.0, in my opinion only one thing should inform your decision.

Both Switch versions can be played in 3 modes, play all Nintendo Switch games, and retail at the same price, $300.

So, the only thing that should matter to you is battery life.

If you don’t plan to play your Switch for long hours on end, the original’s 2-5- 6.5 battery life is not a deal-breaker. 

However, if you love gaming and can spend hours on your console you should get the new Nintendo Switch.

The extra 2.5 hours of playtime the game console gives you makes it worth buying

Accessories Compatibility: A Comprehensive Guide for Nintendo Switch Models

The Original Nintendo Switch and Accessory Compatibility

The Nintendo Switch has been a game-changer in the world of gaming consoles, thanks to its unique ability to adapt to various gaming environments. This versatility is enhanced by a range of accessories designed to improve the gaming experience. For instance, consider the case of a grip-enhancing case used by a long-time Nintendo Switch user. This case, designed for the original “day-one” Nintendo Switch, significantly improved the handheld gaming experience by providing additional comfort during extended gaming sessions.

The Introduction of the Nintendo Switch OLED

However, the introduction of the Nintendo Switch OLED model presented a slight challenge due to its slightly larger size. This size difference, although only a few millimeters, raised concerns about whether the grip case designed for the original Switch would fit the OLED model.

Accessory Adaptability: The Grip Case Example

Fortunately, the grip case was designed with adaptability in mind. It came with a small extension plate that allowed the grip to be adjusted to fit the slightly larger size of the Switch OLED model. This example highlights how some accessories have been designed with foresight to accommodate slight variations in the size of different Nintendo Switch models.

The Nintendo Switch Lite: A Different Story

However, it’s crucial to note that this is not always the case, especially when comparing the original Nintendo Switch or the Switch OLED with the Nintendo Switch Lite. The Switch Lite is significantly smaller than the other two models. As a result, most grips and cases designed for the original Switch or the Switch OLED will not fit the Switch Lite.

Joy-Con Controllers: The Universal Accessory

When it comes to the Joy-Con controllers, there’s a bit more flexibility. Joy-Con controllers can be used interchangeably between all Nintendo Switch models, with the exception of the Switch Lite, which has built-in controllers. However, even with the Switch Lite, additional Joy-Con controllers can be connected for multiplayer games, allowing up to four players to participate.

Accessory Compatibility: Key Takeaways

In conclusion, while the Nintendo Switch’s versatility is one of its key selling points, it’s important for users to be aware of the compatibility of accessories across different models. This understanding can help ensure that you select the right accessories for your specific model, enhancing your gaming experience and ensuring you get the most out of your Nintendo Switch.

Additional Considerations: Future Accessory Compatibility

As the Nintendo Switch continues to evolve, it’s likely that we’ll see further variations in size and design. This could potentially impact accessory compatibility. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to check the compatibility of any new accessory with your specific Nintendo Switch model before making a purchase. This will help you avoid any potential disappointment and ensure that you can continue to enjoy your gaming experience to the fullest.


The original Nintendo Switch and Switch 2.0 have the same physical features.

That makes it difficult to distinguish between the new extended battery Switch and the older model unless you know what you’re looking for.

Here is a recap on what to look at to tell these consoles apart.

  • Look at the box. This is the easiest way to know an old Switch model from a new one. The old model has packaging with a grey background. The box of the Switch 2.0 is almost entirely red. The box of the old Switch also has an image of a hand placing the Switch in its dock. The new Switch doesn’t have this image.
  • Check the serial number on the packaging or at the back of the console. The serial number of the new switch starts with XKW while that of the old Switch has XAW.
  • Original Nintendo Switch devices have model numbers that start with HAC while those for the new Switch start with HAD.
  • Read the product description to determine the battery life. The old Nintendo Switch has 2.5-4.5 hours of battery life while the Switch 2.0 has 4.5-9 hours of playtime.
  • Nintendo plans to phase out the original Switch so most retailers occasionally offer discounted prices to clear their stock. So if you see a Nintendo Switch selling at a bargain price it is like the original version.

What Next?

My Joy-cons seem to always be running out of battery power. How do I charge them more effectively? I had exactly the same problem when I bought my Switch. My Joy-con’s seemed to have less battery power than a 1980s mobile phone! Fortunately, I discovered a load of ways to charge my controllers and I discuss them in this article, here.

My Joy-con controller’s buttons seem to be constantly sticky and stuck in position. How do I fix this? Cleaning the button on your joy-con is an easy, but involved process. because of this, I’ve written an article on the subject to help you out. Check it out here.


Nick Sinclair

Nick Sinclair, a gaming aficionado since the Commodore 64 era, studied Creative Computer Games Design in university before founding his own gaming company. Discovering a passion for content creation, Nick now helps gamers squeeze every drop of fun out of their favorite gaming hardware

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