Best Capture Card for Nintendo Switch
Digital entertainment is evolving every single day. For instance, game streaming simply didn’t exist a couple of years ago. Now, platforms like Mixer and Twitch have made it an everyday experience for a lot of people.
So, what is the secret behind creating a high-quality stream that’s going to capture a wide audience? Along with having an engaging personality and being good at gaming, it’s also important to have the highest quality streaming equipment available.
You can easily grab an hour of quality, high-definition footage on Sony and Microsoft consoles, but the function is extremely limited on the Nintendo Switch. You can only capture 30 seconds of footage from a gaming session with the Switch.
But don’t worry! You can easily fix this problem with a capture card, and there are several different models on the market.
But, how do you choose the best capture card for Nintendo Switch? We’ve reviewed some of the best units available today, so you can make the right decision and record your latest adventure in Legend of Zelda in stunning detail.
It’s important to remember that the Switch doesn’t support 4K video, so you don’t need to get a high-end, expensive capture card unless you’re going to use the card for Xbox Series X or PS5 as well.
What is a capture card?
A capture card is a component that captures real-time gameplay footage. It’s important to note that the term ‘card’ can be a bit misleading. Some units are indeed cards or internal components that you need to insert in the PCIe slot. However, some models connect with a USB, although they’re usually the more budget-friendly options.
A capture card basically functions as an input for your preferred streaming service. So, instead of streaming gameplay from your PC, the service will directly get its feed from your capture card. This enables you to stream from your Switch or any other console via PC.
You’ll need to keep your Switch in a docked configuration to properly use your capture card. If you use it in handheld mode, you’ll be unable to make a high-quality stream. Disconnect your TV’s HDMI cable and plug it into your capture card’s input port instead. If you’re planning on using an external capture card, you’ll need to use a USB cable to connect it to your Mac or PC.
Next, take another HDMI cable and connect your TV to the output port of your capture card, and you’re done! After this step, you just need to open your streaming service and begin streaming or recording your favorite games. The process of how you do this will differ according to the streaming service you’re using.
Regardless, remember to set your capture card as your input device. You might need to install a few drivers to reach the right setting.
It’s important to note that the video quality varies with the capture card. The best units have H.264 encoding, but there are other ways to improve resolution as well. Non-H.264 encoders generally need a more powerful PC, so make sure you make your decision accordingly.
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#1 Top Pick
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Best for Beginners
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#1 Top Pick
AVerMedia Live Gamer Mini Capture Card
The AVerMedia Live Gamer Mini Capture Card is an excellent, pocket-friendly option for those who want to stream their Nintendo Switch games. The device can capture in 1080p and comes with RECentral software, helping you moderate and enhance your stream.
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Razer Ripsaw Capture Card
Razer is a popular brand in the PC market, and in the last few years, the company has expanded its horizons to create products for almost every facet of gaming. The Razer Ripsaw is an excellent example of the company’s ingenuity, with the capture card providing up to 4K passthrough at 60fps.
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Best for Beginners
Mirabox USB 3.0 Video Capture Card
The Mirabox video capture card offers a zero-latency HDMI passthrough, provides a capture resolution of up to 1080p with a 4K option, and boasts an easy-to-use design. All these features make it perfect for streaming Switch games on both Twitch and YouTube.
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TKHIN Game Video Capture Card
This compact and stylish TKHIN capture card boasts a high-end smart chip and a quality aluminum alloy shell. It supports up to 4K output resolution, while its plug-and-play functionality enables it to work quickly and seamlessly with stream media, such as OBS.
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AVERYN Audio Video Capture Card
The AVERYN audio video capture card offers a stunning 1080p resolution for both video recording and livestreaming, earning it a place on our list of best capture cards for Nintendo Switch.
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5 Best Capture Cards for Nintendo Switch
1. Most Budget-Friendly: AVerMedia Live Gamer Mini Capture Card
It boasts zero-lag pass-through video, enabling you to play uncompressed videos directly on your PC monitor with virtually no latency. Its plug-and-play functionality further offers convenience. You just need to plug the capture card into your PC, and you’re ready to record and stream your favorite games!
This AVerMedia model features an H.264 encoder, so you don’t have to worry about the device putting any additional load onto your CPU. It’s also compatible with RECentral streaming software, giving you access to several great functions, such as Chroma key, rich overlay, multi-stream, and more.
The unit is very easy to set up and use and allows you to record and stream all your games in full HD at 60fps. Don’t be fooled by its small size, as this powerful AVerMedia capture card has all the features a Switch enthusiast would ever need for quality gameplay recording.
With an incredibly attractive price, this model is a compact and reliable option – features that perfectly complement the major strengths of the Switch itself.
- High-quality and smooth streaming experience
- Captures real-time gameplay
- Broadcast directly from the built-in application
- Supports up to 60fps and 1080p
- Offers zero latency
- Comes with an H.264 hardware encoder
- Not compatible with 1440p
- Audio may be slightly out of sync
2. Best Performance: Razer Ripsaw Capture Card
With the card’s ability to capture high-quality, vivid footage and clear, crisp audio, your gameplay streams look just as good to your viewers as it does to you. Its full HD 1080p further allows you to capture every single frame of content and fully customize your streaming setup for the highest streaming quality.
The unit also boasts full audio mixing capabilities. It seamlessly receives multiple audio sources and broadcasts your stream and game mic audio with no syncing delay and zero latency. It also allows you to enjoy a smooth gaming experience in 4K and stream at full HD 1080p without compromising your gameplay or your audience’s viewing experience.
The Razer Ripsaw capture card is also compatible with Xbox One and PS4. It features two HDMI 2.0 ports, a headphone jack/mic passthrough, and USB-C power/input, providing you with everything you need to stream on a dual PC setup and a console. You can also use its 3.5mm audio cable to connect your microphone and have it work across two PCs so that your broadcast does not have any audio delays.
This capture card works perfectly with other Razer products as well, such as the Razer Kiyo and Razer Seiren X, so you can start streaming immediately if you already own these units.
However, it’s important to note that you’ll need to use your own capture software when you connect it to your PC. We recommend using OBS as it’s an excellent option that’s completely free to use. Once the entire setup is complete, you can relax knowing that this unit is hosting a stream and capturing gameplay without any glitches or lags to worry about.
- Hassle-free and easy audio management
- Low latency and easy to set up
- Comes with extra headphone and mic ports
- Lag-free streaming
- 4K Ultra HD support
- Suitable for next-gen consoles
- Doesn’t have its own software
3. Best for Beginners: Mirabox USB 3.0 Video Capture Card
This model provides a smooth streaming experience without lags and reproduces high-intensity videos with vivid colors and clear picture quality. Its HDMI passthrough port ensures zero latency, making it ideal for live-streaming your favorite games.
The Mirabox capture card is compatible with every 1080p HDMI device, including the PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Wii, Wii U, and Nintendo Switch. It also offers plug-and-play functionality for several different software, such as Mac OS, Windows Unix, and Windows 7, 8, and 10. You can use the card to live stream your games to YouTube, Potplayer, Twitch, and OBS as well.
This compact, standardized, and stylish unit is perfect for beginners, as you don’t need to install any drivers. It’s also extremely easy to set up and portable, making it suitable for conference rooms, live broadcasts, and video recording.
You can even use the HDMI capture card for online classes, mobile game streaming, and meetings. You can use it in the office to simplify your work and make your day more productive and efficient.
All in all, the Mirabox video capture card ensures easier streaming at 1080p quality, making it one of the best capture cards for Nintendo Switch.
- Ideal for Twitch and YouTube streaming
- Ensures a smooth and lag-free streaming experience
- Easy-to-use design makes it perfect for beginners
- Offers up to 1080p at 60 frames per second
- Simple setup with zero latency
- Audio from the HDMI input is a bit weak
- Software might freeze up from time to time
4. Most Versatile: TKHIN Game Video Capture Card
This unit is incredibly versatile, and you can easily use it for gaming broadcasts, live-streaming, conference meetings, video recordings, and more.
The capture card boasts a maximum HDMI output resolution of 4K at 30fps and is able to stream videos at 1080p through its USB 2.0 port. It produces a vivid and clear picture without any frame lag, enabling you to enjoy recording your favorite moments in your video game adventures.
The model also features an Audio Input/Output and a 3.5mm microphone port, so you can record your voice using the ports easily. These ports also allow you to add external commentary when you’re playing a game, enriching your streaming experience.
The TKHIN game video capture card is compatible with several different consoles and software. It is suitable for Linux, Mac OS X 10.9 and above, Windows 7, 8, 10, and multiple other systems. It is also compatible with Nintendo Switch, DSLR, PS4, webcam, and camera. You can use the card to start real-time streaming on OBS, VLC, Twitch, YouTube, and Potplayer as well.
This unit comes with a USB 3.0 cable, a user manual, and an HDMI capture card. Its Super Performance Chip further ensures a smoother and clearer picture without any delay or blue screen.
However, no product is perfect, and you’ll need to make a few compromises when using this capture card. Its 4K passthrough options are a bit temperamental, and you’ll need to take a deep dive into the OBS forums in order to find the ideal setup options.
But don’t worry, as once it’s completely installed and set up, you’ll find that this device is capable of recording and streaming impressively sharp 1080p footage with vibrant colors and an incredibly smooth frame rate.
- Boasts a high-performance chip
- Vivid and clear picture quality
- Comes with an audio input/output port
- Provides Ultra HD 1080p footage
- Compatible with multiple devices
- Perfect for conferencing and video recording
- Instructions are a bit unclear
- USB cable is a bit inconvenient
5. Most Compact: AVERYN Audio Video Capture Card
Its superior low latency technology port ensures minimum lags when you’re livestreaming a game, while its HDMI signal loop-out function makes it easier for you to start real-time streaming on YouTube, Twitch, Potplayer, VLC, and OBS. You can use the card to record videos directly to your hard disk as well.
You can easily use this model to connect your camcorder, action Cam, or DSLR to your Mac or PC. It’s also compatible with Windows, Mac OS, and Linux and accepts HDMI signal inputs from several devices, such as cameras, mobile phones, PS4, Xbox, and set-top boxes.
The AVERYN capture card boasts a plug-and-play design and does not need a driver or any external power supply. It’s ideal for low-latency games and can easily meet the needs of conference meetings. The lack of an external power supply, coupled with its compact size, makes this capture card one of the most compact ones available in the market today.
Lastly, AVERYN offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee with 24-hour customer service and a replacement or a full refund for free, further showcasing the company’s confidence in its product.
- Clear 1080p video recording
- Suitable for several different software and devices
- Ideal for high-definition acquisition
- Multipurpose design
- Does not need an external power supply or driver
- AVERYN can improve the size of the dongle
- Noticeable delay makes it difficult to play and stream action games
Should I buy a capture card for my Nintendo Switch?
You should definitely buy a Nintendo Switch capture card. Unlike the Xbox Series X and PS5, you can’t record or stream gameplay on the Switch itself. You won’t have to spend a lot of money because a Switch isn’t a very powerful console, and you won’t need to worry about the frame rate or resolution like you’d normally do with the Xbox Series X, PC, and PS5.
In fact, you’ll find that even the cheapest models have enough power to support the Switch’s frame rate and resolution.
Is the Switch compatible with all capture cards?
It’s important to remember that the Switch cannot handle 4K video, so you don’t need to purchase a high-quality capture card. Also, all capture cards work with the standard Switch OLED and Switch, but not the Switch Lite.
Which capture card is ideal for streamers?
The Elgato 4K60 Pro is the best capture card for streamers. It can capture gameplay up to 4K and 60fps directly from your PC. It’s also very easy to set up, as you just need to insert it into your motherboard and install the required drivers to start streaming.
It works perfectly with the Xbox One, PS4, and Nintendo Switch as well. You can even use the card with some third-party accessories to capture gameplay footage from retro platforms, such as the Wii and Nintendo GameCube, eliminating the need for an external capture box.
Does a capture card work with Switch Lite?
Unfortunately, you cannot use a capture card or any other device to capture gameplay footage from a Switch Lite. Currently, you can only stream footage from a Switch Lite by using a video camera to record your screen.
A capture card is an excellent component for streaming your favorite games on several different platforms, such as YouTube or Twitch. Each unit is incredibly portable and easy to set up and use. However, having so many different models on the market makes it very difficult to make the right choice.
Make sure you go through all the aforementioned models and choose the one that best suits your needs. Happy streaming!