The Nintendo Switch has an airplane mode that can be very useful even when you’re not on a plane
Airplane mode is built into virtually all of our modern electronic devices, ready to be activated as soon as you board. More often than not, the rest of the time it is of very limited use – unless you really don’t want to be called -.
After all, why would anyone voluntarily shut themselves off from the internet? Well, there are several reasons, especially for the Nintendo Switch, namely autonomy and charging speed.
The Switch is a device that relies heavily on the internet. You need to be connected to a Wi-Fi network to download updates, play online and be in touch with friends. That being said, you probably don’t do this stuff all the time. Unless you only play online.
Connecting to the internet drains the battery, and not just when you’re using the console. It makes sense that accessing the eShop, installing updates, or connecting to an online game with a friend consumes battery power, but there are many other even more demanding connected activities that occur when the device is on.
Your Switch, for example, constantly checks Wi-Fi, checks regularly for updates, retrieves your friends’ online status and the games they play, sends you push notifications to get you to buy content.
And it continues to do all of this even in sleep mode, which means that unless you leave it in its dock, it’ll have less battery when you wake it up. Turning on airplane mode when you know you don’t need the internet will prevent all of this activity.
There are other advantages than preserving range to activating airplane mode. Many games – even those that don’t need an internet connection to play – check the internet connection before starting. This can slow down loading, especially if you don’t have Wi-Fi in range, but Wi-Fi is on.
Airplane mode overrides this check, which can improve game startup times. On Reddit, a user noticed that Super Mario Odyssey’s “play with Joy-Con detached” screen appears much faster when airplane mode is enabled. That might make you decide to turn it on even when battery life isn’t an issue, when your Switch is docked or charging.
One downside, though: if you’re a Nintendo Switch Online subscriber, you’ll have to do without online saves if you enable airplane mode. Too bad if you pay the subscription precisely for this.
Additionally, Airplane Mode disables Bluetooth communications, preventing play with detached Joy-Cons. If you want to play this way, you will need to manually enable Bluetooth in System Settings > Airplane Mode > Controller Connection (Bluetooth).
How to Enable Airplane Mode on the Nintendo Switch
To activate or deactivate airplane mode on the Switch, press and hold the Home button to access the quick settings. From there, choose Airplane Mode and press A to turn it on or off. You can also find this control in the system settings.
Rachel Maga is a technology journalist currently working at Globe Live Media agency. She has been in the Technology Journalism field for over 5 years now. Her life’s biggest milestone is the inside tour of Tesla Industries, which was gifted to her by the legend Elon Musk himself.