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How to watch and stream movies on Nintendo Switch, explained

Nintendo’s consoles haven’t traditionally been known as multimedia powerhouses, and the Switch is no exception. While rival consoles have been able to play DVDs and other media for generations now—Sony did it all the way back on the PlayStation 2—Nintendo has almost always kept its consoles laser-focused on games and interactive entertainment.

That doesn’t mean you’re locked out of all the usual entertainment and streaming options if the Switch is your primary console. While you obviously won’t be able to play DVDs or other discs thanks to the Switch’s cartridge format, you still have a few options when it comes to streaming services. If you want to take a break from games and boot up a movie on your Switch instead, we have all the details you need here.

Here’s how to watch and stream movies on the Switch.

Switch streaming instructions

While the Switch is capable of streaming movies and TV shows, it doesn’t have the robust app offerings that Sony’s and Microsoft’s consoles do. Even so, there are a few services you can take advantage of to watch some content. To get started, navigate to the Nintendo eShop at the bottom of the Switch’s main menu.

There’s no in-store aggregate of non-game apps, so you’ll have to search for the streaming service you want to use. At time of writing, Netflix isn’t supported on the Switch, so you’ll need to use a different device if you want to watch one of their movies.

Here are the streaming services that currently have apps on the eShop:

  • Hulu
  • Funimation
  • Crunchyroll
  • YouTube
  • Twitch
  • Pokémon TV

To stream a movie from one of these services, simply download its app and open it from the Switch’s home screen like you would a game. You’ll need to log in with your account—you do still need a subscription for Hulu and the like to watch content on the Switch. From there, you can choose your movie as usual and get to watching.

The best options for movies on the Switch are Hulu and YouTube since both services have plenty of free movies across a variety of genres. YouTube also allows users to rent and purchase an even wider selection of films, so there’s truly something there for everyone. If anime is what you’re looking for, Funimation and Crunchyroll have their usual selection of series and specials on their respective Switch apps.

If you have another console or even a smart TV, it’s a better idea to use them to find a movie since you’ll be able to access a much wider variety of apps that the Switch’s eShop doesn’t have, like Netflix and Prime Video. Video and streaming content is more of a novelty on the Switch than anything.

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