Switch Screenshot
Image: Nintendo Life

As we all know, not every Switch screenshot is created equal. Screenshots taken when your console is docked are going to look subtly different to those captured in handheld mode, not only because of the resolution difference but also due to the fact that the console is operating at a weaker power level when it's away from the TV. As developers have had more time to get to grips with the Switch, we're seeing the gulf between these two standards grow even more noticeable.

That's spurred us on to change the way in which we handle Switch screenshots in our reviews. Traditionally, we've simply captured a bunch of screens during gameplay – both in docked and handheld modes – and uploaded them onto the site without any indication of the mode they were taken in. Moving forward, we're going to be more transparent about which mode the screen was taken in so you can see for yourself the difference between the two modes – this is going to be especially interesting to those of you that own a Switch Lite and therefore will only ever experience games in handheld mode.

Below you'll see two examples. The top one was taken in docked mode, as denoted by the message and icon underneath:

Screenshot of Samurai Shodown (Nintendo Switch)
Captured on Nintendo Switch (Docked)

This next screen, however, was captured in handheld/undocked mode, which is made clear by the message in the same place. You can also probably tell that the resolution and image quality is much lower than the docked screenshot, which goes to show why it's now more important than ever for us to clearly indicate which mode each screen was captured in.

Screenshot of Samurai Shodown (Nintendo Switch)
Captured on Nintendo Switch (Handheld/Undocked)

Hopefully, you'll instantly see the benefit of this new approach. We sadly can't roll this out on past titles, so it will only be reflected in reviews moving forward. There may also be cases where we're unable to capture screenshots directly from the game (some titles deactivate the Switch's built-in screenshot function), and in these situations, we have no option but to use press screens supplied by the publisher. These shots will not carry a docked/undocked message.

Let us know what you think of this new system – and if you find it helpful – by posting a comment below.