Beginner’s tips on how to win each sport online

If you want to get better at Nintendo’s latest sports game, this Nintendo Switch Sports guide will give you useful tips and advice on how to play all six sports.

Switch Sports has online multiplayer and the competition will likely be fierce as players get used to the ins and outs of each sport.

Because we’ve already been playing it for a while, we’ve put together these Nintendo Switch Sports tips to help beginners learn key strategies.

Bear these tips in mind when you’re playing and you’ll be off to a good start.

Nintendo Switch Sports – VGC review in progress


Volleyball tips: Try to block every time

While it’s obviously important to learn the timing for the standard moves in volleyball (each time you touch the ball, basically), blocking is arguably an even more important skill to learn.

If you can pull off a successful block, it doesn’t give your opponents a lot of time to recover, meaning you may have a better chance of winning a point.

When you’re defending and your player is at the net, get in the habit of standing in front of your opponent using left and right on the Control Stick, and flicking the Joy-Con upwards at the same time as your opponent jumps for a spike.

Switch Sports guide: Beginner's tips on how to win each sport online

If you position yourself right in front of them, there’s a decent chance the spike will bounce off you and fall on their side of the net.

If you miss the block it doesn’t matter because the spike will be heading to your partner at the back of the court anyway, so you may as well get in the habit of jumping to block every single time you’re at the net.


Badminton tips: Exploit width and depth

As in real life, success in badminton is all about forcing your opponent to move sideways and back and forth on the court to try and force them into making a mistake.

If you continue to play the same strokes, it’s unlikely you’ll do too well (especially against the hardest difficulty AI opponent).

Instead, get in the habit of mixing up your strokes, both in terms of the direction you’re swinging and whether they’re going to the front or back of the court.

Switch Sports guide: Beginner's tips on how to win each sport online

For example, start off with a drop shot to the left side of the court by holding ZR and swinging your Joy-Con left. This will drop the shuttlecock just over the net and will force your opponent to the front.

Then, when your opponent returns it, swing the Joy-Con to the right (without pressing ZR) to play a deep stroke to the back-right of the court. This forces them to head right to the opposite side. Then, when they return that, play another drop shot to the front again.

Keep them running by sending them to opposite directions and opposite ends of the court like this – before long they will stumble to hit a shot that’s just out of reach, exposing them for an easy smash.


Bowling: Roll the ball at an angle

Anyone who knows their bowling knows that throwing the ball straight down the middle of the line will almost never result in a strike.

Instead, you’re more likely to end up with a split, where the pins at the back corners are left standing and are almost impossible to knock down with your second throw.

Instead, positioning your throw slightly to the left or right of the pins will give you a better chance at a strike.

Switch Sports guide: Beginner's tips on how to win each sport online

You have an even better chance if your balls is curving as it hits the pins. If you twist your wrist slightly as you throw, this will add curve to the ball.

If you can’t get the hang of twisting your wrist, you can also use the Y and A buttons while lining up your shot to turn around slightly, letting you throw the ball at an angle.

If you can master throwing a slightly angled shot that curves into the front pin, you’ve got a good chance of getting a strike.


Football / Soccer tips: Aim your shots high

One of the best things about the football game is that you have some control over what types of shot you can hit at the goal – low shots, lobs or kicks to the side.

One thing to note is that the goal is extremely high. It’s so high, in fact, that if a player jumps they can’t reach the top of it.

You can take advantage of this by making sure that any time you shoot at goal you hit lobs by flicking the Joy-Con upwards.

Switch Sports guide: Beginner's tips on how to win each sport online
Diving headers look cool but they’re hard to pull off so only use them when you absolutely have to

If your shot is hit strong enough and from the right distance out, the arc may be so high that it will be difficult for an opponent to jump up and reach the ball, making goals easier to score.

This works even better if the ball is mid-air, so practice jumping with B then flicking up to hit mid-air volleyed lobs, which have extremely high arcs.

After hitting your shot, be sure to also position yourself for a potential rebound. Often when a player clears a ball away from the goal, they’re too busy breathing a sigh of relief to realize that you’re following up with the rebound shot. Continued pressure is the best way to force an error.


Chambara tips: Match your opponent’s stance

The blocking and countering system in chambara is based on the angle at which a player holds their sword.

If your opponent is about to swing a downward strike, for example, holding your sword horizontally while holding ZR will block their strike and daze them briefly, allowing you to hit them freely.

The idea is that if you block at an angle roughly 90° to that of your opponent’s strike, that will successfully block and stun them.

Switch Sports guide: Beginner's tips on how to win each sport online

In the heat of battle it can sometimes be difficult trying to remember which way you should be attacking to avoid being blocked, so it’s important to keep ZR held down by default and take your time to study your opponent’s stance.

If your swipe matches the angle they’re holding their sword, they won’t be able to stun you with a block, so study their stance and swing in the same direction as their sword.

For example, if they’re holding their sword straight up, swipe your sword straight up or down to score a hit on them, since the only way they can block it and stun you is to turn their sword sideways.


Tennis: It’s all about timing

If you aren’t familiar with the original tennis game in Wii Sports, you may be confused that badminton’s strokes feel so accurate but your strokes in tennis sometimes go in completely different directions to what you expected.

That’s because tennis controls differently to badminton. Whereas badminton lets you accurately aim your strokes by swiping the Joy-Con left or right, tennis instead is based on timing.

Switch Sports guide: Beginner's tips on how to win each sport online

If you’re right-handed, when the ball approaches you can make it go to the left by swinging a little earlier than normal.

Naturally, this also means you can make it go to the right by swinging a little later than you usually would.

If you’re left-handed, the opposite is true: swinging early makes the ball go right and swinging late makes it go left.


Bonus tips: Play the hidden credits mini-game

Nintendo Switch Sports has a hidden tennis mini-game located within its Options menu.

If you choose Local Play then go into the Options by choosing the gear icon on the bottom right corner of the menu, you can then choose to view the Staff Credits.

Switch Sports guide: Beginner's tips on how to win each sport online

If you do this the game’s development team will scroll upwards on the left, while a little tennis player will stand on the right of the screen.

If you swing the Joy-Con, your player will hit a ball, bouncing it off of the credits. When it rebounds back, you can swing to hit it again.

The player has a little counter next to them, counting up to 50. If you can hit the ball back 50 times without dropping it, you’ll unlock a special customization title.