If you own a third-party dock for your Nintendo Switch, stop using it!
It’s very unusual for an accessory to break the device it was purchased to work with, but in the case of the Nintendo Switch, that’s what seems to be happening right now. Third-party docks are bricking Nintendo’s hybrid console and it’s unclear exactly why it is happening.
As Kotaku reports, two third-party docks have been found to cause problems: the Nyko Portable Docking Kit and the FastSnail Portable Docking Kit (there may be more!). Nyko’s dock launched back in September and FastSnail’s in January. Until now, the biggest complaint has been about the Nyko dock breaking the USB port on the console.
The bricking of the Switch seems to be linked to firmware version 5.0, which was rolled out on March 12. For some reason the firmware update coupled with use of a non-official dock causes a major malfunction inside the Switch. Nyko is aware of the problem and suspects it is, “related to the way the Switch handles AV output for an external TV/monitor while the console is docked on the Portable Docking Kit.”
Nintendo confirmed it is getting “multiple calls” about the Switch being bricked and is agreeing to repair affected units under warranty. However, it’s likely any bricked Switch will lose the save games stored on it as Nintendo won’t be able to recover the data as part of the repair. As you’d expect, Nintendo is also recommending you stick to using officially-licensed Switch products, including the Nintendo Switch Dock Set.
Nyko and FastSnail will be investigating what triggers the Switch to screw up, and hopefully Nintendo is actively working with them to find a cure. Until they do, stop using all third-party docks. It’s not worth taking the risk and potentially bricking your Switch.