How To Use An iPad As A Nintendo Switch Screen

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Handheld gaming devices have been around for decades. However nowadays, consoles like the Nintendo Switch and the Steam Deck have bridged the gap between games designed for handheld consoles, and the kind of AAA video games associated with beefy consoles and PCs. Sometimes, though, you want to switch things up. Sometimes you want to play PS5 games on a Steam Deck, or play handheld games on a bigger screen than what Valve's console or the Nintendo Switch can offer.

That doesn't necessarily always mean going over to a big TV or buying a dedicated monitor. In cases like this, why not just use your own iPad lying around? After all, this can give your iPad a second life, or you can simply have an excuse to get more use out of it.

Unfortunately, using your iPad as a second screen for the Nintendo Switch isn't as easy as plugging in a cable, but it can be done.

Not the most convenient Switch monitor

First up, you're going to need an iPad compatible with iOS 17. This includes:

  • iPad Pro 12.9-inch (2nd generation and later)
  • iPad Pro 10.5-inch
  • iPad Pro 11-inch (1st generation and later)
  • iPad Air (3rd generation and later)
  • iPad (6th generation and later)
  • iPad mini (5th generation and later)

If you have one of these, then you need to sign up for the iOS 17 beta, which you can do on Apple's beta website. One of the many new features in iPadOS 17 is the ability to use external webcams and cameras, essentially allowing for another input device to use the iPad as an external display or second screen.

In order to do so, you need:

  • A video capture card HDMI to USB-C adapter.
  • An app that allows you to display an external input on the iPad.

For the capture card, you can get a rather inexpensive USB-C to HDMI adapter like this one off Amazon for less than $20. Now comes the tricky part: In order to actually display your Nintendo Switch games on the iPad, you need a third-party app like Capture Pro. Unfortunately, the beta test for Capture Pro is full, but plenty more apps just like it will likely release after the launch of iPadOS 17.

With those two things, you can connect the Nintendo Switch to the adapter via HDMI cable, then the adapter to iPad, open up Capture Pro, and start playing games on a (slightly) larger screen.