I've been stuck at home a lot lately, but I haven't been alone. Whenever friends or family come over, we always break out the Nintendo Switch for several hours of party game fun.
And wouldn't you know it: the Switch has lots of great party games. And I don't just mean party games for hardcore gamer types.
With the Nintendo Switch's focus as an approachable and accessible gaming console for all people, there are so many great games you'll be able to play even with friends and family who don't normally game.
That's always been a challenge for me: finding party games that are just as much fun for avid gamers as non-gamers. That rules out a lot of the popular "party" games that require dexterity and skill, like Super Smash Bros Ultimate or Rocket League.
Fortunately, I've found a bunch of great options, and you should consider trying them. Here are my picks for the best Nintendo Switch party games for all types of gamers.
18. Drink More Glurp
Drink More Glurp is a must-play Nintendo Switch game for any party of any size. It supports up to 20 players (because one player plays at a time and everyone else watches, so you can pass the controller around).
It's just plain wacky and hilarious. Everyone looks stupid the first time they play, and that's part of the charm!
Wondershot is a chaotic game of skillshots, but you don't need to be a dexterous or skilled player to have fun. The controls are simple and accessible.
Most importantly, there's a cooperative hero defense game mode where you fight endless waves of monsters and you can revive each other when you die, and that's the mode I recommend when newbies are involved.
Otherwise, there's a battle mode for more competitive parties! And you'd be surprised how fun its simple mechanics can be.
16. Cake Bash
Cake Bash is an adorable-yet frantic party game where you battle it out across several unique arenas.
There are also a bunch of mini-games to play as filler in between—or if you love them, you can just play mini-games all the time. It's humorous and perfect for any casual party, but also great for family gatherings.
Don't have enough players? You can also play online or add a few AI-controlled bots to the mix!
You didn't think we were going to leave off Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, did you? With its vast roster of characters, refined gameplay mechanics, and extra game content...
...it's no wonder Mario Kart 8 Deluxe managed to become the best-selling Nintendo Switch game of all time. It's easy to play and easy to love. Definitely worth having in your games library.
14. Astro Bears
Think of old-school Snake or Tron, where you leave a trail of light as you move. Except the game field is a 3D sphere. And you can jump in the air. And you can stay in the air with your limited supply of jetpack.
Will you be the last one standing? Astro Bears is another one of those "surprisingly simple yet fun" types of party games.
Unpopular opinion: the zone shot and zone speed mechanics that were added to Mario Tennis Aces are kind of lame...
...but the Simple Mode in Mario Tennis Aces, which has no powerups, is downright awesome—especially when played in 2v2 Doubles. It's actually a lot more fun than it deserves to be.
There's just enough gameplay depth to make it interesting without overwhelming non-gamers. You'd be surprised how tense and intense matches can get in Simple Mode!
12. Party Golf
Party Golf is a simple game, but it's packed with lots of game modes and gameplay options that let you change how matches play out—and depending on the creativity of your custom settings, it can feel like a completely different game.
At its most basic, Party Golf is about launching your ball in a sidescrolling environment, using physics to make sure your ball lands in the hole before everyone else.
But with custom settings, it all changes. You can make balls extremely bouncy. You can enable collisions. You can drop mines. You can even have powerups. It's a perfectly casual party game!
Treadnauts is another entry in the genre of simple-but-chaotic party games with platformer mechanics blended with physics.
What sets Treadnauts apart is its unique movement mechanics. You play as a tank that can shoot rockets, but in order to hop around, you need to blast yourself off the ground using your own rockets.
Between that and rotating yourself when you're flying through the air, there's a lot of hectic fun to be had as you try to orient yourself and blast your enemies to death before they get you.
Runbow is a party platformer with several game modes, but one important gimmick: the background constantly changes color, and any environmental obstacles (platforms, walls, etc) that match the background disappear until the background changes color again.
The main mode is a round-by-round race to see who can reach the trophy first, with ways to sabotage each other on the way.
The other modes include: a free-for-all last-man-standing arena, a king-of-the-hill trophy-holding arena, and a cooperative defeat-the-behemoth challenge. They're all really fun for parties who love chaotic platformers!
Gurgamoth is like an extremely stripped-down version of Super Mario Bros. You only have three possible actions: a dash attack, a dash dodge, and a double-edged stun.
The goal is to knock your opponents into the edge of the arena and be the last one alive.
It's a lightweight action game, and most of the interesting bits come from the different arena designs that influence how you play. And despite the heavy action, anyone can have fun here because the controls are so simple and minimal.
8. Heave Ho
Few party games on the Nintendo Switch are as hilarious as Heave Ho. Who knew it could be hard to control two arms?
The goal is simple: get to the flag. The challenge: you have to grab onto the walls using ZL to grab with your left hand and ZR to grab with your right hand, and basically monkey-bar yourself to victory. It's harder than it sounds and funnier than it sounds.
Heave Ho has both cooperative and competitive modes, allowing your party to play however they want. Support each other by grabbing hands and building bridges, or race to the finish to see who's fastest!
TowerFall is an archery arena game where players shoot each other with arrows, stomp on each others' heads, and hope to be the last one alive.
The catch? There are a limited number of arrows. When you run out, you need to pick up shot arrows from around the arena to replenish your supply.
There's also a cooperative mode against enemies for parties who are less competitive and prefer to work together.
6. Moving Out
Moving Out is what you'd get if you took Overcooked and made it less stressful and much more whimsical.
Instead of working together to cook and serve meals, you're a team of movers who are tasked with furniture removal from residences. Can you get it all done in time? Or will you sabotage each other? It's lots of fun either way!
Aeolis Tournament is a collection of mini-games that are all built around one primary mechanic: you wield a vacuum gun that can pick things up and subsequently launch whatever you've picked up.
For example, in the soccer mini-game, you fight in teams as you try to suction the ball and launch it into the opposing goal. In the dodgeball mini-game, you go around picking up balls and trying to knock opponents off the stage.
Like all the greatest party games, Aeolis Tournament is simple to pick up and fun for all levels of gaming experience.
4. Boomerang Fu
Boomerang Fu is fast-action fun for those who have some experience with dual-stick mechanics, but it's easy enough that anyone can pick it up and jump in for boomerang-throwing fun.
You play as one of many cute food-based characters, and you wield a boomerang that can be used for melee attacks (slashing) and for ranged attacks (throwing). But if you throw it and it doesn't come back to you cleanly, you have to retrieve it before you can use it again.
For smaller parties, you can play in free-for-all mode or team mode against AI bots. For larger parties, team mode is likely best.
Screencheat: Unplugged is one of the most unique first-person shooter games in that everyone is always invisible.
Your goal is to eliminate everyone else before they eliminate you. But how do you do that if you can't see them? Well, by screencheating! That means peeking at their viewpoint, pinpointing where they are, and firing at them—before they get you.
The maps are designed with bold colors that make it easier to locate where anyone is at any given time, at least once you've gotten familiar with the layout.
And with lots of different weapons and maps to unlock as you play, the gameplay possibilities open up and stay fresh!
2. Tilt Pack
Tilt Pack is simple and silly, yet surprisingly engaging.
Imagine Super Smash Bros except everyone is a rectangular block that moves around by rotating clockwise or counter-clockwise—and everyone is trying to use rotational physics to throw each other off the platform. It's insanely fun and funny.
You play using only one joystick, meaning it's extremely accessible even for those who've never played video games before.
1. Jackbox Party Packs
The Jackbox Party Pack games are some of the best party games in existence, regardless of which gaming platform you're talking about.
From hilarious drawing games to bizarre trivia games to creative word games based on prompts, there's something for everyone.
You host via the Nintendo Switch but players play with their mobile phones, and most Jackbox games support up to 6-8 players.
If you want to know which Jackbox Party Packs are worth getting—some are better as your first pack than others—check out our article where we ranked every single game: