Burn-in isn’t a huge risk for Nintendo’s Switch OLED, but you can still take precautions

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As long as you use it wisely, you should be fine

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Nintendo’s Switch OLED model is available now, and even though it’s not the Switch Pro, there’s a lot to like about it. But as new owners of the console begin to enjoy its larger, more vibrant screen, some may also be wondering whether they should heed the classic “risk” of OLED technology: burn-in.


In the early days of OLED smartphones, it was not uncommon to find a misbehaving demo phone on a carrier or Best Buy that had a terrible display with a home screen icon or a status bar permanently visible whenever the screen was on. Burn-in can also damage OLED TVs if they are carelessly left on a news channel (with a ticker below) for several hours.

But we have come a long way since then.

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bloomberg have reported That Samsung Display is supplying 7-inch panels of Switch OLED models, and that’s the best news you could ask for when it comes to the longevity and reliability of your $350 console’s screen. Samsung has led the development of OLED on mobile devices, and while the burn-in is still technically possible On its modern panel, they’re more resistant to it, and software-based mitigation from Samsung, LG, and others has made this less of a problem than ever. I have an LG CX OLED that shows zero signs of burn-in after a fairly extensive playtime of a year.

But on a video game console with a lot of persistent HUDs and other fixed onscreen icons, it’s worth picking up. Some Take care when playing Switch OLED models. gaming is There’s always been a potential threat to OLED. Still, as long as you use the device in traditional ways and don’t intentionally try to cause permanent damage to its display, you should be perfectly fine – but there are still things to look out for.

Nintendo itself provides some pointers on keeping the Switch’s display looking its best over the long term. In the console’s documentation, the company says the following:

“To reduce the risk of image retention or screen burn-in occurring on OLED screens, do not turn off the system’s default sleep mode settings and be careful not to display the same image on an OLED screen for extended periods of time. “

Image retention can look similar to burn-in—after something “sticks” to the screen—but isn’t permanent and goes away on its own when you do other things on the console’s display. If you notice this, it’s a good warning sign to jump into another game for a while.

advising customers not to mess with it sleep mode The defaults are Nintendo’s attempt to ensure that Switch OLED models won’t be left sitting on a static screen for hours. Game HUDs are a thing, but even the Switch’s homescreen has plenty of fixed elements. I try to avoid letting the console sit on that screen for a long time.

Are there any specific software features to avoid burn-in in Switch OLED models?

As far as we can tell from what Nintendo has told us so far, the answer is no. In Settings, there’s no sign of any screen refresher, which is an animation to help eliminate any image retention. Nintendo also didn’t say whether it subtly shifts the pixels in the Switch’s UX to avoid potential issues. In college “Burn-in protection” item in the setting still only applies to connected TVs; The Switch will dim the TV screen after a few minutes of inactivity.

Nintendo is encouraging owners of most Switch OLED models to use the existing auto-brightness and sleep features to extend the lifespan of the panel.

Enjoy your Switch OLED model and don’t sweat the burn-in

If you’re using the console the usual way and switching up the games you play, you’ll avoid any burn-in problems for a long, long time. You will probably face other issues like Joy-Con drift long before you will experience any burn-in. The proper Switch Pro may also come on before any screen aberration is seen. Then again, maybe not. The point is, barring any unforeseen quality defects with the screen (which isn’t possible for a Samsung panel), it would require extreme conditions for burn-in to ruin your console.

But if you turned up the brightness all the way, turned off sleep mode, and left it on a still screen for a full week, yeah… bad things will probably happen. Use common sense, change it, and don’t stress; enjoy the games.

How to Avoid Burn-in on Nintendo Switch OLED Models

  • Watch your glow. Image retention and burn-in chances are high if you’re always playing at maximum brightness. you don’t have to be very Be careful here; I immediately disabled auto brightness on my unit and usually kept it in the 75 to 80 percent range.
  • Change your game. No one is telling you not to spend hours and hours immersed in your favorite title. Go for it! But if you want to preserve the OLED model’s screen for longer, try mixing it with other games in between those marathon sessions so the Switch’s pixels see some variety.
  • Do not turn off the sleep timer. By default, the Nintendo Switch is set to go to sleep after five minutes of inactivity. You can also choose between 60 seconds and 30 minutes. I think 10 minutes is about as much as I’d leave it for personally, but definitely choose “never” if you want to protect the display.

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