If you want to shoot something while playing on the Switch, you have two options: moving the thumbsticks or flicking your wrist. You might be familiar with the latter option if you´d played Breath of the Wild and Splatoon 2.
This type of motion control is usually called Gyro Aiming, and it has experienced a resurgence in the past few years as games began implementing it more and more.
What is Gyro Aiming?
Gyro Aiming is when you control the camera of your game by moving the controller, instead of the thumbstick. If you "aim" the Joy-Con to the left, your cursor will move likewise. This is possible thanks to a Gyroscope inside of your controller that detects how you move and rotate it, along with how fast you do so.
This means that your hands, and not your thumbs, are responsible for aiming, kind of like shooting a weapon in real life.
It is not pure motion controls, however, as this control scheme also incorporates the use of the thumbstick, but for a different role. Ideally, you use the sticks for broad, sweeping motions like turning around, and the gyroscope for the finer points of aiming, like putting your cursor over your enemy's head.
When it comes to aiming with precision, gyro controls are the best option for the Nintendo Switch (and second-best in gaming, behind the mouse). Accurate and smooth, they put the clunky strokes of the thumbsticks to shame.
They are not exclusive to the Joy-Con either. The Pro Controller also has an internal gyroscope, as does the Nintendo Switch Lite.
You might have already experienced this control scheme when you played Splatoon 2 or Breath of the Wild and were left wanting more. Are there other games on the Nintendo Switch that use gyro aiming?
Yes. There is a whole list of them.
Games on the Nintendo Switch that use Gyro Aiming
As of this day (March 2020) there are around 45 games on the Switch that let you use the gyro for aiming. Since reading a list is not exactly engaging, let´s break it down by type of games, starting with...
Multiplayer Shooters with Gyro Aiming
These are games whose main draw is that they have you compete or cooperate with other players, usually by shooting them. They might have a singleplayer mode, but the core of their experience involves other people.
These games let you use the gyro to aim at your opponents. While you might get sniped a lot of first, once you get accustomed to the motion controls, you'll be able to pick out your targets in a way that thumbsticks could only dream of doing.
Keep in mind that if you want to play these games, you will need real-life opponents or teammates. This might be hard to find with the more obscure titles on the list.
If you stick with the most famous games, however, you should be able to find a match in no time. Splatoon 2, for example, is the most well-known game of its genre on the Switch and its servers are full even today. Fortnite and Overwatch are the other two big names that always have people playing them.
Single-player Shooters with Gyro Aiming
These games are a lot like the last, but with a focus on shooting virtual enemies, instead of other players. These titles will have you running around levels and clearing them of enemies like in the good old days of Doom, which is coincidentally on the list.
As before, you use the gyro to aim at your opponents and fire. Since there are no human players this time, there is less pressure to be competitive as your focus is simply to beat the game and have fun. Still, using the gyro makes the job substantially easier.
While some of these games do have a multiplayer mode, they aren´t the focus. Such is the case with Doom, a game in which you´ll find plenty of people talking about its campaign, but not so much about it´s multiplayer.
Call of Juarez: Gunslinger
Metro: Last Light Redux
Red Faction: Remastered
Resident Evil 5
Resident Evil 6
Risk of Rain 2
Sniper Elite 3
Sniper Elite V2
Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus
You will notice that Resident Evil 5 and 6 are on the list, but not 4 or the Revelations saga. This is because 4 doesn't have gyro controls on the Switch and while the Revelations games do, they are less focused on shooting mechanics than 5 or 6, so they belong to...
Action Games with Gyro Aiming
These games will still have you attacking, slashing and firing at enemies, but unlike the previous list, shooting is not the main skill required to do so.
Their gameplay is a bit more varied, in that you don´t spend 80% of it aiming and firing, but there is still plenty of shooting to be done with the gyroscope.
Assassin’s Creed Rebel Collection
Assassins Creed III
Daemon X Machina
Enter the Gungeon
Resident Evil Revelations
Resident Evil Revelations 2
Saint’s Row 3
Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast
Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy
Enter the Gungeon was a hard one to put on this list. It is technically a shooter, in fact, it might be the shootiest game on this page, but it is also a top-down roguelike. It is not what people have in mind when they picture a shooting game. For that reason, it is not with the other "shooter" titles.
On that note, I thought about incorporating the Jedi Knight saga in the previous list, but the fact that you spend most of your time in those games swinging your lightsaber instead of shooting your blasters earned their inclusion on this list.
Other Games with Gyro Aiming
This is the most varied list in terms of types of games. These games are not focused that much on action and shooting, like the previous ones, but still find a way to incorporate gyro aiming:
Breath of the Wild
Sub Level Zero Redux
Super Mario Odyssey
Sword Art Online Fatal Bullet
And that´s it, there are around forty-five titles on the Nintendo Switch in which you can use the gyroscope to aim your reticle. Most of them are shooters, both multiplayer and singleplayer, but there a few other outliers as well.
Do keep in mind that while Splatoon sets the bar pretty high with its motion controls, they are not as responsive in each game. How well the gyro responds to your movements varies from title to title, as not every developer put´s as much attention in implementing this type of controls.
Don´t go buying any title just because you want to scratch your shooter itch. I would recommend, as always, to at least read some reviews first to see if the controllers work as intended. If you want to see these same lists, but for the PlayStation 4, check out our article here.
And of course, if you want to play some shooting games with the gyro you will need a compatible controller as well. Head over to our collection of Joy-Con and Pro Controllers to find the one that most suits you. And if you want to buy them while they are on sale, join our mailing list!