Beginner Basics for Nintendo Switch Sports Beginner Basics for Nintendo Switch Sports

All you need to know about Tennis, Volleyball, and Soccer

Greetings, and thank you for stopping by! This is the editorial team of “GameWith,” a Japanese game information website.

This time, we'll be covering everything you need to know about Tennis, Volleyball, and Soccer featured in Nintendo Switch Sports, along with the best ways to improve your skills.

Please note, Bowling, Badminton, and Chambara, along with Golf (added in the November 2022 update), are covered in separate articles. Be sure to check them out if you need some pointers with these sports!

The Rules

First, let's take a quick look at each sport and go over the basic rules.


In Tennis, you and your opponent hit the ball back and forth across a court divided by a net. If the ball bounces more than once before your opponent can return it or your opponent fails to hit the ball into your half of the court, you score a point.

In Nintendo Switch Sports, you'll play doubles matches with teams of two*. Each team will have a player in the f front and back court. When the ball bounces into your court, hit it back! Once you get used to the controls, you can start aiming the direction of your shot or putting a spin on it, and pull off some cool tricks to enjoy a more strategic rally.

*When playing in single player mode, one player can control both front and back characters.


In Volleyball, teams of two hit a ball back and forth across a court divided by a high net. The ball must not touch the ground and can be hit up to three times per volley.

The essence of volleyball is using the right moves at the right time. You can bump the ball when it comes toward you, set it to send it to your teammate or use a spike to hit it into the opponent's court. If it hits the ground on their side, you score a point.

And when the other team tries to spike the ball? You can score a point if you block it and strike the ball back to their court ground. It's a sport in which offense and defense switch at a bewildering pace.


In Soccer, two teams attempt to score points by kicking the ball into the other team's goal. You can choose between One-on-One or Four-on-Four matches.

In addition to Two-Hand Mode, Soccer can also be controlled with the Leg Strap* accessory. With the Leg Strap, players can play more intuitively with the action of kicking the ball with their feet, as well as enjoy the exclusive Shoot-Out mode.

*Included in the physical version of Nintendo Switch Sports. Separately available from retailers and the My Nintendo Store.

*Leg Strap accessory included in the Ring Fit Adventure game can also be used.

Tips and tricks: Tennis

Now that we've covered the basics, let's take a look at some tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your Nintendo Switch Sports experience. We'll start with Tennis.

*This article introduces tips and tricks for Single Player mode.

Time your hits to control the ball's direction

One of the best ways to score points is to hit the ball into a part of the court that's hard for your opponent to reach.

The direction you send the ball in depends on when you swing your racket. For example, when hitting with a forehand (right if you're right-handed, left if you’re left-handed), if you hit an incoming ball sooner, it will fly to the left. If you swing the racket later, it will go to the right instead.

Changing up the direction of your shots will have your opponent running all over the court, draining their stamina and increasing the chances of them hitting a wobbly shot.

In the video below, you can see the opponent hit a wobbly shot, which gives you the chance to return with a powerful smash. Keep an eye on where the ball is going, and time your shots carefully!

Topspin and Backspin

Once you get used to controlling the ball's direction, you can make it spin in different ways to confuse your opponents. Balls can be hit with a topspin or a backspin, each of which has its own properties and advantages.

Topspin: How and when to do it

Topspin is when the ball spins in the same direction the shot is going. You can do this by twisting your wrist over the top the moment you hit the ball.

Topspin will make the ball speed up when it bounces, making it hard for your opponent to grasp the timing.

Backspin: How and when to do it

With a backspin, on the other hand, the ball spins backward while traveling forwards. To add backspin, twist your wrist from the bottom at the moment you hit the ball.

Backspin makes the ball bounce low and curve off to the side. Where it goes depends on how you hit it - forehand shots will make it go to the right, and backhand shots to the left. It's the most effective if you hit the ball with a trajectory that causes it to bounce out from the court.

Volley from the front court

Once you can control a good rally with the rear player, using the player in the front court to hit volley shots can be surprisingly effective.

Hitting the ball without waiting for it to bounce gives the other team less time to react, which breaks up the opponents' rhythm.

Just be careful - if you try to volley every shot that comes at you, you might find yourself diving for a ball you can't reach and losing the point.

When you're starting out, volley the shots you know you can hit, and leave things to the baseline player when the ball goes beyond your racket's immediate reach. This will help you get a feel for volleying while reducing the risks involved.

Tips and tricks: Volleyball

Next, we'll go over some useful tips in Volleyball.

Timing your rallies

The first thing you should keep in mind in Volleyball is to connect the ball by getting the timing right when you bump, set, or spike the ball. By connecting these three actions at the right timing that you get a "Nice" rating, you can unleash a devastating, powerful spike (spike with a pink trajectory).

A powerful spike is faster than a regular one and can't be sent back to your court with a block. It's a great way to score points, so try to use it whenever you can.

The key to getting those “Nice” ratings is to hit the ball as soon as it hits your character for bumps and sets, and to hit it a little after it reaches the peak of its arc for spikes. You'll also get a message telling you if you're a little too early or too late. These will help you get a feel for the proper timing.

Spike the ball away from your opponents

Don't make it easy for your opponents to bump or set the ball after you hit it over to their court. Swing the controller in the direction you want your spike to go to change the ball's course.

If you can't make it a powerful spike, there's a higher possibility that it will be blocked, so try to send the ball where the blocker can't reach it.

On the other hand, if you can strike a powerful spike, it's a good strategy to intentionally aim close to the blocker. Because it's very powerful, if the timing of the blocker's jump is off, you can send it flying through the blocker, and there's also a good chance of scoring by blocking out (hitting the opponent's block and making the ball bounce out of court).

Surprise your opponent with quick spikes and slide attacks

When your teammate is going to set up the ball for you, jump before they get the ball for a quick spike. You can also move the stick to the left or right and then jump for a Slide Attack. These techniques are good for taking your opponents by surprise, and also make it easier to dodge blocks. Try mixing these spikes with your regular spike attacks to add on more scores!

Flick the controller before the setter gets the ball to perform a quick spike.

Move the stick to the left or right, then jump for a Slide Attack

Focus on blocking the course

When you are a blocker, be conscious of blocking the course and making the spike go toward the receiver rather than stopping it.

If you're not assertive in your blocking, your teammates will have more space to worry about, making it harder for them to bump the spike. The secret to being a good blocker is to take the position that limits the course of the opponent's spike so they have to hit it towards the receiver. By doing so, the receiver's area of protection becomes clear, making it easier to prevent losing points.

Tips and tricks: Soccer

Last up is Soccer. What does it take to be the best in this sport? Let's find out.

*These tips will be for two-handed controls.

Getting the ball where you want it to go

When it comes to Soccer, kicking the ball in the right direction is vital. A stray shoot or a pass gone wrong can mean the difference between defeat and victory. That's why we recommend you start off by just getting used to when and how to shake the controller to kick the ball in different directions. Remember, you can swing the controller in the direction you want to kick to adjust the ball's course.

Before playing any matches, you might want to use the Free Practice* and How to Play* modes to get the hang of these controls.

*Free Practice can be accessed by selecting Play Locally→Soccer→One Player→Free Practice.

*How to Play can be accessed via the Options (the gear icon) menu in the bottom right of the screen.

Kick the ball away from your opponent

In matches, try kicking the ball to an empty area in front, free from opponents. By bringing the ball forward, you can push up the position of your entire team and create more chances to score goals.

It's important to pass the ball to your teammates and carry them forward, but if you're not used to it, you won't have proper control of the ball, which may result in a miss.

When you're starting out, focus on moving the ball toward the goal little by little.

Kick as high as you can

When you kick the ball, flick the controller up to angle it into an upward kick.

Low balls are easier for your opponents to intercept, so kicking high is a good strategy. On the other hand, if you kick the ball upwards, even if it's a rough aim, if you can just get the ball right over your opponents' heads, they'll have no chance of taking it.

This goes for shooting as well - high shots have a higher chance of scoring as it passes over the opponent's head.

Use your Diving Headers wisely

Swing both controllers down at the same time to perform a Diving Header. This maneuver is much more powerful than a regular kick.

This isn't without its drawbacks, though. It's a lot harder to control the ball when using a Diving Header, and it consumes a lot of stamina, too. Use it sparingly for best results.

Use it in critical situations, like when you're sure you can send a shot into the goal, or when you're under attack by your opponent and you want to create time with a big kick.

Keep your distance

It's a good idea to keep a certain distance from your teammates so you won't get in each other's way. If every team member crowds around the ball, your opponent will have a lot more space to work with, and we don't want that.

Divide your team into defenders and attackers, and position the two players on each side of the pitch. This way, you'll have a balanced formation and it will be easier to take advantage of the match.

The minimap in the bottom left of the screen shows every player's current position. Keep an eye on the movement of the ball and the players near it, while frequently checking the position and movements of your teammates via the minimap, so that your positions are not clustered.

Final thoughts

This concludes our introduction to Nintendo Switch Sports' Tennis, Volleyball, and Soccer.

I hope this article helped you get a better handle on the basic controls. Once you get used to the matches, try playing them while keeping in mind the tips and tricks introduced in this article.