Something you own might be compatible
The Joy-Con IR sensor is a weird beast, and one that I don’t interact with often. At all, really! It came screaming out of the gate with 1-2 Switch compatibility, but has since mostly trailed off. Mostly.
I was reminded by this Reddit thread that the right Switch Joy-Con does in fact have an IR sensor; some Nintendo documents call it the “IR motion camera.” Now, if you haven’t interacted with it in any way, that’s kind of normal. The total number of games that can wield the power of the IR motion camera is a very small list, and only several of them are particularly noteworthy. While there was a time when 1-2 Switch was relevant, that time passed roughly a week after it launched. Labo sadly has similarly fallen into obscurity. As of now, the most notable games I’d cite as IR motion camera ready are Ring Fit Adventure, Resident Evil Revelations, and Brain Age Switch.
Below is a list compiled by Reddit user extremeelementz, which we’ve elaborated on and added to.
Games that use the Nintendo Switch Joy-Con IR sensor:
- 1/2 Switch (a sole minigame has IR compatibility)
- Nintendo Labo (used for Labo creations as an optional tool, and allows it to read bits of the Labo cardboard)
- Game Builder Garage (like Labo, you can use it for creations)
- Ring Fit Adventure (checks your heartrate: take that Wii Vitality Sensor)
- Resident Evil Revelations (reload by covering the sensor)
- Spy Alarm (shovelware that functions as a detection kit)
- Night Vision (shovelware with basic interactions with the IR camera to showcase night vision)
- Brain Age/Dr. Kawashima’s Brain Training (some minigames can sense things like hand motions, asking you to perform the proper hand signal)
- Smile Basic 4 (programming software that utilizes IR optionally)
- Ninjala (scans to unlock cosmetics)
- Vitamin Connection (used to interact with a maze mechanic via distance calculations)