Are Nintendo Switch Lite Games Download Only?

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Have you recently gone to purchase a Nintendo Switch Lite but you wanted to find out if the games were download only or if you could use cartridges on it? Maybe one of your friends has a Nintendo Switch and you are considering getting the Nintendo Switch Lite because it is cheaper, but you want to know if you can use his games on your device? Well in this article we will go over everything you need to know about the Nintendo Switch Lite and if the games that you use can be cartridges or if they are download only. 

So are Nintendo Switch Lite games download only?

Because the Nintendo Switch Lite is a handheld device only, Nintendo did not want you to have to worry about carrying around games with you when you were traveling so they recommend just downloading the games. Although Nintendo did make the device able to download games, you can still use game cartridges on the Switch Lite if you choose to play that way. 

Many people want to play the games from their original Switch on their Switch Lite, and Nintendo thought about that when they made the Switch Lite. When you have a portable device such as the Switch Lite, the last thing most people will want to do is to have to carry around a bunch of games with you so that you can use the Switch Lite. Nintendo wanted you to be able to simply grab the Switch Lite, walk out the door, and instantly be able to use it. Although it can do this, you can also carry around cartridges with you and put them into the cartridge slot on the Switch Lite if you choose. 

This is actually one of the main reasons that the Switch Lite is so popular and hard to find. 

Although some people do not like the fact that the Switch Lite uses downloaded games and cartridges, it is very popular as most people want the option to be fully digital, or carry around cartridges with them if they choose. Being fully digital and having the ability to use physical games allows you the option to play however you want. Nintendo did not want you to have to worry about grabbing the specific game that you wanted to play today, or carrying multiple games with you at all times, or even having to have a big case for the Switch Lite that holds a bunch of games. 

They really did think about every little detail when they made this device. They thought about the people that wanted a digital device, while not leaving out those of us who prefer to carry cartridges around and use them to play the games. 

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Can you play every Switch game on the Switch Lite?

Because the Switch Lite allows games to be downloaded plugged into the device, there is no reason to worry that some games will not be able to play on the Switch Lite that they were able to be played on the original Nintendo Switch. Even though the Switch Lite has a cartridge slot, there are some games that the original Switch has for the system that are not compatible with the Switch Lite. Below is the list of the games that were made for the Nintendo Switch, but do not work for the Switch Lite. 

  • Super Mario Party.
  • Nintendo Labo. 
  • Ring Fit Adventure. 
  • Fitness Boxing. 
  • 1-2-Switch. 
  • Surgeon Simulator CPR.
  • Just Dance (2017, 2018, 2019, 2020)

These games do not work on the Switch Lite, as the Switch Lite is not able to be hooked to a tv, and playing these games on the small Switch Lite screen would be basically impossible. Most of the popular games that people love to play though do work on the Switch Lite. 

How do you download games on the Switch Lite?

If you do not want to carry any games with you, this is a very important question. The last thing you want to do is get the Switch Lite and not be able to play any games because you cannot figure out how to download them. Downloading games on the Switch Lite can be confusing as there are multiple steps involved. It is not as simple as going to the store and buying a new game.  

When you want to buy a game to put on your Switch Lite, the first thing you will need to do is to create a Nintendo account. This account will be all of your information that Nintendo can use when you purchase games. 

Once you have your Nintendo account, you will need to go to the Nintendo Eshop. Once you are in the Eshop, you will be able to see all of the games that you can download on the Switch Lite. You will then be able to choose which game you want to download to your device. Once you choose what game you want to purchase, you will simply add the item to your cart and check out. When you checkout, you will pay with either a credit card, bank account, or a gift card. 

Once the game is paid for, you will then begin to download the game. Once the game has been downloaded, you will have the game on your Switch Lite forever, and you never have to worry about losing it or it being damaged or broken.

Nintendo wanted to make sure that the Switch Lite was as user friendly as possible when they were making the system. This is because they love all of their users, and they want the entire experience of playing with the Switch Lite to be a fun and memorable one. Nintendo doesn’t want you to have any problems downloading games, or even have to worry about bringing games with you when you are traveling with the Switch Lite. This is the reason that Nintendo made the Switch Lite able to be fully digital as well as have a cartridge slot. 


Many people love the Nintendo Switch Lite, but before they go and purchase it they want to know if the games are download only. If you are getting ready to purchase a Nintendo Switch Lite you should know the device is not only digital, but it also has a cartridge slot for games. The Switch Lite also does not allow you to connect it to a TV. 

Although this is not that big of a deal for most people today, some people still preferred to hook the device to a tv to get a bigger screen. Most people today would rather have the device be fully digital so they do not have to carry around the games with them. All you need to do is simply download the game you want to play on your device and then you will always have it anytime you have your device with you. You can also purchase this carrying case that will keep your Switch Lite safe as well as hold your game cartridges if you prefer to use them. 

If you are looking for a handheld device that is super fun to play as well as fully digital capabilities, you will not go wrong with the Nintendo Switch Lite. If you do not prefer the fully digital version of the device Nintendo has thought of you and left the cartridge slot on the Switch Lite system.  

Matt Robbs

There is nothing quite so enjoyable as bringing back memories from your childhood. We used to spend hours playing pinball in my friends basement and that really got me involved in everything retro!

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