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Switch SD Cards: Does The Nintendo Switch Come With A Memory Card?

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if you are in the process of purchasing a Nintendo Switch you might be wondering exactly what it comes with. Does the Nintendo Switch include an SD card with the console? Do you have to purchase an SD card separately?

None of the Nintendo Switch consoles (Switch, Switch Lite, or Switch OLED) come with an SD card. If you want extra memory for your Switch console you will need to purchase a memory card separately either online or in stores.

All three of the current Switch models (Switch, Switch Lite, and Switch OLED) have an SD slot where you can put an SD to expand the storage of your console. All you have to do is purchase an SD card, click it into the SD slot, and your Switch will automatically be ready to start storing games and saved data on the SD.

Basically, you can use a MicroSD card for any Switch files so that they don’t take up too much space on your internal system storage.

Although you don’t have to purchase an SD for your Switch console most people will want to do so as it will allow you to download far more games and you won’t have to worry about deleting games from your internal memory that you don’t play as often.

The Nintendo Switch console comes with 32GB of internal storage which is more than enough space to download several games onto your system but they will take up valuable storage space that could also be used for DLC or other software updates that can’t be downloaded using your internet connection.

With this in mind, the 32GB of storage capacity won’t leave you with much room to add more games to your Nintendo Switch.

Using MicroSD cards will allow you to download more games onto your Nintendo Switch which makes it much easier to take with you on the go. That additional storage means you can download games directly from the eShop to your Switch and you don’t have to carry around a bunch of physical copies of the games either.

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Do I Need To Buy A MicroSD Card For The Nintendo Switch?

There’s been some confusion about what kind of MicroSD card you’ll need to use for the Nintendo Switch; especially since there’s not an official in-box accessory with the system. We’d like to take this opportunity to clear up any confusion.

It is a good idea to buy a MicroSD card for your Switch if you constantly download games rather than buying the physical cartridges. If you prefer physical games then the memory on the Switch should be enough and you won’t need to buy an SD card. 

There are two ways to use MicroSD cards in your Nintendo Switch: one way is by inserting the card directly into your console; the other way is by downloading games that take advantage of the extra storage space on MicroSD cards.

Let’s talk about how you can use a MicroSD storage device for both options: using it as an SD Card and using it for DLC or updates.

1 – Using The SD Card Slot For Expansion:

The Nintendo Switch comes with 32GB of internal storage which can be used to download your games directly to your console. This is the quickest way to start playing your favorite games on the Nintendo Switch without having to wait for an update or DLC.

However, using the SD slot allows you to add more game space and this space isn’t accessible by simply using the USB-C port on the dock itself.

If you’re going to use a MicroSD storage device with your Nintendo Switch, we recommend using a high-quality MicroSD cards that can reproduce data at a fast enough rate so it doesn’t slow down your console. There are even some accessories on the market that can help you migrate your games from an SD card to your Nintendo Switch.

2 – Using The USB-C Port For Expansion:

The USB-C port on the dock allows you to connect the console’s Joy-Con controllers and move data around using a USB cable. This is not as fast as downloading with MicroSD cards but having this port allows you to transfer updates and save data that could be stored on the system storage. 

We’ve seen people using 64GB MicroSD cards with some games that run well and others that didn’t run well. This is something you should definitely keep in mind when shopping for one of these cards.

If you’re going to use a MicroSD storage device with your Nintendo Switch, we recommend using a good-quality card that can hold up to a lot of game data. There are some that offer free data transfer, but others require an additional fee for the transfer.

Make sure you read the small print on these before purchasing.

With the Switch, you can expand the storage space with MicroSD cards and this means you can download games from a Micro SD to your system while still being able to play them.

This is all possible by using a memory card. You can use these cards for all sorts of things on the Nintendo Switch and the most common one is using them to download games online. In some cases, they will even allow you to play games that you’ve downloaded onto your Nintendo Switch from software releases that have yet to come out.

Many people are still not aware that the Nintendo Switch has an SD slot and we want to do our best to educate as many people as possible on how to use the Switch’s SD slot.

Person holding a microsd card

Do You Have To Buy Specific MicroSD Cards For Your Switch?

Although you don’t need to purchase an memory card for your Switch if you intend to download a bunch of Nintendo Switch games it is a good idea. Choosing a Switch memory card can be difficult however as there are many different ones on the market at a variety of price points.

Should you only buy a memory card for your Switch that is specifically designed for it? Is there a difference between the specs of the SD cards that are designed for Nintendo?

You do not have to buy a specific memory card that is designed for the Switch for it to work with it. All micro SD cards are compatible with the Switch and will work just fine with your console.

I would recommend that you choose an SD card from a reputable brand like Samsung, Kingston, etc. but you don’t have to spend the extra money to buy those micro SD cards that have a picture of Mario on them. That is just advertising and just because they are licensed by Nintendo doesn’t mean that they will work any differently from any other SD card.

So don’t be fooling into spending extra money for an SD card that looks like it will work with your Switch better. All of the big-name brand SD cards will work just fine whether they are licensed by Nintendo or not.

There is no single best micro SD card for your Switch that you have to purchase for it to work properly. As long as you get an SD card from a reputable brand or store it will work perfectly in your Switch.

How Big Of A Memory Card Do I Need To Purchase For My Nintendo Switch?

For the Nintendo Switch, a microSD card that is a minimum of 64GB is recommended. You can even go up to 2 TB if you feel the need to have that much storage.

Most people will never use 2 TB of storage for their Switch as there are simply not enough games out to take up that much space. But how much space do you really need?

For most users getting a Micro SD card of 256GB or 512GB will be enough that they will never have to worry about storage on the Switch ever again. Since the larger SD cards aren’t much more expensive you will want to opt for the larger 512GB capacity SD card. 

You will want to make sure that you check the size of the card that you are buying, just to make sure it is big enough to fit what you need. If you purchase one that is too small, it will not have enough space for all that you want to download onto your console and you will find that you will have to upgrade again.

When buying an SD card for my Switch I just upgraded to the biggest one that was in my budget (256GB at the time) so I didn’t ever have to worry about space. Since they I have downloaded countless games onto my Switch console and having enough space has never been something that I had to worry about.

Why Won’t My Switch Read Memory Cards?

Your Nintendo Switch system doesn’t come with a micro SD card, but it can accept one. You will probably need a micro SD card for managing your game library.

You can easily get these SD cards online, but you will want to make sure you know what you are buying. The size you need depends on how many games you want to download from Nintendo eShop while also leaving space for other saved data.

The Nintendo Switch includes 32 GB of internal flash memory and will support micro SD cards of at least 2 GB. By comparison, the Wii U GamePad only supported SD cards of up to 32 GB.

Just because an SD card is cheap online does not always mean that it is the best. There are many different SD cards that all appear to be the same, as far as storage, but depending upon the transfer speed that they run will depend upon if it works for your Switch. 

Your Nintendo Switch may not read your SD card if it does not have fast enough speeds to operate with your Switch.  If your Switch won’t read your Micro SD card, you should purchase one that is specifically designed to work with the Switch. 

Speed Class refers to the write speed of memory cards. The higher the number, the faster the data can be written. Speed Class 2 has a minimum speed of 2 MB/s and is suitable for average speed recording, while Speed Class 10 should support fast action recording and have a minimum speed of 10 MB/s.

Video Speed Class Video rating is determined by V30 (30 frames per second), V60 (60 frames per second) or V90 (90 frames per second). If you plan on recording gameplay videos with your Switch, then you want this rating to be high.

The Nintendo Switch only supports cards rated as UHS-I and is not backward compatible with faster cards designed for smartphones.

The speed class rating on an SD card will affect the recording time of a video. The higher the number, the longer the recording time. U3 cards can record 4K video for 10 minutes, while U1 cards can only record up to 4K for 2 minutes.

Voltage Range refers to the allowable voltage range of a micro SD card. The Nintendo Switch will only work with SD cards that have a voltage rating of 3.0 V – 3.6 V

Capacity is listed in gigabytes (GB). The Switch supports micro SD cards up to 2 TB and may support higher capacities in the future with a future system update. With a storage device like the Switch, you will probably want to get a bigger storage device.

Depending on what games you want to download on your Switch, you may meet a wall in that 32 GB way before your initial investment is paid off. 

For example, if you are planning on downloading a lot of downloadable indie games from eShop, then 32 GB might not last very long. However, if this is not something you plan on doing with your Switch, then an SD card of this size should be good.

If I were going to make any suggestions for buying an SD card it would be to get one that has more than 128 GB of storage and that has somewhat of a higher speed class rating. 

Do not get one that is going to be too small or has too low of a speed class rating. You will want to be able to store more than one video game on it at a time. There are some SD cards that are extremely cheap, but in order for them to work with the Switch, you will have to format them and then set up your Switch system so that it applies updates to the SD card as well, thus slowing down your gameplay as well.

It is always better to buy a bigger SD card and go with something that has better speeds and also buy one that is designed specifically for the Switch. This will make sure that when you put it into your device that it will work and you will not have any issues with it when you try to use it. 

Is A 128Gb Card Enough For The Nintendo Switch?

The question of whether 128GB is enough for the Nintendo Switch ultimately depends on the individual’s gaming habits and preferences.

For casual gamers who only play a few games and don’t download much additional content, 128GB will be plenty of space. However, for hardcore gamers who like to download a lot of games, DLCs, and other content, 128GB may not be enough.

For example, some popular games like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey require more than 10GB of storage space each, and with additional content and save data, the storage capacity can easily get filled up.

If you plan to download and play a lot of games on the Switch I would consider getting a larger capacity microSD card, such as 256GB or 512GB.

How Many Switch Games Can You Put On A 256GB Card?

It is difficult to accurately estimate how many Switch games can be stored on a 256GB SD card, as the size of individual games can vary greatly. However, on average, a Switch game typically ranges from 2GB to 6GB in size.

Assuming an average game size of 4GB, a 256GB SD card would be able to hold approximately 64 full-length Switch games. However, this number could be higher or lower depending on the specific sizes of the games being stored.

What Is The Nintendo Switch SD Card Used For?

The Nintendo Switch SD card is used for storing and accessing digital games, game saves, and other data on the Switch console.

In addition to digital games, the SD card can also be used for storing and accessing downloadable content (DLC) and patches, as well as capturing and saving screenshots and video footage from games. This allows players to easily share their gameplay experiences with others.

The Switch also has the ability to transfer data between SD cards, which can be useful for players who want to move their games and saves to a larger SD card or to a new Switch console. This can also be useful for players who want to keep multiple SD cards with different games on them, allowing them to easily switch between games without having to constantly delete and re-download.

Overall, the Nintendo Switch SD is an essential accessory for players who want to take advantage of the digital capabilities of the Switch console. It provides a convenient and easy way to store and access games, saves, and other data, making it an important part of the Switch experience.


Now that you know the Switch does not come with an SD you. can go out and get one for yourself. Your box isn’t missing anything even though most people think that Nintendo should include a Micro SD card in their packaging.