Best answer: The amount of memory you need depends on how many Switch games you buy and whether they are physical or digital copies. For either format, we recommend no less than a 64GB microSD card.
How much internal storage does the Nintendo Switch have?
The Nintendo Switch only offers 32GB of internal storage. That's a bit of a problem given that many of the best Nintendo Switch games require 10+ GB of space. For instance, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Pokémon Sword and Shield take up 13.4GB and 10.3GB of space, respectively. If you mainly purchase digital games or buy a lot of physical copies, you will want a larger memory card.
If you're purchasing digitally, you'll quickly run out of room with just three hefty Switch games. It will take you a bit longer to run out of space if you're purchasing physical copies, but if you plan on playing several Switch games, then you're going to need a microSD card soon enough.
Finding the best microSD cards for Nintendo Switch to fit your needs can be hard, but we're here to help.
Minimum recommended microSD card size for Nintendo Switch
Our recommendation is to go no smaller than 64GB. This is a comfortable size that allows you to hold a few big games at around 14GB each, a few medium-sized games at around half that mark, and a smattering of smaller games to fill out the bottom.
You should expect to delete, archive, and reinstall Nintendo Switch games sometime in the future at that size. As long as you are OK regularly downloading your games as they rotate in your playing list, you'll get by just fine. Don't forget that you can simultaneously use the internal and external storage, so think of it as having 96GB! Of course, if you need more space, you can always purchase multiple microSD cards or a much larger one.
Best microSD card size for digital Switch games
Considering that Nintendo Switch games are launching with bigger and bigger file sizes every week, anyone who prefers downloading digital games should try to aim for the biggest microSD card they can afford. We highly recommend getting a 256GB card. It has the space to hold plenty of saved data, screenshots, and videos.
Of course, if you have all the games in the world and want to play any of them at a moment's notice, you'll want to look at something much larger like a 512GB card for maximum storage.
Best microSD card size for physical Switch games
The Nintendo Switch is one of the few gaming consoles remaining that doesn't install game data when using physical media (cartridges). As such, the 32GB of internal storage inside might be more than enough if you're only planning on buying a few physical copies here and there.
Now, if you're planning on purchasing a tangible copy of just about every major title that Nintendo releases, you'll run out of the Switch's internal storage and will want to invest in a large microSD card. I am partial to the SanDisk 128GB card as it has allowed me to acquire and play several physical versions of Switch games without having to archive or uninstall anything.
Tips for buying a trustworthy microSD card
There are hundreds of memory cards for sale on the internet, but that doesn't mean that you should go for the cheapest option you can find. It's possible that cheaper cards could have malware or that they won't work nearly as well as others. To keep yourself safe, only purchase from trusted sellers, and be sure to check reviews for a microSD card before deciding on a purchase. We highly recommend purchasing memory cards from the following brands:
- Silicon Power
Transfering game data from one microSD card to another
Unfortunately, the process for transferring your game data from one microSD card to another isn't the most intuitive thing. Whether you're upgrading your storage or just wanting to go with a different memory card, here's how to make the transfer. Note, you will need to use a computer to make this transfer possible.
- Insert the new memory card into a computer and format your new microSD card for Nintendo Switch.
- Turn off your Nintendo Switch all the way: Hold down the power button for several seconds, select Power Options and then select Turn Off.
- Remove the old microSD card from the Nintendo Switch. To do that, pop up the kickstand on the back and then push the microSD card in, and it will pop out.
- Plug the old microSD into your computer.
- Copy all of the data contained in the Nintendo file somewhere onto your computer.
- When that's done, remove the old microSD card from your computer.
- Now plug your new microSD card into the computer.
- Copy the Nintendo file from your computer onto the new microSD card.
- When that's done, plug the new micro SD card into your Nintendo Switch.
Best microSD cards for Nintendo Switch
Since the Nintendo Switch only has 32GB of internal storage, it means that you will need to purchase a microSD card if you plan on purchasing several large Switch titles, whether they be physical or digital copies. If you tend to purchase more digital versions, you'll want a larger microSD card, while those who purchase cartridges likely won't need as big of a memory card to get the job done.
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