Can You Download Games on Switch Without SD Card?

Photo of author

By Ralph Torres

Are you a Nintendo Switch owner wondering if it’s possible to download games without an SD card? The answer is – it depends. Let’s take a closer look at the factors that determine whether you need an SD card for downloading games on the Switch.

How Much Storage Does Your Switch Have?

The first thing to consider is how much internal storage your Switch has. The original Switch model comes with 32GB of internal storage, while the newer Switch Lite has only 32GB of internal storage. If you have a lot of games, apps, and save data stored on your device, you may quickly run out of space.

Can You Download Games Without an SD Card on a Switch with Sufficient Storage?

If your Switch has enough free space for the game you want to download, then you don’t need an SD card. You can simply go to the Nintendo eShop and download the game directly to your device.

However, keep in mind that some games require more storage than others. For example, big titles like “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” and “Super Mario Odyssey” require around 14GB each. If you have a lot of these types of games in your library, you may still need an SD card even with a decent amount of internal storage.

When Do You Need an SD Card for Downloading Games on Switch?

If your Switch doesn’t have enough free space for the game you want to download from the eShop, then you’ll need an SD card. An SD card provides additional storage space that allows you to store more games and apps on your device.

Choosing an SD Card for Your Nintendo Switch

Not all SD cards are created equal when it comes to using them with a Nintendo Switch. The official recommendation from Nintendo is that users should choose microSDXC cards with a UHS-I (Ultra High Speed Phase I) rating. These types of cards have a minimum transfer rate of 10MB/s, which is necessary for loading games and apps quickly.

How to Transfer Games to an SD Card on Switch

If you already have an SD card and want to move some of your games to it, you can do so by following these steps:

  • Insert the SD card into your Switch.
  • Go to System Settings > Data Management > Move Data Between System / microSD Card.
  • Select the game you want to move and choose “Move to microSD Card.”
  • Wait for the transfer process to complete.

The Bottom Line

In conclusion, whether or not you need an SD card for downloading games on your Nintendo Switch depends on how much internal storage your device has and how many games you intend to download. If your Switch has enough free space for the game you want, then you don’t need an SD card. However, if you’re running out of space or plan on downloading a lot of games, an SD card is a must-have accessory.