Can You Play Nintendo Switch Games Without Game Card?

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By Valerie Becker

If you’re a proud owner of a Nintendo Switch, then you know that it’s one of the most versatile gaming consoles on the market. One of its most significant features is the ability to play games without a physical game card. In this article, we’ll explain how you can do this and what you need to know before you try.

Can You Play Nintendo Switch Games Without Game Card?

The short answer is yes, you can play Nintendo Switch games without a game card. To do so, you need to purchase and download the game from the Nintendo eShop.

How to Download Games from Nintendo eShop

To download games from the Nintendo eShop, follow these steps:

  • Step 1: Open the Nintendo eShop on your Switch.
  • Step 2: Create or sign in to your Nintendo account.
  • Step 3: Select “Search” from the top menu bar.
  • Step 4: Type in the name of the game that you want to download.
  • Step 5: Once you’ve found your desired game, select “Proceed to Purchase.”
  • Step 6: Choose “Download” and wait for it to finish installing.

The Pros and Cons

Playing games without a physical game card has its advantages and disadvantages. Here are some pros and cons that you should consider before making your decision:


  • You don’t have to worry about losing or damaging physical game cards.
  • You can switch between games quickly without having to change out cartridges.
  • You don’t have to leave your house or go through the hassle of buying physical copies of games.


  • You need a stable internet connection to download games from the Nintendo eShop.
  • Downloading games takes up storage space on your Switch, so you may need to purchase an SD card.
  • You can’t share games with friends or family members who have their own Switch consoles.


In conclusion, playing Nintendo Switch games without a game card is easy and convenient, thanks to the Nintendo eShop. However, it’s essential to consider the pros and cons before making your decision. If you’re someone who values convenience and doesn’t mind sacrificing physical copies of games, then downloading games from the eShop is an excellent option for you.