Can You Play Nintendo Switch Games Without SD Card?

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By Valerie Becker

Are you a Nintendo Switch gamer looking for answers on whether or not you can play your favorite games without an SD card? Look no further, as we have the answers you need.

What is an SD Card?

First, let’s start with what an SD card is. An SD (Secure Digital) card is a small storage device used to store files such as photos, videos, and game data. It can be inserted into various devices such as smartphones, cameras, and gaming consoles like the Nintendo Switch.

Do You Need an SD Card to Play Nintendo Switch Games?

Now onto the question at hand. Can you play Nintendo Switch games without an SD card? The answer is yes and no.

Games That Don’t Require an SD Card

Some Nintendo Switch games do not require an SD card and can be played solely using the console’s internal memory. These include popular titles such as Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

Games That Require an SD Card

However, there are some games that require additional storage space beyond what is available on the console’s internal memory. For these games, you will need to purchase a separate microSD card to expand your storage capacity. Some examples of these games include NBA 2K21, Doom Eternal, and WWE 2K Battlegrounds.

How to Check If Your Game Requires a MicroSD Card

To check if your game requires a microSD card, simply look at the game’s packaging or check the game’s product page on Nintendo’s website. It should list whether or not additional storage is required.

  • If your game requires additional storage:
    • Purchase a compatible microSD card.
    • Insert the microSD card into your Nintendo Switch console.
    • Follow the on-screen prompts to transfer game data to the microSD card.
  • If your game does not require additional storage:
    • You can play the game using only the console’s internal memory.


In conclusion, some Nintendo Switch games can be played without an SD card while others require additional storage space. To ensure you have enough space for all your favorite games, it is recommended to purchase a compatible microSD card and follow the steps to transfer game data accordingly. Happy gaming!