Do Switch Games Run Slower on SD Card?

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By Ralph Torres

If you’re an avid Nintendo Switch gamer, you might be wondering whether storing your games on an SD card affects their performance. After all, the Switch’s internal memory can only hold a limited number of games, and many players opt to use an SD card to expand their storage capacity.

So, do Switch games run slower on an SD card? The short answer is no – but there are some caveats to keep in mind.

Firstly, it’s important to understand how the Switch handles game data. When you download or install a game on your Switch, the data is stored either on the console’s internal memory or on the SD card (if one is inserted).

However, regardless of where the data is stored, the game itself runs entirely from the console’s RAM. This means that once a game has been loaded into memory, its performance should be identical whether it was stored on the console’s internal memory or an SD card.

That being said, there are some factors that can affect load times and overall performance when using an SD card. One potential issue is the speed of the SD card itself – if you’re using a slow or low-quality SD card, this could cause longer load times when starting up a game or moving between different areas within a game. In general, it’s recommended to use an SD card with at least a Class 10 speed rating for best performance.

Another factor to consider is the amount of free space available on your storage device. If your internal memory or SD card is nearly full, this could cause slower load times and other performance issues. To help mitigate this problem, make sure to regularly delete any old save data or unused games from your storage devices.

Finally, it’s worth noting that some games may have specific requirements when it comes to storage location. For example, certain updates or DLC packs may need to be installed onto the same device as the base game in order to function properly. Always check the game’s documentation or official website for any specific storage recommendations.

In summary, while storing games on an SD card won’t necessarily cause them to run slower, there are some potential performance issues to keep in mind. By using a high-quality SD card, keeping your storage devices free of clutter, and following any specific storage requirements for individual games, you can help ensure the best possible performance from your Switch games.