Do Switch Games Stay on SD Card?

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By Monica Bates

If you are a proud owner of the Nintendo Switch, you might have already realized how easy it is to run out of storage space. With games like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild taking up more than 13 GB, and other games like NBA 2K18 and FIFA 18 taking up over 20 GB each, it’s no surprise that many gamers are turning to SD cards to expand their storage capacity.

But many Switch owners have been wondering: do Switch games stay on the SD card once they are downloaded The answer is not as straightforward as you might think.

How does the Nintendo Switch use SD cards

The Nintendo Switch has an internal storage capacity of 32 GB, which can be quickly filled up with just a few games. To expand this storage, you can use microSDXC cards up to 2 TB in size. This means that even if you have a large collection of digital games, you can easily store them on your SD card without worrying about running out of space.

When you download a game from the eShop or insert a physical game card, the game will automatically be installed on your internal storage. However, you have the option to move the game from your internal storage to your SD card if you need more space.

Do Switch games stay on the SD card

The answer is yes and no. When you download a game from the eShop or insert a physical game card, some data will be saved to your internal storage.

This includes save data and update data. However, most of the game data will be saved to your microSDXC card if that is where you choose to install it.

So while some data will remain on your internal storage even after moving it to an SD card, most of it will be stored on your microSDXC card. This means that if you remove the SD card from your Switch, you will not be able to play the games that are installed on it. However, if you insert the SD card back into your Switch, the game data will still be there and you can continue playing where you left off.

How to move games to an SD card

If you want to move a game from your internal storage to your SD card, follow these steps:

  • Go to System Settings on your Nintendo Switch.
  • Select Data Management.
  • Choose Move Data Between System / microSD Card.
  • Select the game that you want to move.
  • Select Move to microSD Card.

It’s important to note that not all games can be moved to an SD card. Some games, like Splatoon 2 and Pokémon Let’s Go Pikachu / Eevee, require parts of their data to be saved on the internal storage in order for them to work properly. Additionally, DLC and updates for some games may also need to be stored on the internal storage.

Conclusion

In summary, while some data will remain on your internal storage even after moving it to an SD card, most of it will be stored on your microSDXC card.

Moving games from your internal storage to an SD card is a great way to expand your storage capacity and keep all of your favorite games in one place. Just make sure that any games or updates that require internal storage are kept there in order for them to work properly.