The Nintendo Switch offers only 32GB of internal storage, a portion of which is reserved for system use. The remaining internal storage will quickly become full and you will run out of storage space.
Even for a casual gamer, 32GB internal storage of a Nintendo Switch is not enough.
The file size for games are getting bigger and bigger. Some games will be more than 30GB in size. That means you need a much larger storage to install big games.
Fortunately, a Nintendo Switch supports memory cards. You can buy a Nintendo Switch memory card to extend the capacity of your Nintendo Switch device.
Physical vs Digital Games
There are many arguments on whether physical or digital games are a better option. Some people prefer physical games and some digital games.
But if you prefer physical games, you will need to buy cartridges for your Nintendo Switch.
This will eliminate the need for a memory card, as the cartridge contains the game. And you don’t need to install it on your Switch.
In this case you don’t need a microSD card. The internal storage of the Nintendo Switch will be enough. And your concern will not be a microSD card or its capacity, but your physical game collection.
If you are in this group, don’t search for microSD cards. Instead, you will need this Game Cartridge Holder Storage Case, for organizing your game cartridges. It is the #1 best seller on Amazon as of this writing.
Minimum recommended capacity for the Nintendo Switch memory card
If you prefer digital games, then you will definitely need a microSD card. As we mentioned the internal storage of a Nintendo Switch is not enough to install big games.
The more capacity the memory card has, the better. But what is the minimum recommended capacity for the Nintendo Switch SD card?
It depends on many factors. First of all, it depends on your budget. As the capacity of a microSD card goes higher, the price also increases and it gets more expensive.
Also, it depends on how many games you want to install, and whether your favorite games are big or small.
Nintendo Switch games are launching with bigger and bigger file sizes. You should try to aim for the biggest microSD card you can afford.
How big a Nintendo Switch game can be?
To give you an idea of how big Nintendo Switch games can be, here are some examples.
- The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild takes up 13.4GB of space
- Pokemon Sword and Shield takes up 10.3GB of space
- NBA 2K20 for Nintendo Switch takes up 32.9GB of space
- Mortal KOMBAT 11 for Nintendo Switch takes up 22.5GB of space
- Resident Evil: Revelations 2 takes up 23.6GB of space
- L.A. Noire for Nintendo Switch takes up 27.4GB of space
With just two of such games, you’ll quickly run out of storage space.
Why should I aim for the biggest micro SD card I can afford?
Here are some reasons to go with highest capacity microSD card you can afford, in the first place.
A Nintendo Switch does not support moving games or files to/from a memory card. The only way to move a game to a memory card is to uninstall the game, insert the memory card, and then reinstall it. Upon reinstalling, when the memory card is present, it will give you the option to install the game on the memory card.
This means you will need to re-download the game and reinstall it.
You may want to replace a lower capacity micro SD card with a larger one. In this case, you can use a memory card reader with your PC to copy Nintendo Switch games from one micro SD card to another.
Thus you don’t want to run out of storage space on a memory card. Otherwise, it will be a headache to move games on a new memory card.
What is my recommendation for the minimum size for a Nintendo Switch SD card
Based on the above reasons my recommendation is to go no smaller than 128GB. This will be the comfortable size to install some of the big games, with a bunch of other smaller ones.
A micro SD card of 64GB or even 32GB, will quickly become full and you will run out of space again.
128GB memory card is my least recommended size for average game players.
If you are an average gamer, I highly recommend Samsung 128GB MicroSDXC EVO Select Memory Card. It has a 4.7-star rating out of 5, based on more than 77000 customer reviews as of this writing. And it comes with a full-size adapter.
And if you are not interested in Samsung, I recommend SanDisk 128GB Extreme MicroSDXC Memory Card. It has a 4.7-star rating out of 5, based on more than 41,000 customer reviews, as of this writing.
What if you are playing games most often?
For serious game players, 256GB capacity will be a better option. It will be enough for a whole bunch of big games, and a lot of small ones. This capacity is recommended for people who often play games and want to try the best digital games for Nintendo Switch.
If you are one of them I recommend Samsung 256GB MicroSDXC EVO Select Memory Card. It has better performance.
You can also get SanDisk 256GB Ultra MicroSDXC Memory Card. This one is a little cheaper and has a 4.7-star rating out of 5, based on more than 200,000 customer reviews, as of this writing. So it can also be a good option.
Minimum recommend capacity for game addicts
If you are a game addict and want to go all-digital, then you will need at least a 512GB micro SD card. To be able to install all the large and small games you like.
Even a 512GB micro SD card will not be enough for this group of people. But instead of buying a 1TB micro SD card which is very expensive, it will be much more budget-friendly to buy two 512GB micro SD cards.
Then you will be able to install some of your games on one micro SD card and some others on the next one and switch them whenever you want.
But keep in mind that it will be a good practice to turn your Nintendo Switch off when removing a micro SD card. This ensures that the card is not in use and will not be corrupted.
If you need a 512GB micro SD card, I recommend Samsung 512GB MicroSDXC Evo Select Memory Card. It has a 4.7-star rating out of 5, based on more than 77000 customer reviews as of this writing.
Or you can get SanDisk 512GB Extreme microSDXC Memory Card. It has a 4.7-star rating out of 5, based on more than 41,000 customer reviews, as of this writing.
Should I buy the cheapest micro SD card?
Not all memory cards are created the same. Some of them have better performance, or more tolerant of frequent formatting.
A low-quality memory card will easily get corrupted and you will lose all your games. So instead of aiming for the cheapest micro SD card, look for better quality cards and trusted brands.
For the sake of saving few bucks, you don’t want to lose all your games.
I personally trust two brands more than others, Samsung and SanDisk. They have the best quality and highest performance micro SD cards.
That was my personal recommendation for you based on my own experience.
You may like to read my review of the top 5 best Nintendo Switch SD cards to find a memory card that suits your need.
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