How to choose a Nintendo Switch memory card
Here is a simple fact: the Nintendo Switch is a gaming joy, bringing a completely new experience and level of quality to portable gaming. Here is another simple fact: it has only 32 GB of internal memory. Obviously when you compare that with the terabyte memory in the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X this is a tiny amount. Iti is actually even less than a lot of smartphones, and that’s a worry, which is why it’s important for would-be Switch gamers to do their research on Nintendo Switch memory cards.
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Being able to play quality games like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild while you’re on the bus is all well and good in theory because most games are cartridge-based, but even without downloading titles how do you accommodate any upgrades, patches, and installation data without extra storage? Those 32 GB are going fill up incredibly quickly, and a microSD card for Nintendo Switch is now necessary even to install some digital-only games. In fact, with more arriving and being added to the console every month, a Nintendo Switch SD card going to become the must-buy Nintendo Switch accessory.
Digital-only Nintendo Switch Games that need more memory
If you want to play any of the following games, you’re going to need to buy an external Nintendo Switch MicroSD
- Sonic Mania
- NBA 2K18
- Enter the Gungeon
- Golf Story
- Axiom Verge
- Fast RMX
The company themselves have openly embraced this in two ways. Firstly, by putting a Memory Card symbol on the box of games which require one such as NBA 2K18 and Dragon Quest Heroes. In addition to this, the Japanese purveyors of joy have formed a partnership with market leaders SanDisk.
But what if you decide that you aren’t going to participate in this lack of oversight on their part – can you ignore the warnings and keep playing cartridge games? While these won’t prevent you from starting most games without them, the corporate caveat here is “to enjoy the full experience”, which is their way of saying “Look, these memory cards are almost required, but not enough that we’ll include one with every Nintendo Switch purchase”.
Whether this policy changes in the future or not, you’re going to need some idealo.co.uk expert advice on which switch microSD models to go for, and how to find the best deals online.
What kind of SD card do I need for Nintendo Switch?
In order to extend the storage capacity you will need to buy a MicroSD card for your Nintendo Switch since SD and miniSD cards are too big for the slot.
The following Nintendo Switch sd card sizes are supported:
- microSD (up to 2 GB)
- microSDHC (4 GB to 32 GB)
- microSDXC (64 GB and over)
NB: In order to use a microSDXC card on the Nintendo Switch console, you may be required to carry out a system update.
Can buying an SD card for Nintendo Switch improve gameplay?
Yes, we recommend buying a switch microSD card with a higher transfer speed to make sure you get the most from your game. Go for a memory card with between 60-95 MB/second transfer speed, the higher the transfer speed the better the game play.
Cost: How much are Nintendo Switch SD cards?
Essentially, the market to find the best micro sd card for Nintendo Switch can be broken down into two simple metrics: the manufacturer, and their capacity.
Prices will vary depending on size, brand and quality, but expect to pay anything from £8 for the very basic models up to around £80-100 for the ones with all the bells and whistles.
The best brands for Nintendo Switch memory cards
OK, so there are lots of other companies such as Hori and Abacus 24-7 also jumping on the Nintendo Switch memory card bandwagon, but don’t rush. In reality a microSD from almost any seller will be compatible, but it’s worth considering the quality and going for the highest quality microSD your budget allows. This is important to note as because people suddenly find themselves dropped into the simple-but-confusing world that is the memory card market, price comparison is really necessary. The price between sellers for the same 32 GB microSD with adapter can vary from £30 to £100, so it really pays to shop smart.
Popular MicroSD card manufacturers in the UK include tech giants Samsung and SanDisk who dominate the selection, and their popularity is for good reason. Along with Lexar, these are known for rigorously testing the performance of their cards as well as their ability to handle heat, shock, water, and other conditions. Because you want to make the most of the portability of the Switch, you’ll want to be able to take your memory card along with you without fear of it cutting out on you. So when comparing Nintendo Switch microSDs online remember that the few extra quid when buying can really save you in the long run.
That said, you can get more GB for your money by choosing a lesser-known brand which makes Nintendo Switch-compatible memory cards such as Adata, Apacer, Emtec, Hama and many others
Which size memory card do I need for Nintendo Switch?
The Nintendo Switch can take up to 2 TB (2000 GB) of memory and a UHS-I Micro SD is recommended. This Ultra High Speed memory card does exactly what it says on the tin, helping your console download and upload much quicker, making your loading experience more seamless.
The size of card you’ll need depends on your videogame-buying habits. We’re going to say straight-up that you will need more than a 32 GB card for extra memory, regardless. 64 and 128 GB are the sizes from the official Nintendo-SanDisk collaboration, and these are the two to be looking at.
- If you don’t download often and mostly use physical gaming cartridges, then compare 64 GB micro SDs.
- If you do a lot of online downloading and use the eShop, then definitely invest in a cheap 128 GB memory card.
Downloading most of your Nintendo Switch games? Then you’re going to need a serious amount of space. Take a look at 200 GB MicroSDXC cards such as the SanDisk Ultra A1, for example, which you can buy online for under £70 if you compare between sellers.
Overall, this is more of a PSA to potential Switch-buyers or new owners. While you may be wondering whether to buy a new game or maybe the Joy-Con Steering Wheel to liven up your Mario Kart duels, it’s actually essential to look at investing in the most important accessory if you want to keep the fun going – a Nintendo Switch SD card.