Nintendo's Switch is a gaming phenomenon, freeing you to play literally anywhere. There is a problem though, and that's the Switch's serious lack of dedicated storage space. Technically, the Switch provides 32GB of internal memory, but only 25.9GB is available for use. In a world where many games won't even fit on that (we're looking at you, NBA 2K19), you'll quickly realise that Nintendo's box of fun is woefully unprepared. Fortunately, there's a solution: micro SD cards.
Nintendo has graciously provided the Switch with a micro SD card slot, that allows you to pop in a range of micro SD cards from 32GB all the way up to 2TB. The latter might not exist just yet, but it's only a matter of time.
You simply need to purchase a micro SD card at some point – even if you plan on purchasing all of your games on cartridge. The reason for this is that many of these games don't quite fit on the cartridge, and require a hefty download to get the rest of the content. DOOM is a great example of this. Then there's DLC and general updates – It all adds up.
In this guide, we'll recommend the best Switch micro SD cards at the best prices, and include the cheapest options across the whole range of sizes. We draw the line at 128GB though. The price difference is just so minimal between that and 64GB, and cards smaller than 128GB won't provide a long-term solution.
We've also included an FAQ, where we'll go into more detail about which micro SD card is best, whether or not speed matters, and what size/capacity you should aim for. We'll also provide tips on how to move games between your internal memory and the micro SD card and when its best to install on your internal memory.
In short, if you just want to know what the best and cheapest Switch micro SD card is, you've come to the right place.
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Best Switch Micro SD cards (USA)
Our US micro SD card recommendations are mostly taken up by SanDisk, as these cards offer far greater value for money than their direct competitors. Having said that, we do recommend a Samsung card at 128GB due to its competitive price and a 512GB option by PNY, as it's the only current card of that size on the US market.
|Best Overall Value Switch Micro SD Card:||SanDisk Ultra 200GB Micro SD Card||$0.17/GB|
|Biggest Switch Micro SD Card at the Best Price:||SanDisk Ultra 400GB Micro SD Card||$0.25/GB|
|Best Value 128GB Switch Micro SD Card:||SanDisk Ultra 128GB Micro SD Card||$0.26/GB|
|Best Value 200GB Switch Micro SD Card:||SanDisk Ultra 200GB Micro SD Card||$0.17/GB|
|Best Value 256GB Switch Micro SD Card:||SanDisk Ultra 256GB Micro SD Card||$0.20/GB|
|Best Value 400GB Switch Micro SD Card:||SanDisk Ultra 400GB Micro SD Card||$0.25/GB|
|Best Value 512GB Switch Micro SD Card:||PNY Elite 512GB Micro SD Card||$0.68/GB|
Best Switch Micro SD cards (UK)
Our UK recommendations are very similar, with SanDisk generally offering the best bang for your buck across all of the ranges. Samsung's competitively-priced 128GB still makes an appearance but we have another contender in the 512GB range with Integral.
|Best Overall Value Switch Micro SD Card:||SanDisk Ultra 128GB Micro SD Card||£0.17/GB|
|Biggest Switch Micro SD Card at the Best Price:||SanDisk Ultra 400GB Micro SD Card||£0.21/GB|
|Best Value 128GB Switch Micro SD Card:||SanDisk Ultra 128GB Micro SD Card||£0.17/GB|
|Best Value 200GB Switch Micro SD Card:||SanDisk Ultra 200GB Micro SD Card||£0.20/GB|
|Best Value 256GB Switch Micro SD Card:||SanDisk Ultra 256GB Micro SD Card||£0.35/GB|
|Best Value 400GB Switch Micro SD Card:||SanDisk Ultra 400GB Micro SD Card||£0.21/GB|
|Best Value 512GB Switch Micro SD Card:||Integral 512GB Micro SD Card||£0.55/GB|
Official Switch Micro SD Cards
SanDisk has released two officially licensed micro SD cards for Nintendo Switch, with capacities of 64GB and 128GB. The only real difference between these cards and their unlicensed variants is the branding on the box (The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe) and a Switch logo on the card.
That's without mentioning the price, which is ridiculously steep. In fact, you can get a 200GB version for less than the cost of the officially licensed 128GB. That's madness.
So we don't recommend these cards at all. They're just far too expensive and don't offer anything that the unlicensed variants do aside from branding. You can grab them using the links below though, if you simply have to own them.
Nintendo Switch Micro SD Cards FAQ
Our micro SD card FAQ below should answer any questions you might have, but feel free to ask us anything in the comments section and we'll do our best to answer. The most frequently asked questions will then get added here.
Can You Use Any Micro SD Card For Nintendo Switch?
The Switch supports any UHS-I Micro SD, Micro SDHC, or Micro SDXC cards. If you have no idea what any of that means, it's not really worth worrying about as you have to really go looking for the cards that the Switch doesn't support.
Given how little the speed differs between the different cards that the Switch does support, we recommend just ignoring that aspect entirely and just grabbing the cheapest you can find. It really doesn't make much difference.
Besides, cartridges are almost always slower than Micro SD cards, so no matter which you go for, you're going to get improved loading speeds.
Where Is The Micro SD Card slot?
If you're wondering how to go about putting a Micro SD card into your Nintendo Switch, the handy photo above should help.
To access the Micro SD card slot on your Nintendo Switch, simply pop out the kickstand on the back of the Switch. Inserting a Micro SD card can be a bit fiddly, so you'll want to do it with the logo facing up. Push the card into the slot until it makes a reassuring clicking sound.
What Speed Micro SD Card Should I Buy?
At the moment, speed isn't really worth considering when you purchase a micro SD card for your Nintendo Switch. The reason for this is that the Switch only supports UHS-1 cards, which max out at 104MB/s in terms of speed. The UHS-2 types are three times faster, with a 312MB/s speed but that's irrelevant as the Switch doesn't currently support them.
While it's true that the speed between even the UHS-1 cards does vary, the differences just aren't noticeable enough to worry about. That's why we've focused purely on the best value for money, as there is a considerably larger difference between the prices of two micro SD cards than there is the speed.
What Size/Capacity Micro SD Card Should I Buy?
It's going to be a while until 2TB cards are available and, more importantly, affordable. Right now you typically have the choice of 512GB, 400GB, 256GB, 200GB, and 128GB.
SanDisk has finally released a Micro SD card with a capacity of 400GB, which is a fantastic option for Switch owners who plan to download a lot of games, but it comes with a high price tag at the moment.
PNY has just released a 512GB Micro SD card too, with a similarly eye-watering price tag. This is the largest micro SD card from a respected manufacturer that we have seen. If you have that sort of cash to spend, this could be the ultimate option for your Switch.
On the other end of the scale you can pick up a very cheap 128GB Micro SD card, but chances are you'll fill it up within a year or sooner with downloads, so we recommend you think long-term and consider the ~200-256GB range.
The best value for money right now is 200GB from SanDisk, which has been available for as little as $50.
An alternative approach would be to buy multiple cards and swap them depending on which games you want to play - slightly more effort, but potentially very affordable.
What Type/Brand Of Micro SD Card Is Best?
Nintendo Switch ideally wants the fastest micro SD card for improved loading times; generally, a good micro SD card will outperform Nintendo's official game cards, which is a bonus for downloaders.
Each time SD Card technology has evolved its speed is rated, you can usually get a "read speed" rating on the SD Card your looking at buying. You should also notice that micro SDXC is the newer, faster type versus the older micro SDHC.
Brands also offer "premium" versions of their products; one example is the SanDisk "Ultra" range, which is typically populated by their fastest cards.
We'd recommend going for one of the premium offerings if you can, but it shouldn't make a huge difference for the average user.
Should I Install All Of My Games On A Micro SD?
Given the Nintendo Switch's limited 32GB of internal storage – of which only 25.9GB is actually usable – you're going to be forced to install the vast majority of your downloaded games directly onto the micro SD.
However, we have learned that games installed directly onto the internal storage saw improved load times over cartridges and micro SDs, with the most extreme cases improving load times on The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild by a whopping five seconds.
The differences between Switch cartridges and micro SD were too small to really fuss over – a mere second or two here and there – but it does seem like installing on the internal storage offers a significant improvement. As such, we'd recommend installing your most played game/s on your internal storage, and the rest onto the micro SD.
How Do I Move A Game Between Micro SD And Internal Storage?
Sadly, there's no easy way to quickly move a game from the micro SD to your internal storage. Instead, you're going to have to delete and download it again.
When downloading a game, the Switch will always favour the micro SD card over internal storage, so to ensure a download goes into the internal storage, you're going to have to take the micro SD card out first.
Turn off the Switch before you do so to avoid any nasty data corruption, then take the micro SD card out of its slot. Turn the Switch back on, head to the eShop, and download the game you want to be installed on your internal storage. Once the download is complete, you can turn the Switch back off and pop the micro SD card back in.
To move a game from internal storage to micro SD card, just reverse the steps. First delete or archive it, then download it while the micro SD card is in its slot. As the console favours micro SD over internal storage, it will download there first – provided there's enough space, of course.
Don't worry about losing your save files while deleting or archiving a game though – they're stored in a different location, and require deleting separately. Also, cloud-based saving is a thing now thanks to Nintendo Switch Online. Huzzah!
Whichever Micro SD card you pick, you're going to be increasing the potential of your beloved Nintendo Switch. If you plan on taking your Switch out with you on your travels, having a large capacity will be a great idea as you won't need to carry loads of pesky carts around with you.