So you got your Nintendo Switch, you jumped right in to the eShop and pressed Download on the newest batch of blockbuster games, just to find out that there’s not enough space… How? Well, the console has only 32 GB of memory… Seems like Nintendo failed you in that regard yet again *cries_in_Wii_U*. But do not fret fellow gamer, this is where our guide on the best SD Cards for Nintendo Switch comes in to play.
Cherry picking Nintendo Switch SD cards…
Here we reviewed the 10 most popular brands of SD cards so that you don’t have to, compared them on both the Nintendo Switch and Switch Lite, as well as tested out the transfer speeds, just to come up with this list of leaders. Also, before we begin, in our Nintendo Switch 2019 review, as well as the Nintendo Switch Lite review, we found out that both units have an SDXC reader, so the SD cards mentioned in this guide will be compatible with both of them.
Also, in our Nintendo Switch Guide we mentioned that the console can, technically, read 2TB SD cards without any problems, but that claim has a big “but” slapped on the side. The Nintendo Switch SD card max size is currently limited by the market, where a card larger than 1 TB simply doesn’t exist on the market yet, so you’re tied to that 1 TB mark, which is not that big of a deal.
Blockbuster games like Zelda, Pokemon and Super Mario usually hover around the 10 GB mark, which means that if you want a 1 TB SD Card for your Switch, you could potentially download 100 different blockbuster games from our list of Best Nintendo Switch Games, or around 300+ Indie games.
Caveat emptor, most manufacturers advertise their Read Speeds, which is cool and all, but Write Speeds are the key. In short, it’s important that both Read and Write speeds are above 50 MB/s, so that you can get the best gameplay experience through faster loading times between levels and open-world textures.
You don’t have to worry about specs to much though, we did it for you, this is why we’re here, no? So, here’s our pick of the best SD card for the Nintendo Switch:
The Best Nintendo Switch SD Card: SanDisk Ultra microSD UHS-I Series
The SanDisk Ultra line ticks all the right boxes and is arguably the best bang for your buck in the Switch SD card isle, regardless if it’s the OG, 2019 or the Lite version. Regarding transfer rates, you’re looking at read speeds of up to 120 MB/s and write speeds of 60 MB/s, which is the perfect balance. This SD card comes in various sizes, from the teeny tiny little mini 32 GB sized cards (which you only need if you’re aiming to upgrade an old Symbian Nokia from 2008) up to 1 TB.
Pricing is fair, starting with $32.99 for the 256 GB version, $62.99 for the larger 512 GB one, and, just for the sake of mentioning it, $159.99 for the 1 TB behemoth.
The Fastest Nintendo Switch SD Card: SanDisk Extreme Series
The SanDisk Extreme series is the only card (at the time of writing) that features astonishing transfer speeds, 160 MB/s in Read and 90 MB/s in Write speeds to be exact. Pair that up with 1 TB of storage space and you got yourself one fast Switch SD card. Downsides? Well, there’s a reason we placed it on the second spot, that reason has two words and stings when mentioned: High Price.
We’re not talking about much, just a few cents per GB on top, but (big but again) if you start throwing 50 dollars more on the best Switch SD card, 50 dollars on the best Nintendo Switch Controller, and after that round it up with a few things from the Best Nintendo Switch Accessorise list, you’ll get yourself one hella expensive console my friend. Then again, what’s up to me as a reviewer is to tell you that this is the fastest Nintendo Switch SD card on the market, what’s up to you is to check if it fits your budget.
The Extreme 256 GB version is up for grabs for $44.99, which is $12 more than the Ultra version, while the 512 GB is hovering around the $99.99 mark, and the big boi 1TB is going to hit you with $229.99.
Nintendo Certified SD card for Switch: Licensed SanDisk microSD Cards
And here we are! For the Nintendo fangirls and boys, as well as my fanboyish ass. The editor didn’t let me place this on #1 because it’s essentially a rebranded hybrid between SanDisk’s Ultra and Extreme series, but I really love the Zelda and Mushroom design, so it got a mention… Last on the list, but hey, still on it.
Certified by Nintendo with a life time warranty, it’s the perfect choice for idiots like me that prefer to go with licensed Nintendo products. With the specifications they are somewhere in the middle of the above two; 100 MB/s in read and 90 MB/s in write, which is the reason why I said that they act as a hybrid.
Pricing is a different pair of socks, you’re looking at a high $99.99 for the 256 GB version, almost three times as much as the Ultra card, while the 512 GB version will be a double bubble: $129.99. And before you ask, no, there’s no 1 TB option… Official Nintendo Switch SD Card max size is 512 GB :<
That’s all from me in this guide, I hope I answered your question on what micro SD card for Switch you should buy, see you on the homepage!
This guide on the Nintendo Switch SD Card was written by Arren, and is part of our Nintendo Buying Guide series. In this series of articles we take each individual Nintendo accessory, from micro SD card Switch, Controllers and Headsets up to more exotic gadgets, and then we explore all the different brands and options within them.
The same guides should serve you in your battle of finding the best of the best, where we absorb the economic shock of buying all that hardware, while you get a simple list of three different items that are worth your money. It’s also important to know that if you buy something through an affiliate link on GamerHeadlines, Damage Media may earn a commission. Check out our Ethics Statement for more details on how we manage these articles.