Have you ever wondered if physical Nintendo Switch games take up storage? Well, the answer is yes, they do. But how much storage space do they actually use? Let’s dive into the details.
Physical Games vs. Digital Games
Physical Nintendo Switch games will always require some storage space. This is because they need to accommodate updates, save data files, downloadable content, and patches. However, physical games tend to take up less space than digital games since they come with a cartridge that stores the data.
Buying physical games allows you to enjoy your Nintendo Switch without the need for additional Micro SD storage space. It’s a convenient option if you want to save on memory.
Why Do Physical Switch Games Take Up Storage?
Although physical games generally require less storage space than digital games, there are still factors that can affect the amount of space they consume. The size of the game and whether multiplayer features are involved can impact the storage requirements.
For example, popular games like Super Mario Odyssey and Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze use relatively small amounts of storage space for updates, with 279MB and 22MB respectively. On the other hand, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild can take up a significant amount of space, using 929MB for update data and a massive 1.3GB for downloadable content (DLC), depending on the expansions you purchase.
To put it in perspective, Breath of the Wild alone requires a whopping 13.4GB of storage if downloaded on the Switch without a cartridge. That’s almost half of the Switch’s internal storage! Clearly, going for physical copies saves you a significant amount of memory.
Developers also issue updates and patches for their games. Some games, like DOOM for the Switch, require massive 1-day updates due to their size and graphics. In cases like these, relying solely on the Switch’s 32GB internal memory is not enough. Investing in a micro SD card, such as the highly recommended SanDisk Ultra 256GB, can provide ample space for hundreds of games.
Games often come with downloadable content (DLC), which requires additional storage. Titles like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild need 2.4GB of storage space for DLCs. Furthermore, games like Splatoon 2 and ARMS require a lot of data for online play. Having an SD card becomes essential to accommodate these additional content updates.
It’s worth noting that developers sometimes prioritize cutting production costs over file compression. For example, NBA 2K20 requires an astounding 32.9GB of storage, exceeding the Switch’s internal memory capacity. This makes owning a micro SD card a requirement for playing such games. Nintendo, on the other hand, always strives to compress their game files, ensuring efficient use of storage space.
Why You Should Buy a Micro SD Card for Your Nintendo Switch
The Nintendo Switch’s internal memory is limited to 32GB, with only 25GB available for storing games. As game sizes can range from a few hundred MB to over 20GB, it’s inevitable that you’ll eventually need to invest in a micro SD card.
The good news is that micro SD cards are affordable nowadays. You can find reliable options like the SanDisk Ultra 256GB for around $40 on Amazon. This is a small price to pay considering it can hold approximately 275 different The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild game files if stored on the cartridge.
Having a micro SD card gives you the freedom to store a significant number of games digitally, which wouldn’t be feasible without one. Downloadable games require additional space, and without an SD card, you’ll find yourself running out of storage quickly. Save yourself from the hassle of constantly deleting games to make space by investing in an SD card.
Moreover, certain games, such as the NBA 2K series, necessitate a micro SD card for downloading due to their memory requirements. Don’t limit your gaming options and rely on third-party companies to make their games playable without an SD card. Spending a mere $40 can alleviate these concerns and allow you to enjoy any game you desire. It’s a win-win situation.
How Much Space Do Digital Switch Games Take Up?
Digital Nintendo Switch games generally consume more storage space compared to physical games. The size can vary depending on the game, ranging from as small as 40MB to as large as 32.9GB.
Opting for physical cartridges instead of digital downloads enables you to save memory space. Companies usually try to fit as much of their games as possible on the cartridge, resulting in lower storage requirements. For instance, The Witcher 3, with all its downloadable content, only takes up a relatively small 28.1GB on the Switch.
Where Are Games Saved?
All your game data, including save files, is stored on the internal storage of the Nintendo Switch, which has a capacity of 32GB. However, inserting your game into another Switch won’t allow you to play your save data on that specific console. Nevertheless, you can save your data in the cloud using Nintendo Online, providing you with access to your game progress across multiple consoles.
- Sandisk Ultra 256 SD Card (Amazon Link)
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