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Best SD cards for Switch: which Nintendo Switch memory card should you buy?

Best SD cards for Switch on orange background
(Image credit: Future)

The best SD cards for Switch allow you to store significantly more games on Nintendo's hybrid console. Depending on the card's capacity, you can significantly beef up the existing 32GB of internal storage (or 64GB if you own the OLED model) on the Switch, going potentially up to 2TB in size.

If you buy many games digitally from the Nintendo Switch eShop, you'll need to either upgrade your Nintendo Switch's storage space or repeatedly delete and reinstalling games, once you inevitably run out of room. That might not bother some people but it can become rather annoying, particularly since you can easily grab a Nintendo Switch SD card and increase your storage space. 

Luckily, expanding the storage of your Nintendo Switch, Nintendo Switch Lite or Nintendo Switch OLED is simple. All you need to do is put a Nintendo Switch memory card into the console's built-in micro SD card slot and you're good to go. But search any online retailer for 'SD card' and you'll see there are lots of different brands and sizes to choose from. 

So, where do you begin? We've created this guide filled with the best micro SD cards for Switch to help you decide which one is right for you. 32GB/64GB of internal storage might seem like enough space at first, and it might be for some. But with all the best Nintendo Switch games out there, never mind screenshots and videos you’ll inevitably be taking, most will find that internal storage won't last long. 

Users who tend to buy physical games instead will also need to keep an eye on the Nintendo Switch's storage. Some titles require a sizable updates to install additional data that isn't found on the cartridge. 

If you’re in need of some more storage on your Nintendo Switch, or you've just got your hands on a new one and want to ensure it's got plenty of space from the start, you're in the right place. In the guide below, you'll find the best Nintendo Switch micro SD card options that you can buy right now.

Best SD cards for Switch

Sandisk microSDXC official Nintendo Switch memory card

Image Credit: Sandisk

Sandisk microSDXC

Nintendo-branded memory cards are a safe bet

Specifications

Storage: 64GB, 128GB
Read Speed: up to 100mb/s
Warranty: Lifetime (or 30 years)
SD Reader: No
Ultra High Speed: UHS-3

Reasons to buy

+
Nintendo's seal of approval

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited capacities available

There's nothing like the Nintendo stamp of approval to put you at ease. Sandisk is a massive memory card manufacturer, and these tie-in options have a read speed of up to 100mb for fast loading. They come with a minimum 30-year warranty, too.

If you're fan of Nintendo's branding and characters, these SD cards even come with a friendly mushroom (for the 128GB model) or Triforce design (for the 64GB model). You won't see the design when it's in the console, of course, but you'll know it's there. Bearing the Nintendo brand, this is the SD card for Switch for those who like keeping things official.

Kingston Canvas Select microSDXC value Nintendo Switch Memory card

(Image credit: Kingston)

Kingston Canvas Select microSDXC

Storage on the cheap

Specifications

Storage: up to 256GB
Read Speed: up to 80mb/s
Warranty: Lifetime (or 30 years)
SD Reader: Yes
Ultra High Speed: UHS-1

Reasons to buy

+
More storage for your money

Reasons to avoid

-
Slightly slower speeds

Not quite as official, but still a very reputable brand – Kingston's 128GB memory card comes in at a few pennies less per gigabyte than its Sandisk counterpart. 

You're getting a slightly slower load-speed, with only 80mb/s, but that's still well within Nintendo's SD card guidelines – and the option for 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, 128GB, or 256GB models to choose from. If you're after value more than anything, this is the Nintendo Switch memory card for you.

SanDisk Ultra 400GB microSDXC storage Nintendo Switch memory card

Image Credit: Sandisk

SanDisk Ultra 400GB microSDXC

More than you'll ever need

Specifications

Storage: 400GB
Read Speed: up to 100mb/s
Warranty: 10 years
SD Reader: Yes
Ultra High Speed: UHS-1

Reasons to buy

+
You won't run out of space anytime soon

Reasons to avoid

-
Probably too much storage for most users

400GB? We can't imagine you'll fill that amount in a hurry, but it's reassuring to know you won't run out of space. You can technically get a 512GB version, but you'll see a large uptick in price just for that small increase in storage. 

We recommend sticking to 400GB for now. When it comes to massively increasing your console's storage, this is a hard micro SD for Switch to beat.

Best SD cards for Switch FAQs

best Nintendo Switch memory card for storing your games

Large AAA games like Super Mario Odyssey can take up a lot of space (Image Credit: Nintendo)

Do I need a micro SD card for Nintendo Switch?

If you’re planning on playing more than a handful of indie titles then, yes, a Nintendo Switch memory card is a good idea. Breath of the Wild alone takes up 13.4 GB of space, which is around 40% of the console’s onboard storage. And that's the case for both the Switch and the Switch Lite.

It can be sensible to buy the larger AAA games on physical cartridges, to avoid the likes of Mario and Zelda taking up all the space. But for sheer convenience, nothing beats having all your titles compressed into one handy Nintendo Switch memory card. Some physical titles also require a mandatory online download to work, taking up precious space.

Are save files kept on the Nintendo Switch memory card too?

No, it’s just your games, images and videos that can be saved onto an external Nintendo Switch memory card. Save files are all kept on internal storage – partially to prevent piracy – though thankfully they don’t take up too much room by themselves. 

If you have a subscription to Nintendo Switch Online, you can also back up your save files to the cloud, though not all games are compatible with this feature. If you manage to break your console, you can restore your progress safely. You’re able to re-download any purchased game software for free too.

Which micro SD cards work on Nintendo Switch?

Technically, any Switch micro SD card (below 4GB), micro SDHC (4-32GB), or micro SDXC (eXtended Capacity, above 32GB) will be compatible, though you'll probably want at least 64GB to make it worth the purchase. Nintendo also recommends a high-speed memory card for optimum performance.

So look out for a card with UHS-I support, and a minimum ‘read speed’ of 60-95mb/s (all the cards listed meet these requirements). If you’re using a micro SDXC memory card (above 32GB), Nintendo says “you must first connect the console to the internet and perform a system update” before downloading games onto the Nintendo Switch memory card.

Vic Hood
Associate Editor, TechRadar Gaming

Vic is TechRadar Gaming's Associate Editor. An award-winning games journalist, Vic brings experience from IGN, Eurogamer and more to the TechRadar table. You may have even heard her on the radio or speaking on a panel. Not only is Vic passionate about games, but she's also an avid mental health advocate who has appeared on both panels and podcasts to discuss mental health awareness. Make sure to follow her on Twitter for more.

With contributions from