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

Included in this guide:

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

The best SD cards for Switch allow you to store loads more games on your console. Depending on which you choose, you can significantly beef up the storage on your Nintendo Switch from the existing 32GB of internal storage that it comes with (or 64GB if you own the Nintendo Switch OLED model).

If you buy lots of games digitally from the Nintendo Switch eShop, you'll need to either upgrade your Nintendo Switch's storage space or face deleting and reinstalling a bunch of titles whenever you run out of room. That isn't impossible to do, but it's annoying and not the best experience. 

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.

The original Nintendo Switch console comes with 32GB of internal storage, while the new Nintendo Switch OLED comes with 64GB. That might seem like more than enough space at first (and for some people it might be). But with so many excellent Nintendo Switch games out there, as well as the screenshots and videos you’ll inevitably be taking as you play, most gamers will find the internal 32GB of storage, and even the 64GB of the OLED version, 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, as some titles require a sizable chunk of space to install the additional data that isn't found on the cartridge. 

So 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 SD card for Switch options that you can buy and get started with right now. 

Best SD cards for Switch

Sandisk microSDXC official Nintendo Switch memory card

Image Credit: Sandisk

The most official: 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 to keep things official.

Kingston Canvas Select microSDXC value Nintendo Switch Memory card

(Image credit: Kingston)

Best for value: 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 very much a 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

Best for storage: 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 will take 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, which can take 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 32GB 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.

Is a Nintendo Switch memory card not what you're looking for? Check out some of the outright cheapest Nintendo Switch bundles, deals and accessories.

Henry St Leger

Henry is TechRadar's News & Features Editor, covering the stories of the day with verve, moxie, and aplomb. He's spent the past three years reporting on TVs, projectors and smart speakers as well as gaming and VR – including a stint as the website's Home Cinema Editor – and has been interviewed live on both BBC World News and Channel News Asia, discussing the future of transport and 4K resolution televisions respectively. As a graduate of English Literature and persistent theatre enthusiast, he'll usually be found forcing Shakespeare puns into his technology articles, which he thinks is what the Bard would have wanted. Bylines include Edge, T3, and Little White Lies.