Which SD card is best for Nintendo Switch?

The Nintendo Switch is a popular and powerful gaming system, but its onboard storage needs a little assistance to unleash the platform’s full potential. If you plan to buy digital games as opposed to physical cartridges, your Switch’s internal storage will get used up quickly, and that’s where an SD card comes in handy. Here’s how to pick an SD card that will let you get the most out of your Nintendo Switch.

What kind of SD card should I get for my Nintendo Switch?

MicroSD cards are the only compatible size, so avoid SD cards and miniSD cards. Look for microSD cards that are UHS-1 compatible and offer transfer speeds of 60-90MB per second for faster downloads and the best possible gameplay experience. Speeds higher than 90MB per second are available, but at that point there isn’t much noticeable difference. To learn more about the specifications, visit the BestReviews guide to the best microSD cards.

Do I need an SD card for my Nintendo Switch?

The Nintendo Switch comes with 64GB of storage, while the Switch Lite comes with only 32GB. That space will get filled quickly depending on the kinds of games you buy: popular AAA titles like Breath of the Wild can take up more than a dozen gigabytes. It’s a good idea to expand your Switch’s available space with an SD card that offers not only extra room for games, but the read and write speeds needed to run those games smoothly.

Along with standard microSD cards, both the Nintendo Switch and the Switch Lite can take microSDHC (offering 4GB to 32GB) or microSDXC (offering more than 32GB) cards for up to an additional 2TB of storage space. MicroSD cards let you keep images, screenshots and video files as well as downloadable games and downloadable content (though not game save data) in one convenient place.

Best microSD card for Nintendo Switch

Best of the best SD card for Nintendo Switch

SanDisk 256GB Licensed microSDXC Card: available at Amazon

Our take: SanDisk is one of the top manufacturers of SD cards, and since their card is the officially licensed model, it’s assured to be a quality product that will integrate smoothly with the Switch.

What we like: Along with offering write speeds up to 90MB per second and read speeds up to 100MB per second, it’s available with popular Nintendo franchise branding. Cards are available in sizes ranging from 64GB to 512GB, each with a unique Nintendo design.

What we dislike: Its Nintendo licensing makes it pricier than other comparable options.

Best bang for your buck SD card for Nintendo Switch

SanDisk 400GB Ultra MicroSD Memory Card: available at Amazon

Our take: For gamers building a full library of AAA games, this card offers a vast amount of storage at a comparatively low price point.

What we like: Along with its giant capacity, this card offers fast transfer speeds up to 100 MB per second and a 10-year limited warranty. It also comes with an SD card adapter, allowing it to be used in devices that fit standard SD cards.

What we dislike: A few users experienced errors reading the card.

Best durable SD card for Nintendo Switch

Netac 128 GB microSD card: available at Amazon

Our take: This card offers fast read speeds and impressive safety and security features at an affordable price point.

What we like: It’s shockproof, waterproof and even X-ray-proof.

What we dislike: While it offers read speeds up to 100MB per second, the write speeds are fairly slow (only 30MB per second), which can mean slower performance.

Best 128GB SD card for Nintendo Switch

SanDisk 128GB Ultra microSDXC Memory Card: available at Amazon

Our take: Many Nintendo Switch players choose to buy physical versions of big AAA titles and digital versions of indie games. If that describes you, this 128GB card should give you all the storage you need.

What we like: Users appreciated that this microSD card is essentially the same as the Nintendo licensed model, only more affordable.

What we dislike: A few users received faulty or nonfunctioning cards.

Best 512GB SD card for Nintendo Switch

Samsung Evo Select 512GB microSDXC Card: available at Amazon         

Our take: While 1TB microSD cards are available, they’re quite pricey and offer far more storage than most Switch players will ever need. This 512GB card can store plenty of games and delivers an ultrafast gaming experience.

What we like: The 512GB model offers the fastest read and write speeds in the Evo lineup, and the card is protected from water, temperature extremes, X-rays and magnets.

What we dislike: There are occasional reports of cards failing or becoming corrupted.

Laura Duerr is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. BestReviews and its newspaper partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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