Three Things to Know About Buying a MicroSD Card for Your Nintendo Switch

A memory boost for your favorite gaming device.

Playing game on Nintendo Switch.
Level up your gaming with some additional storage.Unsplash

The Nintendo Switch is a tremendous amount of fun. When buying one for the first time, you’ll need some extras beyond the console itself, like controllers and cases. But perhaps most important is storage, in the form of a microSD card—preferably the biggest, fastest one you can afford. All of the cards here are compatible with the Nintendo Switch, and have a Class 10 speed rating, which is recommended for gaming.

SAMSUNG EVO Select 512GB microSDXC UHS-I U3 100MB/s Full HD & 4K UHD Memory Card with Adapter (MB-ME512HA)
Huge capacity for downloads: 16 times the storage your Switch came with. Plus very high transfer speeds so games load quickly.SAMSUNG

You can’t use any old SD card with your precious Switch! Only micro cards—not minis, or regular SD cards—will fit into the console. You can use either a plain microSD card or a higher-storage type, either the microSDHC (high capacity) or microSDXC (extended capacity). The regular microSD can only hold 2 GB, the SDHC can hold up to 32 GB and the SDXC starts at 64 GB and goes into the stratosphere. All of the cards in this article are either SDHC or SDXC.

Samsung Electronics EVO Select 256GB microSDXC UHS-I U3 100MB/s Full HD & 4K UHD Memory Card with Adapter (MB-ME256HA)
Download games to your heart’s content with this roomy choice. Plus, get the same great game-loading speed as pricier models with an “ultra high speed” (UHS) rating of 3. (UHS ratings go from 1 to 3, with 3 being highest.)SAMSUNG

The Nintendo Switch only has 32 GB of internal storage, and some of that is taken up by the console’s operating system itself. That amount of space can likely hold around 10 games if you tend to play smaller, less-complex titles. But most gamers rely on microSD storage to hold their downloadables. There are plenty of games for the console that are only available for digital download, including the entire library of classic NES and SNES games. So opt for the largest size microSD card you can afford if you plan to download often.

SanDisk 64GB Extreme microSDXC UHS-I Memory Card with Adapter - C10, U3, V30, 4K, A2, Micro SD - SDSQXA2-064G-GN6MA
Twice as much room for game downloads as the Switch has on its own—enough for light gamers, but maybe not for heavy users. A big plus: This model carries the fastest “ultra high speed” rating.SanDisk

There are a few different speeds available for microSD cards, and this determines how quickly the card can read and write data. You want as fast a card as possible for gaming, so opt for a card that can transfer data quickly. Nintendo recommends looking for one with a transfer speed of 60 to 95 MB/s. You might notice a little logo reading “U1” or “U3” on a card; these refer to the “ultra high speed” rating. U3 is fastest, but as long as your card rates a U1 or above, you should be all good.

Also Consider

SanDisk 512GB Extreme microSDXC UHS-I Memory Card with Adapter - C10, U3, V30, 4K, A2, Micro SD - SDSQXA1-512G-GN6MA
Gaming requires high transfer speeds—this product is designed to be faster than most of what’s on the market right now. Plus, a huge amount of space for your downloaded games.SanDisk
SAMSUNG: EVO Select 128GB microSDXC UHS-I U3 100MB/s Full HD & 4K UHD Memory Card with Adapter (MB-ME128HA)
Roomy enough for light gamers with four times more storage than the Switch has on its own. Includes an adapter so you can use it in a camera or other device, too.SAMSUNG
ADVERTISEMENT