Which Memory Card Is Right For Your Switch?

Which Memory Card Is Right For Your Switch?

I made sense of the specs and ran the numbers so you can just enjoy playing the games.

The limited 32GB of space on the Nintendo Switch has been one of the few things holding it back.
Many gamers are currently scratching their head trying to figure out what kind of memory card to buy?
64GB and 128GB are the most popular capacities, but do you really need more than 64GB on your card?  And what other specs are important?  I dive in to answer the big questions.

Firstly, the Switch has a run of required specs.  Things such as needing MicroSD are obvious.  There’s only a tiny bit of space for the memory card there.  Things like SDXC are less obvious.
It’s the kind of MicroSD card you need if you want 64GB or more.   SDXC MicroSD goes all the way up to 500GB, but the 128GB cards are the most economical.

Other specs that are important include Class 10, UHS-1, U1, UHS-3 and V30.
They all refer to the speed of the memory card.
10 MegaBytes per second of write speed is guaranteed possible by Class 10, UHS-1 and U1.
Whereas UHS-3, U3 and V30 guarantee possible write speeds above 30MB/s.

Write speed means how fast a card can install and write new data.
Read speed will help more with loading times.
Nintendo recommends between 60 and 95MB/s for read speeds to allow the fastest loading times.
Nintendo calls these transfer speeds.
They also recommend at least UHS-1 compatible memory card, although UHS-3 and V30 will be best for those wanting very fast install times.

Of the affordable memory cards that meet all the specs and more than 60MB/second transfer speeds, the one that comes out on top for me on a budget without sacrificing performance is the Sandisk Ultra.  For a few more dollars you can also get the premium Samsung Evo Plus with faster write speeds.  Kingston also has a budget memory card with 45 MB/second transfer speed.  Slightly below recommended spec, but it should do the job.

Now that we’ve gotten speeds and specs out of the way, how many Gigabytes do you actually need?

From observation, Switch games tend to come in two sizes.  You have the smaller games of around 4GB in size, and the big games coming in around 14GB.  The big games include titles such as Zelda: Breath of the Wild, DOOM, LA Noire and Xenoblade 2.

Whereas smaller games tend to come in between 2GB and 6GB.  EG: Innerspace and Mario Odyssey.

Those with a 64GB card will probably decide after buying two or three big digital games that they don’t have the space for them and will instead only buy games in smaller sizes such as the 6GB Mario Odyssey.

My estimates suggest that using the Switch memory as well as a 64GB memory card will give you space for three big games and 11 smaller games before you start to feel cramped.  That’s around 86GB of space used.

For those that don’t think they can limit themselves to smaller games or think they will end up with more than 20 digital titles then the 128GB memory card is the way to go.


So what do you think?  Does this match your experience of using the Switch?
Do you think the Kingston memory card has plenty of performance for your needs?
Do you disagree with anything written here?

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