The Nintendo Switch library expanded heavily in 2019 thanks to big releases such as Astral Chain, Fire Emblem: Three Houses, Luigi’s Mansion 3, Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3, The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening and much more. 2020 is looking great as well with Animal Crossing: New Horizons and other titles on the way.
If you (or a loved one) are buying games digitally, have a lot of patch updates and/or DLC installed, you will quickly run out of space on the internal 32 GB flash memory that came pre-installed with the Switch. Fortunately, you can all more free space via Micro SD cards. Below, you can find out our buyer’s guide for the best Nintendo Switch compatible microSDXC cards to look out for in 2020.
Supported microSD Card Sizes
In addition to the aforementioned microSDXC, the Nintendo Switch also support microSD and microSDHC cards. With that said, the other two aren’t really worth investing due to the limited size options as the Nintendo Switch will only support microSD cards of up to 2 GB in addition to microSDHC of 4 GB to the maximum of 32 GB. On the other hand, the Switch is compatible with microSDXC of at least 64 GB.
With the amount of available Nintendo Switch games growing, as well as game file sizes ballooning, we highly recommend purchasing a compatible microSDXC card as opposed to microSD and microSDHC cards.
Compatible microSDXC card speeds
There are a few things to keep in mind while shopping for the Switch-compatible Micro SDXC cards. The first is the Ultra High Speed. Currently, the gaming system will only support Phase I; therefore, you should look for cards that are marked with “UHS-I” on the sticker and/or the packaging. While there are UHS-II and UHS-III cards on the market, the Switch will cap these faster cards to the UHS-I speed limit.
The other factor is transfer speed. The Nintendo Switch support transfer speeds of 60 MB per second to 95 MB per second. As we mentioned above, while there are microSDXC card with faster transfer times, the gaming system will cap the speed to a maximum of 95 MB/sec. With that said, it is highly recommended that you should buy a card of at least 95 MB per second in order to lower loading and transfer times as much as possible.
What Nintendo Switch data can be stored in a microSDXC Card
With a Micro SDXC Card, you will be able to install downloadable Switch games, downloadable content (or DLC for short), patch updates, captured videos and screenshots.
You will be able to move captured videos and screenshots freely from the card to the default 32 GB flash memory of the Switch. Unfortunately, you will have to delete and re-download Switch games, DLC and patch updates if you want to move these data types around from the Switch’s system memory to the microSDXC Card and vice versa.
One important note is that your save data will always be stored on your system’s internal memory. Currently, the only way to backup your saves is by becoming a member of Nintendo Online Service. Even then, a few games (such as Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee, Pokemon: Let’s Go, Pikachu, Splatoon 2 and others) don’t support save backup altogether.
Having one big capacity microSDXC card vs. multiple smaller microSDXC cards for Switch
So, is it better to have one big capacity microSDXC card for your Nintendo Switch or multiple smaller ones? In our opinion, having just one is better for a organizational standpoint as microSDXC cards are small and can be easily lost. It will also be a hassle moving data from one card to another card or to the system’s default flash memory. Not to mention that you will get a better value, in terms of dollar costs per GB, if you decide to go with bigger capacity cards.
Officially licensed vs. Generic Brand
In North America, SanDisk sells Micro SDXC UHS-I cards that have been officially licensed by Nintendo. However, we advised against picking these up as they are overpriced when compared to the generic SanDisk cards they provide the same functionality (not to mention that you will also have more size options available as well).
Best Switch compatible microSDXC cards for 2020
To recap everything we said above, we recommend purchasing a high capacity microSDXC card with UHS-I and transfer speed of at least 95 MB per second. Based on these criteria, the best option to look out for in 2020 is the Sandisk Ultra series as these cards are UHS-I with transfer speeds of 100 MB per second.
The brand come in the following sizes: 8 GB, 16 GB, 32 GB, 64 GB, 128 GB, 200 GB, 256 GB and 400 GB. We highly recommend getting at least the card with the capacity of 128 GB, especially if you or a loved one have a lot and/or planning to buy a lot of games digitally. With that said, the choice is ultimately up to you.
In 2019, Sandisk also added 512 GB and 1 TB size options. You can purchase our recommendations with the following links on Amazon:
- Sandisk Ultra 128 GB Micro SDXC UHS-I Card
- Sandisk Ultra 200 GB Micro SDXC UHS-I Card
- Sandisk Ultra 256 GB Micro SDXC UHS-I Card
- Sandisk Ultra 400 GB Micro SDXC UHS-I Card
- SanDisk Ultra 512GB Micro SDXC UHS-I Card
- SanDisk Extreme 1TB Micro PRO SDXC UHS-I Card
So, if you are planning to get a Nintendo Switch compatible microSDXC card, rather as a gift to yourself and/or a loved one, make sure to check out the Sandisk Ultra 128 GB, 200 GB, 256 GB and Micro SDXC UHS-I Cards.
You can also check out our buyer’s guides for other Switch accessories below: