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How Big Are Nintendo Switch Games To Download



Nintendo Switch has soared in popularity since its release, captivating gamers worldwide with its innovative design and extensive game library. As a Nintendo Switch owner, it is essential to understand the download sizes of games, as it directly impacts the storage space on the console. This article aims to shed light on the file sizes of Nintendo Switch games and provide valuable insights for managing game storage.

With the Nintendo Switch revolutionizing gaming on the go, many gamers have eagerly expanded their library of digital game downloads. However, as more games are added, it becomes necessary to effectively manage the available storage space on the console. Knowing the file sizes of games is crucial in making informed decisions about which games to download and how many can comfortably fit.

Understanding the factors that contribute to the varying file sizes of Nintendo Switch games is essential. Game developers utilize a range of factors such as graphics, audio quality, and game length to create immersive experiences. As a result, games can vary significantly in size, ranging from a few hundred megabytes to several gigabytes.

By being aware of the average file sizes of popular Nintendo Switch games, gamers can plan their storage and make informed choices when choosing which games to download. Additionally, learning effective storage management techniques can maximize storage capacity and ensure a diverse game library is readily available at all times.

Throughout this article, we will explore the factors that contribute to the varying file sizes of Nintendo Switch games, uncover the average sizes of some popular titles, and provide practical tips for managing game storage. By the end, you will have a comprehensive understanding of Nintendo Switch game file sizes and the necessary knowledge to optimize storage on your console.


Understanding Nintendo Switch Game File Sizes

When it comes to understanding Nintendo Switch game file sizes, there are a few key factors to consider. The first and most obvious is the game’s content itself. Games with rich and detailed graphics, expansive open worlds, and high-quality audio tend to have larger file sizes. On the other hand, simpler games with pixel art or retro-inspired visuals may have smaller file sizes.

Another important factor to consider is whether the game is a digital-only release or if it also has a physical cartridge version. In some cases, games released physically may require additional downloads or updates, resulting in larger file sizes if you opt for the digital version. It’s always a good idea to check the game’s details and requirements before purchasing or downloading.

The length and complexity of a game also play a role in its file size. Games with extensive single-player campaigns, multiple game modes, and online multiplayer features often have larger file sizes. This is because these games require more assets, such as levels, character models, and audio files, to provide the diverse gameplay experience they offer.

Furthermore, game updates and patches can also contribute to the overall file size. Developers regularly release updates to fix bugs, introduce new features, or enhance gameplay. These updates often include additional content or improvements to existing assets, leading to increased file sizes. While these updates are essential for keeping games up to date, they can impact available storage space.

It’s worth noting that while some games may have larger file sizes, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are better in terms of gameplay or quality. Many indie games, for example, have small file sizes but offer exceptional gaming experiences. Understanding file sizes helps you make informed decisions based on your preferences and available storage space.

In the next section, we will explore the average file sizes of some popular Nintendo Switch games, which will give you a good idea of what to expect when it comes to managing your storage. It’s important to strike a balance between downloading games you enjoy and ensuring you have enough space for future releases.


Factors Affecting Nintendo Switch Game Sizes

The file size of Nintendo Switch games can vary significantly due to various factors. Understanding these factors can give gamers insight into why certain games take up more storage space than others. Here are some key factors that influence Nintendo Switch game sizes:

  1. Graphics and Visual Complexity: Games with high-quality graphics, detailed textures, and complex visual effects typically have larger file sizes. The more visually appealing the game, the more assets it requires, such as character models, environments, and animations, resulting in increased file sizes.
  2. Audio Quality: The quality of the game’s audio, including sound effects, background music, and voice acting, can contribute to larger file sizes. Games with immersive soundscapes and high-fidelity audio require more storage space to accommodate the audio assets.
  3. Game Length and Content: The duration and scope of a game impact its file size. Games with extensive single-player campaigns, multiple storylines, and side quests typically have larger file sizes as they require more levels, missions, and dialogue scripts. Furthermore, games with robust multiplayer modes and online features often have additional assets for seamless online gameplay.
  4. Downloadable Content (DLC): Many Nintendo Switch games offer additional content through downloadable content (DLC), which can increase the overall file size. DLC includes expansion packs, new levels, characters, costumes, and more. It’s important to consider the potential file size impact of future DLC when managing storage.
  5. Optimization and Compression: Game developers use optimization techniques and file compression to minimize file sizes while maintaining game quality. Different development studios implement varying levels of optimization, resulting in differences in file sizes for games with similar content.
  6. Physical vs. Digital Releases: Games released physically on cartridges may have smaller initial file sizes compared to their digital counterparts. However, some physical games may require additional downloads or updates, increasing the overall file size. Digital-only releases often include all necessary content in the initial download.
  7. Patches and Updates: Game developers regularly release patches and updates to address bugs, improve performance, and introduce new features. These updates can also impact file sizes, as they may include additional assets or replace existing files. Keeping games updated ensures optimal gameplay experience but requires additional storage.

By considering these factors, gamers can better manage their Nintendo Switch game storage and make informed decisions when downloading new titles. It’s essential to balance storage limitations with the desire for immersive gaming experiences, ensuring a diverse library of games while keeping enough space available for future releases.


Average File Sizes of Popular Nintendo Switch Games

Understanding the average file sizes of popular Nintendo Switch games can help gamers plan their storage more effectively. Here are some examples of the file sizes for well-known titles:

  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild: One of the most acclaimed games on the Nintendo Switch, Breath of the Wild has an average file size of approximately 13.4 GB. This open-world adventure offers stunning visuals, immersive gameplay, and a vast map to explore.
  • Splatoon 2: Nintendo’s popular competitive multiplayer game, Splatoon 2, has an average file size of around 5.6 GB. With its vibrant visuals and fast-paced gameplay, this ink-splatting shooter provides exciting online battles.
  • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate: The ultimate crossover fighting game, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, has an average file size of about 16 GB. With a massive roster of iconic characters and various game modes, this title offers endless fun for Nintendo fans.
  • Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield: The latest entries in the Pokémon series, Sword and Shield, have average file sizes of approximately 10.3 GB each. These games introduce a new region, new Pokémon, and exciting adventures for trainers to embark on.
  • Animal Crossing: New Horizons: This beloved life simulation game has an average file size of around 6.2 GB. Join the deserted island getaway and build a thriving community in this charming and relaxing gameplay experience.

It’s important to note that these file sizes are approximate and can vary based on updates, patches, or downloadable content associated with each game. Additionally, newer games and more graphically intensive titles tend to have larger file sizes compared to older or less visually complex games.

Managing storage space on your Nintendo Switch can be challenging, especially with a growing collection of games. To optimize storage, consider deleting games you no longer play or archive them to a microSD card for future use. Utilizing external storage can significantly expand the available space for downloading new titles.

Now that you have an idea of the average file sizes for popular Nintendo Switch games, you can make more informed decisions when curating your gaming library and allocating storage space.


Tips for Managing Nintendo Switch Game Storage

As the library of Nintendo Switch games continues to grow, efficiently managing storage space on the console becomes crucial. Here are some tips to help you optimize your Nintendo Switch game storage:

  1. Delete Unused Games: Regularly review your game library and delete titles that you no longer play or have completed. This frees up valuable storage space for new games.
  2. Archive Games to a microSD Card: Take advantage of the Nintendo Switch’s capability to archive games to a microSD card. This allows you to preserve your game progress while freeing up internal storage.
  3. Invest in a High-Capacity microSD Card: Upgrade your storage capacity by purchasing a high-capacity microSD card. This provides ample space for downloading and storing more games.
  4. Consider Digital vs. Physical Purchases: Carefully evaluate whether to purchase physical cartridges or digital copies of games. Physical cartridges may require less initial storage space, but keep in mind that select games still have significant download requirements.
  5. Optimize Game Updates: Keep your games up to date, but manage updates strategically. If you have limited storage available, prioritize updates for games you actively play. You can selectively download updates for other games at a later time.
  6. Manage Downloaded DLC: If you download downloadable content (DLC) for games, consider deleting unused or completed DLC to free up space. You can always redownload DLC later if needed.
  7. Use Nintendo Switch Online Cloud Saves: Subscribe to Nintendo Switch Online to access cloud saves. This allows you to delete games from your console without losing your save data, freeing up space while preserving progress.
  8. Monitor and Organize Game Data: Regularly check the game data on your Nintendo Switch and remove unnecessary screenshots, videos, and other data that may take up storage space.
  9. Consider Game Streaming: For some games, consider streaming options rather than downloading them. Streaming allows you to play games without utilizing storage space on your console.
  10. External Hard Drive: If you require even more storage, consider connecting an external hard drive to your Nintendo Switch. This is especially useful for gamers with extensive libraries.

By implementing these tips, you can effectively manage your Nintendo Switch game storage and ensure you always have space available for new game downloads. Optimizing storage allows you to enjoy a diverse gaming experience without constantly worrying about running out of space.



Understanding the file sizes of Nintendo Switch games is essential for effectively managing storage space on the console. By considering factors such as graphics, audio quality, game length, and updates, gamers can make informed decisions about which games to download and how to optimize their storage.

Knowing the average file sizes of popular Nintendo Switch games provides valuable insight into what to expect when it comes to managing storage. With games like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Splatoon 2, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Pokémon Sword and Shield, and Animal Crossing: New Horizons showcasing varying file sizes, gamers can make informed decisions based on their preferences and available storage space.

Implementing tips for managing Nintendo Switch game storage, such as deleting unused games, archiving to a microSD card, investing in a high-capacity microSD card, and strategically managing game updates, can help optimize available storage space. Additionally, considering the use of Nintendo Switch Online cloud saves or external hard drives can provide further flexibility and expand storage capacity as needed.

With the ever-expanding library of Nintendo Switch games, it’s important to strike a balance between building a diverse game collection and ensuring enough space for new releases. By managing storage effectively, gamers can enjoy their favorite games while staying prepared for future gaming experiences.

So, whether you’re embarking on epic adventures in Breath of the Wild or participating in thrilling multiplayer battles in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, understanding and managing Nintendo Switch game storage is crucial for a seamless gaming experience. Stay organized, prioritize your game library, and make the most of your storage to fully enjoy the vast world of Nintendo Switch gaming.

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