For obvious reasons, games downloaded from the eShop are installed on the Nintendo Switch. Even better, games purchased as physical media don't have to be installed to be played. However, rather than carrying cartridges around it'd be nice to install some games.

Can Nintendo Switch games purchased as cartridges be installed to the console?

  • 1
    Isn't the Switch's internal memory tiny? Regardless of whether you could, I'm not sure you should. Commented Mar 5, 2017 at 23:32
  • 5
    @DanmakuGrazer Switch does have a microSD slot supporting up to 2TB (iirc)
    – Elise
    Commented Mar 5, 2017 at 23:41

1 Answer 1


After going through all of the options on the console, the firm answer is: No.

I highly doubt Nintendo would ever offer the option to install from the Game Cards. They are already way faster than optical discs, so that isn't an argument. Frankly they'd rather make it harder to pirate games by forcing the need of the Game Card than make it easier for individuals with many physical purchases.

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    If you could do this, then you could install the cartridge onto your switch, then hand the cartridge to your friend who could do the same, and so on. No way Nintendo would allow that...
    – Kip
    Commented Mar 13, 2017 at 14:29
  • 1
    Well, they could allow you to install and then require the cartridge all the same. Internal storage is (slightly) quicker to access than cartridge [citation needed] and, at the very least, that saves battery [citation needed]
    – xDaizu
    Commented Mar 20, 2017 at 11:22
  • Microsoft was going to do it. I'm sure they can figure out a way. Honestly, on switch it makes way more sense. Since carrying cartridges is annoying.
    – Didier A.
    Commented Dec 26, 2017 at 1:04
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    one option could be to format the cartridge once you copy the game on to a switch. i guess they could also link the game to user logged in when the game was copied Commented Jan 12, 2018 at 11:03
  • 1
    well thats totally not a difficult thing to solve Commented Jan 13, 2018 at 21:29

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