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Data Management FAQ

Game Progress & Save Data

Where is game save data stored?

  • On Nintendo Switch, game save data is stored in the console’s system memory. This will not change whether downloadable software or software from a game card is being played.
  • Game save data cannot be saved or copied to a microSD card.

What happens if there is no more space in the system memory for your game save data?

You will need to free up space within System Settings > Data Management.

What happens to my game progress if I archive or delete my downloaded software?

The game save data is unaffected in either option, so you can resume your game progress once the software is redownloaded.

Can save data be used between physical and digital games on Nintendo Switch?

Save data is stored in the system memory, and for the most part it is associated with the individual user. So long as the same user is selected on the console, the save data will not be impacted whether the software is played from a game card or downloaded from Nintendo eShop.

How is save data affected by user accounts?

For the most part, save data is tied to each user account. Deleting a user account will delete all save data associated with that account. Once deleted, save data cannot be restored.

Expanding & Freeing Up Memory Space

Can I expand the memory space on Nintendo Switch?

Yes, a microSD card can be used to save screenshots and software data, including downloaded software, software updates, and DLC. For more information about using microSD cards on Nintendo Switch, click here.

What does archiving software do?

Archiving will allow you to delete downloaded software in order to free up space while preserving the software icon on the HOME Menu. You can redownload the software by selecting the icon. For more information, click here.

Can I also use an external USB drive?

External USB hard drives are not currently supported.

Extra Storage Requirements

Are there games that require a microSD card?

Some Nintendo Switch games will require that you purchase of an additional microSD card to play them. To verify whether a game has this requirement, check with the game's publisher.

How much extra storage space is needed to play these games?

It will vary by game. You can choose exactly how much additional storage space you want to buy, depending on the number and type of games you play, and the content you choose to download.

Does the extra storage requirement apply if I download the games, buy them in stores, or both?

For games that require additional storage, the requirement will apply to both physical and digital versions.

Will games that require an additional microSD card work at all without one?

If you purchase a physical version of a game that requires an additional microSD card, you will be able to play a portion of the game right out of the box (for example, specific levels or modes). To enjoy the full game, however, downloading additional data is required. Depending on the storage requirements for each game, it may be necessary to purchase a microSD card to expand storage space.

If you purchase a digital version of the game, it may also be necessary to purchase a microSD card depending on the game's storage requirements and the storage available on your Nintendo Switch console.

How do I know if I need to buy extra storage?

For the physical versions of these games, a notification will appear on both the front and back of the packaging.

For the digital versions of these games, you will see how much space the game requires in Nintendo eShop prior to purchase.