2018: The best Micro SD and External Hard Disk for hacking Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch is a game phenomenon, allowing you to play literally anywhere. There is a problem though, and this is the serious lack of dedicated storage space of the Switch. Technically, the Switch provides 32GB of internal memory, but only 25.9GB is available. At first, you can only use the SD card to expand the memory and currently thanks to CFW SX OS Team Xecuter, you can link an external hard drive with the Switch, and there it gives the possibility unlimited!

In this guide, we recommend the best micro SD and USB HDD cards for the Switch at the best prices and include the cheapest options for the full range of sizes.

We have also included a FAQ in which we will detail the best micro SD / HDD card, the importance of speed and the size / capacity you should aim for. We will also give you tips on how to move games between your internal memory and external memory and the best times to install them on your internal memory.

In short, if you just want to know which is the best and the cheapest Micro SD / HDD Switch, you are in the right place.

Nintendo Switch is now compatible with external HDD

Nintendo has kindly provided the Switch with a micro SD card slot, which allows you to insert a range of micro SD cards from 32 GB to 2 TB. The latter may not exist yet, but thankfully you can buy a DD USB to collect more downloaded roms.

Every Nintendo Switch holder will need a third-party storage device, even if you plan to buy all your cartridge games. The reason is that many of these games do not really fit on the cartridge and require a heavy download to get the rest of the content. DOOM is a good example. Then there are downloadable content updates and general updates – it all adds up.

FAQ on Micro SD and HDD cards for Nintendo Switch

Can you use any Micro SD and DD card for Nintendo Switch?

The Switch supports all UHS-I Micro SD, Micro SDHC or Micro SDXC cards but not hard drives. It is therefore necessary to choose the USB key or dd for your Switch. If you have no idea what this means, you do not need to worry, because you really need to look for cards and disks that the Switch does not support.

Given the small difference in speed between the different cards supported by the Switch, we recommend that you simply ignore this aspect and enter the cheapest possible. It really does not make much difference.

On the other hand, for hard disks, we recommend instead the brand Maxtor and Sandisk 500GB / 1TB / 2TB, and after the update sx os 2.2.1 beta, the CFW supports the extension of memory up to Pb level (1024 TB) !! But hey it’s not practical for the common users.

In addition, since cartridges are almost always slower than Micro SD and dd cards, you’ll get better loading speeds, whatever your preferences, and the dd is still faster than SD card.

Which micro SD card and speed hard drive should I buy?

At the moment, speed is not worth considering when you buy a memory device for your Nintendo Switch. The reason is that the Switch only supports UHS-1 cards, whose maximum speed is 104 MB / s. UHS-2 types are three times faster, with a speed of 312 MB / s, but that does not matter because the Switch does not currently support them.

And indeed, the OFW of Switch does not support the external dd it is the CFW SX OS which allows to connect the dd usb on the console!

While it is true that the speed between UHS-1 cards varies even, the differences are simply not perceptible enough to worry you. That’s why we focused only on the best value for money because the price difference between the prices of two micro SD cards is higher than the speed.

Which micro SD / HD card size / capacity should I buy?

It will take a long time before the 2 TB cards are available and, above all, affordable. At present, you typically have a choice of 512GB, 400GB, 256GB, 200GB and 128GB.

And fortunately we can use the hard drive on the console Switch, a 1TB dd costs only about 45$, and it’s very convenient to save the game ROMs Switch.

SanDisk has finally launched a USB dd with a capacity of 2TB, which is a fantastic option for Switch owners planning to download a lot of games, and the price is acceptable.

On the other hand, you can get a very economical 128GB Micro SD card, but it is likely that you fill it in a year or earlier with DLC downloads. We therefore recommend that you think long term and consider the Seagate 4TB, the best value for money at the moment.

Another approach would be to buy multiple cards and trade them according to the games you want to play – a little more effort, but potentially a functional method.

Which type / brand of micro SD / DD card is the best?

Nintendo Switch ideally wishes to have the fastest micro SD card to improve loading times; As a general rule, a good micro SD card surpasses Nintendo’s official game cards, which is a bonus for downloaders.

Whenever SD card technology has evolved, its speed is rated, you can usually get a “read speed” on the SD card you plan to buy. You should also note that micro SDXC is the newest and fastest type compared to the old micro SDHC.

The brands also offer “premium” versions of their products; An example is the SanDisk “Ultra” range, which is usually populated by the fastest cards.

And about the hard drive, we know that the HDD functional against is the SSD compatible or not? it’s not confirmed yet.

We recommend that you choose one of Sandisk’s premium offers if you can, but that should not make a huge difference for the average user.

Should I install all my games on a Micro SD or external HDD?

At the moment, speed is not worth considering when you buy a memory device for your Nintendo Switch. The reason is that the Switch only supports UHS-1 cards, whose maximum speed is 104 MB / s. UHS-2 types are three times faster, with a speed of 312 MB / s, but that does not matter because the Switch does not currently support them.

And indeed, the OFW of Switch does not support the external dd it is the CFW SX OS which allows to connect the dd usb on the console!

While it is true that the speed between UHS-1 cards varies even, the differences are simply not perceptible enough to worry you. That’s why we focused only on the best value for money because the price difference between the prices of two micro SD cards is higher than the speed.

How to move a game between Micro SD and internal storage, between SD card and USB hard drive?

Unfortunately, there is no easy way to quickly move a game from the micro SD to your internal storage. Instead, you will have to delete and download again.

Nevertheless, moving backups between SD card and USB dd is much simpler, everything will be fine on a PC!

When downloading a game, the Switch always favors the micro SD card compared to the internal memory. Therefore, to guarantee a download in the internal memory, you must first remove the micro SD card.

Turn off the switch before doing so to prevent data corruption, and then remove the micro SD / dd card from its slot. Switch on the switch, go to the online store and download the game you want to install on your internal storage. Once the download is complete, you can turn off your switch and reinsert the micro SD or dd card.

To move a game from the internal memory to the micro SD / dd card, reverse the steps. First, delete it or archive it, then download it while the micro SD card is in its slot. As the console favors the micro SD / dd compared to internal storage, it downloads there first, provided there is sufficient space, of course.

Do not be afraid to lose your backup files when deleting or archiving a game; they are stored in a different location and must be deleted separately. In addition, cloud backup is also a cure thanks to Nintendo Switch Online.