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Are Nintendo Switch games saved on the cartridge?

Because nobody wants to lose their progress.

nintendo switch joy-con controllers
Image: Unsplash

Quick Answer: No, Nintendo game save files live on the Nintendo Switch console’s onboard memory, not on game cartridges.

The Nintendo Switch might be selling like hotcakes, but that’s in spite of a few questionable design decisions by Nintendo. I mean, the 32GB of onboard storage fills up pretty quickly.

Zelda: Breath of the Wild is over 13GB, and that’s without accounting for the operating system or game save files.

Considering the restriction on space, one might expect the ability to back up save files, store them on SD cards or game cartridges, or even upload them to the cloud.

Only some of these things can be done, so read on to find which:

So, are your Nintendo Switch save files stored on the cartridge?

Short answer: No

Nintendo, in its inestimable wisdom, decided that game save files would live on the Nintendo Switch console’s onboard memory, not on game cartridges. I can only imagine some of that was because of the 32GB storage limit of the game cartridges.

What’s more, until recently, you couldn’t even transfer those save files off the console, making your game progress tied to the hardware. Because, of course, consoles never break, get lost, or stolen, right Ninty?

READ MORE: How to change your region on the Switch

If you pay for Nintendo Switch Online, you can back up most, but not all, of your game, saves to the cloud. Yay, finally, Nintendo’s latest console (almost) has all of the modern conveniences we’ve become accustomed to.

Surprised that the Switch doesn’t store saves on the game cards? How do you backup your game files? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Maker, meme-r, and unabashed geek with nearly half a decade of blogging experience at KnowTechie, SlashGear and XDA Developers. If it runs on electricity (or even if it doesn't), Joe probably has one around his office somewhere, with particular focus in gadgetry and handheld gaming. Shoot him an email at joe@knowtechie.com.

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