Does Nintendo Switch Come With Games Pre-Installed?

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If you’re considering purchasing a Nintendo Switch, you may be wondering: does Nintendo Switch come with games pre-installed? After all, while the system itself offers a variety of features and capabilities, without games to play on it, it’s essentially just a fancy paperweight.

But before you make any assumptions about what does or doesn’t come included with your Nintendo Switch purchase, it’s important to do your research so that you know exactly what to expect.

In this article, we’ll dive into everything there is to know about whether or not the Nintendo Switch comes with games straight out of the box – from its bundled offerings and game cartridges to downloadable titles and more. So sit back and get ready for some expert insights!

Does Nintendo Switch Come With Games Pre-Installed
Image by Joshua Amaro from Pixabay

What Is The Nintendo Switch?

The Nintendo Switch is a hybrid video game console that can be used as both a handheld device and a home console. It was first released by Nintendo in March 2017, with the latest version being the OLED model released in October 2021.

The original Nintendo Switch comes with two Joy-Con controllers, a dock for connecting it to your TV, an HDMI cable, and an AC adapter. However, it does not come with any games. The newer OLED model also does not come with any pack-in games.

While the console itself doesn’t come with games, you’ll find that there are many options available for purchasing or downloading games separately from the console. The Nintendo eShop is where you can buy digital versions of popular titles like Animal Crossing: New Horizons and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. You can also find physical copies of these games at retail stores.

It’s worth noting that some special editions of the Nintendo Switch do come with pack-in games like Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe or Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild pre-installed on internal storage. These limited edition consoles are often marketed toward fans of those specific franchises.

If you don’t want to spend extra money on game purchases right away, don’t worry – there are still options available to start gaming immediately after buying the console!

Some free demos are available on the eShop, and some free-to-play multiplayer games like Fortnite support playing online without needing a paid Nintendo Switch Online membership service subscription.

Key Takeaway!

While the Nintendo Switch doesn’t include any pre-installed games in its standard package (except for select special edition models), it’s easy to purchase or download your own library of Nintendo Switch-compatible titles and get started playing right away!

Does The Nintendo Switch Come With Games?

Does The Nintendo Switch Come With Games?

If you’re wondering whether the Nintendo Switch comes with games, the short answer is no. The console itself does not come bundled with any pack-in games. However, certain special editions of the regular Nintendo Switch or Switch Lite may come with a digital download code for a specific game.

That being said, purchasing a new Nintendo Switch console will come with everything you need to play right out of the box. This includes the console itself, Joy-Con controllers and grip, an HDMI cable for TV mode, and an AC adapter to charge your console while in handheld mode.

While it may be disappointing that the Nintendo Switch doesn’t come with any pre-installed games or pack-ins like some other consoles, do, there are plenty of options available on the market – both physical and digital – that you can buy separately from the console.

The Nintendo eShop offers a wide variety of titles ranging from popular first-party franchises such as Mario and Legend of Zelda to independently created games by various developers. You can also play multiplayer games online by purchasing a Nintendo Switch Online membership.

If you don’t want to spend money on buying individual titles right away, free demos are also available on the eShop.

Overall, while it would be nice if every Nintendo Switch came with at least one game included in its original packaging like some other consoles do, fortunately, getting started isn’t too difficult since everything else is already neatly packed into its box!

Types Of Games Available On The Nintendo Switch

Types Of Games Available On The Nintendo Switch

When it comes to games on the Nintendo Switch, there are several types available. Let’s take a look at some of the most common types:

  • Physical Games: These are traditional game cartridges that you can insert into your Nintendo Switch console. Many popular games like Mario and Legend of Zelda come in physical form.
  • Digital Games: You can also download games from the Nintendo eShop directly onto your console’s internal storage or an SD card if you need more space. This allows for easy access and portability without needing to carry around physical cartridges.
  • Pre-Installed Games: Some special editions of the Nintendo Switch may come with pre-installed games such as Animal Crossing or Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.

It’s important to note that while the console itself doesn’t come with any pack-in games, buying a new system usually gives you access to free demos or trials for certain titles.

The library of Nintendo Switch games is constantly growing so there is no shortage of options for gaming on this platform. Whether you prefer single-player experiences like Breath of The Wild or multiplayer fun like Super Smash Bros Ultimate, there is something for everyone!

Physical Games

If you’re looking to buy physical games for your Nintendo Switch, you’ll be happy to know that the console supports both retail and used games.

Physical games are sold in cartridges that are similar to an SD card. The cartridges can be easily inserted into the console’s cartridge slot located at the top of the unit.

The Nintendo Switch has 32GB of internal storage, but physical game cartridges do not take up any of this space since they are separate from the system’s memory. This means that as long as you have enough physical game cartridges on hand, you don’t need to worry about running out of storage space on your console!

One thing to keep in mind is that some games require additional downloads or updates, even if you purchased them physically. This is because certain parts of the game may only be available through digital download or because there were post-release patches made available after manufacturing.

It’s also worth noting that while most physical games can be played offline without issue, there are some multiplayer titles where each player must have their own copy of the game and their own set of Joy-Con controllers or compatible wireless controllers.

Overall, purchasing physical games offers a tangible ownership experience and can often come with special pack-in bonuses like stickers or collectible items. However, if portability is important to you or if you’d prefer a wider selection of games beyond what may be stocked at local retailers, then digital downloads may also be worth considering!

Digital Games

If you’re wondering whether the Nintendo Switch comes with any pre-installed games, the answer is no. However, it’s important to note that some special editions of the console do come with a pack-in game.

That being said, there are plenty of digital games available for download on the Nintendo eShop. The Switch comes with 32GB of internal storage (or 64GB if you buy the OLED model), which should be enough to hold a few games. If you don’t want to spend money on physical cartridges, downloading games digitally is another option.

The library of Nintendo Switch games is constantly growing and includes everything from multiplayer hits like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Animal Crossing: New Horizons to single-player adventures like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

To download games from the eShop, you’ll need a Nintendo Account and an active internet connection. Some games support online multiplayer, so if you plan on playing those specific titles, you’ll also need a Nintendo Switch Online membership.

While it may be disappointing that the console doesn’t come with any free demos or pre-installed games out-of-the-box, buying a Switch gives you access to some amazing gaming experiences without having to purchase additional accessories separately from the console itself.

Pre-Installed Games

The Nintendo Switch comes with a few pre-installed games that are ready to play right out of the box. These include:

  • Animal Crossing: New Horizons (for the special edition console)
  • Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (for the standard and OLED model consoles)

It’s worth noting that these games come pre-installed on the system itself, so you don’t need to buy them separately or download them from the Nintendo eShop. However, if these aren’t your cup of tea, you’ll need to purchase additional games separately.

While having pre-installed games is a nice perk, it’s important to note that they may not be everyone’s preferred choice. If you’re buying a Nintendo Switch solely for one specific game or genre, then buying the console bundled with another game you’re not interested in may not be the best deal for you.

That being said, having pre-installed games does give new owners something to play around with while they figure out what other titles they want to add to their library. And if you do enjoy these pre-installed games, it’s just icing on the cake!

Other Features Of The Nintendo Switch

Besides the games, the Nintendo Switch console also offers a variety of other features that make it a popular choice for gamers.

One of the most notable features is online play, which allows you to play with friends and other players from around the world. To access this feature, you’ll need to have a Nintendo Switch Online membership.

Parental controls are another useful feature that allow parents to set limits on their children’s gaming time and content. This can help ensure that kids are only playing appropriate games and not spending too much time gaming.

Cloud saves are also available for Nintendo Switch users with an active membership, allowing you to back up your saved game data in case something happens to your console or if you want to switch between multiple devices.

The Joy-Con controllers provide unique motion-based gameplay experiences, while the dock allows gamers to connect their console to a TV or monitor via HDMI cable. The AC adapter ensures that the console stays powered up during long gaming sessions.

Overall, there’s more than just gaming on offer with the Nintendo Switch. From online multiplayer functionality to parental controls and cloud saves, this versatile device has something for everyone – whether seasoned gamers or newbies!

Online Play

One of the key features that sets the Nintendo Switch apart from other consoles is its emphasis on online play. With a Nintendo Switch Online membership, players can enjoy online multiplayer gaming, access to classic NES and SNES games, cloud saves for their game data, and more.

To use online play on your Nintendo Switch console or Switch Lite, you’ll need an internet connection and a paid subscription to Nintendo Switch Online. This service gives you access to a library of digital games that support online multiplayer functionality, as well as the ability to download demos of select titles for free.

Some popular games that support online play on the Nintendo Switch include Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Additionally, it’s worth noting that certain games do not support online multiplayer functionality.

Keep in mind that while playing games online with others can be a fun experience, it’s important to prioritize safety when playing with strangers. Make sure always to use parental controls if necessary and report any inappropriate behavior or content you encounter while playing.

Overall, if you enjoy playing games with friends or family members who are located elsewhere or just want access to more digital titles beyond those available physically through cartridges/discs – opting for a subscription-based service like Nintendo Switch Online can be a great way to expand your gaming horizons!

Parental Controls

One of the great features of the Nintendo Switch is its parental controls. Parents can limit their children’s playtime, set restrictions on online interactions, and even restrict access to certain games based on their ESRB rating.

To set up parental controls on your Nintendo Switch, you will need to create a separate Parental Controls PIN from your regular PIN. This allows you to control what games your child has access to and how long they can play each day.

Additionally, with a Nintendo Switch Online membership, parents can enable “Smartphone App Parental Controls,” which lets them monitor their child’s gaming activity remotely through an app.

It’s important for parents to utilize these features in order to ensure that their child is playing age-appropriate games and isn’t spending too much time gaming.

With over 4,000 titles available on the eShop (including popular ones like Animal Crossing: New Horizons and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe), it can be tempting for kids (and adults) alike to spend hours upon hours playing without any limits in place.

Overall, the parental control features are just one of many ways that demonstrate why the Nintendo Switch is such a versatile console suitable for family usage!

Cloud Saves

Cloud saves are a great feature of the Nintendo Switch that allows you to back up your game data to the cloud, which can be incredibly useful if you ever lose or break your console. You can also use cloud saves to transfer your game data between multiple consoles.

You’ll need a paid subscription to the Nintendo Switch Online service to use cloud saves on the Nintendo Switch. Once you have a membership, all of your save data will be automatically backed up to the cloud as long as you’re connected to Wi-Fi.

Not all games support cloud saves, so it’s important to check before assuming that all of your game data is safe and sound in the cloud. Additionally, certain games may have restrictions on how their saved data can be used and transferred between consoles.

Overall, having access to cloud saves is a great way to protect your valuable game progress and make sure that it’s always available when you need it.

As long as you have an active subscription to Nintendo Switch Online and are connected online regularly, this feature should give you peace of mind knowing that even if something happens with your physical console or storage space runs out in its internal storage (which has 32GB), everything saved in there is securely stored on Cloud.

Voice Chat

The Nintendo Switch has the ability to use voice chat, but it requires an additional app on your smartphone. The Nintendo Switch Online app is available for both iOS and Android devices and allows you to voice chat with other players while playing certain games.

It’s important to note that not all games support voice chat through the app, so be sure to check if the game you’re playing is compatible. Additionally, some games require a paid Nintendo Switch Online membership to access features such as voice chat.

While using this feature can enhance your gaming experience by allowing you to communicate with friends or teammates, it’s worth noting that there are some limitations. Using the app means juggling both your console and smartphone at the same time which may not be convenient for everyone.

Overall, using voice chat on the Nintendo Switch can provide an extra layer of communication during gameplay but keep in mind that not all games support this option, and it requires additional setup outside of just owning the console itself.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, the Nintendo Switch does not come with any games unless you purchase a special bundle that includes a pack-in game. However, the console gives you access to a vast library of Nintendo Switch games that you can buy and download digitally from the Nintendo eShop. You can also buy physical copies of games separately from the console.

When buying a Nintendo Switch, it’s important to consider whether or not you want to spend extra money on purchasing games separately. Additionally, if you plan on playing multiplayer games online, you will need to purchase a separate Nintendo Switch Online membership.

While the original Nintendo Switch comes with 32GB of internal storage, this may not be enough if you plan on downloading many digital games. The new OLED model comes with 64GB of internal storage, which is double than what was previously available.

Overall, when buying the console itself, keep in mind that it doesn’t come with any pack-in or pre-installed games so make sure to set aside some budget for game purchases or look for bundles if they fit your needs and preferences.

Espen is the Director of ProPairing


Espen is the Director of ProPairing and has written extensively about Bluetooth devices for years. He is a consumer product expert and has personally tested Bluetooth devices for the last decade.

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