Do Nintendo Switch Games Cost Money? A Guide to Purchasing and Downloading Games

Nintendo Switch is one of the hottest gaming consoles out there in the market that has captured everyone’s attention with its versatility and easy accessibility. This platform allows you to play the games of your choice on-the-go and continue playing them at home on a bigger screen. But one question that still lingers in the minds of many is, do Nintendo Switch games cost money? Well, the answer is an absolute yes!

There is a massive collection of games available on Nintendo Switch, ranging from simple, easy-to-play ones to some of the most challenging and complex games that keep players engaged for hours on end. However, all of these games, without exception, do come with a price tag. As the saying goes you get what you pay for and Nintendo Switch games are no different, although the good news is there are many games available starting at as little as $10.

The beauty of the Nintendo Switch platform is that it offers what no other gaming system has ever offered before, a hybrid console that can easily switch from a portable unit to a home console. With this flexibility, Nintendo Switch has given its fans an unforgettable gaming experience that they can take with them anywhere. In conclusion, Nintendo Switch games might come at a price, but it’s worth every cent, as it can provide hours of entertainment, shared experiences, and unforgettable memories.

Types of Nintendo Switch Games

When it comes to buying Nintendo Switch games, it can be overwhelming to decide which ones to purchase and whether they come with a cost. Here, we’ll explore the different types of Nintendo Switch games available.

  • Physical Games: These games come in the form of a cartridge that you insert into your Nintendo Switch console. Physical games can be purchased from retailers such as GameStop, Best Buy, and Walmart. They are usually priced between $40 to $60.
  • Digital Games: These games can be downloaded directly onto your Nintendo Switch console from the Nintendo eShop. They are usually priced the same as physical games, and sometimes there are even exclusive discounts for digital purchases.
  • Free-to-play Games: These games are free to download and play, but may have in-game purchases. Examples of free-to-play games on the Nintendo Switch include Fortnite, Apex Legends, and Brawlhalla.

Downloadable Content (DLC)

It’s not just the games themselves that can come with a cost. Downloadable Content (DLC) adds new content to existing games and can also come with a price tag.

DLC can include new characters, levels, or items. Prices for DLC can vary widely from around $5 to $30 depending on the amount of new content being added.

Subscription Services

Nintendo offers a subscription service called Nintendo Switch Online, which allows players to access online features for certain games, save game data to the cloud, and play classic NES and SNES games. The service costs $3.99 per month, $7.99 for three months, or $19.99 for a year.

Plan Price
1-month $3.99
3-month $7.99
12-month $19.99

Overall, there are various types of Nintendo Switch games that can come with different costs. It’s important to consider your budget and gaming preferences when deciding which games to purchase.

The Cost of Nintendo Switch Games

One of the most significant factors to consider when purchasing a Nintendo Switch is the cost of the games. While there are a variety of games available for free download, many of the most popular titles come with a price tag. Understanding the cost of Nintendo Switch games can help you make informed decisions about which games to purchase and when.

  • Full Retail Games – Full retail games are the most expensive types of games available for the Nintendo Switch, with prices ranging from $40 to $60. These games are typically high-quality, with detailed graphics and intricate gameplay. They are also often created by well-known gaming studios and offer hours of entertainment.
  • Indie Games – Indie games are often less expensive than full retail games, with prices that range from $10 to $30. These games are usually created by smaller, independent studios, and offer unique gameplay experiences. While they may not have the same level of graphics as full retail games, many indie games are known for their creativity and originality.
  • Free Games with In-Game Purchases – Some games on the Nintendo Switch are available to download for free, but offer in-game purchases that allow players to unlock new features or advance more quickly through the game. While the initial cost is low, players who choose to make in-game purchases may end up spending more money than they would on a full retail game.

It is also worth noting that the cost of Nintendo Switch games may vary depending on whether you purchase the game digitally or in physical form. While digital versions of games offer the convenience of being playable without needing a physical disc, they often cost more than physical copies. Additionally, physical copies of games can often be purchased second-hand or during sales, which can significantly reduce the cost.

Overall, when considering the cost of Nintendo Switch games, it’s important to think about your budget, the type of gameplay experience you are looking for, and whether you prefer physical or digital copies of games. By carefully weighing these factors, you can make informed decisions about which games to purchase and how much you are willing to invest in your gaming experience.

Types of Games Price Range
Full Retail Games $40 – $60
Indie Games $10 – $30
Free Games with In-Game Purchases Variable

Understanding the cost of Nintendo Switch games can help you create a budget and make informed decisions about which games to purchase. By taking into account the types of games available and the price range of each, you can create a gaming experience that is both enjoyable and affordable.

Free-to-Play Nintendo Switch Games

One of the perks of owning a Nintendo Switch is that you can play a variety of games without spending a dime. These games are known as Free-to-Play (F2P) games which are available with no upfront cost, but may offer in-game purchases or microtransactions.

  • Fortnite: Epic Games’ popular battle royale game is free to play on Nintendo Switch. The game involves scavenging for weapons and resources to fight other players until you are the last one standing. The game offers constant updates and new items, as well as cross-platform play with other consoles.
  • Dauntless: This cooperative monster hunting game is available for free on Nintendo Switch. Players team up to take down giant beasts and craft new weapons and armor from the materials they collect. The game also features cross-platform play with other consoles, including PC and Xbox.
  • Brawlhalla: This fast-paced fighting game is free to play on Nintendo Switch. Players can compete in online matches with up to eight players, customize their characters, and unlock new content as they progress. The game also features cross-play with other consoles, including PC, Xbox, and PlayStation.

Free-to-Play games are a great way to enjoy your Nintendo Switch without spending any money. Just remember to keep an eye on in-game purchases and don’t spend more than you can afford.

Here is a table showing a few other free-to-play games you can enjoy on Nintendo Switch:

Game Title Developer Genre
Warframe Digital Extremes Action RPG
Paladins Hi-Rez Studios Hero Shooter
Realm Royale Hi-Rez Studios Battle Royale

There are many Free-to-Play games available on Nintendo Switch, so be sure to check them out and find the ones that suit your interests.

How to Purchase Nintendo Switch Games

One of the biggest draws of the Nintendo Switch is its incredible library of games. With everything from beloved classic titles to new releases, there’s something for everyone on the Switch. But, do Nintendo Switch games cost money? The answer is yes, most games on the Nintendo Switch do come with a price tag. However, there are a variety of ways to purchase these games, including both physical and digital options.

  • Physical Purchases: If you prefer having a physical copy of your games, purchasing them at a brick-and-mortar store or through an online retailer is the way to go. You can find physical copies of Nintendo Switch games at stores like GameStop, Best Buy, and Target. Keep in mind that prices may vary between locations and retailers.
  • Digital Purchases: Alternatively, you can purchase Nintendo Switch games digitally through the Nintendo eShop. This allows you to download the game directly to your console, without the need for a physical cartridge. Games purchased digitally are tied to your Nintendo Account, so you’ll be able to download them to any Switch you own.
  • Online Subscriptions: Some games on the Switch require an online subscription in order to play online multiplayer. Nintendo Switch Online is the official online subscription service for the console. For a yearly fee, you can access online multiplayer, a library of classic games, and exclusive deals and discounts on games.

If you’re looking to save money on Nintendo Switch games, it’s worth keeping an eye out for sales and discounts. Both physical and digital games go on sale at various times throughout the year, so be sure to check back regularly. Additionally, many retailers offer special discounts to members of their loyalty programs.

Finally, it’s worth noting that some Nintendo Switch games are free-to-play, meaning you can download and play them for free. However, many of these free games also feature in-app purchases, so be sure to read the fine print before you start playing.

Method Pros Cons
Physical Purchases – Ownership of a physical copy
– Resale value
– No internet connection required
– Limited storage space
– Can be lost or damaged
– Need to physically switch out cartridges to change games
Digital Purchases – No need for physical storage
– Can be downloaded to any Switch
– Can be pre-ordered and pre-loaded
– Tied to your Nintendo Account
– Can’t be resold or traded in
– Requires internet connection

Overall, purchasing Nintendo Switch games is relatively straightforward. Whether you prefer physical copies or digital downloads, there are plenty of options available. Keep an eye out for discounts and sales, and don’t be afraid to shop around to find the best deal.

Hidden Costs of Nintendo Switch Games

While Nintendo Switch games can provide hours of entertainment, there are some hidden costs that players should be aware of. Here are 5 things to look out for:

  • DLC (Downloadable Content): Many popular games come with optional content that can be downloaded for an additional fee. This includes things like new levels, characters, and items.
  • Microtransactions: Some games offer in-game purchases for things like extra lives or in-game currency. These can add up quickly, especially if players are tempted to buy them repeatedly.
  • Subscription Services: Some Nintendo Switch games require a subscription service to access certain features, such as online multiplayer modes. This can cost players a monthly or annual fee.
  • Accessories: While not directly related to the games themselves, some titles work better with additional accessories like controllers or steering wheels. These can be an added expense for players who want the best experience.
  • Upgrades: Finally, some games receive updates that add new features or fix bugs. While these are often free, some titles require players to purchase an upgraded version of the game to access them.

DLC (Downloadable Content)

Downloadable content (DLC) is an increasingly common way for game publishers to generate additional revenue after the initial release of a title. While many DLCs are purely cosmetic, others can significantly add to the gameplay experience.

For example, in the popular game “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild,” players can purchase an additional storyline called “The Champions’ Ballad” for $19.99. This includes new quests, armor, and items, as well as the ability to control a new character.

It’s important to note that not all DLCs are worth the cost. Some add very little to the game, while others feel like they should have been included in the original release. Players should carefully consider the value of each DLC before making a purchase.


Microtransactions are small purchases made within a game, often for virtual goods like in-game currency or extra lives. While these may seem inconsequential on their own, they can add up quickly.

In the game “Fortnite,” for example, players can purchase “V-Bucks” with real money. These V-Bucks can then be used to buy new outfits, dances, and other cosmetic items. While this doesn’t affect gameplay directly, it can be an enticing way for players to show off their style to others. However, V-Bucks can quickly become expensive, with 1000 costing $7.99.

It’s important for players to set a budget for how much they are willing to spend on microtransactions, as they can become a slippery slope. Some games also offer parental controls to limit the amount of money that can be spent, which can be helpful for parents who are concerned about their children overspending.

Subscription Services

While many Nintendo Switch games can be played offline, some require a subscription service in order to access certain features. The Nintendo Switch Online service is a prime example of this, which offers online play, cloud saves, and access to a library of classic games.

The Nintendo Switch Online service costs $3.99 per month, $7.99 for three months, or $19.99 per year. While this is a relatively small amount, it can add up over time. It’s important for players to consider whether they will be using the online features enough to warrant the cost of the subscription.


While the Nintendo Switch comes with everything needed to play games out of the box, some games work better with additional accessories. For example, racing games like “Mario Kart 8 Deluxe” can be played with just the Joy-Con controllers, but playing with a steering wheel accessory can enhance the experience significantly.

Accessory costs can vary widely, from relatively cheap items like screen protectors to more expensive controllers like the Pro Controller, which costs $69.99. Players should consider whether the accessory is necessary for the game they want to play, and whether the added cost is worth the improved gameplay experience.


Finally, some games receive updates that add new features or fix bugs. While these are often free, some titles require players to purchase an upgraded version of the game to access them.

Game Upgrade Cost
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate $29.99 for Fighter Pass (adds 5 new playable characters, new stages, and music)
Animal Crossing: New Horizons $29.99 for Expansion Pass (adds new content throughout 2022, including new seasonal events, islands, and items)
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe $14.99 for additional DLC (adds new characters, karts, and tracks)

While some upgrades can significantly improve the game experience, players should also consider whether they will actually take advantage of the new content. Additionally, some games release “Game of the Year” editions that include all updates and DLC at a discounted price, so waiting for these can be a good way to save money on upgrades.

Overall, Nintendo Switch games can provide hours of entertainment, but players should be aware of the potential hidden costs. By weighing the value of each purchase, setting budgets, and considering when to wait for upgrades, players can enjoy games without breaking the bank.

Best Deals on Nintendo Switch Games

As a Nintendo Switch gamer, you may often wonder if there are ways you can save money when purchasing games. Fortunately, there are various deals and discounts that you can take advantage of to make sure you are getting the best value for your money. In this article, we will be discussing the best deals on Nintendo Switch games that you should check out.

  • Black Friday and Cyber Monday Sales: The Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales are definitely the best time to purchase Nintendo Switch games at discounted rates. During the sales, retailers such as Amazon, Best Buy, and Target offer significant price cuts on a wide range of Nintendo Switch games.
  • Nintendo eShop Sale: From time to time, Nintendo offers deals and discounts of up to 50% on their eShop. This platform houses a huge collection of digital games and it’s a great time to purchase your favorite Nintendo games at discounted prices. Make sure to check the eShop regularly for amazing deals.
  • Bundle Deals: Various retailers offer bundle deals that include Nintendo Switch games and accessories. These bundles can save you money as they offer discounts when you purchase a game alongside other accessories such as controllers.

Aside from the deals mentioned above, there are other ways to ensure you are getting the best value for your money when purchasing Nintendo Switch games. Below is a table showing prices of some popular Nintendo Switch games on Amazon:

Game Title Price
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild $49.94
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe $59.88
Animal Crossing: New Horizons $45.99

Remember to keep an eye out for deals on Nintendo Switch games and make sure to purchase during sales and promotions to get the best value for your money.

Tips for Saving Money on Nintendo Switch Games

As a gamer, it can be tempting to buy every new release, but that can quickly add up. Fortunately, there are several ways to save money on Nintendo Switch games. Here are some tips:

  • Buy Used Games – One of the most obvious ways to save money on games is to buy them used. Online marketplaces like eBay and Amazon offer used games for a fraction of the cost of a new game. Additionally, you can check out local used game stores or swap meets to find great deals.
  • Wait for Sales – If you’re patient, you can wait for sales to buy new games. Most retailers offer sales during the holiday season, and Nintendo occasionally has sales on its eShop. Additionally, some websites like Cheap Ass Gamer track video game sales and deals, so you can always be on the lookout for a good deal.
  • Borrow from a Friend – If you have a friend who is generous enough to let you borrow games, take advantage of it. Not only will you save money by borrowing instead of buying, but you’ll also be able to try out games before you commit to buying them.

Another way to save money on Nintendo Switch games is by taking advantage of rewards programs:

  • My Nintendo – My Nintendo is a rewards program that offers discounts on games in exchange for points earned by completing tasks and purchasing games. Additionally, you can use My Nintendo Gold Coins to reduce the cost of games on the eShop.
  • Nintendo Switch Online – If you subscribe to Nintendo Switch Online, you’ll have access to a library of classic Nintendo games at no extra cost. This can be a great way to scratch that gaming itch without spending any additional money.
  • Rewards Credit Cards – Some credit cards offer cash-back rewards on purchases, including video game purchases. If you’re a responsible credit user, this can be a great way to save money on games over time.

Lastly, you can always keep an eye out for deals on gaming accessories:

Accessory Typical Cost Ways to Save
Pro Controller $69.99 Buy used or wait for sales
MicroSD Card Varies based on storage size Buy a slightly smaller storage size or wait for sales
Screen Protector $10 – $20 Buy generic brands or from discount retailers

There are plenty of ways to save money on Nintendo Switch games, so don’t hesitate to try out these tips and tricks to achieve the perfect gaming experience without breaking the bank.

Do Nintendo Switch Games Cost Money: FAQs

1. Do all Nintendo Switch games cost money?

Yes, all Nintendo Switch games are commercial products and require payment to acquire.

2. Are there any free games on Nintendo Switch?

Yes, there are certain games that are free-to-play. However, most of these games offer in-app purchases or subscriptions to unlock additional content.

3. How much do Nintendo Switch games cost on average?

The price of Nintendo Switch games varies depending on the title, with some games costing as low as $10 and others ranging up to $60 or more.

4. Can I get Nintendo Switch games for free from unauthorized websites?

No, downloading pirated games is illegal and violates copyright laws. It can also harm your device and compromise your personal information.

5. Can I play Nintendo Switch games without purchasing them?

No, you must purchase the game to play it on your Nintendo Switch console.

6. Are there any discounts or sales for Nintendo Switch games?

Yes, Nintendo occasionally offers discounts or sales on select games on their eShop. Additionally, some retailers may offer discounts on physical copies of games.

Closing Thoughts on Do Nintendo Switch Games Cost Money:

Thanks for reading! We hope this article was helpful in answering your questions about Nintendo Switch game pricing. Remember that purchasing games legally supports the developers and helps ensure more quality games in the future. Check back later for more helpful articles and gaming news.

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