Does Nintendo Switch Come with Games? A Comprehensive Guide

The Nintendo Switch has become one of the most popular gaming consoles in recent years, captivating gamers of all ages with its unique portability and home console capabilities. But for those new to the world of Nintendo, one of the most common questions is, “Does Nintendo Switch come with games?” This comprehensive guide will explore the various aspects of games and Nintendo Switch to answer this burning question and help you get the most out of your gaming experience.

Does Nintendo Switch Come with Games?

Let’s address the primary question right away. When you purchase a Nintendo Switch, it does not come with pre-installed games. Nintendo has opted not to bundle its console with games, as this allows consumers to choose titles that suit their preferences. While this might seem a drawback, it offers more flexibility in building your gaming library.

Game Bundles and Special Editions

While the standard Nintendo Switch package doesn’t include games, there are certain exceptions. Nintendo occasionally releases special editions or bundles that come with a specific game. These bundles are often themed around a particular game, franchise, or event. For example, bundles have featured games like “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild” and “Super Mario Odyssey.” These bundles can be an excellent choice if you’re interested in a particular game and want to purchase a Nintendo Switch console.

Nintendo Switch Lite and Games

The Nintendo Switch Lite is a more compact and budget-friendly version of the original Nintendo Switch. Like the standard Nintendo Switch, the Lite version does not come with games included. However, it’s essential to note that the Nintendo Switch Lite has a slightly different game library due to its limitations. It doesn’t support all the games that the standard Nintendo Switch does, primarily because it cannot be connected to a TV and lacks detachable Joy-Con controllers. Nevertheless, it can be an excellent option for gamers who prefer a dedicated handheld experience.

Nintendo eShop and Digital Downloads

If your Nintendo Switch doesn’t come with games, you may be wondering where to find games to play. The answer lies in the Nintendo eShop, Nintendo’s digital storefront. Here, you can purchase and download games directly to your console. The eShop offers many games, including popular titles, indie gems, and classic releases from previous Nintendo consoles. You can use your Nintendo account to buy games tied to your account and downloaded on any compatible Switch console.

Free-to-Play Games on Nintendo Switch

While the Nintendo Switch doesn’t come with games included, a selection of free-to-play games is available on the platform. These games are free to download and play, although they may offer in-game purchases or microtransactions. Some popular free-to-play titles on the Nintendo Switch include “Fortnite,” “Apex Legends,” “Warframe,” and “Paladins.” These games can provide hours of entertainment without purchasing a separate game.

Nintendo Switch Online and NES/SNES Games

Another aspect to consider is the Nintendo Switch Online service, which offers a library of classic NES and SNES games. While this service isn’t included with your Nintendo Switch purchase, it provides access to various retro games for a modest monthly or annual fee. With a Nintendo Switch Online subscription, you can enjoy titles like “Super Mario Bros.,” “The Legend of Zelda,” “Metroid,” and many more, all part of the package. This service is an excellent way to access a selection of games without buying them individually.

Physical Game Cartridges

In addition to digital downloads, the Nintendo Switch allows you to play games from physical cartridges. You’ll receive a cartridge to insert into your console when you purchase a physical game. This can be a great option for collectors or those who prefer owning physical copies of their favourite games. While the Nintendo Switch doesn’t have games in the traditional sense, you can easily build a collection of physical titles.

Sharing Games Between Consoles

If you have multiple Nintendo Switch consoles in your household, you can share your digital games between them. Nintendo’s “Family Group” feature allows you to link multiple consoles under one account, enabling you to share games among family members. Remember that this feature is subject to specific rules and restrictions, so it’s essential to review Nintendo’s guidelines to ensure you comply with their terms of use.

Nintendo Switch Game Demos

While the Nintendo Switch doesn’t come with pre-installed games, it provides opportunities to try out games before making a purchase. Many games have demo versions available on the eShop. These demos offer a limited game preview, allowing you to experience gameplay and decide if it’s worth buying the full version. It’s a great way to test games and discover what appeals to your gaming preferences.

Nintendo Switch Online Multiplayer

A Nintendo Switch Online subscription is essential for gamers interested in online multiplayer experiences. This service not only grants access to online play but also provides access to a selection of classic NES and SNES games. Many Nintendo Switch games offer online multiplayer modes, enabling you to connect and compete with players worldwide. Titles like “Splatoon 2,” “Mario Kart 8 Deluxe,” and “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” are known for their vibrant online communities.

Additional Gaming Accessories

Although the Nintendo Switch doesn’t come with games, it’s essential to consider the accessories that enhance your gaming experience. One of the most popular accessories is the Nintendo Switch Pro Controller, which offers a more traditional gaming experience with its ergonomic design. Additionally, various Joy-Con configurations, charging docks, and carrying cases are available to customize and protect your console.

Game Prices and Sales

When building your Nintendo Switch game library, it’s important to keep an eye on game prices and sales. Nintendo often runs special promotions and discounts on the eShop, making it an excellent time to purchase games at a reduced cost. You can also explore third-party retailers for physical copies of games, where you might find deals or bundles that include games at a lower price.

Nintendo Switch and the Future

Nintendo has announced new hardware and game release plans as the Nintendo Switch thrives. With the release of the Nintendo Switch OLED model and many exciting upcoming games, the future looks bright for Nintendo enthusiasts. While these new developments don’t change that the Nintendo Switch doesn’t include games, they offer even more options for gamers to explore.


In conclusion, the Nintendo Switch is a fantastic gaming console that offers a wide range of gaming experiences. While it doesn’t come with games in the traditional sense, the flexibility it provides in choosing your gaming library is a significant advantage. Whether you prefer digital downloads, physical game cartridges, or want to explore free-to-play titles, the Nintendo Switch offers something for every type of gamer. By utilizing the Nintendo eShop, taking advantage of Nintendo Switch Online, and exploring the vast world of Nintendo games, you can build a library that suits your preferences and ensures endless gaming fun. So, while the Nintendo Switch doesn’t come with games out of the box, it opens the door to a world of gaming possibilities.

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