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Free Nintendo Switch Games: The Ultimate Guide

Bringing home a new gaming console is always an exciting experience, but there’s one part that pretty much every gamer detests: having to spend the money on new games. That said, with newer consoles, we’ve started to see the rise of more and more free-to-play games. Are any of these games on the Nintendo Switch?

The Nintendo Switch has plenty of free-to-play games such as Fortnite, Tetris 99, and Rocket League. In order to download these games, open the eShop, click on the search tab, select “Price/Range,” and then scroll down to find a selection of over 100 free titles you can download on your Switch.

There are so many options for your Switch that you might even get a little overwhelmed. Let’s take a closer look at the free-to-play options and how to download them so that you can get started as soon as possible.

Understanding Nintendo Switch Games

A Close-Up Shot of a Steam Deck

The Nintendo Switch is Nintendo’s most advanced console. Released back in 2017, the Switch revolutionized gaming by serving as a portable console that could also be plugged into your TV via the Nintendo Switch Dock (on Amazon). This allows gamers to play their Switch games on the couch using their TV, as well as on the go.

Just like with other gaming consoles, you need to get some games before you can properly use your Nintendo Switch. Games on the Nintendo Switch can be broken down into two different categories: physical titles and digital titles.

Physical titles are pretty self explanatory. These are games that you own a physical copy of. If you buy the game at a store like GameStop, Walmart, or even on Amazon, and the game comes on a cartridge in a box, then it’s a physical copy of the game.

On the other hand, digital titles are games that you can’t physically touch. These titles are always going to be downloaded onto your Switch via the Nintendo eShop. Even if you buy a download code for the game at a physical store, you’re purchasing a digital copy of that game.

How to Get Free Nintendo Switch Games on the eShop

The reason we needed to discuss the different types of Switch games is because it’s relevant to the main method we’re going to use to get games for free on your Switch. Most of the time, any free games you see for the Switch are going to be digital titles.

The reason for this is simple. When developing a digital title, only the game itself needs to be created. Since they don’t have to manufacture anything like boxes or game cartridges, developers of digital titles are more likely to ask for much lower prices for their games.

This means that the easiest way to get free games on your Switch is to use the Nintendo eShop. To do this, just follow these steps:

  1. Open the Nintendo eShop by clicking on the yellow shopping bag icon on your Switch’s home page.
  2. On the left column, scroll up to “Search/Browse.”
  3. Under “Browse by Filter,” select “Price Range.”
  4. Scroll down to the bottom and you should see a selection of free titles.
  5. Click on “View More” to view every free title available for download on the Nintendo eShop.

Doing this should grant you access to a list of over 100 free games and applications to download. Once you see a title you’re interested in, just click on it and then select “Free Download” to download the title.

Top Free Nintendo Switch Games on the eShop

As we mentioned earlier, the Nintendo eShop has over 100 titles that are completely free to download. We get that this can be a little overwhelming for people who don’t even know where to start, so let’s run through five of the most popular free Switch games available.

1. Fortnite

Fortnite is currently one of the most popular games in the world, with millions of active players. This game is most popular for its Battle Royale game mode where players are dropped into a massive arena with 99 other players, and they then attempt to be the last player standing using only materials they find in the arena.

It’s worth mentioning that while Fortnite has a very cartoon-like presentation, the game mainly features weapons like guns and grenades. So, the game may not be suitable for extremely young children.

2. Tetris 99

For the next extremely popular free Switch game, we have a unique spin on the classic game Tetris. For those unfamiliar, Tetris is a puzzle game where you attempt to arrange falling blocks into a straight line, which will then cause the line to disappear.

Tetris 99 takes this simple puzzle game and turns it into a competitive online experience by putting your skills to the test against 98 other players (making you the 99th). If a player’s blocks reach the top of their screen, then that player is eliminated from the match. Much like in Fortnite, this continues until only one player is remaining.

Since it’s just a simple puzzle game, Tetris 99 should be a perfect game for gamers of all ages. Nonetheless, some smaller children may need assistance to figure out how to play.

3. Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout

Continuing on the train of online competitive games, we have Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout. This game involves up to 60 players at a time going through cartoon-style obstacle courses to see which players can make it through the fastest. Once a certain number of players have made it through the obstacle course, all remaining players will be eliminated.

The game then goes onto another round where more players are eliminated. Just like the other two games, this continues until there is only one player remaining.

4. Pokemon Quest

If you don’t have the funds to check out a full fledged Pokemon game (or are just curious about the Pokemon world), Pokemon Quest is here for you. This game features all 151 Pokemon from the original Pokemon Red and Blue games back on the Gameboy, but in cube form.

In this game, you’ll collect and train Pokemon, develop your base camp, and go on expeditions with your Pokemon. If you want a nice relaxing game on your Nintendo Switch, then you can grab Pokemon Quest for free.

5. Rocket League

Nintendo switch

If you’re a more serious gamer, then Rocket League is one free game you should check out. The whole idea of this game is: What if the players in a soccer game were cars instead of people?

In this game, your objective is to drive your car into a giant soccer ball to knock it into your goal. At the same time, other players will attempt to steal the ball from you to knock it into their goal. This game has 1v1, 2v2, 3v3, and 4v4 matches, so you can either form a team with friends, join a team with other random players online, or tackle the opponent by yourself in a 1v1 match.

Rocket League currently has an average of around 25,000 players online at any time, so if you want to get in on the fun, now’s the time.

Are There Risks to Using Third-Party Websites to Download Free Games?

As you’re browsing the internet looking for other great free titles to play on Nintendo Switch, you may run into certain websites that are offering free downloads of some popular expensive games, such as The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild or Pokemon Scarlet and Violet. Is it safe to use these websites?

For most people, the answer here is no. First off, these websites (if they’re even real) are normally illegal, as distributing illegally obtained video game ROMs over the internet has been deemed a crime. And second, many of these websites are full of fake downloads built to get you to install a virus on your computer.

Even if you were to get your hands on a real Nintendo Switch game through one of these websites, you would likely have no way to get the game on your Switch. In order to get files from your computer to your Switch, you’ll need to jailbreak the device, which can only be done on Switches released around the launch of the console.

Finally, even if you were able to hack your Switch and get the game files on there, Nintendo’s servers would likely ban your device the moment they detect you playing unlicensed software. Basically, this whole process just isn’t a good idea unless you’re very experienced and only plan to play single player games.

An Important Tip for Maximizing Your Gaming Experience

Nintendo Switch

The gaming world can be a confusing place, and it’s rapidly evolving into more and more profitable forms. Now that you likely have some free games downloaded onto your console, let’s go through one simple thing you can do to make your experience as enjoyable as possible.

Throughout this whole journey, you’ve likely been wondering: How do these games get away with not charging people to play them? Unfortunately, this is not simply out of the kindness of the game makers’ hearts.

Many of these developers are okay with giving their games away for free because they expect to make their money back through in-game purchases. While playing these games, you will have the opportunity to spend real money on in-game items and cosmetics. These may be things like character skins, different weapons, or even some things that could give you an advantage over other players.

You should therefore be especially careful if you’re letting young children play these games. There have been many horror stories posted online by parents who woke up to find that their kids had spent thousands of dollars on Fortnite skins.

To prevent this, the Switch has parental controls in the settings. You can use these to make it so that no purchases can be made on your device without entering a password. Hopefully, this can keep your bank account safe!