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Fixing Nintendo Switch Game Card Reader Issues Quickly and Easily

Are you facing game card reading issues in your Nintendo Switch? Don’t worry, because this is actually a common problem. The Nintendo Switch can show errors related to the game card reader for various reasons, and most of them are fixable.

A damaged game card or slot, outdated firmware of the Switch/game, or dirt and debris on the game card or slot can cause a game card reading error. Restarting the console, reinserting the card, and keeping the Switch up-to-date are a few ways to resolve the issues.

It is common for a Nintendo Switch to face game card reading issues. Many people face this issue and look for practical solutions. Don’t worry, as we have got you covered here.

Common Nintendo Switch Game Card Reading Issues

Nintendo Switch, 2 joycons, and controller on a wooden desk - 4

Before you do anything else, you must know the two types of game card reading issues, which are:

  • Nintendo Switch refuses to accept that there is any game card inserted in the slot.
  • The software is not working after inserting the game card. 

Some common causes are outdated firmware of your Nintendo, damaged game card, or irresponsive game card slot in your Nintendo. However, you can easily and quickly fix these issues and continue playing games on your Nintendo if you follow all the guidelines correctly.

First Things to Try at the Sign of Problems

At times, these quick fixes can be enough for the game card to work on your Nintendo Switch. So try the quick fixes below before diving deep into the problem.

  1. Clean the contact points of the game card slot and get rid of any dust or debris.
  1. Ensure the game card you are using is compatible with your Nintendo Switch. 
  1. Insert the game card again after removing it, making sure it’s in the right way with the label in the direction of the console screen.
  1. Restart the Nintendo Switch.
  1. Check for any software updates and install new updates.

Quick Fixes To Fix Nintendo Switch Game Card Error

Nintendo Switch, 2 joycons, and controller on a wooden desk - 2

There are many possible reasons why your Nintendo Switch shows a game card error. You can go for any of these and check if the problem has vanished or not.

If the error remains after all these fixes, you might need a repair. So, let’s learn about every possible DIY repair for a Nintendo Switch game card error!

Reinsert the Game Card

Reinserting the game card can help fix this issue. Make sure that you are placing the game card in the right direction. The label of your game card should be facing upward toward the console screen.

If you have placed the card the wrong way, the system won’t recognize it. The Switch will probably say that there is no game card inserted.

Restart the Switch Without Removing the Game Card

Sometimes the Switch won’t accept the game card, and restarting it can fix all the connections. In addition, restarting the device allows it to recognize all the signals and cards from scratch, and hence it can also resolve the game card issue. 

Don’t remove the game card while doing this. Instead, please keep it in and shut down your console for a few seconds. Then, turn it back on and check if the problem is still there or not.

Clean the Game Card and Slot

Dirt and debris can disrupt the connection between the game card and the slot. It can be on both the card and the slot. So, it would be best if you cleaned both.

Make sure that there are no dust particles on the card and the slot of your Nintendo Switch. And use a clean and dry cloth to wipe the card and slot, getting all the crevices and corners. But don’t use water or any liquid for cleaning. 

Check the Game Card for Damage

If your game card is old, it can be damaged. In some cases, new game cards can be damaged too. To check if your game card is alright or not, insert another game card into your console.

If there is no error, then your game card might be damaged. So contact the seller and ask for a replacement or repair. 

Update the Nintendo Switch Firmware

Your Nintendo Switch should be up-to-date to work correctly and recognize game cards. So go to settings and check software updates in the “System” menu. If there are any updates available, immediately download and install them.

An updated Nintendo Switch firmware will fix the game card issue and make everything smooth. In addition, it can improve your gaming experience by a significant amount and fix many other problems. 

Check for a Software Update of Your Games

If the error is coming in a particular game or a few games, your games might need an update. First, go to the settings of the problem-causing game and update the game’s software using the “Via the Internet” option. 

Nintendo Switch Game Card Replacement Guide

If all else fails, then it’s possible that you’ll need to replace the Switch’s game card reader. This is a fairly simple repair to do! iFixit has an in-depth guide on replacing a defective Nintendo Switch card reader.

Watch Out For Other Game-Related Issues

Once you have the game card reader issue figured out, you’ll likely want to know about what to do when/if your Nintendo Switch storage fills up, and how many games you can expect it to handle before you need to add an SD card.

Some users also need to be aware of their overall Nintendo Switch data usage if they’re on a metered data plan or using a wireless hotspot with their switch a lot, and, of course, if you only want to play some key Nintendo games like Zelda, note that we think a Switch bundle that comes with the game you want may be more appropriate for you. Happy gaming!