How to Download Nintendo Switch Games for Free

Introducing an enticing world of gaming on the go, the Nintendo Switch has revolutionized how we play and enjoy our favourite titles. For gaming enthusiasts keen to expand their library without the added expense, the allure of getting Nintendo Switch games for free can be quite the draw. However, it is fundamental to understand that while there are legitimate promotions and offers enabling free game downloads, any method that involves piracy is illegal and against Nintendo’s terms of service. Such actions can lead to account bans or legal repercussions. With integrity and respect for game developers in mind, let’s explore suitable ways to download Nintendo Switch games at no cost, alongside some tips and tricks to enhance your gaming experience legally.

how to download nintendo switch games for free

My Nintendo Rewards Program

The My Nintendo Rewards Program is an official loyalty service offered by Nintendo, allowing users to earn points that can be redeemed for various rewards, including free game downloads.

Detailed Steps:

  1. Create a My Nintendo Account: Sign up for a My Nintendo account (if you haven’t already) at the My Nintendo website.
  2. Earn Points: Accumulate points by purchasing eligible games, performing digital check-ins, and completing missions on the My Nintendo website.
  3. Redeem Points: Visit the ‘Rewards’ section and exchange your earned points for discounts or download codes for free games.
  4. Download Games: Enter the download code on your Nintendo Switch eShop to start downloading your free game.


This method is entirely legal and supports the developers. However, it requires time and patience to accumulate sufficient points, and the selection of free games is limited.

Nintendo eShop Sales and Promotions

Regular sales and promotional events in the eShop often feature massive discounts and sometimes even offer games for free for a limited time.

Detailed Steps:

  1. Access the eShop: Navigate to the Nintendo eShop on your Switch console.
  2. Explore Sales: Look for the ‘Current Offers’ or ‘Great Deals’ section to find discounted and potentially free games.
  3. Download Free Titles: When a game is offered for free, select it and proceed to download without any charges.


Taking advantage of sales is a great way to grab free games. However, these offers are time-sensitive, so you need to be vigilant and check the eShop regularly.

Nintendo Switch Online Membership

With a Nintendo Switch Online membership, players have access to an expanding library of classic NES and SNES games at no additional cost.

Detailed Steps:

  1. Subscribe to Nintendo Switch Online: This can be done through the eShop or by purchasing a membership card from a retailer.
  2. Access the Classic Games: Download the NES and SNES online apps from the eShop.
  3. Play Games: Access the apps anytime to play an array of classic games freely available to members.


This subscription service offers not only online play but also a catalog of classic games. The downside is that it is not entirely free since the membership has a cost.

Game Demos

Many games on the eShop offer free demos, allowing players to try before they buy.

Detailed Steps:

  1. Find Demos: Search for a ‘Demo available’ tag on the game list in the eShop.
  2. Download Demo: Select the demo version and download it free of charge to your Switch.


Demos are a fantastic way to experience a portion of the game without purchasing. The limitation, however, is that it’s only a trial, and progress may not always carry over if you decide to purchase the full game.

Nintendo Events and Contests

Occasionally, Nintendo hosts events and contests with free game downloads as prizes.

Detailed Steps:

  1. Follow Nintendo: Keep an eye on Nintendo’s official social media channels and website for announcements regarding contests and events.
  2. Participate: Follow the contest rules to enter and stand a chance to win free game downloads.


This is a fun method with the thrill of competition, but winning is not guaranteed, and opportunities may be infrequent.

Download Codes from Retailers

Sometimes, retailers include download codes for free games as part of a bundle or promotion.

Detailed Steps:

  1. Research Offers: Monitor gaming retailers and online shop promotions.
  2. Purchase Necessary Products: If a promotion includes a free game code with a purchase, fulfill the promotion’s requirements.
  3. Redeem Code: Enter the provided code on your Nintendo Switch eShop to claim your free game.


This approach rewards shopping but typically requires an initial purchase, which might not be ideal for all users.

Tips and Tricks for Maximizing Your Nintendo Switch Experience:

  1. Stay Informed: Follow Nintendo’s official channels and gaming news websites to stay updated on the latest promotions and giveaways.
  2. Connect with Community: Join gaming communities and forums to learn about unofficial promotions or contests offering free games as prizes.
  3. Use Wishlist Feature: Add games you’re interested in to your wishlist on the eShop. Nintendo will notify you if any of the games go on sale or are offered for free.
  4. Take Care of Your Console: Regularly update your console’s software and manage its storage to ensure you’re ready for new games.
  5. Be Skeptical of Unofficial Sources: If an offer seems too good to be true and is from an unofficial source, it likely is. Stick to trusted channels to avoid scams.


While the quest for free Nintendo Switch games is an appealing one, it’s essential to approach this responsibly and legally to ensure that you support the developers who work hard on the games we love. By taking advantage of official promotions, rewards programs, and member services, you can enrich your gaming library without spending extra, all while enjoying your Nintendo Switch to its fullest potential.


Q: Is it legal to download Nintendo Switch games for free?
A: Yes, it is legal to download games that are officially offered for free by Nintendo through various promotions, member services, or as game demos.

Q: Can I share downloaded Nintendo Switch games with friends?
A: No, downloaded games are tied to your Nintendo account and cannot be shared directly with others.

Q: How often does Nintendo offer free games or discounts?
A: Sales and special offers occur throughout the year, especially during holiday seasons, major events, or on specific game anniversaries. It is best to frequently check the eShop and Nintendo’s official channels for updates.

Larry R. Jimenez
I'm the senior editor of I help people solve their computer problems and recommend reliable products. My area of expertise includes electronic or hardware products, Windows, Mac, and application tricks. I'm active in the various online tech communities where he provides help for new computer issues as they are released.

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