If you are a new Switch owner or looking to buy a new one, you must consider what games you can afford on the console. This is a common concern for new Nintendo Switch owners who do not know much about the portable console. Fortunately, like other platforms, there are over 80 free Nintendo Switch games and apps that you can grab right now.
If you like a game on this list, you can also choose to spend more money on them for more content. Most free games have a live service mode, so you won’t have to pay for anything you don’t want to. You can also check out the best Switch emulators to play Nintendo games on PC for free.
Fill up your Nintendo Switch library
If you are a new Nintendo Switch owner, your library will likely be empty. You don’t necessarily have to buy AAA games, as many users who buy the console use it for its portability, not for its exclusive titles (not that Switch has many).
So grab some free games and play them wherever you like. However, there’s a chance you might experience performance issues when playing in portable mode. In that case, we recommend you play it in TV mode by placing it on the dock.
However, if you want to play games online, you might need a Nintendo Switch Online membership. You can get the base membership for $3.99/month, $7.99/3 months, and $19.99/year. But don’t worry, as there are many online games you can play even without a membership.
Best free Nintendo Switch games
We have compiled a list of all free Nintendo Switch games at the very end. However, if you don’t want to go through the whole list, we have picked some of the most popular free games to make it easier.
Fortnite is one of the best free games available on the Nintendo Switch. The game needs no introduction, as you must have heard of it, unless you have been living under a rock. Fortnite is one of the best battle royale games you can play with your friends regardless of their platform. The game has recently introduced a no-building mode that focuses on combat rather than building.
Fortnite supports cross-play cross-progression across PlayStation, Xbox, PC, Switch, and mobile by linking your Epic games account. So any content (except V-Bucks) and progress you make is accessible across all platforms. This feature makes Fortnite accessible for all gamers and a must-have for new Switch owners. However, if you are not a fan of third-person games and want something more fast-paced, check out the next entry on this list.
2. Apex Legends
Apex Legends is another free battle royale game best known for its fast-paced combat. It is one of the best battle-royale FPS games we have ever seen. Unfortunately, in terms of performance, the game had to cut some corners to make it onto the portable console. The game’s framerate is locked at 30 FPS, and its resolution is 720p/512p when in docked or handheld mode.
However, the game also features cross-play between PlayStation, Xbox, PC, and Switch. Unfortunately, you will not be able to transfer your account from one platform to another. The game’s cross-progression feature is currently in development and will be released within 2022. We highly recommend you check out this game with your friends and experience what it’s like to win a match of Apex Legends.
3. Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout
Fall Guys has recently gone free-to-play on all platforms, including the Nintendo Switch. It is a must-have free party game for every Switch owner. Fall Guys is often described as Takeshi’s Castle or Wipeout. It is a fun platforming game where you compete against other players to be the last man standing.
The gameplay is pretty simple and innovative, with different maps bringing in new challenges each round. The goal is to survive till the end and grab the crown. If you want to have a good time and enjoy the best Nintendo Switch offers, then definitely check out Fall Guys.
However, if you are looking for more action-orientated gameplay, the next game is for you.
Warframe is a character-based looter shooter game with a fantastic storyline and gameplay. The game runs quite well on the Nintendo Switch and is one of the best free-to-play games on the console. It is a game with many different maps and enemies that players need to fight through to finish their missions.
The game is set in a dystopian alternate future and follows the adventures of the Tenno. The Tenno are kids infused with mystical powers that grant them control over Warframes of mass destruction. The game has close to 50 Warframes, each with four unique abilities. We highly recommend you check out this game because it has a deep lore and an addicting gameplay loop.
However, if you are looking for a game you can play in couch co-op with your friends, then look for the next game on this list.
If you like games like Super Smash Bros but can’t pay the full price for them, then you need to check out Brawlhalla. It is a free-to-play Nintendo Switch fighting game where players can choose from 55 fighters and brawl it out.
Compared to the Smash series, the game is a bit simpler, with less focus on speed and combos. However, it features full cross-play across all platforms so you can play it with all your friends. It also has a lot of different online and offline game modes that you can try out and enjoy for yourself.
If you want to play a party game that is less combat-focused and more like an arcade game, then check out the next entry on this list.
6. Rocket League
Rocket League is a free-to-play soccer game, but with a twist. Instead of controlling humans, you play football with rocket-powered cars. In the game, there can be eight players divided into two teams. Each team tries to force the ball into the opponent’s goal with their cars.
It’s safe to say that Rocket League is one of the most entertaining games for couch co-op and playing with your friends. The game is pretty competitive and fun at the same time. It is a free-to-play game that features cross-play between PC, Switch, Xbox, and PlayStation consoles.
However, if you want a more action-driven multiplayer game, check out the next game on our list.
If you are a fan of Monster Hunter games but can’t afford them, here’s an alternative for you. Dauntless is a free-to-play RPG where you hunt monstrous creatures known as Behemoths. The game is set in an apocalyptic fantasy world, where a cataclysmic event has torn the world apart.
Players take on the role of slayers who hunt Behemoths for better weapons and armor. This gameplay loop is quite good as players must hunt and craft better equipment to take on stronger Behemoths. Dauntless even features full cross-platform play and six people co-op support.
If you want a more relaxed approach to the gameplay, you can try out the next game on our list.
8. Pokémon Quest And Pokemon Unite
There’s no way that a best Nintendo Switch games list doesn’t feature a Pokemon game in it. Pokemon Quest is a free-to-play game where you collect all the original Kanto region Pokemon. However, it features a Minecraft-like design with cube-shaped Pokémons.
Players must manage their base camp, go on expeditions, train Pokémons, and capture new ones. Then there’s also Pokemon Unite, where you can put your favorite pocket monsters against each other. The game features 5v5 arena battles with ranked matches against other players.
All free Nintendo Switch games
We have also compiled a list of all the free games on the Nintendo Switch. You will get access to over 80 games for free. However, some games may require a Nintendo Switch Online membership, Save Cloud, or other features. So here are all the free-to-play titles you can get on a Switch right now.
- Fallout Shelter
- Pokémon Quest
- Pokémon UNITE
- Apex Legends
- Kitten Squad
- Namco Museum (PAC-MAN VS. Free Multiplayer-only Ver.)
- Pinball FX3
- Stern Pinball Arcade
- The Pinball Arcade
- Angry Bunnies: Colossal Carrot Crusade
- Arena of Valor
- Asphalt 9: Legends
- Dawn of the Breakers
- Eternal Card Game
- GALAK-Z: Variant S
- Zaccaria Pinball
- Coloring Book
- Color Zen
- DC Universe Online
- Prime World: Defenders
- Realm Royale
- Super Kirby Clash
- Tetris 99
- DELTA RUNE Chapter 1
- Pokémon HOME
- Gems of War
- World of Tanks Blitz
- Fantasy Strike
- Pokémon Café ReMix
- The Elder Scrolls: Blades
- Island Saver
- Jump Rope Challenge
- Tennis 1920s
- BLAZBLUE CROSS TAG BATTLE Demo
- The Four Kings Casinos and Slots
- Bravely Default II Demo
- Octopath Traveler Demo
- Idle Champions of the Forgotten Realm
- Wolfenstein: Youngblood Trial Edition
- RPG Maker MV Player
- Rogue Company
- Circle of Sumo: Online Rumble!
- Control Ultimate Edition – Cloud Version
- Rocket League
- Comic Coloring Book
- Lost Lands: Dark Overlord
- Retrograde Arena
- PAC-MAN 99
- EMERGENCY HQ
- FIGHTING EX LAYER ANOTHER DASH
- Knockout City
- SUPER BOMBERMAN R ONLINE
- CRSED: F.O.A.D.
- Sky: Children of the Light
- Super Animal Royale
- Pokémon Quest
- Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel
- Eternal Card Game
- Crush Crush
- Zorya: The Celestial Sisters
- Chocobo GP Lite
- Fall Guys
- Roller Champions
- Tricky Doors
- Cover Fire: Offline Shooter
- Puzzle Galaxy
- Capcom Arcade 2nd Stadium
We hope that you were able to find some fun games to play and save your wallet at the same time. Let us know which game you plan on checking out in the comments section below and how your experience was with it.