Fill your Nintendo Switch with these Free to Start games
No matter if you have had a Switch since day one, recently got one, or perhaps still waiting to get one, there are hundreds of incredible games available on the platform.
Some of these are from teams that total 1 or 2 people and some are made up of hundreds of developers, from around the globe, but no matter the team size, most games cost money to obtain. This list of 15 titles are some of the best games that you can get for your Nintendo Switch, without spending a single cent, no subscriptions to access, no monthly fees, just redeem it and it is yours.
While the games are of course free to get, they do tempt players with in-game items that can cost real money, not all of course, but most, which is why we call them free-to-start, some items may only cost a few dollars and then there are some that can cost a lot more than that. Regardless of the game though, it needs to be said that you don’t have to pay anything for these titles, if you choose not to.
Finally, any title that has a * next to the size is advised to be installed upon a micro sd card, some games will be fine on the Original and Lite models and most should be ok on an OLED model, but with games constantly getting updates, you are better to play it safe. We have compiled a list of what you need to look for in a micro sd card, in our 2021 Nintendo Switch MEGA buyers guide, including some options for various budgets.
Players: 1-60 | Size: 20.6gb* | Cross-Play Supported: Yes | eShop: Link
There isn’t much to say about Apex Legends at this point, you pick one of a dozen or so characters, join up with two other players, then fight to see which squad is the best. While the Switch release does compromise on the visual front, the core gameplay and content are the same here as they are on other platforms, plus with cross-play, it means there are always folks to play with.
Asphalt 9: Legends
Players: 1-8 | Size: 3gb | Cross-Play Supported: No | eShop: Link
For as long as there have been videogames, there have been car games and while the Asphalt series began on mobile, it has made waves on dedicated console platforms as well. The Switch release offers the same fast-paced racing action found elsewhere, but with actual controls, there are lots of cars to race and plenty of tracks to race upon, the only downside is the lack of cross-play.
Players: 1-8 | Size: 875mb | Cross-Play Supported: Yes | eShop: Link
If you like the idea of Super Smash Bros, but wish there was more modes and characters, Brawlhalla might be the game for you, as it has heaps of both. While their original characters are interesting, the game tends to mix it up often, with crossovers with IP like Street Fighter, The Walking Dead, Kung Fu Panda, Lara Croft and even the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. The best news, most of them come with new modes, to offer up fresh ways to play the game.
Players: 1-4 | Size: 6.8gb* | Cross-Play Supported: Yes | eShop: Link
Dauntless takes the basic concept of Monster Hunter, and that is about it. The game lets you team up with three other players, take down massive enemies, create new armour and then do it all over again. Of course, there are some changes, but the basic gameplay loop is the same as the iconic series, but with cross-play as an option, it means you will never hunt alone.
DC Universe Online
Players: 1-16 | Size: 18.1gb* | Cross-Play Supported: No | eShop: Link
Growing up, almost every kid dreams of being a superhero, for some its Spider-man, others its Batman and with DC Universe Online, you can live out the latter one, as you create a hero and join in to save Metropolis, Gotham and just about every other corner of the DC world. For those who like to play with danger, you can also choose to become a bad guy, model yourself after Lex Luthor or Deathstroke and take the fight to the heroes. With constant events to enjoy, including some tied to recent DC movies, there is always something happening here, so up, up and away.
Players: 1 | Size: 1.7gb | Cross-Play Supported: No | eShop: Link
Fallout Shelter is unique, because it is the only game on the list that is a single player only experience, but don’t let that stop you, each time you start a shelter, the tasks will begin simple and quickly require constant attention. Power, water, medical, there won’t be an aspect of your shelter that you don’t become amazingly familiar with. Then, you also need to consider what happens when you send folks out to scavenge supplies, or defend your little slice of wasteland real estate from raiders.
Players: 1-100 | Size: 14gb* | Cross-Play Supported: Yes | eShop: Link
It’s Fortnite, moving on. Oh, you are one of those rare people that has never heard of the game, ok let me explain. Here you can jump into the world and fight 99 additional players, in order to become the winner, or you can team up with three friends and all try together. But shooting isn’t all you can do, you can build amazing structures, tear down others and of course, throw it all away for a random dance break. Plus the game has Batman, Spider-man, Ryu, Terminator, Aloy, Lara Croft and just about anyone else you can think of as playable characters.
Players: 1-8 | Size: 4.9gb | Cross-Play Supported: No | eShop: Link
Ninjala takes the fast paced work of ninja and throws in a hole mess of bubblegum, giving you the ability to run along walls, launch big attacks and more. The game be played on your own, against 7 other players, or you can join up in a team and take on the others, with the goal being to knock them out the fight. There is also a story mode, if you want to slow things down a bit.
Players: 1-10 | Size: 1.9gb | Cross-Play Supported: Yes | eShop: Link
Pokémon Unite takes the core gameplay design of a MOBA, but instead of random guys in armour with guns, you now get to select from a range of iconic Pokémon. With two teams of five and cross-play with the mobile versions, there will always be folks to play with and as matches only run for 10 minutes, you can easily squeeze a round in now and then. Plus the Pokémon you use will level up as fight, meaning the longer you play, the strong you get.
Players: 1-8 | Size: 14gb* | Cross-Play Supported: Yes | eShop: Link
High-speed action is the name of the game, well that is not true, the name is Rocket League, but high-speed action makes up what you do, as you and three additional players, take on another team of four, to compete to see who can score the most goals. The game didn’t start out as a a free-to-play experience, but made the change last year, regardless, there is a lot of content, with seasons dropping all the time, along with special cars like the Delorean from Back to the Future, F1 racing cars, oh and for Switch, Mario, Luigi and Samus all have their own cars, exclusively for this release.
Players: 1-8 | Size: 9gb* | Cross-Play Supported: Yes | eShop: Link
Imagine if you took the basic gunplay of Fortnite, but scaled the player count down and instead of just killing everyone else, you worked as a team to complete specific objectives, across a number of rounds. Ok, so it really isn’t a lot like Fortnite, but Rogue Company has a few extra things going for it, namely the different gameplay modes, like Extraction, Demolition and Wingman. The game is fast-paced, so you will want to stay on your toes as you jump into action with this one.
SUPER BOMBERMAN R ONLINE
Players: 1-64 | Size: 3.1gb | Cross-Play Supported: Yes | eShop: Link
The Switch is now home to two Bomberman titles and this one is the one that is packed with things to do, especially as you can team up with players from other platforms, the twist though is that it plays much like Tetris 99 or the adored and abandoned Super Mario 35. You will see a few other players on your screen, but 60 additional players will be running around, doing what they do, but their actions can impact your game screen and vice-versa, so you need to be on the lookout at all times. A nice addition though, you can make your bombs explode popcorn and who doesn’t love popcorn.
Super Kirby Clash
Players: 1-4 | Size: 1gb | Cross-Play Supported: No | eShop: Link
Kirby games have never been known to be that difficult, but Super Kirby Clash is a little different because, in a nutshell, it is a boss rush mode. You and three other players can come together and face boss, after boss from across the Kirby series of games. There is a slight catch with this one, if you want to play online, you do need a Nintendo Switch Online membership, just the basic level, but you and a friend can tackle them on the one Switch console, by just passing a Joy-con over.
The Elder Scrolls: Blades
Players: 1-2 | Size: 2.4gb | Cross-Play Supported: Yes | eShop: Link
The Elder Scrolls: Blades is a unique title, it isn’t a fully open world Elder Scrolls experience like Skyrim, but it does let you create a city, complete quests and enter into an arena to see who is the better fighter. The good news is that you can always swap your progress to and from the mobile releases, letting you keep the action going, if you have to leave your Switch behind.
Players: 1-4 | Size: 11gb* | Cross-Play Supported: Yes | eShop: Link
Space ninjas!!! Well advanced warriors frozen in time that awaken far into our future and can move like ninja, so close enough. This 3rd person action game can have you hacking and slashing at waves of enemies in randomly created spaces, or in massive open-world style levels, plus there is a lot of gear to obtain, stories to discover and more; which is not bad considering the game is technically still in beta and has been since its launch on PC back in 2013.
So there you go, 15 of the best games that are free-to-start on Switch and again while you can opt to pay real world money for in-game items, to help unlock somethings, you can also opt to never pay a single cent.
There are countless more titles still that we didn’t short list, like Sky: Children of the Light, Gems of War, Vigor and World of Tanks Blitz, with many beyond that.