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Looking for the best free Switch games? This list has you covered. You don’t have to spend a lot of money if you want an enjoyable adventure on the Switch. Whether you’re looking for a new team shooter or a card game to sink countless hours into, these games on the Nintendo Switch are fully free to play with minimal paywalls.
We’re taking a look through the extensive Switch catalogue and listing out the best free Switch games you don’t have to spend a single penny on. The Switch is a wonderful console that benefits from being portable, and as such there are a ton of games that are arguably better experienced on the Switch. Some offer Battle Passes, but they aren’t a necessity to enjoy the game in most cases.
Apex Legends is arguably the king of the battle royale shooters at the moment. The concept is simple: you drop into a map with nothing but you and your squad. Your team of two or three have to beat every other group in the session to win the game.
As you explore, you find weapons and other loot that will help you take tougher fights. While Apex began as a Battle Royale, it has evolved into a full multiplayer game, complete with different game modes like Team Death Match and Gun Game. If you’ve yet to try Apex, grab some friends and give it a go – you might just find your next favourite FPS.
Fortnite is another game that started out as a Battle Royale but has since evolved immeasurably. As a BR, you drop into a game with 99 other players and you need to be the last one standing to win. Fortnite has several different modes and has become something of a phenomenon in the game industry.
Fortnite hosts massive virtual events like music concerts and features several collaborations, such as Star Wars, Marvel, and other massive pop culture names. Fortnite has been free-to-play since its launch and the game is positively bursting with things to do. If you’ve never tried it, you can jump in today and you don’t even have to touch the BR mode to enjoy it.
Pokemon Unite is a MOBA-style Pokemon game which sees you battle it out over various objectives on a map. Unite game combines the beloved Pokemon franchise with strategic team-based battles, or just plain old button-mashing if you’re not up for strategy during the PvP fights. The game constantly gets new updates and content in the shape of new Pokemon, some of which you can earn in-game. If MOBA games are your jam, then Pokemon Unite is well worth your time, and that goes just as much for anyone who wants more Pokemon in their life.
Super Kirby Clash
Super Kirby Clash is another gem among free titles on the Switch. This co-op game is a delightful addition to the Kirby series, complete with charming graphics and accessible gameplay. The game’s microtransactions are mostly unobtrusive, giving you the option to purchase in-game currency or items without disrupting the overall balance. Generally speaking, you should fully ignore the paid aspects of Super Kirby Clash. In Super Kirby Clash, you control a Kirby of your choice with your friends and take on various enemies in a game that looks similar to Super Smash Bros.
Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel
If you’ve ever wanted to get into playing Yu-Gi-Oh but you don’t want to buy the cards, then Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel is the game for you. As you play through the game, you can earn new cards and decks to build your favourite. Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel is the most up-to-date Yu-Gi-Oh game out there, and it gets plenty of new content as time goes on. Will the heart of the cards be on your side, or will you get classically screwed over by the RNG? While the skill bar is ridiculously high in PvP, Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel does have a single-player mode that you can easily sink hours into.
While Pokemon Quest might look suspiciously like Minecraft, the two games couldn’t be more different. Pokemon Quest sees you explore Tumblecube Island, and you basically just have to collect as many Pokemon as you can. There are battles, but not the old turn-based style from previous mainline games. Catch Pokemon and assemble teams to take on all the challenges on Tumblecone Island, all the while levelling up your base camp to attract rarer and more special Pokemon. Pokemon Quest is perfect if you don’t have the stomach for the hectic MOBA nature of Pokemon Unite. The good news is that it’s not a huge money sink like most F2P games can be.
If you have an itch for a construction and management sim, then you’re in luck with Fallout Shelter. Set in the post-apocalyptic world of Fallout, your job is to maintain a thriving community in one of the iconic Vaults. As the Overseer, you’re in charge of everything to do with day-to-day life and you can make this game as chaotic or as pleasant as you want. You can build new rooms, grow your population, explore the depths of the earth, and customise the appearance and names of your Vault denizens. It should be noted that Fallout Shelter is nothing like the main Fallout games, but instead heavily focused on management simulation. If that’s your cup of tea, Shelter offers a strong brew of the good stuff. Not to mention, its UI and layout are perfect for the Switch handheld screen, making it very friendly to play wherever you want.
Who doesn’t love Tetris? Tetris 99 is the classic, iconic puzzle game all the way from 1984 reimagined for the Nintendo Switch. Tetris 99 is more than just a fancy-looking version of Tetris. Tetris 99 is technically a battle royale puzzle game, which might be confusing to picture. The way it works is through online multiplayer where you move and drop puzzle pieces as you might expect, but the difference here is that it has 99 other players in a match at any time. These other people are sending additional rows to other boards by clearing their own board by matching up the puzzle pieces. Put simply, you’re competing with other people at the same time to complete your Tetris board as fast as possible.
If you want to have a rage-filled time with your friends, then playing Rocket League should be your top pick. Joking aside, Rocket League is a simple but effective game all about cars playing a game of football. There are a lot of multiplayer options for Rocket League but the standard is two teams of three duking it out. The game is fast and takes a lot of skill to handle the more challenging playstyles – such as flying through the sky to sink a killer shot – but the core gameplay scratches an itch if you want a sports-based game that isn’t FIFA. Rocket League has a ton of customisation options and you can earn a bunch of cosmetics through playing. There are paid aspects, but we don’t think they’re even slightly worth spending on in any capacity. Ignore the paid stuff and just have a blast.
There are more free games on the Switch, but these are our top picks at the moment when it comes to the very best available. If you want to dive into any of these, they are all fairly low obligation and can be a great way to sink hours into your next favourite game.
If you need more Switch games in your life, make sure you read our list of the best hack-and-slash games on Switch for your next big adventure.