By Trae Jacobs,
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Nintendo Switch is a hybrid console, and its practical tablet design makes it usable on the go and as a home video game console. The Switch has been a popular gaming choice for worldwide users since its release in 2017. With the increasing reliability and speed of cellular data, there are now more options than ever before to keep your Nintendo Switch connected.
On average, the Nintendo Switch uses around 50MB of data per hour. This figure can be higher (300MB) or lower (40MB), depending on the game being played and the strength of the signal. The actual usage will vary every session, but some assumptions can be made.
If you have a Nintendo Switch and are interested in seeing how much data it uses, read on to learn more about what you will usually spend on it.
How Much Data Does Nintendo Switch Use?
The Nintendo Switch combines the portability of a tablet with the entertainment of a video game console. It is smaller and lighter than other consoles, but it competes on the same level as the Xbox and the Playstation. It enhances accessibility and allows gamers to connect while traveling or commuting.
Data use for the Nintendo Switch will vary depending on the game being played, but it will usually be around 50MB per hour, most times even less. This makes it a less demanding choice than most other consoles, which makes it even more practical.
Difference Between WiFi Data Use and Cellular
The best connection for the Nintendo Switch will be achieved through a direct Ethernet connection to a router. However, the evolution of cellular data and powerful WiFi technology have made gaming far less dependent on Internet cables. Let’s take a look at how the Nintendo Switch uses WiFi and cellular data.
|Security:||Safe encrypted access everywhere||Public WiFi networks are less secure than private ones|
|Requires:||Cell tower proximity||Router|
The Nintendo Switch can use either WiFi or cellular data. The best option for you will depend on your specific circumstances, such as coverage in your area, speed, and whether you spend most of your time traveling.
Minimum Data Requirements for Nintendo Switch
While an online connection is not always necessary for the Nintendo Switch, you will need one to access online gaming through the Nintendo Switch Online service. You will also need it to access the Nintendo eShop if you want to purchase more digital games.
The minimum network requirements for the Nintendo Switch are 3MB/s download speed and 1MB/s upload speed. Ideally, you should have a 40 to 60MB/s range to prevent all potential issues related to speed, but you will be able to make do with less if necessary.
Checking How Much Data Nintendo Switch Uses
You can check how much data the Nintendo Switch has used with any free network monitoring tool available to you. You’ll be able to check your IP address through the Internet tab in your System Settings. This will show you what the Nintendo Switch is using.
If you’d like to run a test, keep the monitoring tool on while you play a game on the Switch for a specific interval, usually 20 minutes to an hour. You can then get a good picture of how separate games use the available data.
How to Avoid Using Too Much Data on Nintendo Switch
If you’d like to keep data usage on the Nintendo Switch at a minimum, make sure to use it with a WiFi connection too. You should also turn automatic updates off to prevent downloads from consuming too much of it.
Playing games with a lower graphics setting will also reduce the amount of data used to run them.
How Much Data Do Popular Nintendo Switch Games Use?
Nintendo Switch is best known for titles like Animal Crossing: New Horizons, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and Super Mario Odyssey. Here’s how these games use data on the Switch:
- Animal Crossing: Only around 10MB/hour
- The Legend of Zelda: Can be played offline, uses very little data if played while connected
- Super Mario Odyssey: This is usually the most demanding Switch game and can use up to between 150MB/hour and 300MB/hour.
What Type of Data Plan Is Best for Nintendo Switch?
It is recommended to opt, when possible, for unlimited data plans if you’re planning on using cellular data for the Nintendo Switch. While the console isn’t as huge a data consumer as other options can be, it can still be easy to exceed limited data allowances, leading to eye-watering fees.
When selecting a data plan compatible with Nintendo Switch use, make sure you have full coverage for it in your area. The closer you are to a cell phone tower, the more stable and quick the connection will be. Speed should also factor into your decision, as higher speeds will prevent issues with frame rates and lag.
Nintendo Switch data usage will usually be around 50MB per hour. Depending on the game, this can increase to 300MB/hour if it is very demanding on resources. The Switch can be used with cellular data and WiFi, but it is recommended to opt for unlimited high-speed plans.