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How Much Data Does the Nintendo Switch Use?

If you own a Nintendo Switch, you’ll most likely want to know how much data it uses. The immediate answer is that it varies according to the game, your internet connection, the length of play, and which actions you perform when you play the game. 

You might have a limited data plan or internet plan that only offers you only a certain number of gigabytes. Therefore, we’re here to let you know what to expect and help you get the most out of what you have. 

Here’s some information about data use for the Nintendo Switch and some tips for cutting down on your usage numbers. 

How Much Data Does Nintendo Switch Use?

The amount of data used on the Nintendo Switch varies according to the individual game you play. Gamers conducted some studies and found that the Switch used approximately 50 MB each hour, and the number rose significantly higher when players used different games for their sessions.

You can feel confident that the average data consumption will stay within the realm of 40-65 MB an hour; with a more involved game such as Mario Kart Deluxe 8, you can expect it to consume around 260 MB per hour.

Other multiplayer games such as Fifaconsumes around 20-40 MB per hour depending on your connection.

GameData Usage Per Hour
FIFA20 – 40 MB
Fortnite50-60 MB
Mario Kart Deluxe 8260 MB
Super Smash Bros60-90 MB
Super Mario Odyssey160 MB
Animal Crossing100 MB

How Much Data Does Fornite Use on the Nintendo Switch?

Fortnite uses around 50-60 MB of data per hour of gameplay; this is around 17-20 MB of data per match, which is pretty decent. However, if you factor in weekly updates, this can quickly ramp up your usage. Also, if you’ll be downloading the game, keep in mind that the size of Fornite itself is a little over 11 GB, so you’ll need to use that much data to download it if you’ve never played it and do not have it on your system. Alternatively, you can also buy the cartridge for Fortnite.

How Much Data Does Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Use on the Nintendo Switch?

The more players in a game, the more data you will consume. Mario Kart Deluxe 8, being the ultimate party game, allows up to 12 players online. On average Mario Kart Deluxe 8 will consume 130 MB in 30 minutes or 260 MB for an hour of gameplay.

How Much Data Does a Nintendo Switch Use to Download Games?

Downloading has data consumption rates similar to streaming, so you’ll see more of your data going toward those activities than you’ll see going toward online gameplay. If you download a 10 GB game, be prepared to consume an entire 10 GB of data. Most Switch games are 15 GB or less. Depending on your internet plan, you could wait for five minutes or almost an hour to download a new game. 

How Much Data Does Watching Movies Use?

Movie and video streaming are where you will lose a lot of data. You can use services such as YouTube and Hulu to watch movies, but your movie viewing will come at a high cost. You’ll need about a gigabyte of data to stream one hour of a movie on your Nintendo Switch. If it’s a high-definition movie or ultra-high definition, you could use up to 3 GB for each hour. 

How Can I Check My Data Use for the Nintendo Switch?

You’ll need to download a tool if you want to monitor how much data your Switch is using. You can download Wireshark to see how much data you consume when using your Switch. It’s available for download on PC and Mac systems. Your Switch must be connected to the same network your computer’s connected to if you want to use it. Then, you can open the application on your computer to monitor how much data you use when you play Switch games. 

One user played Fortnite and checked his data consumption every 20 minutes for an hour, and he used 102 MB in that hour. 

What Size Data Plan Do I Need for the Nintendo Switch?

Since data usage is so variable, you may want to get an unlimited or large data plan first and then downsize from that according to your playing behaviors. 

For example, you can get a data plan that offers unlimited data and then go down to something smaller if you notice that you use a low amount of data well within one of their plans. That will help you avoid experiencing any service interruptions or additional charges.

Can You Play the Switch Without the Internet?

You can play the Switch just fine with no internet connection at all. You can use cartridges to play games on the model. The internet and data consumption are only necessary whenever you want to download games or play online with your friends. You’ll also need the internet for certain games, such as Fortnite. Additionally, you’ll need to be online to access special features like automatic updating. Other than that, you can play without the internet or Wi-Fi if you so desire. 

How Long Will 10 GB of Data Last on Nintendo Switch?

You can stretch 10 GB out for an entire month if you only play a few hours a day online, and you don’t do much else with your system. It all depends on the game you choose and how much you have the game in constant play mode. Rocket League uses less than 9 GB a month when played for seven hours a day, and only 5 GB a month when played for only four hours a day. 

How Can I Reduce My Monthly Data Consumption on the Switch?

You can use several methods to lower the amount of data you use on your switch. The obvious answer is to play offline to avoid using any data. You also need to ensure that your Nintendo Switch is shut off when you’re not using it. That prevents other activities from occurring that might cause you to use data packets. 

Play Low-Consumption Games

You may also choose to play low-consumption games on your Switch until you get into a better situation that will allow you to use more data. Many games only use a low or moderate amount of data. Your best bet is to choose from that selection and indulge in those games until you feel you can use much more data during gameplay. Picross is one example of a low-consumption game. 

Turn on Flight Mode

You can also turn on Flight Mode to ensure that your Switch isn’t in action. This works just like Airplane Mode on smartphones and prevents the device from connecting to the internet in any way. You’ll press and hold your “Home” button until you see the “Flight Mode” toggle on the bottom right to turn on Flight Mode.

All you need to do is turn the toggle switch on to activate the feature. That’s the quick way of doing it. You can also go through the entire menu process by going to “System Settings,” “Flight Mode,” and then turning it “On.” 

Update Your Switch

It will also be beneficial for you to ensure that your Switch has the latest software. Updates usually help gaming systems to burn less energy and use less data. 

The Switch usually does automatic updates, but you can do one if you notice that your unit hasn’t gotten one. Go to the “Home” menu and then go to “System Settings” and “System Update.” If you don’t currently have it on your system, it will update to the latest software version. Now you have more information about how much data goes when you use the Nintendo Switch. You can use some of the tools and tips mentioned above to manage your data usage and get the most out of your Switch.

Steven Carr

Steven is a certified IT professional and gaming enthusiast. He has been working in the tech industry for over 10 years, and specializes in all things Tech-related. When he's not geeking out over the latest hardware or software release, he can be found testing out the latest video game.

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