The Switch is a perfect console, allowing you to enjoy games big and small no matter if you’re on the couch or on the go. That said, the best Nintendo Switch games rarely receive a discount, even if you’re constantly checking for the best Nintendo Switch deals. Luckily, there’s a long list of free games available to you and we’ve rounded up a list of our favorites.
Tetris 99 is the free game on Nintendo Switch. Although you’ll need a Nintendo Switch Online membership to play, the game itself is free to download. Unlike a traditional Tetris game, 99 has you facing off against 99 other players in a battle royale. If you get a double, triple, or a Tetris, you send some junk — unfinished lines — to your opponent, filling their board and potentially sending them back to the main menu to start a new game
Fortnite might be the biggest game in the world and it’s available for just about every platform, including the Switch. You can easily link your accounts in-game, allowing you to carry over your progress from PC, PS4, or Xbox One. Battle Royale and Creative modes are available on Switch, though Save the World is not.
Warframe isn’t just one of the best free Nintendo Switch games, it’s one of the best free games in general. The game single-handedly proved that free-to-play games can come with AAA quality and a load of free content, establishing the same business model that other entries on this list follow.
Fallout Shelter came out of nowhere, announced and released during a Bethesda E3 press conference in 2015. Originally just released for iOS devices, the game has since been ported to Android, Windows, PS4, Xbox One, and, most importantly, Switch. No matter if you’re on your TV or on the go, you can build and manage your own Fallout vault.
Brawlhalla is basically Smash Bros. — just a little worse and a whole lot cheaper. It features the same four-player arena battles of Smash Bros., but without the nostalgic Nintendo characters in tow. Instead, Brawlhalla offers a long list of Legends, with eight free ones cycling through your roster each week. You can purchase all of the Legends, but since they’ll all be available for free at some point, it won’t give you an in-game edge.
Deltarune Chapter 1
Deltarune comes from famed indie developer Toby Fox, the same mind behind the incredibly wield and wildly entertaining Undertale. Like its predecessor, Deltarune is a top-down RPG where you can choose if you resolve combat peacefully or violently. It ditches the combat system of Undertale, however, in favor of a Final Fantasy inspired battle system, fit with a tension bar.
Super Kirby Clash
Super Kirby Clash is an expanded version of Team Kirby Clash Deluxe, a free-to-play title on the Nintendo 3DS. In a radical change to the Kirby formula, Super Kirby Clash is focused entirely on boss battles. You can choose your hero Kirby, team up with up to three other friends, and take down a long list of bosses.
Many free-to-play games mirror the formula of popular paid titles (we’ll get to another one in just a minute). Paladins fits in that category, taking the MOBA-inspired shooter formula of Overwatch and setting it in a free-to-play realm. There are 44 champions, and like Brawlhalla, they’re rotated into a free roster each month. You can, of course, purchase access to all of the champions.
Arena of Valo
Arena of Valor is a five-versus-five MOBA game originally developed for mobile devices, and like countless other mobile games, ported to Switch. Although it’s easy to write Arena of Valor off as a knockoff of DOTA and League of Legends, there’s some serious talent behind the game, with famed composer Hans Zimmer having a hand in the soundtrack.
Although the five-versus-five mode is the most popular, Arena of Valor actually has multiple game modes. Valley Skirmish, for example, is a three-versus-three game mode with a smaller map and only one tower. For all intents and purposes, though, Arena of Valor is a League of Legends clone. In fact, the inspiration for the game came out of Tencent, developer of Arena of Valor, approaching Riot Games for a mobile port of League of Legends.
Dauntless is very similar to Monster Hunter. In it, you play as a Slayer, a group of surviving humans after creatures known as Behemoths were released on Earth. Either alone or with a group of friends, you set out over the desolate landscape to hunt Behemoths, gathering materials to craft weapons and armor along the way.
Asphalt 9: Legends
Gameloft is one of the prolific mobile game developers around, creating games for Disney, Lego, Sega, and more. One of its original IPs is Asphalt, a series of realistic racing games that’s been running since 2004. The latest release, Asphalt 9, is one the best looking mobile games around. With the Switch’s hardware, the graphics are given even more room to shine.
Like Super Kirby Clash, Pokémon Quest is another “free-to-start” game from Nintendo. The game takes place on Tumblecube Island, where all Pokémon have turned into cubed versions of themselves. You can take up to three Pokémon with you on your adventure across Tumblecube Island, gathering loot and Power Stones to level up your Pokémon
Smite is another game from Hi-Rez Studios, the same developer behind Paladins. Unlike Paladins, which is a MOBA-shooter, Smite is a straight-up MOBA. Like similar games, Smite features five-versus-five online battles in a large map, where you must push past your opponent’s defenses to defeat the Titan.
DC Universe Online
DC Universe Online has been around for a long time, originally released for Windows and PS3 in 2011. Since then, it has been ported to Xbox One, PS4, and, of course, the Nintendo Switch. It’s a free-to-play MMO action game where you can take control of heroes and villains within the DC universe.
Dawn of the Breakers
Dawn of the Breakers is a mobile game that has been ported to Switch. Although it follows the free-to-play model of most mobile games, Dawn of the Breakers is a fun and engaging beat ‘em up. With an anime art style in tow, Dawn of the Breakers looks surprisingly good, even by the Switch’s standards.