Choosing Which Switch Games To Delete For Space Causes Me Deep Dread

Every time I obtain a new Switch game from Nintendo’s eShop, I worry. Will this be the one that forces me to archive or delete something else from my SD memory card in order to make room, and if so, how am I supposed to choose?

When I got my Switch back in 2017, I felt invincible, at least from a free memory standpoint. I’d purchased a 128 GB micro SDXC card, which isn’t the largest supported size but is pretty far up there. It was enough for all my launch games — Breath of the Wild, Super Bomberman R, Skylanders: About To Be Cancelled and so on.

But then Nintendo had to start releasing a dozen or more indie games a week on top of its big first-party stuff. Now, only two years and five months since the console launched, there are more than 2500 titles on the Switch. I only own maybe 150 of them, and there’s no way in hell all of those will fit on one memory card.

And so, every time I want to install a larger game, I get this.

That damnable X, indicating there’s not enough room at the inn-tendo for the latest game I want to play. That X is the prelude to one of the most gut-wrenching moments of Switch ownership. What do I get rid of?

I appreciate that Nintendo gives me options when asking me to kill my video game babies. I can choose to archive my games, which deletes their data from my system but leaves the icon, or I can delete games completely, removing all but their save files from my system.

The choice seems easy enough. Archive the games and keep their memory alive, right? But if I leave the tile, with the little redownload icon beside the game’s name, I am constantly reminded of my failure to show both self-control when buying new games and managing my storage space.

I don’t need to keep the icon for Senran Kagura: Peach Ball on my Switch. I am a mature adult and have no need for a game that involves hitting ninja women in the chest with pinballs. Besides, I am playing through it on PC.

But the decision to remove its data from my system, made recently as I downloaded my preview copy of Astral Chain, was agonising.

Maybe one day I will want to play boobie pinball while on the go. Who knows when I will get the itch to play Towerfall again? I can’t delete Musynx or Gal Metal or Aaero; they are rhythm games and those are my jam. So what if I haven’t played two out of those three in nearly a year?

Why am I tearing my hair out over this? Why does it bother me so?

I have a feeling it’s because we are deep in the age of digital downloads. I am a collector. I like to look at the things I have. I’ve worked hard for those things, and tucking them away out of sight feels wrong. I suppose there’s only one real solution.

To me, my dusty and bitter plastic friends. Soon you will be legion.


    My reluctance to remove anything from my various harddrives comes from my slow internet meaning I'll be facing hours of downloading if I want to play the game again.

    Yep my 1tb Xbone has a 3tb drive attached with every games with gold installed even all the crap I'll never play haha I don't delete anything!

    I used to have this dread back when i had slow internet.

    I had a 4TB HD in my computer just for steam games. Now i no longer worry because my net is fast enough i can just redownload stuff.

    I’m feeling like I need a bigger sd card. I have a 128gb, but wouldn’t mind something close to 250gb. Maybe more.

    That said my Switch is my indie machine in the main and you can fit a lot of those on a 128gb card.

    I delete almost everything. If I'm not playing it, why have it on the drive? There's really only ever about 4 games that I'm playing at any one time. I like having oodles of HDD space. Makes me feel prepared for.... I don't know. But I'm ready, whatever it is!

    Surely you finish some games and know you'll never go back to them. Time to remove them.

    I recently replaced my 200gb SD card in my switch to 400gb. If I fill that I might just go all out and get a 1tb card.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now