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The best free Nintendo Switch games

The Nintendo Switch offers an unparalleled gaming experience, allowing you to enjoy games big and small, no matter whether you’re on the couch or on the go. That said, Switch games rarely receive a discount, even if you’re constantly checking for the best Nintendo Switch deals. Our list of the best free Nintendo Switch games is here to help.

We’ve rounded up the top free-to-play games on Nintendo Switch, from Switch Online exclusives like Tetris 99 and Pac-Man 99 to third-party hits like Fortnite and Rocket League. 

Keep in mind that although all of the games below are free to start, they all feature microtransactions in one form or another. However, we restricted our picks only to games that have ethical microtransactions (no pay-gating or anything like that).

Apex Legends

Apex Legends
78%
T
Platforms
PC (Microsoft Windows), PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
Genre
Shooter
Developer
Respawn Entertainment
Publisher
Electronic Arts
Release
February 04, 2019
Apex Legends needs no introduction. It’s the larger-than-life battle royale FPS game that has continued to take the world by storm since it launched in 2019. Now, though, it’s available on the Switch. Although Apex Legends doesn’t look its best running on Nintendo’s handheld, it’s still the full, fat experience that’s available on consoles and PC, and it’s free to download and start playing. If you haven’t played Apex Legends, you take control of one of several legendary characters in the Apex Games. It’s a 60-player battle to the death where you’ll have to use your special character abilities and any guns that you can find to survive. Unfortunately, the Switch version doesn’t have cross-save or cross-progression, but you can still use all of the characters and weapons available in the game.
Apex Legends Official Launch Trailer

Pac-Man 99

Pac-Man 99
76%
E
Platforms
Nintendo Switch
Genre
Arcade
Developer
Arika
Publisher
Bandai Namco Entertainment
Release
April 07, 2021
Pac-Man 99 is the next classic-turned-battle-royale. Like Tetris 99 and, formerly, Super Mario 35, Pac-Man 99 is a battle royale game based on the classic Pac-Man experience. You and 98 other players just play Pac-Man. But instead of competing for the top score, you’re trying to survive. Each time you eat a Ghost, you send phantom Pac-Men to other players, and if they run into them, they’ll slow down for the rest of the game. On the flip side, if they eat one while going for a Ghost, they’ll get a speed boost. Although it can get repetitive quickly, Pac-Man 99 is great for a few rounds whenever you have a little bit of downtime. Even better, the free mode is the best part of the experience. You can pay $30 for some extra skins and a couple of variations of score attack modes, but Pac-Man 99 shines with 98 other players on screen.
PAC-MAN™ 99 - Announcement Trailer - Nintendo Switch

F-Zero 99

F-Zero 99
71%
E
Platforms
Nintendo Switch
Genre
Racing
Publisher
Nintendo
Release
September 14, 2023
Look, you can’t blame us for putting all the 99 games on this list when they just continue to be so good. Once again, Nintendo picked the least likely franchise to make sense as a battle royale and made it not only work but rock. F-Zero 99 isn’t the new entry in the series many of us wanted, but more than a worthy replacement. Putting us back on the tracks from the SNES original, you will race down the track boosting, clashing, and using new attacks to stay at the front of the pack. This game also has Mini Prix and Grand Prix modes that cycle into the game on rotation, plus team battles and pro tracks every day to keep your racing experience fresh race after race.

TETRIS 99

TETRIS 99
82%
E
Platforms
Nintendo Switch
Genre
Puzzle, Arcade
Developer
Arika Co., Ltd., Alper Sarıkaya
Publisher
Nintendo, Nintendo of America, Nintendo of Europe
Release
February 13, 2019
Tetris 99 is the free game on Nintendo Switch (now that Super Mario 35 is gone, at least). 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. There is something so visceral and frantic about battling head-to-head with other players in Tetris. Thankfully, if you want a more relaxed experience, that’s available, too, in the form of the Big Block DLC. It’ll run you $10, but considering the base game is free, it’s an easy sell.
Tetris 99 Reveal Trailer

Fortnite

Fortnite
68%
T
Platforms
PC (Microsoft Windows), Mac, Android, iOS, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S
Genre
Shooter, Role-playing (RPG), Strategy
Developer
Epic Games
Publisher
Epic Games
Release
July 25, 2017
Fortnite might be the biggest shooter 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 (even mobile, if you’re an Android Fortnite fiend). Battle Royale and Creative modes are available on Switch, though Save the World is not. Although you’ll need an internet connection to play Fortnite, you don’t need Nintendo Switch Online. Fortnite is one of a few exceptions to Nintendo’s paid online subscription.
Fortnite Trailer

Warframe

Warframe
76%
M
Platforms
PC (Microsoft Windows), PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S
Genre
Shooter, Role-playing (RPG), Adventure
Developer
Digital Extremes
Publisher
Digital Extremes
Release
March 25, 2013
Warframe isn’t just one of the best free Nintendo Switch games, it’s one of the best free games in general. This third-person shooter/slasher 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. The game functions similarly to Destiny 2. In Warframe, you take control of one of more than 30 Warframes, armor units that have their own abilities and customization. You can then take your custom character out on various short quests, either alone or with up to three other people. As you progress, you’ll be able to unlock new weapons, items, and worlds, each of which offers dozens of hours of gameplay.
Warframe | Open Beta Launch Trailer

Fallout Shelter

Fallout Shelter
64%
T
Platforms
PC (Microsoft Windows), Android, iOS, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
Genre
Role-playing (RPG), Simulator, Strategy
Developer
Bethesda Game Studios
Publisher
Bethesda Softworks
Release
June 14, 2015
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 Fallout vault. Rather than focusing on the dangerous nuclear wasteland outside the vault, Fallout Shelter focuses on what happens inside. In the game, you’re the overseer of a vault, tasked with managing your population, building new rooms, and ensuring you have enough resources to survive. Although the setup is similar to “idle” games like AdVenture Capitalist, Fallout Shelter has a surprising amount of depth.
Fallout Shelter - Announcement Trailer

Brawlhalla

Brawlhalla
68%
E10
Platforms
PC (Microsoft Windows), Mac, Android, iOS, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
Genre
Fighting, Platform, Indie, Arcade
Developer
Blue Mammoth Games
Publisher
Blue Mammoth Games, Ubisoft
Release
April 30, 2014
Brawlhalla is a Smash Bros.-like fighting game just a little worse and a whole lot cheaper. It features the same eight-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. That’s what’s most impressive about Brawlhalla — it has microtransactions, but not to the point that it feels pay-to-win. All of the characters feel balanced, so you could easily spend hundreds of hours in Brawlhalla without spending a dime. Furthermore, the game supports cross-play between PC, Xbox One, PS4, and Switch, so you’ll always be able to find a game.
Brawlhalla CZ Let's Play

Rocket League

Rocket League
83%
E
Platforms
Linux, PC (Microsoft Windows), Mac, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S
Genre
Racing, Sport, Indie
Developer
Psyonix
Publisher
Psyonix
Release
July 07, 2015
It’s not often you see a paid game make the jump to a free-to-play model, but that’s what Rocket League did in 2020. It used to be one of the best cheap Switch games at around $20, but now, it’s free to start playing. The usual free-to-play monetization practices apply, however. Rocket League sells a battle pass, and there are various different skins you can purchase. However, the move to a free-to-play model has some upsides, too. Rocket League now has full cross-platform support, allowing you to team up with players on other consoles, as well as continue progressing regardless of the system you’re playing on. Thankfully, that’s really all that changed with the change in monetization. Rocket League is still the same bombastic, tire-burning sports game that it was before. And it pairs perfectly with the Switch. Jumping in and out of games, particularly in handheld mode, is a treat. If there’s any free Nintendo Switch game you should have, it’s Rocket League. 
Rocket League® - OMG It Has Everything!

Fall Guys

Fall Guys
78%
E
Platforms
PC (Microsoft Windows), PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S
Genre
Platform, Sport, Indie
Developer
Mediatonic
Publisher
Devolver Digital, Epic Games
Release
August 04, 2020

Following Rocket League‘s footsteps almost exactly, Fall Guys originally was a paid release before going free-to-play and launching on all systems. That, of course, includes the Nintendo Switch, where this colorful and wacky battle royale feels most at home. This game has you compete in various obstacle courses in various rounds until only one victor reaches the crown. The physics are loose and unpredictable in all the best ways, making it fun even when you lose due to the sheer absurdity of what’s going on.

Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout - Official Trailer | Summer of Gaming 2020

Super Kirby Clash

Super Kirby Clash
76%
E
Platforms
Nintendo Switch
Genre
Adventure, Arcade
Publisher
Nintendo
Release
September 04, 2019
Super Kirby Clash is an expanded version of Team Kirby Clash Deluxe, a free-to-play fighting game 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. Nintendo makes no bones about it, however, labeling Super Kirby Clash as a “free-to-start” game. Unlike Tetris 99, you’ll need to eventually pour some money into Super Kirby Clash if you want to get everything out of it. That said, if you’re looking for a quick time killer, Super Kirby Clash is a great option.
Super Kirby Clash - Overview Trailer - Nintendo Switch

Paladins

Paladins
74%
T
Platforms
PC (Microsoft Windows), Mac, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch
Genre
Shooter, Strategy
Developer
Hi-Rez Studios, Evil Mojo Games
Publisher
Hi-Rez Studios
Release
May 02, 2017
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. Like other MOBA games, Paladins demands your team have a balanced roster. Champions are split into four classes: Front Lines, Damages, Supports, and Flanks. Having each champion playing their ideal role is a sure route to victory, forcing a level of teamwork that would make even the most competitive shooters blush.
Paladins - Become a Champion

Overwatch 2

Overwatch 2
65%
T
Platforms
PC (Microsoft Windows), PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S
Genre
Shooter
Developer
Blizzard Entertainment
Publisher
Blizzard Entertainment
Release
October 04, 2022
We can’t talk about hero shooters without giving Overwatch 2 a spot, especially since the sequel has gone fully free-to-play. This game takes the entirety of the first, changes up the formula to be five on five, and tosses in some new modes, heroes, maps, and a battle pass system. While the giant roster is intimidating to look at if you’re coming into the game fresh, the onboarding process does make it a lot less intimidating and gradually lets you figure out the mechanics of the game before making you pick between the over 30 unique heroes in the game. That huge roster ends up being the main appeal, though, since every single one has their own style, personality, abilities, and roles in matches. No two matches ever feel quite the same and are always a blast with friends.
Overwatch 2 - Free to Play Trailer - Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase 2022

Dauntless

Dauntless
67%
T
Platforms
PC (Microsoft Windows), PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S
Genre
Role-playing (RPG), Adventure
Developer
Phoenix Labs
Publisher
Phoenix Labs, Epic Games
Release
September 26, 2019
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. It’s not just another free-to-play game copying the formula of an established franchise, however. Dauntless was developed by a group of designers from Riot Games, BioWare, Blizzard, and Capcom, and that talent shows in the final product. Although Dauntless is totally free, it feels like a full AAA experience, which is all the more impressive on Switch.
Dauntless - Announce Trailer

Pokémon Unite

Pokémon Unite
71%
E
Platforms
Android, iOS, Nintendo Switch
Genre
MOBA
Developer
Timi, Tencent Games
Publisher
The Pokémon Company
Release
July 20, 2021
Like Super Kirby ClashPokémon Unite is another “free-to-start” game from Nintendo. This spinoff is the first time the series, and Nintendo as a whole, has attempted to breach the MOBA genre. This is normally a very deep and intimidating genre, dominated by the likes of League of Legends and DOTA 2. However, Pokémon Unite makes things very approachable for newcomers. You play on teams of five as your favorite pocket monsters, with 36 currently in the game, in 10-minute matches where the team with the most points at the end wins. You start off at your base level Pokémon, but level up and evolve, learning new moves and buying items to improve your stats to fight the enemy team and wild creatures on the map.
Team Up to Battle in Pokémon UNITE!

Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel

Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel
74%
T
Platforms
PC (Microsoft Windows), Android, iOS, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S
Genre
Simulator, Strategy, Card & Board Game
Developer
Konami
Publisher
Konami
Release
January 18, 2022
If you were a child in or around the 90s and loved CCGs, Yu-Hi-Oh! no doubt crossed your mind at the very least. Even if you never got into it in its prime, playing Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel is the perfect entry point into this surprisingly solid card battler. Not only will you save a ton playing it virtually instead of investing in cards, plus having to find local players to duel, but the game is constantly updating and adding new cards and ways to play. Learn the basics in single-player, then challenge opponents around the world in online battles.
Yu-Gi-Oh! MASTER DUEL / EN YDN

Editors' Recommendations

Jesse Lennox

Jesse Lennox loves writing, games, and complaining about not having time to write and play games. He knows the names of more Japanese game devs than his own neighbors, and has a way better knowledge of the game industry at large than anything going on in "real" current events. You can catch him defending the plot of Kingdom Hearts and geeking out over awesome combo videos in character action games any day of the week. Connect with Jesse on LinkdIn.

Dell’s best-selling gaming laptop is $200 off today
Dell G15 (2023) sitting on a coffee table.

The Dell G15 gaming laptop is already an extremely popular device, but it will likely end up in the hands of more gamers because of Dell's $200 discount for the machine. From the original price of $900 for a configuration that features the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 graphics card, it's down to an even more affordable $700. Gaming laptop deals like this almost always end sooner than expected because of the high demand though, so you need to complete your purchase for it immediately if you want to pocket the savings.

Why you should buy the Dell G15 gaming laptop
Featured in our roundup of the best gaming laptops as the best budget gaming laptop under $1,000, the Dell G15 won't have any trouble running the best PC games despite its affordable price. It pairs the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 graphics card with the 13th-generation Intel Core i5 processor and 8GB of RAM for decent performance that will be enough for most gamers. The Dell G15 may not be able to play the more demanding titles at their highest settings, but that's an acceptable trade-off considering the gaming laptop's relatively low cost.

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Best gaming laptop deals: Alienware, Razer, Asus and more
An Alienware m16 gaming laptop in use on a desk, playing Baldur's Gate III.

Some of the best gaming laptops on the market have become really impressive, and while they may not be able to go toe-to-toe with some of the best gaming desktops, they're getting pretty close. Luckily, even mid-range gaming laptops can play some of the best PC games nowadays with a couple of graphical compromises. That said, budget-friendly gaming laptops are still pretty good, too, which is why we've gone out and collected our favorite deals across various budgets and specs so you can pick what works best for you.

We've found deals from some of the best laptop brands and include Lenovo laptop deals, Acer laptop deals, Dell laptop deals, and HP laptop deals, although if you're looking for some more general deals, these laptop deals have some good options, too.
Acer Nitro 5 gaming laptop -- $751, was $950

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Best PlayStation deals: PS5, controllers, headsets on sale
PS5 and DualSense art.

If you've mostly been playing on the PS4 and are thinking of upgrading to the newer Sony PlayStation 5, you'll be happy to know that there are a lot of great deals floating about, with some throwing in a free game as part of the bundle. We've done our best to go out and collect not only deals on the consoles themselves but also some accessories like headphones and controllers, although if you're looking for games, you might want to check our list of our favorite PS5 game deals. Alternatively, if you aren't quite ready to take the plunge on the PS5, you can check out these other great gaming console deals.
Sony PlayStation 5 Marvel’s Spider-Man 2 bundle — $509, was $600

If you’re looking to get your hands on a PlayStation 5 console with a game to get you going, try this bundle with Marvel’s Spider-Man 2. This console features the PlayStation 5’s slim design, yet still has 1TB of solid state storage built in. It also comes with one DualSense Wireless Controller, and of course, a digital voucher for Marvel’s Spider-Man 2.

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