How To Fix Nintendo Switch Game Card Not Working

If you’re reading this article, you’re probably looking for help about your Nintendo Switch game card or cartridge not working. Fortunately for you, this is exactly what this post is all about. 

There are two ways on how to put a game in a Nintendo Switch. One is by buying a game online via Nintendo Switch Online service and the other is by getting a physical card. As you’ve probably known by now, one of the downsides of owning a physical game cartridge is that there’s always a chance that card can get damaged or becomes unreadable. If the card is scratched, damaged, or exposed to elements, there’s a chance that it may stop working. This can result to your Nintendo Switch telling you that your game is unreadable or not being detected. 

If your Nintendo Switch is saying that the software application can’t be opened or started after you insert the card, there may be an issue with either the console or with the card itself. You’ll need to do a set of troubleshooting steps in order to identify the cause of the problem.

Troubleshooting a Nintendo Switch game cartridge that won’t work 

Time Needed : 10 minutes

Below are the steps that you must do in order to fix this problem.

  1. Remove and re-insert the game card.

    Sometimes, simply disconnecting the game card from the console can fix bugs. Take out the game card and wipe the connector strips at the back with a clean, soft cloth. Afterwards, reinsert the card and see if the problem goes away.inserting game card

  2. Try inserting another game cartridge.

    If you have another game card, try to insert it and see if your console reads it. If the second game works while the first one doesn’t, you may have an issue with the card itself and not the console. Depending on the problem, you may need to have the card card

  3. Update the software.

    Some game issues are easily fixed by installing a software update. Make sure that your Nintendo Switch console is running the latest software version by manually checking it under System Settings menu. Here’s how:
    Make sure that your Nintendo Switch is connected to the internet.
    Go to the Home Menu.
    Select System Settings.
    Select System.
    Select System Update.
    Wait for a few moments to allow the system to check for new software version.
    If an update is available, the download process will begin automatically.
    software update 2

  4. Check for an update for the game.

    If you are having trouble with one particular game card only, the game may need an update. Make sure that your console is set to install game updates automatically by going to System Settings>System>Auto-Update update

  5. Get help for possible repair or replacement.

    If multiple Nintendo Switch game cards are not working, or if you don’t have another game card to try, you should use Nintendo’s online repair site to select your repair options. repair 1

IMPORTANT: If you’re trying a pre-owned, borrowed, or second-hand game card, make sure to inspect it for bent or broken connector strips at the back. A game card with a bent strip, when inserted to the console, may get further damage, or cause internal damage to the console as well. For some users, this issue has affected their Nintendo Switch consoles for good, permanently damaging them. 

Avoid using damaged game cards and always inspect the back part prior to inserting a new game card.

Suggested readings:

Get help from us

Having Issues with your phone? Feel free to contact us using this form. We’ll try to help. We also create videos for those wanting to follow visual instructions. Visit our TheDroidGuy Youtube Channel for troubleshooting.

Photo of author

Harvey Hisona

Harvey is keen with mobile technology and loves writing about all things mobile. He is passionate in helping technology-challenged people by finding resolution to their issues. Contact me at Email

Posts you might like