The best free games on the Nintendo eShop

There’s a saying, ‘The best things in life are free’ and recently that’s been the case with games on the Nintendo eShop for the Switch. There are plenty of titles you can download and play for free! From puzzle-solving games to intense battle royales, there’s something for everyone. Even though Apex Legends and Fortnite are free games, they are not on this list because everyone knows them.

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It’s important to remember though that many of these games have options for micro-transactions. Additionally, there are a few titles that only let you access certain levels, modes, or parts of the story for free. However, that being said, there are some that are definitely worth checking out.

Important: None of the games featured here require Nintendo Online membership.

ten Coloring book

Nintendo Switch eShop Coloring Book

If you want a simple yet fun and relaxing thing to do on your Switch, the Coloring Book game is for you. When you download it, you will get 12 coloring pages for free, but if you want more, you have to buy them separately. You even get a surprise appearance from Cut The Rope’s Om Nom as one of the pages.

When you color a page, you can choose to do it as an individual drawing or as part of a larger image. The latter would consolidate six of your coloring pages into one larger image. In the free part of the game, this would be the jungle-themed image. The color palette is varied giving you a good choice overall and you can use multiple brushes too.


9 fallout shelter

Fallout Shelter Beginner Chest

Fallout Shelter is not a unique game on Switch but it is one of the best free ones. Taken from the classic Bethesda franchise, Fallout Shelter puts you in charge of your own vault. You need to build the vault from scratch and house survivors there. You are known as the Overseer (fancy term for you’re in charge). It has become so popular that it is now a board game.

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You will need to make sure your Vault Dwellers have enough food and water. You will build housing for them as well as many specialized rooms. Where the dwellers work is up to you, so you should read their profiles to determine which would be the best place in your Vault to assign them. You can even send them on missions in the Wasteland and sometimes they can bring back valuable materials. It’s a brilliant expansion to the Fallout franchise.

8 Color Zen

Color Zen Title Screen

Color Zen is an extremely relaxing color matching puzzle game. The object of the game is to match two of the same color in order to fill the screen with that color. You can only fill the screen once with a color, so once you use blue, you can’t use it again.

Your objective is to complete the puzzle by filling the canvas with the color shown around the border of your screen once you run out of other shades. Color Zen requires just the right amount of thought to keep your attention, but not so much that it becomes tedious after a while. If you need a soothing game, this is it.

7 Squad of kittens

Kitten Squad Title Screen

Ever wanted to be a hero and save abused and trapped animals? Well now you can if you join the Kitten Squad! There are many quests to undertake in this game and for each of them you will become a feline feline. You will have to fight your way through fierce robots and evil enemies if you want to save innocent animals.

The gameplay is surprisingly challenging, and the enemies you face in the levels are constantly changing. This means you rarely fight the same enemy twice in a row, so the rotation keeps the game fresh. The game also provides valuable education about animal abuse and how cruel some people are to them.

6 Knockout City

Knockout City loading screen image

1…2…3…dodgeball! Knockout City brings the classic school game to the world of digital gaming in style. In this action-packed game, you have to run through a stylized city and take part in an intense battle. You get all the joy of dodgeball without the pain of having a rubber sphere hit you in the face.

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Your Knockout City free trial ends when you reach level 25, however, it’s a great taste of a great game. You can also play with friends or against complete strangers. One of the funniest features of Knockout City is that if you lose your ball, you can just become the ball and let your teammates throw you instead!

5 Asphalt 9: Legends

Asphalt 9 Legends Mid Race Shooting

The golden age of racing games came with simple tracks that relied on your skills as a player and well-known cars. Asphalt 9: Legends brings everything good about classic racing games to the Switch. You have a career mode where you can speed through tracks around the world to become the best.

Although there are micro-transactions in this game, they are done through in-game currency which you can earn by completing tasks. It’s a whole game in itself for free, but you can buy additional expansion packs for different cars or blueprints to unlock the cars. If you like old school racing games, this should be fine for you.

4 Pokemon Quest

Pokemon quest title screen

The Pokemon Quest has a basic premise. In the game, you have to pit your Pokemon against others in the wild. At Base Camp, you can cook recipes with items you’ve collected from battles and use those recipes to attract wild Pokémon. Once they are in your camp, you can pick them up as your own. The design of the games makes the world look like pixels, giving it a retro look.

You can take three quest Pokémon with you, and you can change your team composition at any time at Base Camp. For more experienced Pokemon players, building a powerful team can be easy. For new players this can be tricky, but luckily trial and error fighting with different formations will still net you valuable XP points!

3 Super Bomberman R online

Super Bomberman R Online Title Screen

It is a free Battle Royale game from Bomberman series. In this game, you compete against other people around the world to become the ultimate bomber. You are stuck in a small maze with other players and must strategically place your bombs to defeat them.

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However, your bombs can also hurt you, so you have to be careful not to blow yourself up. There are also many bonuses and special weapons that you can collect in the game, which makes the battle even more chaotic. You can even customize your Bomber character to make it as cute or as cool as you want.

2 Rogue company

Rogue Company Title Screen

Rogue Company is an intense third-person shooter. In the game, you are put in a team of four with your friends (or complete strangers) and you have to compete against another group to complete a challenge. The challenges you have to complete depend on the mode you are playing in. Either way, you’ll win the mode by eliminating the opposing team.

To win in demolition mode, you must secure a bomb and detonate it at one of two points marked on the map. The other team can disarm your bomb once it’s active. The rounds will continue until there is a clear winner. At the start of each round you are reset to the dropship and here you can buy upgrades for your weapons using in-game currency. For people who play a lot of PvP games, this one is definitely worth a try .

1 ninjala

Ninjala loading screen illustration

Ninjala is a multiplayer game that is complete mayhem yet extremely fun. One of the best things about the game is that before you can do anything, you have to complete the training. It may seem a bit tedious but it’s really important because the game has a lot of tips and tricks that can help you win the fights.

You can create your own little ninja character and push it into battle against other players around the world. There are no other words to describe this game other than organized chaos. You are allowed to hit each other with big guns and fly around the course using your unique powers. You can beat other players to earn points or destroy requested objects. Ultimately, your goal is to go first when the time runs out to become a Ninja Master!

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About the Author

Timothy C. Mayo