Skip to main content

Nintendo Switch Cloud Version games explained: All the games and how they work

Control Nintendo Switch Cloud version
(Image credit: 505 Games)

The latest additions to the steadily growing library of Nintendo Switch Cloud version games will see Sora land onto the console for the first time, with the arrival of three Kingdom Hearts games. Instead of being native ports, Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 Remix, Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue, and Kingdom Hearts 3 + ReMind will be coming to the Switch store via the Cloud. Square Enix is by no means the first publisher to take this route to get its games on Nintendo's console. 

Last year, Remedy dropped the  Ultimate edition of Control onto the Switch as a cloud-based game, while Capcom and Ubisoft have trialled Cloud versions of Resident Evil 7 and Assassin's Creed Odyssey in Japan. With more developers turning to the cloud to bring their games to Switch, it certainly looks like this trend is set to continue into the future. If you've ever found yourself wondering what a Cloud game is, how it all works, and which games make use of the Cloud on the Switch, you've come to the right place. Below, you'll find everything you need to know about Switch Cloud version games. 

What are Switch cloud games?  

Control Nintendo Switch Cloud version

(Image credit: 505 Games)

So just what are Nintendo Switch Cloud version games? Well, essentially when you buy a cloud version of a game, the software will be streamed from a server as you play it and won't be stored locally on your console. As a result, in order to run a cloud game, you'll need to have a stable internet connection to stream and play games from the cloud. As the Switch is a portable console, this also means that you'll likely not be able to play Cloud version games on the go – unless network speeds and stability improve massively – since you need to have a permanent connection to the internet to run your games. As Nintendo explains over on it's FAQ page, because the full game streams from a server, you won't have a big download when it comes to installing Cloud versions –- you'll only have a small download to actually launch the game from your console. 

How do I know if my internet will support Switch Cloud version games?  

Hitman 3 Nintendo Switch Cloud version

(Image credit: IO Interactive)
Read More

Kirby and the Forgotten Land

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Stay up to date with our roundup of all the upcoming Switch games

Since Cloud games require a stable, high-speed internet connection, you're able to download a free trial demo to make sure your connection can support the games. When you go onto the Nintendo storefront, you'll notice that some cloud versions such as Control and Hitman 3 are listed as a "free download", but this is because they require you to trial them before you commit to a full purchase. 

If you download and boot up Control, for example, you'll be prompted with a warning message that states: "You can use this application to try out the game for free for a limited amount of time. This game uses cloud streaming technology, and a stable and permanent internet connection is required to play it. If your internet connection becomes unstable, the service will disconnect after a few minutes. Please use this demo to test the availability of and quality of the service of your network environment." 

You can then try out a demo trial for enhanced performance and enhanced graphics for Control. When it comes to actually purchasing the full game after you've tested it out, you'll then need to go to the Nintendo eShop to purchase an access pass. Other games such as The Forgotten City offer up the option of free trial, and if you're unsure, it's always worth doing so you're not investing in a game your connection can't handle. 

Improve Switch Cloud game stability with a wired connection 

Hitman 3 Nintendo Switch Cloud version

(Image credit: IO Interactive)

Setting up a wired connection on your Switch at home could be worthwhile, especially if your wireless connection isn't stable enough to support cloud gaming. For a wired connection, you will need to connect a LAN adapter with a USB port into your Switch dock which will let you plug in an ethernet cable. From there, you'll need to dock your Switch, go into System Settings, and then Internet Connections, and look for the wired connection, which should show up once you've connected the cable. Nintendo has made this simpler for the Nintendo Switch OLED, with a dedicated LAN port on the dock. You can also get a full rundown of how to connect your Switch or Switch Lite on Nintendo's help page here

Switch Cloud version games 

Kingdom Hearts 3 cutscene

(Image credit: Square Enix)

When it comes to the amount of games on Switch that use the cloud, it's still only a small selection of titles, but with some upcoming releases set to make use of this streaming technology, it looks set to grow. If you're not sure which games in Switch's expansive library run on the cloud and require an internet connection, we've compiled a list of all of the Switch cloud games down below, including games that are yet to be released. 

  • Hitman 3 (free trial before purchase)  
  • Control (free trial before purchase) 
  • The Forgotten City 
  • A Plague Tale: Innocence  
  • Resident Evil 7 (Japan only) 
  • Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey (Japan only) 
  • Phantasy Star Online 2 (Japan only) 

Upcoming releases

  • Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy (October 26, 2021)
  • Kingdom Hearts HD 1.5 + 2.5 Remix 
  • Kingdom Hearts HD 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue 
  • Kingdom Hearts 3 + ReMind 
  • Dying Light 2: Stay Human (4th Feb 2022) 
  • A Plague Tale: Requiem (2022)

Looking for something new to play? Here's our pick of the 25 best Switch games you can play right now.

Heather Wald

I started out writing for the games section of a student-run website as an undergrad, and continued to write about games in my free time during retail and temp jobs for a number of years. Eventually, I earned an MA in magazine journalism at Cardiff University, and soon after got my first official role in the industry as a content editor for Stuff magazine. After writing about all things tech and games-related, I then did a brief stint as a freelancer before I landed my role as a staff writer here at GamesRadar+. Now I get to write features, previews, and reviews, and when I'm not doing that, you can usually find me lost in any one of the Dragon Age or Mass Effect games, tucking into another delightful indie, or drinking far too much tea for my own good.