Understanding the optimal 3DS XL SD card size is crucial for maximizing your Nintendo 3DS XL’s potential and performance. With the right SD card size, you can store numerous games and apps while ensuring your device’s optimal operation. This article delves into the recommended SD card size for your 3DS XL and explores the top five SD card options available on Amazon.


3DS XL SD Card Size

The Nintendo 3DS XL system comes standard with a 4GB SD card.

However, its SD card slot is compatible with SDHC cards that can range up to 32GB in size, as stated officially by Nintendo. This means you have quite a bit of flexibility when it comes to choosing an SD card for your 3DS XL, allowing you to greatly expand its storage capacity beyond the default 4GB provided.

best 32 gb sd cards

In practice, the 3DS XL is capable of recognizing and using SDXC cards that offer up to 128GB storage, despite this not being officially stated by Nintendo. This is possible provided that the SDXC card is correctly formatted to a FAT32 file system, which is the format the 3DS XL uses to read SD cards.

An SD card with a larger capacity can significantly increase the number of games you can store on your 3DS XL. Games for the 3DS come in various sizes, with larger titles such as Super Smash Bros and Pokémon Sun/Moon taking up around 16,000 blocks (or about 2GB each). Based on this, a 32GB card could hold roughly 15-24 large games.

A 64GB card would be able to store double this amount, while a 128GB card could potentially hold approximately 60 to 96 large games or even more if the games are smaller in size. Therefore, choosing an SD card with higher capacity can be a beneficial decision if you plan on having a wide variety of games readily available on your device.

sandisk extreme pro 128gb

It’s important to note that Nintendo officially declares compatibility with SD cards up to 2GB and SDHC cards from 4GB up to 32GB for the 3DS, 3DS XL, and 2DS systems. Other types of SD cards, such as SDXC and microSDXC cards, are not officially compatible. However, as mentioned above, they can be used with the proper formatting. Also, miniSD and microSD cards can be used in these devices with the appropriate SD card adapter.

Remember, despite the potential for larger storage, the reliability and performance of the SD card should also be considered, as not all SD cards are created equal. It’s recommended to stick with trusted brands known for their quality and durability to ensure a smooth gaming experience.

Top 5 SD Cards for 3DS XL

Here comes a list of the 5 best SD cards for 3DS XL:

1. SanDisk 32GB Ultra SDHC UHS-I Memory Card

SanDisk Ultra 32GB Class 10 SDHC...
115,111 Reviews
SanDisk Ultra 32GB Class 10 SDHC...
  • Great for compact to midrange point and shoot digital cameras and camcorders
  • Twice as fast as ordinary SDHC cards, allowing you to take pictures and transfer...
  • Exceptional video recording performance with Class 10 rating for Full HD video...

The SanDisk 32GB Ultra SDHC UHS-I Memory Card is a highly reliable choice for your Nintendo 3DS XL. As a renowned player in storage solutions, SanDisk ensures that this card delivers high-quality performance and durability. Its 32GB capacity is substantial for storing a range of games, offering a great start for new gamers or for those who prefer to keep a smaller collection.

With read speeds of up to 80MB/s, it allows for smooth game transitions and quicker load times. As a Class 10 card, it guarantees a minimum sequential write speed of 10MB/s, ensuring that the 3DS XL operates efficiently. Furthermore, its robust design makes it resistant to shock, water, x-ray, and temperature variations, keeping your precious game data safe and secure under various conditions.

Check out: SanDisk Ultra vs Samsung Evo Select: Comparison.

2. Samsung EVO Select 64GB MicroSDXC

99,755 Reviews
  • Ideal for recording 4K UHD video: Samsung MicroSD Evo is perfect for high-res photos,...
  • Durability rugged & lightweight; 2 meter drop test rated; IP54
  • Built to last reliability: Shock proof memory card is also water proof, temperature...

The Samsung EVO Select 64GB MicroSDXC card is another worthy consideration for expanding the storage on your Nintendo 3DS XL. With a 64GB capacity, it provides ample room for your growing gaming library, making it an excellent choice for enthusiastic gamers.

This card offers read and write speeds of up to 100MB/s & 60MB/s respectively, enabling smooth game performance and fast file transfers. It is designed to handle a range of tasks effectively, ensuring an enhanced gaming experience. Moreover, it is equipped with 4-proof protection, resisting damage from water, extreme temperatures, and other harsh conditions. This high level of protection helps safeguard your data from potential damage. Note that this is a MicroSDXC card, so you’ll need a full-size SD adapter for compatibility with the 3DS XL. Fortunately, the adapter is included in the package, ensuring you’re all set to expand your gaming potential.

3. PNY Elite-X 128GB microSD Card

Lexar High-Performance 633x 512GB...
12,795 Reviews
Lexar High-Performance 633x 512GB...
  • Premium memory solution for smartphones, tablets, or action cameras
  • Quickly captures, plays back, and transfers media files, including 1080p full-HD, 3D,...
  • Leverages UHS-I technology for a transfer speed up to 100MB/s

The PNY Elite-X microSD card provides 128GB of storage, making it a robust choice for your Nintendo 3DS XL. With high performance and a Class 10, U3 rating, this card ensures that your gaming experience is smooth and lag-free.

The PNY Elite-X is designed to be durable, offering protection from shock, water, and extreme temperatures. It also includes an SD adapter for easy file transfer. This makes the PNY Elite-X an excellent choice for storing a vast library of games on your 3DS XL, providing not only the necessary storage but also the reliability that avid gamers require.

4. Lexar Professional 633x 64GB SDXC

Lexar Professional 633x 64GB SDXC...
15,172 Reviews
Lexar Professional 633x 64GB SDXC...
  • High-speed, Class 10 performance leverages UHS-I (U1 or U3 depends on capacity)...
  • Capture high quality images of stunning 1080p full-HD, 3D, and 4K video
  • Enjoy shooting longer without changing cards large capacity options up to 1TB

The Lexar Professional 633x SDXC card is a remarkable pick for your Nintendo 3DS XL. With a sizable 64GB of storage capacity, it offers ample room for numerous games, photos, and videos. Its transfer speed of up to 95MB/s ensures a seamless gaming experience and allows quick and efficient data transfer when you’re managing your files.

Notably, this card is Class 10 and UHS-I rated. This ensures a minimum sequential writing speed of 10MB/s, which is necessary for maintaining the optimal performance of your device. Given its professional-grade performance, reliability, and robust construction, it’s an excellent choice for those seeking a blend of capacity and speed.

5. PNY Elite Performance 128GB SDXC

PNY 64GB Elite Performance Class 10...
14,304 Reviews
PNY 64GB Elite Performance Class 10...
  • Up to 95MB/sec speed for the ultimate transfer rates
  • Ideal for High Performance DSLR cameras and HD camcorders, especially for ultra fast...
  • Class 10 UHS-I, U3 performance allows burst-mode shooting, Full HD and 4K Ultra HD...

PNY’s Elite Performance SDXC card is a standout with its significant 128GB of storage. Ideal for hardcore gamers with extensive gaming libraries, this card provides ample room for storing a plethora of games. It’s Class 10 and UHS-I rated, boasting read speeds of up to 95MB/s, ensuring swift game loads and smooth gameplay.

Besides its impressive speed, this card also scores high on durability, designed to withstand harsh conditions. It’s magnet-proof, shock-proof, and temperature-proof, meaning your valuable data is well protected. Moreover, it’s built for reliability and endurance, perfect for long gaming sessions. With this card, your 3DS XL’s storage potential can be maximized to its full extent, enhancing your gaming experience.

Find List of the best SD cards for all the Nintendo models>>


How to Format 128GB SD Card for 3DS XL?

Before we get started, it’s important to note that formatting your SD card will erase all data on it, so make sure you have backed up any important files.

1. Insert the SD Card into a Card Reader:

Start the process by inserting your SD card into an SD card reader. Some computers come with a built-in SD card slot. If yours does not, you will require an SD card adapter or an external SD card reader. Once correctly inserted into the reader or adapter, the SD card will appear as a removable disk on your computer, signaling it is ready to be formatted.

2. Open Disk Management:

On a Windows PC, access Disk Management by pressing the Windows Key + R. This opens the Run dialog box. Here, type “diskmgmt.msc” and press Enter. Disk Management is a built-in tool that manages your drives and partitions.

3. Locate the SD Card:

Once Disk Management is open, locate your SD card. It will be listed as a removable disk and might be named something like “Removable Disk (D:)” or similar, depending on the drive allocation of your computer. The SD card’s capacity should help you identify it amongst other drives if you’re uncertain.

4. Right-Click and Choose Format:

Once you have located the SD card in the list of drives, right-click on it. In the drop-down menu that appears, choose the ‘Format’ option. This is where the actual formatting process begins.

5. Choose the Correct File System:

A Format window will appear. You will need to select the correct file system in this window. For the Nintendo 3DS XL, the recommended format is ‘FAT32’. This file system is optimal for SD cards up to 32GB. If you’re formatting an SD card of larger size, select ‘exFAT’.

6. Start the Formatting Process:

Once you have selected the correct file system, click ‘Start’. A warning will appear notifying you that all data on the drive will be erased during the formatting process. Make sure to back up any essential data before proceeding. Once you’re ready, click ‘OK’ to begin the formatting process. This might take a few minutes, depending on the card’s size. Once the formatting process is complete, your SD card is ready to be used with your Nintendo 3DS XL.

To format your SD card with Mac computer read this article.

fat 32 format

What is 3DS XL SD Card Size?

Choosing the right SD card size for your Nintendo 3DS XL can greatly enhance your gaming experience. While the official SD card limit is 32GB, with the right formatting, you can expand this limit up to 128GB, allowing you to store a wider range of games. From lighter games to those that require more storage like Super Smash Bros and Pokémon Sun/Moon, having an SD card with a larger capacity can cater to your diverse gaming preferences.

However, it’s not just about the size. The reliability and performance of the SD card are crucial factors to consider. Opting for trusted brands that deliver high-quality and durable SD cards can make a significant difference. After all, the goal is to enjoy a seamless and worry-free gaming experience, and the right SD card is a key player in achieving that.

More useful info on gaming SD cards:




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