How to Spot Counterfeit Nintendo Switch Games: A Gamer's Guide

The Nintendo Switch has cemented its status as a cornerstone of the gaming industry since its debut, boasting a diverse array of titles to suit every gamer's preference. However, alongside its Does licking a Switch Game Work?widespread popularity, there has been a concerning surge in counterfeit games flooding the market. To aid consumers in identifying genuine Nintendo Switch games, we've compiled some crucial pointers:

Nintendo has maintained a commendable track record in combatting counterfeiting efforts. As of the time of this publication, the primary concern within the secondhand market pertains to instances of label swapping and the distribution of promotional display cartridges that lack functionality. Nonetheless, it's foreseeable that counterfeit copies may emerge on platforms like eBay and other online marketplaces over time.

Outlined below are key indicators to help discern counterfeit Nintendo Switch games. Whether you're dealing with an outright counterfeit, encountering games with altered labels, or being offered dummy promotional cartridges, these guidelines will assist you in identifying any fakes you may come across:

Serial Numbers and Barcodes:

On the front label, you’ll see writing on the bottom of the label like: LA-H-AXB8A-USA.

On the back of the cartridge in white lettering there will be serial numbers.  The third group of numbers [AXB8A] needs to be a part of the serial number on the back of the cartridge.   

This is a very key point that the front & back numbers should match.  As gamestop has been hit hard with people trading in games with counterfeit labels.  Scammers have been buying a cheap game & then swapping out the label of a cheap game and placing a much more expensive label on the cartridge.Nintendo Switch Legit Cartridge

Just above the serial number on the back of the cartridge.  Each Cartridge will have Nintendo HAC-008 & the letters CC imprinted into the cartridge.

Counterfeit games may lack or have altered serial numbers and barcodes. Check for inconsistencies or signs of tampering, such as smudged ink or mismatched fonts.

Nintendo Switch Legit Back of Cartridge

Watch out for Display Cartridges

What is happening here is that someone, whether intentionally or accidentally, is selling these carts as if they were the actual game since they otherwise appear to be proper game carts (the "KYOTO" on the back seems to be the only real giveaway).

When examining this Breath of the Wild Cartridge.

Nintendo Switch Promo Cartridge

Licking the Cartridge:

A bittering agent (Denatonium Benzoate) has also been applied to the Nintendo switch game cartridges. This bittering agent is non-toxic. Yes, it sounds gross, but at least you’ll know.


Explore our array of related articles delving into the detection of counterfeit gaming products. From uncovering fake Game Boy Advance Pokémon Games to identifying counterfeit Super Nintendo and Nintendo 64 titles, we equip you with comprehensive insights to safeguard your gaming collection. Click Here to read more!



Counterfeit Nintendo Switch games represent a substantial risk to both gamers and the integrity of the gaming sphere. By acquainting yourself with the unmistakable markers of counterfeit products and adhering to these guidelines, you can safeguard yourself against unwittingly procuring fraudulent copies.

Feel free to share any insights or strategies you've employed in the comments section below.

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Saturday, 15 June 2024