When the Nintendo Switch first launched in March 2017, Nintendo announced that a premium online service would be coming later. It took until September 2018 for the Nintendo Switch Online service to finally arrive, providing Nintendo's answer to Xbox Live and PlayStation Plus.
Nintendo's online subscription is quite different from offerings from Sony and Microsoft. It's cheaper, with fewer bonuses, and a few other interesting caveats. Not all online games require the service, and not all games support certain elements.
Confused? We'll show you everything you need to know about Nintendo Switch Online...
Nintendo Switch Online is the console's premium online subscription service. As of September 2018, the vast majority of online games will require an active subscription in order to play online against other players. This includes the excellent Mario Kart 8. Is Mario Kart 8 Deluxe the second game of change that you must have? Is Mario Kart 8 Deluxe the second game of change that you must have? Mario Kart 8 Deluxe on the Nintendo Switch is a remaster of Wii U's Mario Kart 8. But is it worth buying if you've played the original game? Read More
In the US, Nintendo Switch Online will cost $3.99/month, $7.99 for a three-month subscription, or $19.99 for an entire year. You can also sign up for a family plan that provides online service to eight Nintendo accounts under one primary account holder for $34.99/year.
If you have enough close friends or family to justify it, the family plan is by far the best value option. Compared to both Xbox Live and PlayStation Plus Xbox Live vs. PlayStation Plus:What do you get with each? Xbox Live vs. PlayStation Plus:What do you get with each? If you have a PS4 or Xbox One, you've probably thought about subscribing to PlayStation Plus or Xbox Live Gold. Let's see what they offer players for the price. Read More
On your Nintendo Switch console, load up the Nintendo eShop and navigate to Nintendo Switch Online Page in the left menu. Select Membership Options To see the prices in your region. If this is your first time subscribing, Nintendo offers a one-week free trial that you can activate by selecting Free trial at the top of the page.
Note that the free trial will leave you on a monthly plan ($3.99) when the trial ends. If you're interested in saving some money, the annual or family subscription is much better, so be sure to turn off auto-renewal in the eShop or on the Nintendo website.
Most games require Nintendo Switch Online to play online, in addition to free titles. One notable exception found in Nintendo's FAQ is free-to-play Fortnite (read our Fortnite guide for parents whose kids are playing Fortnite:What You Need to Know About It Your kids are playing Fortnite:What you need to know about it if your kids play video games, chances are they're playing Fortnite. So what should parents know about this game? Here are the answers to your questions. Read More). We tried Paladins, and that doesn't require a Nintendo Switch Online subscription either. However, this could change at a later date.
Paid retail games and digital downloads with online modes will require Nintendo Switch Online to play online. Purchase of downloadable content for single player games will not require an online subscription.
In addition to playing online, Nintendo Switch Online subscribers will get the following bonuses:
Cloud saves are currently the only way to back up your save data, and to do so you'll need a Nintendo Switch Online subscription. This setting is enabled by default when you sign up, but you can manually manage your save files in System Settings> Data Management> Save Data Cloud Backup .
You can also control this by hovering over a game, pressing the plus “+” button, and selecting Save Backup Data to Cloud . Cloud backups are useful not only for your peace of mind, but also because they allow you to log into another console and download your save data remotely.
However, the feature is not without its problems. Nintendo has specified that certain online games (notably Splatoon 2, Mario Kart 8, and FIFA 19) will not support cloud backups due to cheating concerns. It's worth noting that Sony and Microsoft don't have this problem with cloud saves being offered on their own platforms.
the other The potential issue is that Nintendo hasn't specified how cloud saves will remain on the service in the event your subscription ends. For PlayStation Network, Sony gives you six months to resume your subscription before the saved cloud data is removed from its servers.
Some have speculated that Nintendo will instantly remove cloud saves, which may not be true, but Nintendo's silence on the matter doesn't help put minds at ease.
If you have a Nintendo Switch Online subscription, you can head over to the Nintendo eShop and download Nintendo Entertainment System free. If you do not have a Nintendo Switch Online subscription, you will be prompted to register before you can launch the emulator.
The Nintendo Entertainment System will live in the main menu along with your other games. You can even order some NES controllers that charge the same as regular Joy Cons (above). Just launch the emulator and choose which titles you would like to play. The launch lineup of games included are:
You can play NES games offline for up to a week without the console having to connect to Nintendo Switch Online.
To chat with your friends while playing the game, you need to download the free Nintendo Switch Online app. You can now download the Nintendo Switch Online app. You can now download the Nintendo Switch Online app. Nintendo has released Switch Online, the mobile app that will allow Switch owners. to the online game. Just don't expect it to still work... Read More Once downloaded, simply sign in with your Nintendo account. You can enable alerts to notify you when you can use the service to chat in-game.
If you want to play games like Splatoon 2 or Diablo III online, Nintendo Switch Online is a must buy. There's simply no way to play online without it, whether or not you think the service is good value. Before the introduction of the service, online play was completely free, so it's understandable that some may be upset that they now have to pay.
On the other hand, the service is about a third of the price of an Xbox Live or PlayStation Plus subscription. It's relatively cheap, and if you can get a family plan, an annual subscription could cost as little as $4.37 per account.
But if you don't play much online, Switch Online might not be as enticing. While Microsoft and Sony regularly offer full-price titles for free, Nintendo's meager offering of a few 30-year-old ROMs falls short. Perhaps the addition of Super Nintendo or Nintendo 64 games would sweeten the deal.
If you've sunk hundreds of hours into titles like Breath of the Wild, Minecraft, Skyrim, and other slow burners; Saving in the cloud offers great peace of mind. It looks like Nintendo's execution needs some work, though, since the "anti-cheat" policy doesn't make much sense.
Voice chat has always been a problem for the Switch, and the Nintendo Switch Online app for iOS and Android has been criticized since it was first introduced. Since the Switch lacks Bluetooth audio or a built-in microphone, this issue may not be fully resolved until we see another hardware revision.
For the price, it's hard to grumble. But for those who have gotten used to playing online for free, there seem to be "value added" limitations here to make up for the extra expense. At the end of the day, if you want to play online, you're going to have to throw up.
Nintendo has sold 20 million Switch units and counting, so the online service is sure to be a hit with such a large and low-priced user base. With so many good titles available, though, it can be hard to know where to start, so don't forget to check out our list of the best Nintendo Switch games you can buy today The Best Nintendo Switch Games You Can Buy Today The Best Nintendo Switch Games games you can buy today Here are the best Nintendo Switch games you can buy today, including blockbusters, third-party titles, and indies. Read more.