Nintendo Switch: Everything You Need To Know About The New Online Subscription Service

The Online Subscription Service for Nintendo Switch has finally arrived, and you’ll no longer be able to play many online games for free on the hybrid console.

Games like Splatoon 2 and Mario Kart 8 will require an online subscription to play online. Offline modes are not affected, but not every game on the Nintendo Switch will require the subscription to play. There are other benefits to the service — like a selection of retro classics you can play. You’ll also gain access to a special Online App for your smartphone that lets you send invitations or use voice chat in compatible games.

There’s a lot more you need to know about the Online Subscription Service, so let’s go through the basics together.

More Nintendo Switch guides on Gameranx:

Why Subscribe To The Nintendo Switch Online Service?

The Nintendo Switch Online Service lets you play games with online multiplayer features — games like ARMS, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Splatoon 2, and many others.

  • Age 13+ members can also sign-up for the Nintendo Switch Online App. The smartphone app lets you send invites to friends, or connect to voice chat.

What Games Can I Play Without A Subscription?

Not all online games require the subscription service to play. Free-to-Play (F2P) games like Fortnite do not require the Nintendo Switch Online Service to access multiplayer.


How Much Does It Cost?

The Nintendo Switch Online Service is surprisingly affordable. There are three individual membership plans you can choose from, and a family plan for multiple Nintendo account holders.

  • Individual Membership:
    • 1 month – $3.99
    • 3 months – $7.99
    • 12 months – $19.99
  • Family Membership:
    • 12 months, 8 Nintendo Account Holders – $34.99

Can I Try It For Free?

Yup! There is a 7-day free trial. Jump onto your Switch and checkout the eShop offer.

  • The 7-day free trial is only valid in the US, Canada, and Mexico.

What Other Benefits Are Included?

Along with the Nintendo Switch Online App for smartphones that lets you send invites or use voice chat, you’ll also gain access to retro classic NES games.

  • NES Retro Classics Library:
    • The NES games list will be constantly updated. There are currently 20 games available to download and play.
    • You must log in at least once per week to play retro NES games offline. You’ll have 7 days to play offline before you need to login online.
    • If you unsubscribe, you’ll lose access to the NES game library.

Along with the NES library, you’ll also be able to upload save files to the cloud, so you can download your save file onto any other Nintendo Switch. All save files are connected to the user account. Login to your account on a Nintendo Switch, and you’ll be able to download it.

  • NOTE: Cloud Save files are deleted if you choose to end your subscription, or don’t auto-renew.

And that’s it! Think the Nintendo Online Service is worth it? Let us know what you think in the comments.