The Switch’s online membership, explained in detail. 

On September 18, 2018, Nintendo launched its Switch Online Services. It is a premium membership service similar to PlayStation Plus for PlayStation users and Xbox Live Gold for Xbox users. Considering the lineup of games Nintendo has for the Switch compared to Playstation and Xbox, one might wonder, is this subscription worth it?

So you can make that decision, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide to Nintendo’s online service.

Nintendo Switch Online service

The Nintendo Switch Online Service Explained 

Nintendo Switch Online is a collection of premium online services that require a membership to use. The service is identical to PlayStation Plus and Xbox Live Gold (both cost $59.99 per year) but is less expensive (at most $34.99 per year).

What does the Nintendo Switch Online subscription entail?

The option to play Nintendo Switch games online with others, both competitively and cooperatively, is one of the most appealing aspects. Online features for Switch games such as Animal Crossing: New Horizons and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe require a Switch Online subscription to enjoy. Other games, such as Fortnite and Pokemon Unite, do not require membership to play online, but this varies by game.

Subscribers also receive full access to the Switch Online mobile app, available for both iOS and Android smartphones. Users may invite friends to play online games on the Switch using the app, as well as communicate with other users. Game-specific services like NookLink for Animal Crossing: New Horizons and SplatNet 2 for Splatoon 2 are also available. These sections provide players with access to elements that can enhance their gaming experience. For example, the NookLink service allows Animal Crossing: New Horizons users to earn free points each day that they may redeem for New Horizons in-game stuff.

Is there anything more I should know? 

For “most” Nintendo Switch games, the Switch Online service allows you to generate an online backup of your game save data (all of your in-game progress), so you won’t have to start over if your Switch breaks or you decide to buy a second console.

Subscribers may also play a selected collection of more than hundreds of vintage Nintendo Entertainment System and Super Nintendo games. The Legend of Zelda, Super Mario Bros. 3, Super Metroid, and Super Mario Kart are just a few highlights of the library. New games are added to the library regularly. Some games offer multiplayer gameplay. As long as you have an active Switch Online subscription, you may play these games as often as you want, for as long as you want.

Finally, subscribers may enjoy special prices and offers exclusively available to subscribers.

What is the price of the service? 

There are three distinct plans available for individual gamers: 

  • One-month subscription: $3.99 
  • Three-month subscription: $7.99 
  • $19.99 for 12 months 

For $34.99 per year, families with numerous gamers (and even multiple Switch consoles) may subscribe to a family subscription. This family package allows up to eight individuals to utilize the service simultaneously across several Switch systems.

Is it necessary for me to sign up for the Nintendo Switch Online service? 

Certainly not. You won’t be able to use any of the premium services mentioned above if you don’t subscribe, but you will be able to play the games you’ve purchased. You’ll also get access to online services such as the Nintendo eShop, the friends system, and the option to post screenshots and videos on social media. 

Is there anything else I should be aware of? 

If you’re not sure if the Switch Online service is good for you and your family, you may sign up for a 7-day free trial by going to the Nintendo eShop on your Switch. 

Nintendo also released a new Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack plan in October 2021, which costs more than a standard Switch Online membership but offers more advantages. For a single individual, the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack plan costs $49.99 per year, and for a family, it costs $79.99 per year.

Subscribers to the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack plan get all of the benefits of the normal Switch Online membership plus access to additional content. Users with the said subscription get access to Nintendo 64 and Sega Genesis titles on Switch, as well as the Animal Crossing: New Horizons – Happy Home Paradise DLC and the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe: Booster Course Pass DLC.

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