Everything You Should Know About Nintendo Switch Online

Nintendo Switch Online has become the go-to service for gamers looking to compete with friends and foes online. Similar to PlayStation Plus and Xbox Live, Nintendo Switch Online offers access to online multiplayer. However, it goes beyond that by also providing a collection of classic NES and SNES, N64, and Sega Genesis games. Nintendo has taken a unique approach to its online service, distinguishing itself from its competitors. Here’s a rundown of what you need to know about Nintendo Switch Online.

Individual and Family Subscription Options

Nintendo Switch Online offers two types of subscriptions: Individual and Family. An Individual subscription covers one user, while a Family subscription covers up to eight users. Opting for a one-year individual subscription costs $20, while a one-month subscription is available for $4, and a three-month subscription costs $8. For the best value, it’s recommended to purchase the one-year subscription if you plan on using the service regularly.

Family subscriptions are priced at $35 per year. To take advantage of this option, you need to create a family group on the Nintendo Account website. By doing so, you and up to seven friends can enjoy all the features of Nintendo Switch Online for less than $5 per person. You can conveniently purchase both types of subscriptions on the Nintendo Switch eShop. Remember, subscriptions will renew automatically unless you choose to opt out.

Online Multiplayer Requires Nintendo Switch Online

Nintendo Switch Online is a requirement for online multiplayer gaming. While Nintendo previously offered free online multiplayer for games like Splatoon 2 and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, a subscription is now necessary for most first-party Nintendo games and many third-party games. There is one exception though—Fortnite can be played online without a subscription. Additionally, free-to-play games like Rocket League can be enjoyed without a paid Switch membership.

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It’s important to note that a subscription is only needed for online multiplayer. Players without a subscription can still engage in local multiplayer through the Switch’s Local Wireless Play feature, with up to three players on each console.

Nintendo Switch Online Smartphone App for Chat

If you want to communicate with friends while playing online games, you’ll need the Nintendo Switch Online mobile app, available for both iOS and Android. While it may seem inconvenient to use two devices for online multiplayer, this is currently the required method provided by Nintendo. Fortnite once again bucks this trend, as it allows voice chat directly on the console. If you find the app-based solution cumbersome, popular communication apps like Discord are recommended alternatives.

Cloud Saves and Data Backup

One of the major additions with a Nintendo Switch Online subscription is the ability to back up your game saves to the cloud. Previously, if your console broke, your progress would be lost. With cloud saves, your game data is protected even if your console becomes unusable. While most Switch games support cloud saves, there are a few exceptions. Games like Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Pokémon Let’s Go, Splatoon 2, Dark Souls Remastered, and Dead Cells do not offer cloud save support. Nintendo’s reasoning behind this decision is to maintain competitive balance in certain games and ensure that developers’ designs are not compromised.

It’s worth noting that cloud saves are tied to your subscription. If your subscription lapses, your cloud saves will no longer be accessible. After six months, they will be deleted entirely.

Access to Classic NES and SNES Games

Subscribers to Nintendo Switch Online gain access to a collection of classic NES and SNES games. During the first year of the service, Nintendo steadily added NES games to the library. Starting from the second year, they expanded the program by including SNES games. These games come with additional features such as save states and multiple display settings. They can also be downloaded and played offline for up to seven days at a time. If your subscription expires, you will lose access to these games, similar to PlayStation Plus and Games with Gold offerings.

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Nintendo plans to add more SNES games to the library in the future, although there is no set schedule for these additions. You can find the current list of SNES games and NES games on the Nintendo Switch Online program.

N64 and Sega Genesis Games for Expansion Pack Members

In a recent Nintendo Direct, Nintendo announced the Expansion Pack for Nintendo Switch Online. This highly anticipated offering features N64 and Sega Genesis games. The Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack costs $50 per year, an additional $30 compared to the standard membership. This enhanced version of the subscription service provides even more benefits.

Included with the Expansion Pack are popular N64 games like Mario Kart 64, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, and Paper Mario. Sega Genesis games such as Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Golden Axe, and Castlevania: Bloodlines are also part of the library. Nintendo plans to release additional games in the future, including Pokémon Snap and Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards.

DLC at No Additional Cost

Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack members enjoy certain first-party DLC packs at no extra charge. This includes the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Booster Pass, Animal Crossing: New Horizons – Happy Home Paradise DLC, and Splatoon 2 – Octo Expansion DLC. As long as you maintain your membership, you will have access to these expansions. If your membership expires, you will no longer be able to access them.

Exclusive Games and Controllers

Nintendo Switch Online subscribers gain exclusive access to games that are periodically released. Notable examples include Tetris 99 and Pac-Man 99, both of which offer unique battle royale experiences. Although Super Mario Bros. 35 was previously available on the service, it has since been removed. This exclusive game allowed players to battle against 34 opponents through various Super Mario Bros. levels.

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In addition to exclusive games, Nintendo Switch Online subscribers can purchase retro NES and SNES controllers. These controllers offer a classic gaming experience and are particularly suited for playing older games. The NES controller pack costs $50, while the SNES controller is priced at $30. Nintendo has also announced N64 and Sega Genesis controllers, available exclusively for Switch Online members. These wireless controllers will cost $50 each and will likely be released alongside the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack.

Member-Only Offers

Nintendo Switch Online members receive exclusive promotions, including perks beyond the retro controllers. Subscribers can enjoy a free download of Tetris 99 and receive special in-game items for Animal Crossing: New Horizons and Splatoon 2. Nintendo regularly introduces new benefits for members, so it’s always worth checking for the latest offers.

For more information about Nintendo Switch Online, visit OnSpec Electronic, Inc.

Note: The images used in this article are from the original source and are used with permission by the copyright holder.

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