Nintendo has finally revealed details about the highly anticipated Nintendo Switch Online. This is a premium service that provides online play, free games, a dedicated mobile app, exclusive offers, and, most importantly, cloud saves for the Nintendo Switch. To put it another way, this is the Switch equivalent of PS+ or Xbox Live Gold.
We imagine, just like us, that you have an absolute ton of questions. Fear not though, for we've scoured the internet to bring you this FAQ that details everything that there is to know so far. We'll update this as soon as we know more, so keep checking back.
What is Nintendo Switch Online and what does it provide?
Nintendo Switch Online is the Switch's premium online service that provides access to online multiplayer, free NES games that support on and offline multiplayer, a dedicated mobile app, exclusive offers, and the ability to upload all of your save data to the cloud.
How much does Nintendo Switch Online cost?
The price varies depending on how you choose to pay:
|12 Months||3 Months||1 Month|
|£17.99 / $19.99||£6.99 / $7.99||£3.49 / $3.99|
There's also a family membership option that provides Nintendo Switch Online to up to eight Switches for £31.49 / $34.99 per year. That's less than £5 / $5 per user if eight people are signed up.
What isn't clear, is what the restrictions are. We don't know whether you all have to live under the same address, have the same surname, or anything like that. It would be pretty sweet if you and seven friends could team up and get the family account super cheap.
When does it launch?
The Nintendo Switch Online service will launch in September 2018. We don't know a specific date just yet, but we'll update this guide as soon as Nintendo narrows it down.
What does the Nintendo Switch Online mobile app do?
The mobile app is primarily used for in-game chat with other players, but you can also use it to organise multiplayer sessions. There are also special features for certain games. For example, right now you can check the stages, purchase gear, and glance at your statistics in Splatoon 2.
Which NES games are included?
The launch lineup includes the following games:
- Ice Climber
- The Legend of Zelda
- Balloon Fight
- Mario Bros.
- Super Mario Bros.
- Dr. Mario
- Super Mario Bros. 3
- Donkey Kong
10 more will also launch with the service, and will be announced at a later date. Any that originally supported multiplayer will still do so, and even allow for online multiplayer. That's pretty cool.
Can I still play these games if I cancel my subscription?
It doesn't seem so, though we're not 100% clear on that. Given that they're exclusive to Nintendo Switch Online, we'd bet that once you cancel your subscription you lose the ability to play them.
Will SNES, N64, GameCube, and other systems feature?
Nintendo hasn't announced whether or not games from other systems will feature in Nintendo Switch Online. However, Nintendo did state that more games will be added regularly, so you can take from that what you will.
What does this mean for the Virtual Console?
There are currently no plans to bring classic games together under the Virtual Console banner as has been done on other Nintendo systems.
Remember that Nintendo chooses its words carefully, so while this states that the Virtual Console will not come to Switch, it doesn't actually state that classic games won't. All it says is that they won't come under the same banner as they did before.
So we're going to take a hopeful punt and pray that these games come to Nintendo Switch Online instead. Would be nice not to have to pay for them all over again, wouldn't it?
Did you mention cloud saves?
Yes, we did. When the Nintendo Switch Online service goes live, you'll be able to upload all of your saves directly to the cloud. Praise be to Nintendo!
Can I use cloud saving for free?
Nope. Cloud saves are exclusive to Nintendo Switch Online.
What about the other online services already on the Switch? Will I have to pay for them too?
Well, let's break it down. Currently, everything is free, but when Nintendo Switch Online goes live, certain features will be locked behind a paywall. These include:
- Online multiplayer in any games that support it.
- The Nintendo Switch Online mobile app.
However, the following online services will remain completely free of charge:
- Nintendo eShop.
- Adding and managing your friends.
- Sharing screenshots to social media.
- Nintendo Switch Parental Controls (this includes the app).
- System and software updates.
- News feed.
You also mentioned something about special offers?
Yes, we did mention that. As of this moment, Nintendo hasn't revealed anything about the special offers. Presumably, these will be exclusive discounts or perhaps even bigger discounts, much like how PS+ currently operates. We'll update this as soon as Nintendo reveals more.
Are you looking forward to Nintendo Switch Online? Is it lacking any features you really wanted? Let us know with a comment. We'll also happily answer any further questions you may have.