Switch Online Expansion Pack
Image: Nintendo

The Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack adds an additional paid tier to the standard Nintendo Switch Online service. Right now, it can only be added on a 12-month basis (as opposed to the regular service, which can be purchased for shorter subscription periods), and in this guide we'll outline the details.

Do I Need Nintendo Switch Online To Get The Expansion Pack?

Yes, the expansion pack can only be added to the base service. We have an extensive guide on Nintendo Switch Online available below.

What is the Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack?

The latest addition to the service adds an expanding range of Nintendo 64 and SEGA Mega Drive / Genesis titles to their respective apps (these are listed below).

In addition, it provides access to the Animal Crossing: New Horizons - Happy Home Paradise DLC expansion, as well as the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Booster Course Pass and the Splatoon 2 Octo Expansion.

How much does it cost?

The price varies depending on how you choose to pay, below (for information) is the standard Nintendo Switch Online pricing.

Standard Nintendo Switch Online pricing

12 Months 3 Months 1 Month Annual Family Membership (up to 8 users)
£17.99 / $19.99 £6.99 / $7.99 £3.49 / $3.99 £31.49 / $34.99

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.

The Expansion Pack can be added to subscriptions by existing members, with a "pro rated discount depending on the number of days remaining in your current membership". Below are the prices for new customers taking the combined Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack, with the expansion only available in a 12-month package.

Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack pricing

12 Months Annual Family Membership (up to 8 users)
$49.99 / €39,99 / £34.99 $79.99USD / €69,99 / £59.99

What games are included?

The Expansion Pack adds a range of Nintendo 64 and SEGA Mega Drive / Genesis titles. You can find the full (and regularly updated list) below:

As previously mentioned, you will also have access to the Animal Crossing: New Horizons DLC expansion, Happy Home Paradise, the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe DLC tracks, and Splatoon 2's Octo Expansion DLC.

Note. You will need to have purchased the base game to access this DLC as part of your Expansion Pack subscription.

As mentioned above, the Expansion Pack is bought in 12-month chunks, so for that period as a minimum, you'll be able to play that DLC without buying it.

Do I need to buy the NSO Nintendo 64 or Mega Drive / Genesis controllers?

The exclusive N64 and Genesis controllers released by Nintendo are a great way to get the most out of the Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack, but they are not absolutely essential.

SEGA Mega Drive / Genesis games will, of course, work perfectly with your Switch Joy-Con or Pro Controller, as the game inputs are much simpler. So you may not wish to stump up the extra cash for the kidney-shaped joypad.

Playing N64 games on the Switch is more of a challenge using Switch controllers, however, as the function to remap buttons is not present on Nintendo Switch Online. For instance, to access the N64 C-buttons you will have to hold down one of the shoulder buttons on your Switch controllers.

It's entirely possible to play with Joy-Con or a Pro Controller. However, if you're an N64 veteran, you may find it less than ideal, so it might be worth picking up the dedicated N64 controller if you can find one in stock.

So, How Do I Sign Up?

For new members, the NSO + Expansion Pack option is now easy to find on the eShop, with information in the 'Nintendo Switch Online' app that can be found on the Switch home screen. Upgrading is also relatively simple, with the system detecting your existing NSO account and applying the relevant discounts.

You can also buy a membership from certain retailers. You'll receive a code which can then be redeemed on your Nintendo Switch:

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What Happens If I Don't Renew For A Second Year?

If you don't renew the Expansion Pack (or the broader Nintendo Switch Online service) you won't be able to access and play the Nintendo 64 or SEGA Mega Drive / Genesis apps.

In terms of Animal Crossing: New Horizons - Happy Home Paradise, if you have been playing it via the Expansion Pack but then cancel, you'll lose access to the archipelago and all of those activities, but you will retain some features on your own island that were unlocked as part of that DLC. Nintendo's explanation is below.

Players can still continue to access certain things they have unlocked in Animal Crossing: New Horizons - Happy Home Paradise on their main island, including adding counters, partition walls, as well as adding ambient lighting and soundscapes, even if their access to Animal Crossing: New Horizons - Happy Home Paradise is suspended. However, it will not be possible to visit the archipelago if players lose access to the DLC. To be able to visit the archipelago and take on requests of designing vacation homes again, you will need to purchase the DLC separately or renew the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack membership

That's it for now with this guide, once the service is live we'll share more information on how to upgrade and more. As always drop your questions below, too!