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Nintendo Switch Online is the Nintendo Switch online subscription service. Online gameplay was free until the service's launch where it had to be paid through it. It launched on September 18, 2018.

An add-on subscription, Expansion Pack, which includes access to additional games, was released on October 25, 2021.

Online Gameplay

To play any of the paid games online, Nintendo Switch owners need to be subscribed to the service. Free-to-Play games like Fortnite will not require the subscription.

Phone App

The Nintendo Switch Online's online play is organized through a smart device application released in Summer 2017. The application will let the player invite friends to play online, set appointments and chat with friends during games with compatible games. The compatible games are:

Cloud Saving

Players will be able to get cloud saving for compatible games. The cloud saves will automatically uploaded to cloud services on a regular basis and require no input from the user. Saves can be transferred to other Switches. Leaderboards and other online stats are the only things not included in the cloud saves.

So far, only a limited number of games exclude Cloud Saving including Splatoon 2, Pokémon Let's Go, Pikachu! and Let's Go, Eevee!, Pokémon Sword and Shield, and Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

Exclusive Content

Nintendo Switch Online subscribers get access to the following content exclusively for the service:

  • Nintendo Entertainment System Online (more details below)
  • Super Nintendo Entertainment System Online (more details below)
  • Missions and Rewards (more details below)
  • Tetris 99
  • Pac-Man 99
  • Ability to purchase the Nintendo Entertainment System Joy-Con pair, Super Nintendo Entertainment System Nintendo Switch Controller, Nintendo 64 Nintendo Switch controller and Sega Genesis Nintendo Switch Controller.
  • Nintendo Switch Game Vouchers

Online Game Library

Subscribers would gain access to a vast amount of games online from Nintendo's past systems including those of the Nintendo Entertainment System and the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. These collections of games does not cycle out games and subscribers can play as many games as they want from this selection. The games support online multiplayer including an option for a second player to watch and give hints via a cursor. All games are displayed at a higher resolution and are always displayed at a 4:3 aspect ratio. Apps are downloaded freely from the Nintendo Switch's eShop.

Nintendo Entertainment System

Nintendo Entertainment System Switch Online logo.png

Games from the Nintendo Entertainment System library. As of March 30, 2022, there are 61 unique games available in North America on the service.

Super Nintendo Entertainment System Online

Main article: Super Nintendo Entertainment System - Nintendo Switch Online
Super Nintendo Entertainment System Switch Online logo.png

In September of 2019, Super Nintendo Switch Online was added to Switch Online, and gives subscribers access to a selection of Super Nintendo Entertainment System games to play online. This collection, similar to the Nintendo Entertainment System Online, does not cycle out games and subscribers can play as many games as they want from this selection. When it launched, It included all the features from NES Online with the addition of a rewind feature. As of March 30, 2022, there are 51 unique games available in North America on the service.

List of SNES games available
Games Release date Notes
Brawl Brothers SNES NA.jpg
Brawl Brothers
On Launch

September 5, 2019

Breath of Fire cover.jpg
Breath of Fire
Demon's Crest NA Cover.jpg
Demon's Crest
FZeroBoxart.jpg
F-ZERO
Joe and Mac 2 (NA).jpg
Joe & Mac 2: Lost in the Tropics
Kirby's Dream Course (NA).jpg
Kirby's Dream Course
Kirby's Dream Land 3 (NA).jpg
Kirby's Dream Land 3
Legend of Zelda A Link to the Past (NA).png
The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
Pilotwings (NA).jpg
Pilotwings
Smash Tennis Japanese Release
Star Fox (NA).jpg
Star Fox
StuntRaceFX.jpg
Stunt Race FX
Super Earth Defense Force Alt.webp
Super Earth Defense Force
Super Ghouls n Ghosts SNES Alt.jpg
Super Ghouls 'n Ghosts
Super Mario Kart NA.jpg
Super Mario Kart
Super Mario World NSO.jpg
Super Mario World
Super Mario World 2 - Yoshi's Island (NA).png
Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island
Super Metroid (NA).png
Super Metroid
Super-puyo-puyo-2-cover.webp
Puyo Puyo 2
SuperSoccer.jpg
'Super Soccer'
SNES Super Tennis cover art.jpg
Super Tennis
Western Release
Breath of Fire II.jpg
'Breath of Fire II'
December 12,2019 Western Release
Kirby Super Star (NA).jpg
Kirby Super Star
Star Fox 2 (SNES Classic).png
Star Fox 2
Super Punch-Out!! (NA).png
Super Punch-Out!!
Breath of Fire II (JP).png
Breath of Fire II
February 19, 2020 Japanese Release
Pop'n TwinBee Box Art EU.jpg
Pop'n TwinBee
Smash Tennis Western Release
Operation Logic Bomb Box Art EU.jpg
Operation Logic Bomb
May 20, 2020 Western Release
PanelPon.PNG
'Panel de Pon (video game)
Super Punch-Out!! Japanese Release
Wild Guns (NA).jpg
Wild Guns
Western Release
Donkey Kong Country NSO.jpg
Donkey Kong Country
July 15, 2020
Natsume Championship Wrestling.jpg
Natsume Championship Wrestling
Western Release
Shin Megami Tensei (JP).jpg
Shin Megami Tensei
Japanese Release
Super Mario All-Stars (NA).png
Super Mario All-Stars
September 3, 2020
Donkey Kong Country 2 - Diddy's Kong Quest (NA).png
Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest
September 20, 2020
Fire Emblem Monshō no Nazo.png
Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem
Japanese Release
Mario Super Picross SNES NSO.jpg
Mario's Super Picross
Western Release
Super Tennis Japanese Release
The Peace Keepers Box Art NA.jpg
The Peace Keepers
Western Release
WildGuns(jp).webp
Wild Guns
Japanese Release
Donkey Kong Country 3 - Dixie Kong's Double Trouble! (NA).png
Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble!
December 18, 2020
The-ignition-factor.jpg
The Ignition Factor
Kunio-kun no Dodgeball da yo Zen'in Shūgō Japanese Release
Sugoi Hebereke Japanese Release
Super Valis IV SNES NSO.jpg
Super Valis IV
Western Release
Tuff E Nuff SNES NSO.jpg
Tuff E Nuff
Western Release
Doomsday Warrior SNES NSO.jpg
Doomsday Warrior
February 17, 2021 Western Release
Mario's Super Picross Japanese Release
Prehistorik Man SNES NSO.jpg
Prehistorik Man
Western Release
PsychoDream.jpg
Psycho Dream
Shin Megami Tensei II.jpg
Shin Megami Tensei II
Japanese Release
DoomsdayWarrior(jp).jpg
Doomsday Warrior
May 26, 2021 Japanese Release
Fire Emblem Seisen no Keifu.png
Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War
Japanese Release
Joe & Mac SNES NSO.jpg
Joe & Mac
Magical Drop II SNES NSO.jpg
Magical Drop II
Spanky's Quest SNES NSO.jpg
Spanky's Quest
Western Release
Super Baseball 1000 SNES NSO.jpg
Super Baseball Simulator 1.000
Western Release
Super Mario Kart NA.jpg
Super Mario Kart SP
Bombuzal SNES NSO.jpg
Bombuzal
July 28, 2021
Claymates SNES NSO.jpg
Claymates
Western Release
Jelly Boy SNES NSO.jpg
Jelly Boy
Western Release
Shin Megami Tensei if... Box Art JP.jpg
Shin Megami Tensei if...
Japanese Release
Tuff E Nuff cover(jp).jpg
Tuff e Nuff
Japanese Release
EarthBound SNES NA Alt.jpg
EarthBound
February 9, 2022
Super Metroid (NA).png
Super Metroid SP
Earthworm Jim 2 (SNES) (NA).jpg
Earthworm Jim 2
March 30, 2022 Western Release
Bokujō Monogatari.jpg
Harvest Moon
Japanese Release
Super Mario World NSO.jpg
Super Mario World SP
Super Punch-Out!! (NA).png
Super Punch-Out!! SP

Missions and Rewards

In March 1, 2022, Missions and Rewards were added. Nintendo Switch Online members get weekly missions, that when complete give members My Nintendo Platinum points. The missions reset weekly. Members can also exchange platinum points for user icon elements. The elements are divided in three types: character, frame and background. All three can combine to make an original user icon The user icon elements rotate weekly based on a game and the game changes every month.

Expansion Pack

Main article: Expansion Pack

An expanded paid add-on, it includes exclusive content such as access to Nintendo 64 and Sega Genesis games, and paid DLC for Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, and Splatoon 2.

Pricing

The pricing for each region is displayed in the table below. The subscription can be paid using the eShop balance. The family plan will allow the user to pay for 8 accounts' access to Nintendo Switch Online, even across devices.

Country 1 month 3 months 1 year Family 1 year (With Expansion Pack) Family (With Expansion Pack)
US $3.99 $7.99 $19.99 $34.99 $49.99 $79.99
Canada $4.99 $9.99 $24.99 $44.99 $63.99 $99.99
Japan ¥300 ¥800 ¥2400 ¥4500 ¥4900 ¥8900
Europe 3.99€ 7.99€ 19.99€ 34.99€ 39,99 € 69,99 €
UK £3.49 £6.99 £17.99 £31.49 £34.99 £59.99
Australia $5.95 $11.95 $29.95 $54.99 $59.95 $109.95
Chile $3420 $6850 $17130 $29980 $42790 $68490


Controllers

Nintendo Switch Online-themed controllers are available and made to mimic the original play style of each respective system included in the service. All are made wireless and chargeable, have LED lights, and additional small buttons. They can only be purchased online through Nintendo's website.

Updates

Phone App

On September 11, 2017, version 1.1.0 of the app was released. The update mainly fixed voice chat so that, it can used while the phone is multitasking and during sleep mode. On March 7, 2022, version 2.0.0 of the app was released. The update redesigned the user interface, added the ability to see when your friends are online, and allows you to view and copy/paste your friend code. On May 9, 2022, the 2.1.0 update gave the app the ability to switch between light and dark modes.

Servers

Nintendo upgraded to new server that all Switch online games will use going forward. The first game to use these new server was Monster Hunter Rise.

Auto-renewal changes

In April 2022, Nintendo announced that they would turn off auto-renewal charges for Nintendo Switch Online members.[1]

Reception

Reviews for the service have been mostly negative. Its affordable price compared to other online services has been generally praised, but its smartphone app, NES and SNES content library, the initially small selection of cloud save-supported games, and lack of dedicated servers have been criticized.

During the Nintendo Direct on September 23, 2021, the addition of Nintendo 64 and Sega Genesis games for Nintendo Switch Online, exclusive to an Expansion Pack, was revealed. During the Animal Crossing: New Horizons Direct on October 15, 2021, the price of the Expansion Pack was revealed, drawing widespread criticism. The same day, Nintendo uploaded a trailer to YouTube detailing the Expansion Pack, which was received negatively, with about 120,000 dislikes as of November 1, 2021, becoming the most disliked video on the channel. The Nintendo 64 games emulated via the Expansion Pack were found to have several performance issues, including input lag and frame rate issues. The fixed remapping of controls designed for the six-button Nintendo 64 controller to the four-button Switch Joy-Con also affected games like Sin & Punishment. Multiplayer games like Mario Kart 64 also appeared to use netcode that Nintendo had previously used in prior Virtual Console releases which forced the game to pause for other players until all players were synchronized. The games also did not support a virtual equivalent of the Controller Pak memory expansion, preventing players from utilizing ghost data in Mario Kart 64 or the native method of saving in WinBack. Informal tests found that the Nintendo Switch Online version of selected Nintendo 64 games performed worse than compared to the same games available on the Wii U's Virtual Console.

In its quarterly report to investors given in November 2021, Nintendo stated that they plan "to improve and expand both Nintendo Switch Online and Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack striving to provide services that satisfy consumers."

Gallery

  Main article: Nintendo Switch Online/gallery

References

External Links

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