How to Enable Two-Factor Authentication on Your Nintendo Account

Nintendo now allows you to enable two-step verification, a form of two-factor authentication, for your Nintendo Account. Whenever you sign into your account—from a Nintendo Switch, on the web, or via a mobile app—you’ll need to enter a code generated by an app on your smartphone as well as your password.

To enable this feature, head to Nintendo’s Account Security page. Sign in with the Nintendo account you want to secure.

Scroll down to the bottom of the Sign-in and security settings page and click “Edit” to the right of 2-Step Verification settings.

Click the “2-Step Verification setup” button to continue.

You must confirm your email address to continue. Nintendo will send the verification code to the email address registered to your account. Click “Submit” to continue.

Pull up your email inbox, find the email from Nintendo, and type the code displayed in the email into the box on the Nintendo account page. Click “Submit” to continue.

Nintendo will ask you to install the Google Authenticator app if you don’t already have it installed. We instead recommend Authy, which is compatible with Google Authenticator codes and works anywhere it does. Authy has a slicker interface and allows you to more easily back up your codes and move them to a new device.

Install the Authy app for iPhone or Android (or the Google Authenticator app for iPhone or Android, if you prefer it to Authy) and launch it to continue. Launch the app, tap the toolbar button that adds a new account, and scan the QR code displayed on your computer’s screen with your smartphone’s camera.

 

Finally, you’ll have to enter the code displayed in the app into the website. This confirms that your app is set up and functioning properly, ensuring you won’t get locked out of your Nintendo account.

When you’ve successfully enabled two-step verification, you’ll see ten backup codes at the bottom of the confirmation screen. These codes will allow you to sign into your account without entering a code from the app, but each code can only be used once. Print them out or write them down and put them somewhere safe in case you ever lose access to the app and need to sign into your account.

In the future, you’ll need to enter one of the temporary codes displayed in the app whenever you sign into your Nintendo account on a new device.

Chris Hoffman is a technology writer and all-around computer geek. He's as at home using the Linux terminal as he is digging into the Windows registry. Connect with him on Google+.