The Nintendo Switch Online Subscription Website.

The Nintendo Switch Online subscription comes with several features, including online gameplay, access to classic titles, cloud saves, a smartphone app, and more. But is it worth the price? Here’s a quick breakdown of the features and costs.

What Is Nintendo Switch Online?

Nintendo Switch Online is Nintendo’s subscription-based online service for the Nintendo Switch and the Switch Lite. It works via a smartphone app that allows you to access and interact with exclusive features only available to Nintendo Switch Online subscribers.

You can play multiplayer games on Nintendo Switch without a connection to the internet, but every player must be together in the same room, which is called “local play.” With a subscription to Nintendo Switch Online, you can play multiplayer games with other subscribers around the world.

If you own multiplayer-exclusive games, like Fortnite or Overwatch, the Nintendo Switch Online service is a necessity to get the full experience of the game.

RELATED: How to Decide Which Nintendo Switch Is Right for You

How Much Is Nintendo Switch Online?

There are two Nintendo Switch Online pricing plans:

  • Individual:
    • One Nintendo account holder
    • 1 Month for $3.99
    • 3 Months for $7.99 (save $3.98)
    • 12 Months for $19.99 (save $27.89)
  • Family:
    • Up to eight Nintendo account holders
    • 12 Months, $34.99

If you share a Nintendo Switch console with more than one person, you can save on the total cost of the annual membership per person. Nintendo charges less than its competitors for premium online services. Plus, the more people you have in your family group, the more you’ll save.

If you decide to sign up for Nintendo Switch Online, we highly recommend you get one of the yearly subscriptions, as you’ll save a nice chunk of change. Yearly subscribers (family or individuals) also get access to special offers (more on that later).

Online Gameplay

If you want to play with friends or have several multiplayer games on Nintendo Switch, then purchasing a Nintendo Switch Online subscription is a no-brainer.

Over 1,000 titles use the Nintendo Switch Online feature. If you’re wondering which games are used with Nintendo Switch Online, you can filter them on the Nintendo store page.

Access to NES Classics

Two sets of hands holding Nintendo Switches playing "Mario Kart" with other Nintendo NES games behind the screen.

A Nintendo Switch Online subscription gives you access to several NES titles, including The Legend of Zelda, Super Mario Bros., and Donkey Kong. Currently, more than 60 NES and Super NES titles are available on Nintendo Switch.

You can play games with different visual filters, and you can also play them solo. Certain titles also allow for two-player local co-op or even joinable online co-op gameplay.

The Save Data Cloud

Because the Nintendo Switch Online service is linked to your Nintendo Account, the cloud data save service means you won’t lose save data, even if your Nintendo Switch is lost or stolen.

RELATED: How to Manage and Transfer Data on the Nintendo Switch

If your Nintendo Switch Online membership expires, however, you won’t be able to access your save data cloud backups; you have to resubscribe within 180 days to regain access.

The Smartphone App

The Nintendo Switch Online smartphone app allows players with a Nintendo Switch Online subscription to voice chat with friends while playing games on the console.

At this writing, the online app only supports the following handful of games:

Special Offers

The Nintendo Switch Online subscription service also hands out special offers and freebies. Subscribers get access to the Super Nintendo Entertainment System controller(s), game vouchers they can redeem in the eShop, and exclusive Splatoon 2 in-game gear.

Check out the Nintendo Switch Special Offers page for Nintendo Switch Online members.

Free Trial

If you’re unsure if the subscription is right for you, Nintendo offers a free seven-day free trial. It’s easy to activate—just launch the eShop on your Nintendo Switch. Select “Nintendo Switch Online” on the bar at the left, and then select “Free Trial.”

If you decide you don’t want to continue the Online service, just remember to cancel the auto-renewal before the end of the seven-day trial.

RELATED: How to Cancel Your Nintendo Switch Online Subscription

If you’re still on the fence about the subscription service and what it offers, Nintendo has a handy comparison chart for subscribers and non-subscribers.

The Nintendo Switch Online subscription is cheaper than what competitors offer, and the list of titles has grown considerably since the Nintendo Switch was released in 2017. With over 1,000 titles, several AAA titles, and more to come, Nintendo Switch Online is worth $20 per year.

Even if you don’t plan to play online or the free NES titles don’t appeal to you, the ability to back up your data is still an incredibly important feature.

RELATED: Nintendo Switch Online Review: If It Weren't So Cheap, It Would Be Much More Disappointing

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Joshalynne is a freelance writer and lifelong learner who always loves studying new things. She enjoys checking out the latest grammar books and writing about video games more than anything else.
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