Switch Online: is Nintendo’s free games service worth it?


Nintendo’s game subscription plan provides access to classic and current games from the developer. Nintendo Switch Online allows players to play online games with compatible games, access the NES (Nintendo Entertainment System) and SNES (Super Nintendo Entertainment System) game catalog and save backup copies in the cloud.

If you have a PS5 or Xbox Series S (or another Sony or Microsoft console), you should be familiar with this type of service. Upon payment of a certain amount, the player can enjoy exclusive benefits.

Below, understand how Nintendo Switch Online works and whether it is worth subscribing to Nintendo’s service.

How it works

Nintendo Switch Online is a service that offers players a variety of subscription options. After signing, the player receives a download code containing some instructions. Then, it is necessary to enter this alphanumeric string in the Nintendo eShop on the Nintendo Switch to validate the purchase.

The two best Nintendo Switch Online subscription options are:

3-month subscription plan
12 month subscription plan

In addition, it also offers the possibility of subscribing to the individual one-month plan or the family plan, in which up to eight users can connect at the same time.

Advantages of the plan

Like other subscription services, Nintendo Switch Online offers some advantages for the owners of this portable video game. Check out the benefits you will receive when you join this plan.

Online matches

Within the context of the Nintendo Switch, online matches are restricted to subscribers. This is the same as with the PS5 and Xbox Series S, for example.

Featured Nintendo games that can take advantage of this benefit include:

Animal Crossing: New Horizons: players can invite each other to virtual encounters on their own islands

Maria Kart 8 Deluxe: Grand Prix, VS Race and Battle online modes are available in matches for up to 12 players

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate: heads-up matches or MMA battles for up to four players are allowed here

Of course, many other games also offer the option of playing online.

Over 90 classic free games

The Nintendo Switch Online subscription still has the possibility to enjoy more than 90 classic console titles, such as NES and SNES. It is worth mentioning that these free games also have the functionality of online matches, which means that you can compete or cooperate with your friends.

Among the classics of the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), we can mention the games of Super Mario Bros., Metroid, Kirby’s Adventure and Yoshi. On the Super Nintendo, titles like Super Mario Kart, Super Metroid, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Donkey Kong Country are available.

In addition to classic games, players will also have access to other free games, such as Tetris 99 available to subscribers. This reinterpretation of the traditional Tetris puts the player in matches with up to 99 players where speed, skill and strategy are needed to beat opponents.

It is also worth mentioning that Nintendo Switch Online also gives exclusive access to content in specific games. The 12-month subscription plan provides a promotional code for skins for Splatoon 2 and cosmetic products in Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

Backup to the cloud

Another interesting benefit of Nintendo Switch Online is the possibility to create copies of the games saved on the company’s servers. This was one of the biggest concerns of players at the beginning of Switch sales, who did not know how to synchronize their saved games on different consoles or what to do in case the portable video game stops working.

However, it is important to note that this functionality is only available for compatible games. Some titles, like Splatoon 2 and Animal Crossing: New Horizons, for example, do not offer this feature.


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