Nintendo Switch’s Paid Online Details – Pricing, eShop Deals, Free Games, 2018 Delay, and More

Nintendo has lifted the veil off their paid online service for Nintendo Switch with a massive update to their official Switch online website. Here’s the exact quotes:

This paid service lets Nintendo Switch owners enjoy online multiplayer gaming as well as a dedicated smartphone app that connects to your Nintendo Switch system and helps you connect with friends for online play sessions.

Check back for more details on the service before the official launch.

Free until 2018

You’ll be able to play compatible co-op and competitive games online by signing in with your Nintendo Account. Online play will be free for Nintendo Account holders until our paid online service launches in 2018.

After the free-trial period, most games will require a paid online service subscription from Nintendo in order to play online.

This service is only for Nintendo Switch. It does not affect online play or features for the Wii U or Nintendo 3DS family of systems.

Coming in 2018

Online lobby and voice chat

Our new dedicated smart device app will connect to Nintendo Switch and let you invite friends to play online, set play appointments, and chat with friends during online matches in compatible games─all from your smart device.

A free, limited version of this app will be available for download in summer 2017.

Classic Game Selection*

Subscribers will get to download a compilation of classic titles with added online play, such as Super Mario Bros. 3, Balloon Fight and Dr. Mario.

*Product name subject to change.

Nintendo eShop deals

Special offers for subscribers may include discounts on select digital games and content.


1-Month Membership
$3.99 (USD)

3-Month Membership
$7.99 (USD)

12-Month Membership
$19.99 (USD)

Enjoy online services for free until the paid service’s official launch in 2018.

“Nintendo Switch Online subscribers will have ongoing access to a library of classic games with added online play. Users can play as many of the games as they want, as often as they like, as long as they have an active subscription.”

“Nintendo Switch Online subscribers will be able to play a wide variety of classic games, including Super Mario Bros. 3, Balloon Fight and Dr. Mario. More games will be announced at a later date. At launch the classic game library will include NES games. Super NES games continue to be under consideration, but we have nothing further to announce at this time.”

Famitsu also asked Nintendo questions about the service. Here is the rundown:

  • The games included in the service and Virtual Console are two separate things.
  • They have not made any final decisions on what shape Virtual Console will take, if any, on Switch.
  • They are not releasing any other details on the multiplayer aspects of the included games at this time, be it online or local.
  • You subscribe per account. They may have a solution for people who use multiple accounts on one Switch, but as it stands each person would have to subscribe.
  • They did ask about cloud saves, to which Nintendo said “we don’t have anything to announce at this time.”
  • You join the online system through the eShop. Japan will also sell separate cards you can buy in stores.

What are your thoughts on all this new information?

Source: Nintendo Everything

Nathanial Rumphol-Janc

A veteran in the video game media sphere, Nathanial co-founded Gamnesia, founded, ran the news the segment on the Zelda Universe Podcast, found and ran Zelda Domain from 1998 to 2006, and built Zelda Informer as the Editor-in-Chief from 2008 to 2017. He now owns and operates Nintendo Prime. You can follow him on twitter @NateJanc, otherwise just stay tuned at Nintendo Prime for more of his work.