Curious about how Nintendo Switch Online works? Here’s a quick primer on Nintendo’s online service.
Unlike previous consoles where online play is free, Nintendo has joined Microsoft and Sony in charging for multiplayer access. Nintendo Switch Online is a subscription service to play Nintendo games online. The basic service only costs $19.99 a year and provides limited benefits.
Nintendo has begun expanding its online offering by including a new Expansion Pack offering. The expansion pack includes access to DLC packs for games like Splatoon 2, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, and Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Nintendo has also started expanding its virtual console offering in NES, SNES, N64, and likely GameBoy and GameBoy Advance games soon.
How much does Nintendo Switch Online cost?
Nintendo offers a few different payment options for its Nintendo Switch Online subscription. Users can subscribe monthly, every three months, or yearly for single account holders. Nintendo also offers a 12-month Nintendo Switch Online family membership for $34.99. There is no option to pay monthly for the family plan.
Nintendo also offers a combo NSO + Expansion Pack for $49.99 every 12 months. This is the best value for anyone who wants the extras from Nintendo’s expansion pack offerings. A familiy pack for NSO + Expansion Pack is available for $79.99 for 12 months.
What is included in the Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack?
The expansion pack for Nintendo Switch Online includes access to Nintendo’s older titles and DLC for some of its online Switch games.
Nintendo Switch Virtual Console
- Nintendo Entertainment System (NSO)
- Super Nintendo Entertainment System (NSO)
- Nintendo 64 (NSO+EX)
- SEGA Genesis (NSO+EX)
Nintendo Switch Online DLC Access
As long as you have an active Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack membership, you can get access to additional DLC. Some of those additional DLC passes include:
- Mario Kart 8 Deluxe – Booster Course Pass
- ACNH: Happy Home Designer DLC
- Splatoon 2: Octo Expansion
- Access to free weekends & demos
Nintendo Switch Online Mobile App
Nintendo has created a mobile app to make it easier to connect in games like Splatoon 2 and Mario Kart 8. There are also some game-specific services that are tied to the mobile app, so you’ll want to have it installed on your favorite device. It is available for iOS and Android.
Aside from access to the virtual console and additional DLC for online games, there are some additional perks. Cloud saves can help you transfer your progress from one Switch to another.
Nintendo also offers its NSO subscribers the ability to purchase controllers from past systems like NES, SNES, and N64. Finally, NSO members get access to Nintendo’s battle royale re-imagining of classic games like Tetris and Pac-Man. Nintendo is often experimenting with these games on a rotating basis, so they may not always be available.
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