This is not a duplicate of Can you share digital games on Nintendo Switch like how it is for PS4 and Xbox One?, as that question was asked before much information was available about Nintendo Switch Online. This question is specifically about that program.

Someone I'm close to is considering buying a Switch, but is not too keen on having to pay for games that I already bought (both physical and digital). If the Family Membership plan will allow us to share games I've already purchased (and new games that he purchases), then he is much more likely to actually buy one.

If this person I'm close with gets his own Switch, can we get a family plan and share the eShop games we buy with each other, on our own devices? Or will he have to buy extra copies of games he wants to play?

2 Answers 2


Edit: A Family Group is not required for this; you only need to add your account to the other switch.

From Nintendo's website:

Non-Primary Console:

  • A Nintendo Account can be linked to Nintendo Switch consoles that are not designated as the primary console, however, some functionality differs from when a Nintendo Account is used on a primary console.
  • While using a non-primary console, you can still use the Nintendo Account to access the Nintendo eShop, purchase and download software, and under certain conditions, play your downloadable software.
  • While using a non-primary console, you must have an active Internet connection to play downloadable content.
  • If you lose your Internet connection while playing downloadable content on a non-primary console, your game will pause after a certain amount of time; however, once you connect online again, you will be able to resume from the point you left off.
  • While using a non-primary console, downloadable content can only be started by the user that purchased the content.
  • When using downloadable software on a non-primary console, your game will pause if your Nintendo Account is used to access downloadable software on any other Nintendo Switch console.

Yes, you can share games with another switch owner by adding your account to his switch. He will only be able to play the games using your account and cannot play the same game that you are currently playing at the same time. However, there are a couple of workarounds for this (I have not tested these, but have heard other people discussing them):

  • If you want to both play the same single player game by yourselves, you can take your switch offline and his switch shouldn't pause since it doesn't detect that you're playing the same game.
  • If you want to play a multiplayer game together online, you must start the game as a different user. Because you are the membership owner, any other user on your console can use the membership, even if they're not a member of the family group. On his console, only your account will have access to online. This method can also be used for single player games, but you won't have access to your user's save file if you are playing as a different user.
  • The same game, or a game from the same library? I.e. if I buy Skyrim and Doom, would me playing Doom stop him from playing Skyrim at the same time? Or would it just stop him from playing Doom?
    – JesseTG
    Commented Sep 19, 2018 at 17:09
  • 1
    The same game. The game will only pause for your friend if you begin to play the same game.
    – Brian
    Commented Sep 26, 2018 at 17:02
  • I can live with that; this is a friend in real life, so we can play games on the same console. Thank you.
    – JesseTG
    Commented Sep 27, 2018 at 23:46

The same game. The game will only pause for your friend if you begin to play the same game.

This is not true. You cannot play games at the "same time" Basically the secondary console will have to go online and check if anyone on the same account is playing the any digital games. If someone is, you get suspended.

This is both a nintendo limitation and a online account limitations. One account cannot be online with two different titles at the same time.

  • I'm pretty sure the original answer was true at one point, and then an update happened and now if a game owned by the primary user is being played on the primary console at all, the same user can no longer launch any game which they own on another console. This kills me because I bought two additional switches for my kids under the impression we could share the same digital catalog as long as we all play different games. Whatever, now I just buy physical games and Nintendo doesn't get money from me through the eShop. Their loss (for first party games anyways).
    – codewario
    Commented Aug 31, 2021 at 20:58

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