I already have a Nintendo account created on a 3DS. When adding a new user on a Switch, I have a choice between logging into an existing account or creating a new one.

Will I be able to use the account I have created on a 3DS with a Switch? If yes, what will be carried over from 3DS to the Switch? Or is it just that I will have the same username and password on both systems, but apart from that the accounts will be separate?

1 Answer 1


According to this Nintendo Support article, you cannot directly use the account you set up with your 3DS. A 3DS system uses an account that is tied to a Nintendo Network ID, which functions differently than accounts tied to a Switch.

Nintendo Accounts and Nintendo Network IDs are used for different purposes.

Nintendo Account

  • A Nintendo Account is used for Nintendo Switch online services (including the Nintendo Switch eShop), smart device applications (like Super Mario Run), off-device software purchases, and the My Nintendo loyalty service.

Nintendo Network ID

  • A Nintendo Network ID (NNID) is created and used on a Wii U and/or Nintendo 3DS family system.
  • NNIDs are used for online features (such as online multiplayer or interactions) and for purchasing downloadable software through Nintendo eShop on Wii U and Nintendo 3DS

You can link your 3DS account to your Switch account, which this article provides information on how to do that. The benefit for linking your accounts provides the ability to share funds between your systems.

Additionally, a Nintendo Network ID can be linked to a Nintendo Account to share Nintendo eShop funds across the different systems.

  • 3
    In addition to shared balance, it also will also suggestion friends you had on the 3DS if they have a linked Nintendo Account.
    – Shawndroid
    Commented Oct 24, 2018 at 12:09

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