I'm looking to buy a Nintendo Switch second hand. Are there things I should be aware of when buying one?

For example, what about ownership of downloaded games? Will they be wiped when performing a reset to factory settings?

2 Answers 2


A factory wipe will remove all downloaded games, as will the current owner registering a new system. You do not own the licenses to any downloads, and they can be deleted by Nintendo or the current owner at any time. Furthermore, it would be illegal to access the current owner's EShop account. You should also be aware that even lightly used joycons may need to be sent in to Nintendo for maintenance- this is free, but will take at least several days.

  • I suspected as much. Physical games don't have this issue I assume?
    – JAD
    Jan 10, 2020 at 10:59
  • No, they don't.
    – icortazar
    Jan 10, 2020 at 12:47

Yes when performing a reset to factory settings. the downloaded games will be deleted. Downloaded games are linked to an account associated with an email.

So if you do not have that account you will not be able to use them, even having them downloaded.

In order to play the downloaded games, they would also have to provide you with the account information.

For the first question:

It depends on the use you want switch for.

  • You want the switch for normal use, just play games? Make sure it is in good condition; screen without scratches, the joycon work correctly, the battery has a good duration, that is clean, etc. And if it was bought after June 2018 better, because new security patches were installed in those Nintendo Switches.

  • You want to modify the switch to give it other uses? You should then look at what serial number the switch has, and make sure, it was purchased before June 2018.

  • The question is asking what "in good condition" means, so I don't know if answering "make sure it is in good condition" is particularly useful. Jan 10, 2020 at 9:25
  • Edited, better?
    – icortazar
    Jan 10, 2020 at 12:25

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