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I am selling my Nintendo Switch soon. I see that I can change my email on my account. I know that digital games brought through my switch account is linked to my account and my device.

However, I am wondering if I can just change my email on my Nintendo account to the new owner and change the password to the new owner? I don't have any payment options linked to my account or device, and I know the new owner well enough to trust them. So could this work for when I sell my device?

I do not have any other Switches or Nintendo products, so I don't care about my Nintendo account, I would just basically give it to the new owner.

Has anybody tried this?

2 Answers 2

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The usual advice for reselling a Switch is as follows:

  1. Transfer your data to a Switch which you will be keeping, if any. If you can't do this, you may lose any save data that wasn't backed up to the Nintendo cloud (requires a subscription, and does not cover all games). This will also delete the account from the Switch you are selling, which you probably wanted to do anyway
  2. Wipe the Switch entirely. As mentioned above, this will erase any save data that isn't backed up.

However, your situation is different, because you want to transfer the account, purchases, etc. to your friend, and don't care about backing up anything. That probably violates Nintendo's terms of service (which prohibit "any resale or commercial use of the Services or the Materials therein"), but you can change the email to point to your friend's address. This will require your friend to click a confirmation link. Either you or your friend can then change or reset the password as usual.

If Nintendo finds out that you have done this, it is possible they will revoke your digital purchases or take some other action against you or your friend. It's unlikely you or your friend would have any recourse if this happened. This is one reason to prefer physical purchases if you're not sure you're going to keep the system indefinitely; it is always legal to resell physical games, at least in the United States (and probably in most other countries).

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Nintendo Support have answered this explicitly (emphasis mine):

Per the Nintendo Account User Agreement and Nintendo Network Services Agreement, your Nintendo Account and/or Nintendo Network ID (NNID) cannot be transferred or sold to another person.

For the more legal wording, as per the linked Nintendo Account User Agreement (again, emphasis mine):

2. License

Subject to the terms of this Agreement, Nintendo grants you a non-exclusive, non-transferable, revocable license to use the Nintendo Account Services solely for your personal and non commercial use. You are not allowed to lease, rent, sublicense, publish, copy, modify, adapt, translate, reverse engineer, decompile or disassemble all or any portion of the Nintendo Account Services without Nintendo’s written consent, or unless otherwise expressly permitted by applicable law.

and

4. Use of the Nintendo Account Services

...

Your Nintendo Account may not be transferred to another person. If you sell or transfer your Nintendo device or smart device, you must unlink your Nintendo Account from the device and any on-device Nintendo Account Services...

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