Say Steve owns a Nintendo switch A and also owns a Nintendo switch B. (One of the other or both machines might be a lite, I don't think it matters.)

Steve owns the physical cartridge of game G and Steve also owns the physical cartridge of game H.

(Completely different games. NO digital copies involved - physical cartridges for both G and H.)

Steve has one (and only one) paid Nintendo account.

Both machines A and B are logged in as Steve's account (let's say A is the "primary" if it matters).

Cartridge G is in machine A. Cartridge H is in machine B.

Both machines are 100% online and are never offline.

At 10:05AM Steve picks up machine A and starts playing game G on machine A.

Steve's brother Bill is sitting next to Steve. At 10:06AM Bill picks up machine B and tries to play game H on machine B.

Is it possible to play two completely different physical cartridge games, at the same time, on two switches, both registered to the one Nintendo account?

This question is only about

  • Switches that are both completely online always

  • Games that are only physical cartridges

  • same account, playing at the same time

Surprisingly I could not find the answer to this anywhere including Nintendo.

There are heaps of articles about sharing digital games; about cloud saving; about offline play; and other issues of "one account multiple machines", but not this simpler question.

  • 1
    My understanding is that the Switch uses substantially the same process as the PS4, for physical cartridges.
    – Kevin
    Commented Dec 30, 2020 at 1:01
  • @Kevin - heh, great video, had not seen it :) I appreciate that, cheers
    – Fattie
    Commented Dec 30, 2020 at 12:14

1 Answer 1


Yes, the same user can be playing different games on different systems. I've tested this using Breath of the Wild, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, and Pokemon Sword/Shield. You can even be playing different physical versions of the same game.

If there's a desire to not have save data be messed with when others play the switch, you can make a guest account for them to use.

  • What a great answer - thanks, I'll send a bounty. Seasons greets
    – Fattie
    Commented Dec 26, 2020 at 14:54

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