I don't necessarily find the process of signing in (to online accounts) on gaming consoles as convenient — it takes a while to create the account, type in your secure ≥16-character password and multi-factor authentication passphrase, and I'd rather to go without a public profile where my gaming activity may be shared. I however will connect my Switch to the internet in order to receive updates.

I don't plan to use the Eshop due to concerns of the lifetime of the service, I buy my games in physical form. I won't pay for the online subscription either since I can't easily use a wired connection and my wireless network has delay.

Will I be able to access the basic (i.e. "free") online features in games? Are there any other concerns I should be aware of?

  • What do you mean by free online features? Playing multiplayer online for instance if usually not possible without a subscription, except for free to play games.
    – ABC
    Commented Mar 6, 2021 at 22:43
  • @ABC I referred to leaderboards and any comparable online functionality — Nintendo doesn't follow the established standards and the level-sharing in Super Mario Maker 2 is behind the online subscription for instance... I don't know what I can expect to be offered for free.
    – user598527
    Commented Mar 7, 2021 at 8:48

1 Answer 1


For non-Nintendo games there are some that work with online features without Nintendo Online, but a fair amount of games with online functionality does need it, and some games that work offline except if you buy a specific version to use it without Nintendo Switch Online (e.g. NES and SNES games, Tetris 99). But for most cartridge games you should be good without, and the cartridge games that do need online like SMM2 have offline functionality and usually have cartridge versions that come with a year online.

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