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I would like to play local network multiplayer on Minecraft on the Switch. Is it possible to play with multiple people locally without a Nintendo Online Service account?

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Yes, this is possible, but there are a number of requirements and constraints to make it work.

Constraints:

  • You can’t play cross-platform with other devices, only Nintendo Switch
  • Due to the use of WiFi and Bluetooth, you can only connect 1 pair of joycons or 2 pro controllers per switch console.
  • You can play with a maximum of 8 players, for example, 4 Switch consoles with 2 pro controllers each or 8 Switch consoles with 1 pair of joycons each.

Requirements:

  • Switch consoles need to be connected to the same WiFi network.
  • Each Nintendo Switch console needs to have a copy of Minecraft, digital or physical
  • Each Switch console needs to have at least 1 Nintendo profile, and the profiles need to be connected as friends (such that you can see what your friend is playing).
  • Each Minecraft needs to have an association with an Xbox gamer tag; this happens when you login to a Microsoft account within the Minecraft game.

Steps 

  1. Designate 1 Switch console as the host, all other Switch consoles follow.
  2. Open Minecraft on the designated host, ensuring you choose the profile that is Nintendo friends with profiles on the other Switch consoles. 
  3. On the host Switch console, login to a Microsoft account to ensure the gamer tag is associated with the game.
  4. On each connecting Switch console, open Minecraft, ensuring you choose the profile that is Nintendo friends with profiles on the other Switch consoles.   
  5. On each connecting Switch console, login to a Microsoft account (use a different account per Switch console).
  6. On each connecting Switch console, go to the friends tab and add the gamer tag of the host as a friend.
  7. On the host switch, go to the friends tab and add the gamer tag of each connecting Switch console as a friend.
  8. On the host Switch console, press the Y button and switch to Local Network.  Note that after this, it will show you are not logged in to a Microsoft account. Don’t login again, as this will disable Local Network.
  9. On the host Switch console, start a World in which multiplayer is enabled.
  10. On each connecting Switch console, press the Y button and switch to Local Network.  Note that after this, it will show you are not logged in to a Microsoft account. Don’t login again, as this will disable Local Network
  11. On each connecting Switch console, under the friend tab in Minecraft, you should now see that your host Switch console is online, and you can join their World.

After all this, you can add one additional player by pressing “+” on the pro controller. Keep in mind that this can only be done if the first player also uses a Pro Controller.

I have attempted to connect multiple controllers using USB, but it seems Minecraft still counts these as wireless devices.

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