Game Guides

Nintendo Switch Online – What is it, do you need it, Individual or Family Account

Everything to know about NSO

by Kyle Hanson


It’s Christmas day, which means gamers around the world are opening up their presents and potentially jumping into a whole new ecosystem of gaming bliss. One of the hottest items this year, as it has been for the last few years, is the Nintendo Switch. Thousands or potentially millions of people will be receiving one for the first time today and after you boot it up you will likely have a lot of questions. One of the toughest things to figure out is Nintendo Switch Online. What is it? Do you want an individual or family account? We break down some of the specifics.

What is Nintendo Switch Online

Nintendo Switch Online is, in short, the companies version of Xbox Live and PlayStation Network. While online multiplayer gaming is free on PC, it has often required an additional payment on consoles. Nintendo began this practice with the Switch, introducing Nintendo Switch Online a few years ago. The service is a key component of the Switch, but isn’t always necessary since gamers often have different needs.

Do you Need Nintendo Switch Online

What do you get with Nintendo Switch Online? The biggest thing is online multiplayer. Did you get Mario Kart 8 Deluxe or Animal Crossing: New Horizons and want to play with your friends across the country? Then you need Nintendo Switch Online. It’s that simple for most, as the cost is outweighed by the ability to join games with friends and random people whenever and wherever you want, with the right internet access.

There’s more to NSO than just online multiplayer though. On top of that you also receive a large selection of older Nintendo games from the NES and SNES days. More get added all the time, but you can see an up to dat list of all Nintendo Switch Online games here. Along with those you also get special access to games like Tetris 99 and Super Mario Bros. 35, with some other perks like the ability to purchase NES and SNES controllers for the Switch. So overall it’s a membership that amps up your Switch and its features. But do you only want a membership for yourself or should you splurge for the family account?

Individual or Family Account?

An individual Nintendo Switch Online membership costs $19.99 a year. This gets you all of the above on one account on your Switch. However, a family NSO membership is also available and costs just $34.99 a year, so less than two memberships together. For this you get up to six members on your subscription. There are stipulations, so make sure you follow all of Nintendo’s rules. But if you have a lot of family members with a Switch or want to share the console a lot the family Nintendo Switch Online subscription is probably the best, especially if you can share the cost.

So that’s a rundown of Nintendo Switch Online, explaining what it is, do you need it, and whether to get an individual or family account.

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