How to share games and accounts on Nintendo Switch

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Nintendo account is all you need to buy games online. This profile can also be linked to Nintendo Network ID and social networks. On Nintendo Switch, it offers access to Nintendo eShop and Nintendo Switch Online. Did you find everything confusing? I explain below how it works and how to share games and even consoles.

Nintendo Switch Unsplash

What is a Nintendo Network ID?

The Nintendo Network ID is a unique user code consisting of between six and 16 characters that allows the user to access certain Nintendo Network services. Probably, if you had a Wii U or Nintendo 3DS, you created it to use Miiverse, Wii U Chat or to shop at Nintendo eShop. Just rescue her.

What is a Nintendo Account?

A Nintendo Account is an account that offers access to certain features on the Nintendo Switch, including the Nintendo eShop, the Nintendo Switch Online subscription and the My Nintendo rewards program. If you have a Switch or Switch Lite, you have one.

How to create a Nintendo Account

If you don’t already have one:

  1. Go to accounts.nintendo.com;
  2. Click “Sign in/Create account”.
  3. Click on “Create a Nintendo Account”.

What is the Nintendo Switch account limit?

Up to eight accounts can be linked to a Nintendo Switch. This means that, in addition to your account, you can add the account of up to seven different friends in the video game.

Can I link an account to more than one Switch?

Yes.

It is possible to link the same account to several different video game devices. This means that you can buy games online and download/play on any Switch console as long as using your account. Whoever plays your games will use your profile.

However, consider some details.

Only one main Switch console can be registered per Nintendo Account. That is, you will have to choose which Nintendo Switch is most important to you.

Write this down. 📝

Nintendo Switch Accesories

After choosing the main console, the games you buy can be played by any account linked to the main console (your friends’ seven accounts) or that use any secondary console to which your account is added, with your profile.

You do not need to be a Nintendo Switch Online subscriber to access a game from the primary console on a secondary console, but the secondary device must be connected to the internet to be able to access the shared title software.

For example:

  • You have a Nintendo Switch;
  • Your account is the main account on this Switch;
  • His brother added his account to his Switch;
  • He can play his games on his console (on his account);
  • On his Switch, he will only be able to play his games using his account and connected to the internet, as if you were using a secondary console somewhere.

How to share games on Nintendo Switch

You can play titles in digital format that you have purchased from your Nintendo Account, Nintendo eShop, any Nintendo Switch or Nintendo Switch Lite console.

The limitation is to register only one primary device. After defining, however, you can still change which one is the main one in the Nintendo eShop settings.

This is not definitive.

How to activate your primary console

  1. Connect a Nintendo Account to your Nintendo Switch console;
  2. Access the Nintendo eShop and select your Nintendo Account;
  3. If the Nintendo Account does not yet have an active console, the console used will become the primary console for your Nintendo Account.

How to change the primary console

  1. Access the Nintendo eShop on your primary console;
  2. Disable it from your Nintendo Account in the user menu;
  3. If you do not have access to the original console, it is still possible to disable it as the primary console without direct access to that device, only once a year. Deactivation without direct access to the device can be done at accounts.nintendo.com. Select “Store Menu” and “Disable primary console”.
  4. On the second Nintendo Switch console, use the same Nintendo Account to access the Nintendo Switch eShop. From now on, this will be your account’s active console.

Titles in physical format (card) can be played on any device, you can borrow and use again later. Game information in physical and digital format can be transferred between consoles if you are a member of Nintendo Switch Online.

Nintendo Switch Physical memory

What are the benefits of a primary switch?

The first time you create and use a Nintendo account to access the eShop, this console will be defined as the primary console. On the primary device, any user can play what you have purchased. You don’t even have to connect online to activate the games, because you downloaded these files (game) on the primary console.

Several consoles can be children of the same account (you can log into the devices of several friends, for example). But, only a Nintendo Switch can be your main. It’s because? Because only one device can play the same game at a time.

This means that if someone on a Nintendo Switch is playing a title available through a friend’s account that was included on the console and the account owner plays the same game on their primary device, whoever was on the secondary will fall.

What can you do? Primary Console Secondary Console
Purchase new content using your Nintendo Account YES✅ YES✅
Re-download the game using your Nintendo Account YES✅ YES✅
Play downloaded content using your Nintendo Account online YES✅ YES✅
Play downloaded content using your Nintendo Account offline YES✅ NO❌
Allow other users to play downloaded content, online or offline YES✅ NO❌

Therefore, if you are going to share an account with someone to access the same games, agree on the times. You won’t be able to play together *, it’s true.

It is the primary console that will always be preferred, no matter if it opened a certain game before or after. If nobody is in primary school, whoever connected first falls.

Does this violate any rules?

Not even.

Sharing an account is something taught on Nintendo’s own support and does not violate any terms of use of the Nintendo platform. There are no reports of bans for that.

How to share games from an account on the Switch

In summary, what you need to know:

  • Game purchases made with your Nintendo account can be downloaded again and played on any Nintendo Switch device where you are logged in;
  • You can link your Nintendo account to a user profile on multiple consoles;
  • Only a Nintendo Switch can be the primary console for your Nintendo account;
  • You can change which is the primary console of your Nintendo account at any time.

Now, get to work!

First phase

  1. For each user, determine which will be the primary console for each account;

“If a system is shared by multiple users, we recommend that you make it the primary console for all Nintendo accounts with purchased content,” says Nintendo.

Like this:

  • Digital games are linked to the Nintendo Account that purchased them.
  • All users will be able to play titles purchased through any Account.

Second level

Nintendo that has registered the system as the primary console.

  1. Link a Nintendo account to any secondary Nintendo Switch that will also be used to play the titles for a particular Nintendo account;
  2. Download the games you want to access on each Nintendo Switch again;
  3. On any device, select the downloaded game from the HOME menu;
  4. It will not be possible to use the same Nintendo Account to access titles on different systems simultaneously. That is, someone will fall* for the other to play;

Nintendo Switch Online members can use the cloud recording data backup feature to transfer saves from one system and download to another.

Selecting game on Nintendo Switch

But, some games may not be compatible with cloud backup. Note that transfer removes saved user data from the source system and transfers it to the destination system. You can transfer saves as many times as you like.

Is there a way to play the same game?*

Has…

There’s always a trick. The secondary console needs to be connected to the internet to play a game purchased by another account, remember? If the player on the primary console disables Wi-Fi, the system will not know that he is playing.

Do you know any more?

*With information: Nintendo 123, 4 and 5

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About Tarun Bhardwaj

I'm a fan of the world of video games for PCs since childhood, from the days of games on Floppy Disk and the last glories of the Commodore, reading magazines such as PC Gamer, Games For My Computer and many others. Even the other platforms intrigue me, but the first love never forgets.