Is Nintendo Online Really Worth It?


As someone looking to buy a Nintendo Switch or have a Nintendo Switch, I can imagine you want to know if Nintendo Online is worth it. I’m here to answer you.

Nintendo Online is worth it if you want to play Nintendo games online, it offers 60 plus Nintendo classics with the subscription and only costs $20 a year.

The service is not perfect however and whilst you get free classic Nintendo games, Nintendo Online just cannot compare to the online experiences that Sony and Microsoft offer. However for the price? You cannot really go wrong for the ability to play online games and get free Nintendo classics with the ability to play online.

Why Is Nintendo Online Worth It?

Price is the biggest reason at only $19.99 for individuals and a $34.99 family plan that can include eight players, you could potentially pay under $5 a year for the service! That’s slightly more than an average cup of coffee.

Check out this tutorial by IGN to set up your Nintendo Online family plan today!

How to Set Up a Nintendo Switch Online Family Membership

Whilst Nintendo having an online subscription is a recent thing you WILL need it if you’re playing certain games. What is the purpose in having Super Smash Bros Ultimate or Splatoon 2 if you’re not playing them online? However, not all games need Nintendo online to work as the popular free third-person shooter Fortnite does not need an active Nintendo Online subscription.

However Nintendo Online is not without its issues as certain features are the same as the Nintendo Wii online such as needing a long friend code to add someone to your friends. Unfortunately, voice chat is awful as, unlike PS4 PC Xbox you need a specific smartphone app to access voice chat for most games!

Nintendo Online Save States Explained

Nintendo Online brought with it cloud saves which are on by default in the menu, however, they do not work with every Switch game. Unfortunately, if you stop paying for Nintendo Online your cloud saves will stop functioning so you need to hope you have your saved files backed up on your Switch. However, seeing if a game is saved in the cloud is easy and if you can turn off cloud saves on each game but I’m not sure why you would do that.

“Save data stored via the Save Data Cloud backup is available for as long as you have an active Nintendo Switch Online membership.

Classic games in the NES – Nintendo Switch Online collection and the save data for those games will not be removed unless the user chooses to do so manually. These items are stored locally on the Nintendo Switch system but cannot be accessed without an active Nintendo Switch Online membership”

Nintendo Switch Online FAQ

Check this video out for forever explanation

Nintendo Switch Cloud Saves Are Here So How Do They Work?

Nintendo Online Application

The app is available for both Android and iOS devices and is used for in-game voice chat and to connect players to join multiplayer sessions. The app also has features for specific games such as Splatoon 2 which offers in-game purchases and battle stats within the app

What is ridiculous is chat only works when the app is open, so your smartphone has to be unlocked for you to use the application! If you need to use your phone for whatever reason such looking at a walkthrough because you’re stuck in a game sorry for you no more voice chat! Honestly, it is baffling why Nintendo created something so poor in 2018 and you’re far better off using a third-party app such as Discord that is designed to work for video and audio chat for gamers.

Worst yet only a selected few games support the Nintendo Switch Online app so it makes you wonder why Nintendo implemented it in the first place.

  • ARMS
  • DRAGON QUEST BUILDERS 2
  • Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
  • Mario Tennis Aces
  • MARVEL ULTIMATE ALLIANCE 3: The Black Order
  • Mortal Kombat 11
  • Red Faction Guerrilla Re-Mars-tered
  • SAINTS ROW: THE THIRD – THE FULL PACKAGE
  • Skulls of the Shogun: Bone-A-Fide Edition
  • Splatoon 2
  • Stardew Valley
  • Super Mario Party
  • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
  • TT Isle of Man

Nintendo Online Included Games

A big plus for the subscription is Nintendo Switch Online members can enjoy a free library of over 60 NES™ and Super NES™ classic games including the following Super Mario Kart™, Super Metroid™, The Legend of Zelda™: A Link to the Past™

Here is a video explaining the initial 20 release catalogue of Nintendo Online and a ranking from best to worst

Ranking the Nintendo Switch Online NES Games: Play these FIRST
Nintendo Entertainment System Games
is Nintendo online worth it
Super Nintendo Entertainment SYSTEM Games

Aside from all the lovely nostalgia, the biggest change is online play. You can play co-op or compete with people around the world with little lag on games that come out 30 years ago which is cool in itself. Also, you share the screen with your friends and virtually pass the controller to your friends for them to play depending on the game you’re playing,

If you just want to take a backseat and watch you can just watch someone else play, and you have the option of mini floating hands which allows you to point at things and tell who you’re spectating where to go and actually clap to congratulate your player or sarcastically clap to there suffering; your choice.

Three different visual modes are available for your classic games 4:3 mode for a classic aspect ratio pixel perfect for better quality experienced aimed at modern TVs and CRT filter that is a blast from the past and aims for a retro look. CRT personally looks bad when enlarged on TV screens whilst docked and is better for handheld mode and pixel perfect genuinely is the best experience you will get.

No matter what mode you choose all games don’t go to the full screen in handheld mode.

One big issue with all the ports all Nintendo instead of porting all the games to Nintendo online just used an emulator which you can see in the data files of the games. Nintendo itself using an emulator is ironic because historically they have been very anti emulator you can read more about the cheap ports here.

Now are these games are selling point? Honestly, it depends on you if you’re someone who grew up in the era of the SNES in the early 90s the ability to play Baloon Fight with someone in another country when beforehand you were restricted to a person in the same room is a cool thing. Personally I didn’t grow up in that era so the nostalgia doesn’t affect me. However certain games like all the Super Mario Bros and Zelda still hold up and are timeless.

Annoyingly you need to go online every week to keep the licenses of the NES games active and unfortunately, you cannot remap the controller buttons to what you prefer. The way you navigate the in-game menus are with the plus and minus buttons on the Switch what is awkward and I do not understand why Nintendo doesn’t let you change your options.

Regardless Nintendos biggest strength is 30 plus years of gaming classics that everyone recognises in some way, the interface is easy to navigate and most of the games don’t have lag. It’s a shame that Nintendo always wants to sell it’s classics to you but with the rather small investment, it is worth it.

Despite its issues such as the awful voice chat and lacking many features that it’s competitors have Nintendo, Online is still worth it. The insignificant price you pay for the service together with the upgraded NES& SNES games and certain multiplayer games need the service to be playable.

The sad thing is Nintendo still has not learned from the previous mistakes it had with the Wii & Wii U online, just now you have to pay for it. Hopefully, with time the service will improve and Nintendo will show it actually listens to customers requests, but knowing Nintendo sadly I don’t see it happening but we can all hope.

Nintendo Switch Online FAQ’s

Do You Keep The NES Games?

Sadly no, you will only play the games if you are an active Switch, Online member. However, you can download them and play them offline at your leisure

Nintendo Switch Online Cost

There are several ways you can pay standard 12-month subscription costs $ 19.99. one month for $3.99 or three months for $7.99

There is a family membership program which allows up to 8 Nintendo account members to use the Switch Online service. Anyone can be added to your family even if you’re not related. The service could potentially be less than $5 a person and Nintendo told the website Polygon the following

Any Nintendo Accounts associated with the family membership can use the service, whether they are parent accounts or not,”

Nintendo

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