Login

Switch now allows you to play your digital games on another Switch via Nintendo Account

The first time you use your Nintendo Account to connect to the Nintendo Switch eShop, the Nintendo Switch console you use will be activated as the primary console for your Nintendo Account. After you have designated your Nintendo Account's primary console you can still link that account to other Nintendo Switch consoles, but these consoles will not be activated as primary consoles.

When using the primary console, any user on that device can play downloadable content you have purchased. You are also not required to connect online prior to using downloadable content on your primary console (an Internet connection is required to use online features or games which require a subscription service).

If you deactivate your primary console, the next time you use your Nintendo Account to connect to Nintendo eShop on a Nintendo Switch console, that console will become your Nintendo Account's primary console.

To verify whether a console is the primary console for your Nintendo Account, check the "Primary Console Status" in your Nintendo eShop Account Information.

Key Points:

Primary Console:

You can have one primary console at a time for your Nintendo Account.
The first Nintendo Switch console you use to connect to Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch will become your primary console.
While using the primary console, any user account on the console can play the downloadable content you have purchased.
While using the primary console, you do not need to have an active Internet connection while playing downloadable software.
An Internet connection is still required to use online features or games which require a subscription service.
You can change which Nintendo Switch console is your primary console but you must first deactivate the current primary console.

Non-Primary Console:

A Nintendo Account can be linked to Nintendo Switch consoles that are not designated as the primary console, however, some functionality differs from when a Nintendo Account is used on a primary console.
While using a non-primary console, you can still use the Nintendo Account to access the Nintendo eShop, purchase and download software, and under certain conditions, play your downloadable software.
While using a non-primary console, you must have an active Internet connection to play downloadable content.
If you lose your Internet connection while playing downloadable content on a non-primary console, your game will pause after a certain amount of time; however, once you connect online again, you will be able to resume from the point you left off.
While using a non-primary console, downloadable content can only be started by the user that purchased the content.
When using downloadable software on a non-primary console, your game will pause if your Nintendo Account is used to access downloadable software on any other Nintendo Switch console.

How It Works:

Activating your primary console:

Link a Nintendo Account to your Nintendo Switch console.
Access the Nintendo eShop and select your Nintendo Account.
If the Nintendo Account does not already have an active console, this console will become the primary console for your Nintendo Account.
Making a different console the primary console:

Access the Nintendo eShop on your primary console and deactivate the console for your Nintendo Account from the user menu.
If you do not have access to the original console, you can also deactivate a primary console off-device once per year.
Off-device deactivations can be done by visiting accounts.nintendo.com, selecting "Shop Menu", and then "Deactivate Primary Console".
On the second Nintendo Switch console, use the same Nintendo Account to access the Nintendo Switch eShop. This is now the activated console for your account.

I'm not sure if there are limitations with this. Seems like there might be some games where this isn't allowed, but that might be a game-by-game basis.

Thanks to Kolma for the heads up!

Categories: Top Stories, Consoles
Tags: eshop, switch

Comments

Top Rated Comment

Because this has nothing to do with their online service. Totally separate.

This is what I've been waiting for. Great news.

I was buying cartridge now i regret cuz this basically gives u access to your one purchase on both systems. Not sure if it would work with multiplayer? I was thinking nintendo was not wrong for wanting to charge digital per system 120 bucks! So this is them listening to us and being more like tablet companies!

Not sure if it would work with multiplayer?

Since a User Profile linked to the same Nintendo Account needs to be used on both consoles, I suspect the Primary console cannot play the same game if it’s being used on a Non-Primary console.

The way I'm reading it, if the primary console is playing a game, the secondary console can't play any game under that account.

It depends. The main thing is that you shouldn't look at this from a console perspective but from an accounts perspective. If you try to understand or explain it from a console perspective it becomes very complicated very quickly because there are a big number of scenarios. (believe me I've just now tried to write a comprehensible explanation and it became a big mess)

Basically, if an account is (noticeably) active on one Switch it can't be used on another Switch. (An account's primary console can still be used by other accounts).

Also, on a secondary system, an account can only play the digital games/content they own themselves, and need to have a active online connection to verify they are using just one system. They can't play any game they don't own themselves (whether someone else on that Switch owns the game or not)..

The primary system can be played offline though, so in theory an account could play an offline game on the primary Switch and simultaneously play another game on the secondary system.

Great to see they have been listening to the requests we had when the system launched and make everything completely account based.
Now we can show off games we own to friends just by logging in on their system!

Also, with an NSO membership you can download your saves along with the games and continue where you left off on your own system. Then you can save the game, let it upload automatically and download your progress on your own Switch afterwards.

Slowly but surely this whole system is coming together.. A good number of people are throwing a fit about NSO at the moment, but if you look you can see Nintendo's whole online infrastructure improving.. I'd imagine by this time next year we'll be much happier about how things have turned out than most imagine today..

camhalen
Tue Sep 18 18 09:32pm
Rating: 1

100% agree. Yeah the service isn't perfect, I dont like everything about it. But none of it is really bad, just could be better and some things will be improved upon as time goes on and the funds cycle back into it.

Yup indeed. The amount of people that sign up will probably also determine the future budget for development of new features and improvements to the system. Once they have a good idea of how much revenue they're working with they should be able to have a better picture of what improvements are achievable..

(Of course I have no doubt they are already well into development of future tweaks and improvements. Those will be ready to release in future updates.)

In some ways it's really baby steps, and with some things it really seems like they're re-inventing the wheel, but we'll get there eventually.. As it is right now it's fine at it's core and big updates like this account focused one are a good indication that we are moving forward.

So happy about being able to deactivate off console, now I don't have to worry if it's lost or stolen.

Sounds like how the 360 did it. One account that could do it all offline, using it elsewhere required login.

That latter part, however, was on any amount of consoles IIRC, so long as you didn't sign in elsewhere. But once the software started it was good to go, I think.

The first really cool thing I've heard about this service. Kudos to Nintendo. Dunno why they didn't mention this earlier instead of vague special offers or using your phone for voice chat.

Because this has nothing to do with their online service. Totally separate.

Welp, I guess I'm back to hating Nintendo Switch Online for being a paid service.

I'll bring the popcorn!

Wait, a digital purchase can be played on any console in which I’m linked AT THE SAME TIME? Does this mean if I had bought Mario Kart 8 Deluxe digitally, my whole family (we have 4 Switches) could play against each other at the same time with that one digital copy?! Please clarify. I’m feeling duped for having gone physical now...

While using a non-primary console, you must have an active Internet connection to play downloadable content.
If you lose your Internet connection while playing downloadable content on a non-primary console, your game will pause after a certain amount of time; however, once you connect online again, you will be able to resume from the point you left off.
While using a non-primary console, downloadable content can only be started by the user that purchased the content.
When using downloadable software on a non-primary console, your game will pause if your Nintendo Account is used to access downloadable software on any other Nintendo Switch console.

You *might* be able to squeeze two if launching the game on the active console under a different account doesn't kick the non-primary off, but it sounds like another console can play your games if you're not playing them at the time. Well, if the primary console isn't connected to the internet, at least.

Thanks. I was in a hurry and didn’t even read the details. These safeguards make me feel much better about sticking with physical games. That said, I’m excited for these digital changes. Very digital forward thinking from Nintendo, for once. I guess we can credit DeNA for that.

I doubt it's DeNA who deserves credit for this at all.. Really they don't have anything to do with Switch beyond the Smartphone App.

No, Nintendo has been moving to develop an account based system since they announced the NX. This is just one of the things that needed more time to develop properly in order to cover every use case and every contingency.

These things take time..

I'm not fully aware of the finer detail but this sounds like excellent news thus far.

Want to join this discussion?

You should like, totally log in or sign up!