How to Add Nintendo Account to Nintendo Switch

Nintendo knows that the release of the Nintendo Switch isn't the end of its reinvention. To gain a foothold and avoid the mistakes of its past, the Japanese gaming giant needs more than just the right hardware. Its games must offer the same level of connectivity as titles on other platforms. Its online ecosystem must be as robust as what Microsoft offers on Xbox Live and what Sony offers with the PlayStation Network. That's why you should definitely consider adding a Nintendo Account to the Nintendo Switch.

The Nintendo Account is another example of the Switch's split personality. The console was designed to allow users to play at home like a typical home console and play wherever they want. You can enjoy Nintendo Switch without a Nintendo Account. That is, as long as you stick with The Legend of Zelda Breath of the Wild, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Edition , and Splaton 2 on one game card. However, Nintendo Accounts unlock a lot.

Here's how to add a Nintendo Account to the Nintendo Switch.

This is the only way to use the online multiplayer system. Other features are better with a Nintendo Account.

Nintendo does not encourage users to add a Nintendo Account to the Nintendo Switch during the setup process. Until you try to use one of the features that need it, you'll never know you need to add one.

Here's how to add a Nintendo Account to Nintendo Switch.

What is a Nintendo Account for?

Other platforms don't give you the choice whether or not to create an account. Without an Xbox Live or PlayStation Network account, you are not allowed to use their respective systems. The Nintendo Switch is different. You can set up the console and start playing in titles without one. It's unclear why Nintendo made this decision, but it allows anyone to pick up a game card and get started right away. Nintendo probably wanted to maintain this ease of use in the future. This is how their platforms have operated for decades.

You add a Nintendo account to unlock multiplayer. Simply put, games like Mario Kart 8 and Splaton 2 won't let you play against other players around the world without a Nintendo Account. Local multiplayer using only your Switch and not the internet is fine.

A Nintendo Account lets you buy games without getting up from the couch. The console uses these to connect to the Nintendo eShop for video game downloads. This is where you can buy new Nintendo Switch games. The store sells titles of all sizes, from things you can also get on a game card to smaller titles like fast RMX. This game is only available directly from Nintendo eShop. Adding your Nintendo Account to a new Nintendo Switch unlocks all of your digital games for that console. Just note that you will need to deactivate the previous console first.

Parents need to create a Nintendo Account to see how much their kids are playing. The Nintendo Switch Parental Controls app for iPhone and Android lets parents set how long their child can play and more. Only a limited portion of parental control functionality is available without the app and an account.

Where to Create a Nintendo Account

Head to Accounts.Nintendo.com to create a Nintendo Account on your laptop, desktop, or tablet. You can also do this on your phone. Be prepared to provide a working email address so Nintendo can send you a confirmation link. You will also need to provide your date of birth. You shouldn't need to give your credit card details. Nintendo Accounts are free.

How to Add a Nintendo Account to Your Nintendo Switch

Armed with your Nintendo Account email address and password, turn on your Nintendo Switch console by pressing the button.

Press the A button.

Press the button three times.

Tap or click the bubble at the bottom of your screen. You can also use the joystick on the Joy-Cons to select it. Once you've highlighted it, press the A button.

Scroll down in the menu on the left side of your screen until you come to the option.

Select it with the A button or highlight it and press A with your controller.

Tap or select your profile with the controller.

Scroll down to your profile.

You should find an entry titled . In our example, an account has already been added. Use this option and provide the Nintendo Account email address, username and password of the account you have already created on your PC.

Note that you can only link one Nintendo Switch to a Nintendo Account at a time. Also keep in mind that deleting a user's Nintendo Switch account on the Nintendo Switch may mean losing access to your game saves. The Nintendo Switch does not currently allow transferring save files .

Good luck with your Nintendo Switch.