Nintendo Switch Online Feature

Mario and the rest of the Nintendo crew just blew out the candles on their first year of Nintendo Switch Online. Over the past year the service has continued to evolve with some great features to enhance your experience with the Nintendo Switch. The subscription offers more Nintendo content for everyone, and that’s a real reason to celebrate!


Nintendo Switch Online 101

You might be asking, what is Nintendo Switch Online and how does it work?

Glad you asked! The service is a paid online subscription that comes with various additional features to expand your experience with the Nintendo Switch console. One of the primary benefits is that it allows you to play online with friends, family and random opponents. The service also features some of Nintendo’s retro gaming content in a curated NES and SNES apps. In addition to extra content you also get access to exclusive offers, and cloud saves to back up all of your progress. Let’s power up the Nintendo Switch and take a deeper look at what Nintendo Switch Online has to offer.

Nintendo Switch Online App

Online Multiplayer and Voice Chat

Nintendo Switch Online gives players access to a host of online multiplayer features and a voice chat app. Local play is great, but what if your buddies aren’t around for some fun couch co-op? Worry not, as you can now hop online with the service and join gamers around the globe for some multiplayer fun. The feature lets you square off in games like Mario Kart Deluxe 8, Splatoon 2, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and more.

You also have access to voice chat with Nintendo Switch Online letting you communicate with friends and foes. This is accomplished via a smart phone app, which is available for both Apple’s iOS and Android. Along with voice features the app lets you access game related stats like rankings, schedules and upcoming events.

A classic catalog of retro gaming

The service also offers what Nintendo calls “legacy content,” a back catalog of classic NES and SNES titles. This is far and away my favourite feature of Nintendo Switch Online as you can carry two virtual consoles with you wherever you go.

The catalog of games is great, offering a nice sampling of content from each console’s era. Over 60 titles are available across both apps with classics like Super Mario Bros. 3, Mario Kart, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past and more.

I really enjoyed revisiting some of these childhood favourites on my Switch and found hours’ worth of retro fun to be had.

These Nintendo classics have a few new tricks up their sleeve with additions that give you added flexibility in how you play. The two biggest features are the “pickup and play” mechanic along with the ability to rewind your game. You can now suspend your play and pick it up from any point you wish. You can now rewind your gameplay in real-time for an infinite amount of “do overs.” The rewind feature is fantastic for some of those retro titles with grueling difficulty like Ghosts’n Goblins.

Switch NES controllers

Unparalleled 8-bit authenticity

Another unique added bonus to Nintendo Switch Online subscribers is the classic NES and SNES Switch controllers. The company has made the retro style hardware available for purchase to fans looking for the most authentic retro Nintendo experience possible. You can pick up a two pack of the NES controllers or a single SNES remote here.

No matter the preference, there’s a retro adventure for everyone! With a wide variety of titles, and new save and rewind features it makes the games more accessible than ever. Nintendo has been steadily adding titles to each virtual platform, it will be exciting to see what they have in store for the new year.

Nintendo Switch Online Exclusive

Exclusive content and events

The service also boasts its own exclusive title in Tetris 99, a battle royal puzzle game. That’s right, the classic is back letting you face off against 98 other players simultaneously in the ultimate block battle. In addition to the game, special offers like character skins and other special discounts come up on Nintendo’s marketplace.

The evolution of Nintendo Switch Online

In its first year we’ve seen quite a bit of growth from Nintendo’s online platform. Fans can now play each other online with blockbusters like Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. The company’s legendary retro gaming catalog has arrived with dozens of classics for fans. Nintendo looks to continue to grow the collection and hopefully add new virtual consoles in the near future. Cloud saves are also a welcome addition giving players options to back up their data. All of this, combined with exclusive offers and content make for a very appealing service that only looks to keep 1UP-ing itself.

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Matthew has been involved in all things tech related since the start of the digital era. He shares his passion for technology in his day job as a teacher and via multiple media platforms. As a long-time veteran of the video game and tech industry, he's covered interactive entertainment and esports on the web, in video series, podcasts, and on international television. You can follow Matthew's tech-venture filled lifestyle on twitter, instagram @dapper_tux.


  1. I haven’t yet had the opportunity to try out the voice chat, but I am very happy with the rest of Nintendo Switch Online. I have experienced some latency issues though. Thanks for the article!

    • I’ve been happy with the voice chat so far, but my absolute favourite feature of the service is all the retro Nintendo titles. Here’s hoping that we’ll see the library continue to grow in 2020!

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