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Any Nintendo Switch users? How does their licensing work?

simas

Senior member
Oct 16, 2005
398
102
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Any Nintendo Switch users? I am considering getting a couple of Switch Light consoles for my kids and was curious how the licensing work - i
.e. if they want to play the same game against each other , do I need two copies of that game or one is sufficient?
is there a concept of 'family account' (if my adult account owns it and they are added to it then they could play it in the same household)
if they play against each other on the wifi , do I need 'online gaming' package bought (nintendo online personal/family) or is that only to play over internet?
anything else I need to know of?

I am somewhat used now to how Xbox works, have gamepass , have individual logins for that where they can share what is on gamepass or if they really like it buy games for their own account regardless whether it came/exists/left gamepass. How is Nintendo equivalent ?

forgot to say - all of this is situation with two Switch Light consoles. I think there was also a way to get a single switch 'normal' , connect to TV, and turn the detachable controllers into two individual controllers to give to each kid, correct? this way they play on one switch, one copy of the game , against each other. or am I getting it wrong?

thank you
 

purbeast0

No Lifer
Sep 13, 2001
51,141
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You need 2 copies of a game if you want to be playing them at the same time.

They do have a concept of a family accounts.

Like on my Switch, I am the "parent" and then you can "add child accounts" and I added my son's switch. It was pretty easy and intuitive but I can't remember the exact details of it. When I log into my account on nintendo.com and go to my settings, there is a "Family Group" tab you can click on and I can see that I'm the admin/parent and he is under me as a "Supervised account".

There is also a family NSO membership that I believe is good for up to 4 Switches but that could be wrong. I think it's like $30/yr vs. $20/yr for individual, but again I could be wrong on that. My son's cousin bought him a year so we don't have the family plan yet. When his expires after mine, I will get a family NSO account for us.

As for playing local multiplayer, it completely depends on the game. Some games you can do what you are saying and play 2 player, once with each joycon. Works fine for Mario Kart, New Super Mario Bros, Smash Brothers, etc. But a game like Mario Odyssey or Splatoon 2 you can't do that. My son was disappointed when he got Splatoon 2 and we realized you can't even play local multiplayer at all split screen or anything. It is online only for multiplayer.

For "wifi" multiplayer, again, it is game dependent. Not all games support it but some do, and the ones that do, you'd need 2 copies of the games to do that. You don't need NSO for that.
 
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simas

Senior member
Oct 16, 2005
398
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116
Thank you - so in your 'parent' and 'child' setup, do you guy a game once and a sub account can also play it or does each account need to own it even if playing from the same switch?
does it work the same or different in physical vs digital game?
 

purbeast0

No Lifer
Sep 13, 2001
51,141
3,811
126
Thank you - so in your 'parent' and 'child' setup, do you guy a game once and a sub account can also play it or does each account need to own it even if playing from the same switch?
does it work the same or different in physical vs digital game?
We only play on different Switches as far as accounts go. He doesn't use his account on mine and vice versa. But based on my previous setup before he got his own, you can definitely play the same game from multiple accounts on the same Switch. You would each have your own profile.

I only buy physical games (unless only available digital) so we can play most games on either Switch if we wanted to, since I own the physical cartridge. I believe, on the same switch, digital works just like physical. I'm not sure how sharing digital games works between consoles though.
 
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simas

Senior member
Oct 16, 2005
398
102
116
We only play on different Switches as far as accounts go. He doesn't use his account on mine and vice versa. But based on my previous setup before he got his own, you can definitely play the same game from multiple accounts on the same Switch. You would each have your own profile.

I only buy physical games (unless only available digital) so we can play most games on either Switch if we wanted to, since I own the physical cartridge. I believe, on the same switch, digital works just like physical. I'm not sure how sharing digital games works between consoles though.
Thank you, you have been very helpful . I do not know your locale (I am in USA) , if we are in the same country - any tips of places to buy the physical games ?
 

NTMBK

Diamond Member
Nov 14, 2011
9,366
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Thank you, you have been very helpful . I do not know your locale (I am in USA) , if we are in the same country - any tips of places to buy the physical games ?
Pick them up second hand to save a little money. Try eBay, or Gamestop.
 

klinkman

Member
Jul 13, 2006
26
2
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quick note on the family accounts because i ran into it recently. When you setup the child account, if the child nintendo account is under, i think 13, they will not be able to have a friends list, even if you try to approve it. This is only for a nintendo account friends list, if the game they play has built in list (like fortnite and rocket league via epic accounts), they can still add friends to those.
 

purbeast0

No Lifer
Sep 13, 2001
51,141
3,811
126
quick note on the family accounts because i ran into it recently. When you setup the child account, if the child nintendo account is under, i think 13, they will not be able to have a friends list, even if you try to approve it. This is only for a nintendo account friends list, if the game they play has built in list (like fortnite and rocket league via epic accounts), they can still add friends to those.
My son has added friends in Splatoon 2 and they show up in his friends list like in the system menu if he goes to it. He's 6. You sure it's not a parental setting you have turned on?
 

twineguy

Junior Member
Jul 29, 2021
1
0
6
Hallelujah, thanks for this thread. I've been racking my brains how to get the same game on two consoles. My family buys digital. Will try the family account thing then download the game on another console.
 
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