How to Share Games on Nintendo Switch

There was a time when outlandish ways to share games was a requirement. With the latest generation of gaming consoles, publishers and platform makers agreed on terms that allow users to share their favorite titles with other family members by switching a setting or two. At least, it’s that simple on Microsoft’s Xbox One and Sony’s PS4. Any breakdown on how to share games on Nintendo Switch involves more than a few button presses.

That’s because Nintendo’s latest console is in a strange place. Available for purchase for just $299.99, the mobile and living room gaming console doesn’t offer much in the way of platform options. It’s digital games store, called the Nintendo eShop, started out with just a handful of titles. Because of this and other factors, it’s more likely that anyone purchasing a Nintendo Switch picked up a physical copy of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. It can be shared at any time. Digital games don’t offer that kind of flexibility.

Read: 9 Exciting Things the Nintendo Switch Can Do

How do you share games on Nintendo Switch? It’s complicated, maybe more complicated than on any recent gaming console.

How to Share Games on Nintendo Switch: Physical Games

Though digital game downloads are growing in numbers every quarter, they still account for far less than physical game sales. That’s why Nintendo made sure it included the Game Card slot in the top-right corner of your device.

There’s nothing to sharing physical games on the Nintendo Switch. To let a friend or family member try out a title on their console, you simply hand over the Game Card with the title on it. They’ll be able to slot it into their console and play without issue.

Sharing games on Nintendo Switch is complicated.

If you think that you might want to frequently share games with friends or family members, buying a physical title stored on a Game Card is absolutely the way to go. Note that this friend won’t be able to continue your game save. Saves are stored on the console, not the Game Card. There remains no way to transfer saves on Nintendo Switch.

How to Share Games on Nintendo Switch: Digital Games

Digital games are where things get very complicated. Available directly from the Nintendo eShop, digital games are simply downloads. You purchase them with your credit card. The Nintendo Switch stores them locally. This method of buying Nintendo Switch games is great for a few reasons. First, you never have to worry about someone losing your games. Second, as long as they are stored in memory, you can play them.

Read: 11 Nintendo Switch Problems & Fixes

Historically, sharing digital games has been rocky. Xbox and PlayStation used to require gamers to buy a digital game on every account that they wanted to play it on. If you had two family members that wanted to enjoy the same digital game, you needed a copy tied to each account. The Xbox One and PS4 scrapped that. Any games tied to an account that considers a console its home console are freely playable to everyone. The Nintendo Switch does this too. Every user on a single Switch can enjoy everyone’s digital games.

Read: Xbox One Digital Games 5 Things You Need to Know

To purchase a digital game, you need a Nintendo Account. Once you have one, all your games stay locked to that account. When you log into any Nintendo Switch with that Nintendo Account, your games are available to download. That’s the good news.

The bad news is that you can only have a single Nintendo Switch activated on a Nintendo Account. This means, that you can’t be on someone else’s Nintendo Switch enjoying your games while someone is at home enjoying your games too. In fact, you have to deactivate your account on one Nintendo Switch before you can activate it on another.

Read: How to Add Friends on Nintendo Switch

How to Activate and Deactivate Nintendo Accounts on Nintendo Switch

Start by turning on your Nintendo Switch and pressing any button three times to unlock it.

Next, select or tap on the shopping bag icon to access the Nintendo eShop.

Select your profile from the list of installed Nintendo Accounts.

Wait for the Nintendo eShop to load.

Don’t press a thing in the Nintendo eShop once it has loaded. Instead, tap or select the circle in the top-right corner of your screen. This circle should reflect what your gamer picture looks like for your user account.

Welcome to the store management area. Use your finger to go to the bottom of the list on the right. You can also use the joystick on the right Joy-Con controller to scroll down.

Tap or click on Deactivate.

Confirm that you’re deactivating your account on your Nintendo Switch.

You’ll need to go into the Nintendo eShop on the other Switch you’re trying to share the game with and log in. When you’re ready to undo all of this, just reverse the process.

Good luck trying to share games on Nintendo Switch. It’s a rocky, rough process. Hopefully, Nintendo makes this easier in future updates. The Nintendo Switch is available on store shelves now for $299.99.

5 Best Nintendo Switch MicroSD Cards

SanDisk Ultra 64GB microSDXC Card with Adapter - $21.99

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SanDisk Ultra 64GB microSDXC Card with Adapter - $21.99

The SanDisk Ultra 64GB microSDXC Card with adapter can handle your Nintendo Switch video games just fine. In most cases, this MicroSD Card might better survive the elements than your console. It’s rated for water, high temperature, low temperature, shocks and powerful magnets. This card is capable of 80/MBs transfer speeds.

Depending on where you live, Amazon can deliver this card to you the same day that you place your order. That's thanks to Amazon Prime Now. The company sells it in storage sizes ranging from 8GB to 256GB. Because Nintendo Switch games are so big, you want to go with nothing less than a 32GB card.

[ Buy the SanDisk Ultra 64GB MicroSDXC Card for $21.99 from Amazon ]

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