There was a time when weird ways to share games were necessary. With the latest generation of game consoles, publishers and platform builders have agreed terms that allow users to share their favorite games with other family members by changing a setting or two. At least it’s that simple on Microsoft’s Xbox One and Sony’s PS4. Any malfunction on how to share games on Nintendo Switch involves more than pressing a few buttons.
Because Nintendo’s newest console is in a strange place. Available for just $299.99, the mobile and living room game console doesn’t offer much in terms of platform options. The digital games store called the Nintendo eShop started with just a handful of games. Because of these and other factors, anyone who buys a Nintendo Switch is more likely to have received a physical copy. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. It can be shared at any time. Digital games do not offer this kind of flexibility.
How do you share games on Nintendo Switch? Complex, perhaps more complex than any new game console.
How to Share Games on Nintendo Switch: Physical Games
Although digital game downloads are increasing in number each quarter, they still account for much less than physical game sales. That’s why Nintendo made sure to include the Game Card slot in the top right corner of your device.
There’s nothing for sharing physical games on the Nintendo Switch. To let a friend or family member try a game on their console, simply give the Game Card with the game on it. They will be able to put it on their console and play without any problems.
If you think you might want to share games with your friends or family members often, purchasing a physical game stored on the Game Card is definitely the right way to go. Note that this friend cannot continue your game save. Recordings are stored on the console, not the Game Card. There is 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. Digital games available directly from the Nintendo eShop can only be downloaded. You buy them with your credit card. Nintendo Switch stores them locally. This method of purchasing Nintendo Switch games is great for several reasons. First, you never have to worry about someone losing your games. Second, you can play them as long as they are stored in memory.
Historically, sharing digital games has been difficult. Xbox and PlayStation required players to purchase a digital game on each account they wanted to play. If you had two family members who wanted to enjoy the same digital game, you needed a copy linked to each account. Xbox One and PS4 scrapped it. All games linked to an account that treats the console as their main console can be played by anyone for free. Nintendo Switch does this too. Every user on a single Switch can enjoy everyone’s digital games.
You need a Nintendo Account to purchase a digital game. Once you have it, all your games are locked to that account. Your games can be downloaded when you sign in to any Nintendo Switch with this Nintendo Account. That’s good news.
The bad news is that you can only activate a single Nintendo Switch on a Nintendo Account. This is not when someone is at home enjoying your games and you are enjoying your games on someone else’s Nintendo Switch. In fact, you must deactivate your account on one Nintendo Switch before activating it on another.
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 Nintendo.
Choose from a list of Installed Nintendo Accounts.
Wait for the Nintendo eShop to load.
Do not press anything in the Nintendo eShop after it has loaded. Instead, tap or select the circle in the corner of your screen. This circle should reflect what your gamerpic looks like for your user account.
Welcome to the store management area. Use your finger to scroll 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 .
Confirm that you have deactivated your account on your Nintendo Switch.
On the other Switch you’re trying to share the game with, you’ll need to go to the Nintendo eShop and log in. When you’re ready to undo all that, reverse the process.
Good luck trying to share games on Nintendo Switch. It’s a rocky, demanding process. Hopefully, Nintendo will make this easier in future updates. The Nintendo Switch is now available on store shelves for $299.99.