Sharing video games with friends has never been easier. Similar to Xbox One and PlayStation 4, the Nintendo Switch lets you share your digital game library with a second system so that someone else can enjoy your library without having to buy all of the games themselves – assuming you’ve followed our step-by-step guide -Step instructions. It’s not as streamlined as you might hope, but our method is an effective way to share games with friends.
It sounds complicated, but this tutorial on how to share games on your Nintendo Switch can help you share your favorite games and save your friends a trip to the Nintendo Switch eShop.
Before you start
All you need is a user account, an internet connection and a digital game to share. This sounds simple enough, but there are a few other things you should know before you get started. First, game sharing only works for digital games. When you have a physical game, you have to pass it on to your friend the old fashioned way. More importantly, only one player can access the game at a time.
1. Buy the game with your Nintendo Account
The first step is obvious, but be sure to purchase the Switch game that you want to share on your own Nintendo account. In other words, the account you are normally logged into on your own switch system. Go to the eShop as you normally would, buy the game, and then download it completely to the system.
2. Log off your first switch as the primary console
Then go to the eShop again and tap your profile picture in the top right corner. Scroll to the bottom of the screen and you will see an option highlighted Primary console. Disable this. As long as you are still signed into your Nintendo Account on this console and have an internet connection, you can still access your games.
3. Make the second switch your new primary console
On the second Nintendo Switch you are sharing games with, sign in to the same Nintendo Account that is used on the first system. Since you’ve already signed off the first switch, the second switch will automatically change to your primary console. Completely download the game you want to play.
Now that this console is your primary console, it will be able to access the games you have purchased. However, if you want to play online at the same time as the first Switch, you will need to log into another Nintendo account on the new primary system. This should be the account you want to share the game with. If both are online with the same account at the same time, the game will pause the first time they switch.
4. Log back in to the first switch
Nintendo requires that non-primary accounts must be connected to the internet in order to access games. Hence, you need to consider this from this point on. Both players can download and play the game, but not at the same time. You can still download other games that are linked to your Nintendo Account.
Words of warning
Do Not During this process, delete your Nintendo Switch user profile from your first Switch system. This will also delete backup data stored locally on the computer. If you have a Nintendo Switch Online membership and are using the cloud backup system, your saves can still be restored, but some titles – Pokémon: let’s go among them – cannot be backed up online.
You cannot play local cooperative games together using this method. If you want to easily play a platformer together, you still need to use a switch system and stand, or connect it to a TV.