Can You Play Minecraft on a Nintendo Switch?

Yes, here's how to get the game and start playing

What to Know

  • Nintendo eShop > select a profile > Search/Browse > type Minecraft > Accept > Minecraft > Proceed to Purchase.
  • Or buy a physical copy. If you have the original Minecraft: Nintendo Switch Edition, you can upgrade for free in the eShop.
  • The upgraded version of Minecraft allows you to play online with friends who have Minecraft on other platforms.

This article explains how to get Minecraft on your Nintendo Switch and play with your friends on other platforms.

How to Get Minecraft on Nintendo Switch

There are two versions of Minecraft for the Switch. The original version, Minecraft: Nintendo Switch Edition, included some original mini-games, but it wasn’t compatible with other versions of the game.

The current version is based on Bedrock, the same version of Minecraft you can play on Windows 10, Xbox One, Xbox Series X or S, and other platforms.

The Bedrock version of Minecraft is available in the eShop on your Switch, and you can also buy a physical copy at your favorite retailer.

If you previously purchased Minecraft: Nintendo Switch Edition, you can upgrade for free in the eShop on your Switch.

Here’s how to get Minecraft on Switch:

  1. Turn on your Switch, and select Nintendo eShop from the home screen.

    Nintendo eShop selected on the Switch home screen.

    Press the home button on your right joy-con to go directly to the home screen.

  2. Select a profile to use with the eShop.

    Profile selection for the Nintendo eShop.
  3. Select Search/Browse.

    Search/Browse selected in the Nintendo eShop.
  4. Type minecraft using the on-screen keyboard, then select Accept or press the + button on your right joy-con.

    Searching for Minecraft in the Nintendo eShop.
  5. Select Minecraft from the search results.

    Minecraft in the Nintendo eShop search results.
  6. Select Proceed to Purchase.

    Proceed to Purchase selected in the Nintendo eShop.

    If you already own Minecraft: Nintendo Switch Edition, this button should say Free Download. If it doesn’t, make sure you selected the correct profile in step two.

  7. Select Credit Card, Nintendo eShop Card, or PayPal.

    Credit Card selected in the Nintendo eShop.
  8. Select Required Amount Only.

    Required Amount Only selected in the Nintendo eShop.

    Selecting any other amount will add that amount to your eShop wallet for future purchases.

  9. If using a credit card, select Use This Credit Card.

    Use This Credit Card selected in the Nintendo eShop.

    If you haven’t yet stored a credit card with the eShop, you’ll have to enter the details manually.

  10. Select Add Funds and Purchase.

    Add Funds and Purchase selected in the Nintendo eShop.
  11. Press the X button on your controller to leave the eShop.

    Minecraft purchased on the Nintendo eShop.
  12. Select Close.

    Close selected in the Nintendo eShop.
  13. Minecraft will now download to your Switch. When it has finished, select it to start playing.

    Minecraft downloading on a Nintendo Switch.

How to Play Minecraft on Nintendo Switch With Your Friends

When Minecraft first launched on Switch, it limited you to playing with people who also owned Minecraft: Nintendo Switch Edition. With the introduction of the Better Together update, the Switch version of Minecraft is fully compatible with other platforms which use the Bedrock version of the game. That means you can play with friends who have the game on Xbox, phones, and tablets, and PC.

Here’s how to play Minecraft with your friends on Nintendo Switch:

  1. Select Minecraft from the Switch home screen.

    Minecraft highlighted on the Nintendo Switch home screen.
  2. Select a profile to use.

    Profile selection on Nintendo Switch.
  3. Choose to Turn Off the screen reader, or Leave On the screen reader.

    Minecraft screen reader options on Nintendo Switch.

    The screen reader is on by default. If you don’t need it, select Turn Off. Otherwise, press down on your d-pad and then press the A button to leave it on, or listen to the instructions from the screen reader for more detailed information.

  4. Select Sign In For Free.

    Sign In For Free highlighted in Minecraft on Switch.

    You have to sign in to proceed. If you have a Microsoft account associated with Minecraft on any other platform or an Xbox network account, use that. Otherwise, you can create a Microsoft account for free.

  5. Make a note of the code provided, and navigate to using a web browser on your computer or phone.

    The Microsoft app connection site and code in Minecraft.
  6. Enter the code you received in the previous step, and select Next.

    Code and Next highlighted on the Microsoft Minecraft app access site.
  7. Log in using your Microsoft account and select Sign in.

    Sign in highlighted on the sign in page.

    If you’ve already signed in to, you won’t have to enter your email address. Make sure you’ve logged into the account you want to associate with Minecraft. If you own the game on other platforms, you should use the email address associated with those purchases.

  8. Wait for the All Done! message, then close the web browser and return to your Switch.

    The success page after connecting Minecraft for Switch with Microsoft.
  9. Select Let’s Play!

    Let's Play! highlighted in Minecraft on Switch.

    This screen will show the Microsoft account or Xbox network profile you’ve chosen to associate with Minecraft on your Switch. Your cross-platform friends can use those to invite you to play.

  10. Select Play.

    Play highlighted in Minecraft on Switch.
  11. Select the Friends tab.

    The Friends tab highlighted in Minecraft.
  12. If you have any Switch friends or cross-platform friends online, they appear in this list. Any joinable Realms will also appear in this list. Just select one, and start playing.

    Playing with friends in Minecraft on Switch.

    Select Find Cross-Platform Friends if you want to look for friends on other platforms.

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