How to Set Up And Use the Nintendo Online Family Plan

Get your family game on

A man and a boy playing on two Nintendo Switch consoles.

Nintendo

The Nintendo Switch Online Family Membership is a special tier of the Nintendo Switch Online service designed specifically for groups of two or more Nintendo Switch owners.

Nintendo Switch Online Family Plan Features

This Nintendo Switch Online family plan, officially referred to as the Nintendo Switch Online Family Membership, offers all of the same benefits as the Individual Membership, but allows them to be shared among everyone in the family group.

These features include:

  • Online multiplayer for some Nintendo Switch video games.
  • Access to classic Nintendo Entertainment System titles.
  • Cloud backups of game save data.
  • Nintendo Switch voice chat via the smartphone app.
  • Access to exclusive deals and items.

There are two main differences between the Nintendo family plan and the one for solo gamers:

  • Nintendo Switch Online Family Memberships are billed annually with no monthly or tri-monthly payment options.
  • Up to eight Nintendo accounts can access all Nintendo Switch Online features.

All Nintendo accounts within a family plan are just regular accounts that have been added to the Nintendo Switch Online Family Membership after the fact. Individual accounts can be added or removed at any time. You don't need to create a new account to join a family group.

The Nintendo Switch Online Family Membership is completely separate from the Nintendo Switch Parental Controls feature, which is completely free to use and can be accessed via the Switch itself or by downloading the Parental Controls app on iPhone or Android.

Who Should Use The Nintendo Switch Online Family Membership?

The Nintendo Switch family plan is recommended for any household or group where more than one person intends to sign up for a Nintendo Switch Online subscription.

Children and adults each count as individual users for the sake of the number of members in a family group. For example, a group of two children and two adults would still count as four members.

One annual Nintendo Switch Online subscription costs $19.99 per user, but a Nintendo Switch Online Family Membership, which allows up to eight members for free, costs $34.99 a year and covers everyone in the group.

Even with just two members, the Nintendo Switch Online family plan will save you money.

How to Create a Nintendo Switch Online Family Plan Group

To make a Nintendo Switch family plan and add members to the group, you’ll need to designate one user as the admin. This person’s account will be responsible for paying for the annual subscription fee, as well as adding and removing other accounts.

Once the person has been chosen, do the following:

  1. Open your preferred internet browser on your computer and go to this page on the official Nintendo website.

    Buying the Nintendo Switch Online Family Membership on the official Nintendo website.
    Nintendo
  2. Next to Family Membership, select Purchase.

    Buying the Nintendo Switch Online Family Membership on the official Nintendo website.
    Nintendo
  3. You’ll be asked for your Nintendo sign-in information. Log in with your Nintendo username or associated email address and password.

    Nintendo account sign-in form on the official Nintendo website.
    Nintendo

    If you've previously linked Facebook, Google, Twitter, or the 3DS and Wii U's Nintendo Network to your account, select the relevant icon on the sign-in form to log in with those instead.

  4. Once logged in, the page will reload. Next to Family Membership, select Proceed to Purchase.

    Buying the Nintendo Switch Online Family Membership on the official Nintendo website.
    Nintendo
  5. With the Nintendo Switch Online Family Membership subscription activated, go to the Family Group section of your Nintendo Account. From here, you can now add members to your family. 

    Managing the Nintendo Switch Online Family Membership on the official Nintendo website.
    Nintendo
  6. Select Add a Member.

    Managing the Nintendo Switch Online Family Membership on the official Nintendo website.
    Nintendo
  7. Select Invite to family group.

    Managing the Nintendo Switch Online Family Membership on the official Nintendo website.
    Nintendo

    If you have a child under 12 years of age, select Create a child account to make an account for them. Child accounts work like regular Nintendo accounts, but are easier for parents to track activity on with the Parental Controls app. They're automatically added to the family group when created.

  8. Enter the email associated with the Nintendo account you want to add, then select Submit.

    Managing the Nintendo Switch Online Family Membership on the official Nintendo website.
    Nintendo

    This user doesn't need to use the same Nintendo Switch console as you.

  9. The user will now receive an invitation to the group with a special link. When they select the link, their Nintendo account will be added to the family group and they'll have access to the Nintendo Switch Online Family Membership benefits.