Hey friend! Have you heard about Nintendo Switch Online? It‘s Nintendo‘s subscription service that lets you play Switch games online, download retro games, and more. A membership usually costs money, but I‘ve got some tips to get 7 days free so you can take it for a test drive.
In this guide, I‘ll walk you through multiple ways to get your free trial of Nintendo Switch Online, give you advice on how to maximize those 7 days, and help decide if an ongoing membership is worth it after the trial is up. Let‘s dive in!
Redeem the Free Trial on the Nintendo eShop
The simplest way to get your 7 day free trial is directly on your Nintendo Switch! Just head to the eShop, select your profile, then go to the Nintendo Switch Online section. You should see a big ol‘ button that says "Free Trial" – click that puppy and enjoy 7 days of membership benefits completely free.
It only takes a minute, and according to Nintendo‘s website, any Nintendo Account is eligible as long as you haven‘t already redeemed a previous trial. So if you‘re new to Switch Online, now‘s your chance!
Once you start the trial, you‘ll have full access to online multiplayer, classic NES/SNES games, cloud saves, exclusive offers, and everything else Nintendo Switch Online has to offer. Take your time exploring all the features so you can decide if you want to keep it after the 7 days.
Use a Handy Free Trial Code
If the eShop free trial isn‘t popping up for you, don‘t sweat it – you‘ve got other options! Nintendo also provides 7 day trial codes you can use to activate a membership.
Keep an eye on your email inbox – Nintendo will occasionally send out promo emails with free trial codes to select accounts. I got one a while back that saved me a few bucks!
You can also earn trial code rewards through My Nintendo using your Platinum Points. Nintendo updates the selection every few months, so bookmark the My Nintendo rewards page to check for new offers.
And at retail stores like GameStop, sometimes they‘ll print a 7 day trial code right on the receipt when you buy a Switch game. It never hurts to ask "do you have any free trial codes?" when purchasing a new title.
Once you track down a code, just head to the eShop, tap "Enter Code" on the side menu, and punch in the 16 digit trial code – real easy. Then get your 7 free days of online gaming goodness!
Sign Up for a Trial Through the Nintendo Website
Did you know you can also sign up for a free trial right on Nintendo‘s website?
- Go to the Nintendo Account website and log in.
- Click on Store Menu > Subscriptions.
- Select the "Free Trial" button under Nintendo Switch Online.
- Enter your payment info when prompted. Don‘t worry, you won‘t get charged!
- Confirm to activate your 7 day membership.
The nice thing about signing up online is that you can manage your membership and turn off auto-renewal if you decide to cancel after the trial. Just make sure to turn off renewal at least 48 hours before the 7 days is up to avoid surprise charges.
However you claim it, enjoy those 7 free days! Now let‘s dive into some frequently asked questions about the free trial:
FAQ: Nintendo Switch Online Free Trial
Here are answers to some common questions about getting and using your 7 day free trial of Nintendo Switch Online:
How long does the free trial last?
The Nintendo Switch Online free trial lasts exactly 7 days starting the first time you connect online after redeeming it. After 7 days it will expire unless you begin a paid membership.
What benefits can I use during the free trial?
You get the full Nintendo Switch Online experience free for 7 days! That includes online play, cloud saves, access to NES/SNES libraries, special offers, using the mobile app, and anything else a paid membership includes.
Do I need to add a credit card to get the free trial?
Yes, Nintendo requires you to add a payment method before redeeming your free trial. But don‘t stress – you won‘t be charged unless you continue after the 7 days.
Can I cancel before I‘m charged at the end of the trial?
Absolutely! Just make sure to turn off auto-renewal in your membership settings at least 48 hours before your free trial expires and you‘ll avoid being charged.
Can I use multiple free trials on the same account?
Unfortunately each Nintendo Account can only claim one free 7 day trial of Nintendo Switch Online. But you can create a brand new account to get another!
Does the free trial auto-renew to a paid membership after 7 days?
Yep, after your free trial ends it will convert to a paid monthly or yearly membership based on your country. So disable auto-renewal a couple days before if you don‘t want to keep it.
Hopefully that clears up any questions around getting started with your free trial! Now let‘s look at how many gamers are using Nintendo Switch Online…
Nintendo Switch Online Membership Statistics
In their latest corporate report, Nintendo shared some interesting stats that give us an idea of how popular Switch Online has become:
Over 32 million users subscribed to Nintendo Switch Online worldwide as of September 2021. That‘s up 10 million subscribers in one year!
Approximately 76% of all Nintendo Switch consoles have an active Nintendo Switch Online membership.
Over 65 billion hours have been played collectively in online Nintendo Switch games, according to Nintendo‘s internal statistics. That‘s wild!
It‘s clear that Nintendo‘s online service has grown substantially since launching in 2018. Based on the adoption rates, most Switch gamers seem to find the $20 yearly price reasonable for online play, cloud saves, and those sweet retro games.
But let‘s dive into the specific benefits you can experience during the free trial:
Take Advantage of These Awesome Benefits
Activating that free trial gives you the keys to Nintendo Switch Online‘s full suite of features for 7 glorious days. Here are some of the benefits you can enjoy during your trial:
Online Multiplayer Gaming
This is the big one! With a membership, you can play online multiplayer in popular Switch games like Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Splatoon 2, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, and dozens more.
Try out the online modes in a few different games to get a feel for Nintendo‘s netcode and servers. See if the performance meets your standards during the trial period.
Classic NES and SNES Libraries
Relive your childhood with instant access to a library of over 130 retro games from Nintendo‘s NES/SNES eras. They‘ve added online multiplayer support too, so you can play classics like Super Mario Bros. 3 and The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past with friends online.
I‘d recommend downloading any retro games that seem interesting during the trial so you can play them later, even if you don‘t continue the membership. The nostalgia trip is worth it!
Cloud Save Data Backup
Nintendo Switch Online lets you backup your game progress safely in the cloud. This protects you from losing hundreds of hours of gameplay if your Switch breaks or gets lost somehow.
Make sure to enable cloud saves for any games you really care about not losing progress in, then test downloading your data to a friend‘s Switch just to confirm it works.
Exclusive Member Discounts
Active subscribers get access to dozens of exclusive offers and discounts for Switch games and DLC, plus select merchandise on My Nintendo. You can save a good chunk of change on full game downloads.
Poke around for deals on any titles on your wishlist so you can get the lowest price. Even a few bucks off here and there adds up!
Smartphone Voice Chat App
For certain online games like Splatoon 2, Nintendo Switch Online lets you chat with teammates using your smartphone rather than a bulky headset. Just be sure to download the app during your trial so you can test it out.
Set a Reminder Because the Trial Will End!
Okay, this is an important tip: be sure to set a reminder to cancel a few days before your 7 day free trial ends if you don‘t plan on continuing the paid membership. Otherwise, it will automatically convert to a 1 month recurring subscription at the normal $3.99 monthly rate.
You can cancel online or directly from your Switch – just flip the auto-renewal switch to "Off" and you‘re all set. Go enjoy those 7 days, then decide if you want to keep the benefits around with an ongoing membership.
Speaking of which, let‘s talk about whether paying for Nintendo Switch Online is worth it in the long run…
Is an Ongoing Membership Worth the Price?
So after rocking that free trial for 7 days, should you keep the $20 yearly membership going? Here are a few pros and cons to weigh:
Pros of keeping Nintendo Switch Online
- Online multiplayer is a must for competitive gamers
- It‘s required for most co-op games too
- Cloud saves protect you from lost game data
- Retro game library is fun for quick gaming sessions
- Exclusive deals save you money on the eShop
- Annual price of $20 is quite reasonable
Cons of canceling after the free trial
- Single player gamers don‘t need online play
- Cloud saves aren‘t critical for some games
- Monthly pricing at $3.99 adds up over time
- Retro game selection is still limited
- Exclusive deals are mostly small discounts
For me, the value comes down to online multiplayer. Being able to game online is the whole point of Nintendo Switch Online. And $20 a year is a fair price considering Xbox Live and PlayStation Plus cost almost $60 annually.
But casual single player gamers may be fine just redeeming the occasional free trial code when they want to dabble in online play for a short time. It‘s your call!
Phew, I know that was a boatload of information about getting started with Nintendo Switch Online! Here are the key takeaways:
Claim your 7 day free trial from the eShop, free code, or Nintendo website
Make the most of online multiplayer, cloud saves, exclusive deals & retro games
Be sure to cancel if you don‘t want recurring billing after the trial
Consider if an ongoing membership is worth it for your gaming habits
I hope these tips help you enjoy Nintendo Switch Online for free, then decide if you want to continue the membership or just rock the occasional free trial. Game on!