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Is Crunchyroll on Nintendo Switch Free? Everything You Need to Know

If you‘re an anime fan who also happens to love your Nintendo Switch, you may be wondering – can I actually watch Crunchyroll for free on my Switch? Or do I need to pay for a subscription?

Great question! As a fellow anime enthusiast and Switch owner myself, I‘ve done plenty of research on Crunchyroll‘s availability on Nintendo‘s popular handheld console.

And the good news is, yes you absolutely can enjoy Crunchyroll‘s anime streaming service 100% free on your Switch! While a paid subscription unlocks the best experience, there‘s still plenty of great free content available.

In this detailed guide, I‘ll cover everything you need to know about using Crunchyroll on the Nintendo Switch, including:

  • Exactly what free content is available without paying
  • How to download and access the Crunchyroll app on Switch
  • Limitations and tips for the best viewing experience
  • How it compares to competitors like Funimation
  • Whether other streaming apps like Netflix can be used

And much more! By the end, you‘ll be an expert on watching Crunchyroll on the go with your Switch. So let‘s dive in!

Can You Really Get Crunchyroll Free on Nintendo Switch?

First things first – is Crunchyroll actually free to use on the Nintendo Switch, or will you inevitably have to pay?

The good news is that Crunchyroll does offer an ad-supported free streaming option on the Switch with no paid subscription required. While it has limitations compared to a Premium account, it gives you free access to:

  • Over 100 popular anime series handpicked from Crunchyroll‘s catalog

  • New episodes 1 week after they air in Japan

  • Streaming in 480p quality

  • Access on 1 device at a time

So in summary, yes – you can absolutely watch a good selection of anime for free on your Switch by downloading Crunchyroll‘s app and signing up for a free account! No entering any credit card or paid membership required.

A Quick Introduction to Crunchyroll

For anyone unfamiliar with Crunchyroll, let me give you a quick rundown so you understand exactly what it offers.

Crunchyroll is the world‘s most popular anime streaming service, with over 5 million paid subscribers globally. Its key features include:

  • A library of over 1,500 anime series and over 35,000 episodes – one of the largest anime catalogs available legally.

  • Simulcasts of the most popular ongoing anime series – new episodes available just 1 hour after airing in Japan!

  • English subtitles for most anime. Also offers English dubs for some popular shows.

  • Original anime productions like Tower of God and Noblesse that are exclusive to Crunchyroll.

  • Apps on all major platforms like iOS, Android, game consoles, and of course the Nintendo Switch.

  • Different pricing tiers ranging from free membership up to $14.99/month for premium access.

Now that you understand what Crunchyroll is all about, let‘s look at how to access it on your Nintendo Switch specifically.

Downloading Crunchyroll on Your Nintendo Switch

Getting Crunchyroll set up directly on your Switch is quick and easy. Just follow these steps:

  1. Turn on your Nintendo Switch and connect to a stable WiFi network.

  2. From the Switch main menu, open the Nintendo eShop.

  3. Use the eShop search bar to find and select the Crunchyroll app.

  4. Tap Download to install the Crunchyroll app – it‘s free and only around 90MB.

  5. Once the download completes, find and select Crunchyroll from your Switch‘s list of apps.

  6. The app will launch and prompt you to either log in with an existing Crunchyroll account or register for a new free account.

And that‘s it! The entire process takes just a few minutes. Once you register or sign in, you can start watching Crunchyroll‘s free anime directly on your Switch‘s screen.

Here are some tips for using the Crunchyroll Switch app:

  • Use your Switch joycons or a wireless controller for easiest navigation in the app.

  • Connect Switch to WiFi for best streaming performance. Downloads can be watched offline later.

  • Tap any show to view available episodes and watch instantly!

Simple right? Now let‘s explore exactly what free content you gain access to with a free Crunchyroll account.

What Anime Can I Watch for Free on Crunchyroll Switch?

The free ad-supported plan for Crunchyroll gives you access to the following:


  • Over 100 popular anime series handpicked from Crunchyroll‘s catalog

  • A rotating mix of classic anime and more recent shows

  • Some simulcast series with new episodes coming 1 week after airing in Japan


  • Unlimited video streaming

  • Watch on 1 device at a time

  • Video quality capped at 480p

  • Free access to Crunchyroll manga (with ads)

So in summary, you can watch 100+ anime series for free on your Switch, including a combination of all-time favorites and new shows airing weekly in Japan.

However, the free library is still limited compared to Crunchyroll‘s full premium catalog of over 1,500 anime series and 35,000 episodes. But it‘s a great way to try Crunchyroll out risk-free.

To give you an idea, here are some examples of popular anime series available for free on Crunchyroll Switch as of this month:

  • One Punch Man
  • My Hero Academia
  • Cowboy Bebop
  • Naruto Shippuden
  • Hunter x Hunter
  • Re:ZERO
  • Mob Psycho 100
  • The Rising of the Shield Hero
  • Bleach
  • Boruto

And many more classics and brand new episodes added regularly!

Limitations of Crunchyroll‘s Switch App

While the free content makes Crunchyroll worthwhile on Switch, there are some limitations to the Switch app and free account to be aware of:

  • Video quality capped at 480p – Paid subscribers can stream up to 1080p.

  • No capability to cast video to TV – Must watch on the Switch screen only.

  • Limited number of downloads – 15 videos offline per month.

  • No user profile support yet like other platforms.

  • Lacks some features like VR viewing andDictionary lookup.

So in summary, the Switch app lacks some of the more advanced features found on platforms like mobile or game consoles. But for portable anime viewing on the go, it‘s very functional.

Tips for the Best Crunchyroll Experience on Nintendo Switch

To maximize streaming performance and your viewing experience with the Crunchyroll Switch app, here are some handy tips:

  • Use a microSD card for storing offline downloads – at least 128GB recommended.

  • Disable auto-downloads and manually manage downloads to conserve storage space.

  • Enable "Low Quality Streaming" in Settings to optimize for mobile viewing.

  • Turn on "Automatically Play Next Episode" to binge watch your favorite anime.

  • Connect Bluetooth headphones to your Switch for private viewing on planes/trains.

  • Invest in a Switch grip to make handheld viewing more comfortable for long sessions.

  • Dock your Switch to connect to a TV (with an HDMI adapter) for big screen streaming.

  • Follow Crunchyroll on social media for announcements of free guest pass giveaways.

  • Use Crunchyroll‘s mobile app when on the go for highest video quality.

By optimizing your Switch setup and app settings, you can really maximize the amount of anime you‘re able to stream, download, and watch!

How Does Crunchyroll on Switch Compare to Funimation?

For anime fans, the two heavy hitters are Crunchyroll and Funimation. So how does Crunchyroll on Nintendo Switch compare to its biggest rival Funimation?

Funimation also offers a Switch streaming app with a 14-day free trial available. Here‘s a breakdown:

Free OptionYes14-day trial only
Library Size1,500+ series800+ series
SimulcastsNew episodes 1 hour after airingDelayed simulcasts
Video QualityMax 480p free, 1080p paid1080p
Original AnimeYesNo
Best ForSubbed anime, simulcastsDubbed anime

In summary:

  • Crunchyroll has a larger subbed anime library and faster simulcasts.

  • Funimation has more dubbed content and allows full HD streaming.

  • Crunchyroll has ad-supported free viewing while Funimation requires a paid subscription.

So anime fans who want English dubs and maximum video quality may prefer Funimation. But Crunchyroll can‘t be beat for new subbed episodes and breadth of content.

Will We Ever Get Netflix on Nintendo Switch?

Lots of Switch owners also wonder – will Netflix ever come to the console officially? Unfortunately, Nintendo has not announced any official Netflix app plans as of now.

The Switch is lacking many mainstream streaming apps present on other consoles like PlayStation and Xbox. But the two companies could strike a deal down the road.

Some hackers have managed to unofficially port the Netflix Android app to the Switch via modding. But this complex process risks getting your Switch banned from online services.

Until Nintendo gives the green light, Netflix remains a pipedream for Switch owners. For now, enjoy the other streaming apps that are available like Crunchyroll!

Can You Really Use Crunchyroll 100% Free on Switch? Yes!

To summarize everything we‘ve covered:

Yes, you absolutely can use Crunchyroll for free on your Nintendo Switch:

✔️ Sign up for a free Crunchyroll account

✔️ Download the Crunchyroll app from the eShop

✔️ Stream over 100 popular anime series from their catalog

✔️ New episodes available 1 week after airing

There are limitations like max 480p resolution and no TV streaming. But being able to watch tons of anime free on your Switch is an incredible deal!

While a Crunchyroll Premium membership unlocks the best ad-free experience, the free content is plentiful enough for most casual anime fans‘ needs.

So if you‘ve been wondering "is Crunchyroll actually free on my Switch?" – the answer is a resounding yes! Try it out for yourself and start enjoying anime on the go.

As a fellow Switch and anime lover myself, I hope this detailed breakdown helps explain exactly how you can stream Crunchyroll for free on your Nintendo Switch. Let me know if you have any other questions!



Michael Reddy is a tech enthusiast, entertainment buff, and avid traveler who loves exploring Linux and sharing unique insights with readers.