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Switch Online NES games can't be played entirely offline

Switch Online's free NES games require weekly internet logins to play

By: Derek Strickland from Sep 14, 2018 @ 17:35 CDT

Going somewhere without internet? You may not be able to play installed Switch Online NES games.


Switch Online's batch of free NES games have optional online play for co-op and competitive action, but they can still be played offline. The $20 a year service grants access to a growing library of old-school NES games--this move actually replaces traditional Virtual Console on the Switch. There's a catch though: the retro classics will require subscribers to connect to the internet once a week in order to play.

"Nintendo Entertainment System - Nintendo Switch Online can by played for up to seven days without an internet connection," reads a FAQ page. "If you are unable to launch Nintendo Entertainment System - Nintendo Switch Online, then please try connecting to the internet again."


NES games will also use Switch Online's cloud save system to backup saved data. Speaking of save backups, Nintendo confirmed that cloud saves could be wiped if your Switch Online subscription lapses. This data includes both automatic Switch game saves as well as the NES game saves, too.

Switch Online launches on September 18, 2018. Check below for more information about the service:


(single account holder plans)

  • 1 Month - $3.99
  • 3 Months - $7.99
  • 12 Months - $19.99

Family membership, 12 Months - $34.99

"A Nintendo Account holder may invite up to seven others to join a family group; all members of the group will have access to Nintendo Switch Online."

The following NES games will be available for free as part of the Switch Online service, and more are expected to arrive later.

  • Soccer
  • Tennis
  • Donkey Kong
  • Mario Bros.
  • Super Mario Bros.
  • Balloon Fight
  • Ice Climber
  • Dr. Mario
  • The Legend of Zelda
  • Super Mario Bros. 3
  • Double Dragon
  • River City Ransom
  • Ghosts'n Goblins
  • Tecmo Bowl
  • Gradius
  • Pro Wrestling
  • Excitebike
  • Yoshi
  • Ice Hockey
  • Baseball

The following games will be added later:


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