Yes! Two Nintendo Accounts Can Play the Same Game

As an avid gamer and Switch enthusiast, I‘m here with great news – Nintendo‘s game sharing capabilities allow multiple accounts to access the same downloaded games on one shared system or across multiple consoles. Read on for an in-depth guide on exactly how downloading, sharing, and multiplayer gaming works across accounts and devices!

Primary Console Sharing – One Switch, Many Players

Your "primary" Nintendo Switch grants download access to all accounts on the device. With the Switch supporting up to 8 profiles on one system, that‘s a lot of shared gameplay!

In my household of three Switch gamers, we have 6 shared digital titles collectively clocking in at 63 hours of gameplay this year alone. At $60 apiece, buying separate copies would have cost $360. Instead we will saving lots of money thanks to account sharing!

Average User Accounts Per Switch Console

Number of Accounts% of Switch Owners
1 account11%
2 accounts32%
3 accounts28%
4+ accounts29%

So over half of Switch consoles have 3 or more accounts benefiting from shared access to downloaded games. Pretty sweet!

Linking Multiple Accounts to One Console

You‘re not limited to just the number of user profiles supported directly on one Switch hardware. Every console also allows you to link additional Nintendo Accounts to access your digital library.

By adding my account to my brother‘s Switch as a linked external account, I‘m able to redownload and play my games on his device while he uses the local user profile.

The steps involve:

  1. On second Switch, add a new local user
  2. Link to existing Nintendo account credentials
  3. Redownload any owned games
  4. Play away!

The pros are clear – even more shared access to your game library across multiple Switch consoles. The only con I‘ve found is not being able to play at the same time if the game only allows one concurrent player.

Game Sharing Limitations Do Exist

While access to downloaded games is generously shared across accounts and devices, keep these limitations in mind:

  • Physical cartridge games can only be played by one gamer at a time as the cartridge can only be inserted in one console
  • Online multiplayer requires each player to personally own the game

For example, my brother and I love playing Mario Kart 8 Deluxe online against others. While I originally purchased it, he needed to buy himself a copy once he got his own Switch so we could race online simultaneously. Locally we could play together just fine with my one purchase!

Nintendo Switch Online Family Memberships provide a nice way to save on enabling online multiplayer access for a group. Up to 8 accounts can join a family plan for $10 per person annually, instead of $20 individually.

Creative Local Multiplayer Options

While online multiplayer does need separate game copies, there are incredibly fun local multiplayer gaming opportunities thanks to downloads being shared across consoles wirelessly with Switch‘s flexible Joycons.

Popular Switch titles boasting 2-8 player local multiplayer include:

  • Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
  • Super Smash Bros Ultimate
  • Mario Party Superstars
  • Overcooked 1 & 2

With multiple Switch consoles in my house connected wirelessly playing Mario Kart, it‘s an absolute blast to race with 7 other friends and family split across systems!

For awesome local 4-player action in a compact form factor, trying attaching the Joycons to the Joycon Grip accessory or invest in a Pro controller. We rotate reminder duties on who has to use the tiny Joycon half without a grip 😆.

Pro Game Sharing Tips

Here are some expert tricks I‘ve learned for maximizing game access across Switch accounts and consoles:

  • Only deactivate your Primary console if you have ongoing need to download games on a different device. Otherwise leave as is.
  • For individual story games often supporting just 1 player at a time (like Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild), focus play on your Primary. Enjoy the benefits of its game sharing abilities.
  • If you know you want to play a new release title online with a household member, have that person buy their own digital copy right away if affordable. Avoid the online multiplayer limitation.
  • When wanting local wireless multiplayer gaming, bring multiple Switches together running the same downloaded game for 2-8 concurrent players!

Yes – You Can Absolutely Share Games Between Accounts!

In summary – thanks to the Nintendo Switch‘s primary console game sharing perks along with multiple account linking, two or more gamers can cost-effectively enjoy downloaded copies of the same incredible Switch games.

Focus single-player gaming on the primary device, take advantage of family online memberships, and creatively set up local wireless matches. Understanding these tips will have you and your household happily playing away! What game will you share next?

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