Nintendo Confirms Pokemon Sword And Shield Nintendo Switch Online Requirement

A few days ago, it was reported that the Pokemon Sword and Shield online feature would not require a Nintendo Switch Online subscription. Instead, it would include its own subscription in-game, ditching Nintendo’s official multiplayer payment. However, the report fell short, with the company confirming this is just a workaround for players that don’t want to get the full subscription.

The original description for Pokemon Sword / Shield Online states that the games include an in-game option to purchase your subscription if you don’t have one. This is basically a fan-service for players that don’t know what the subscription is or want to jump right into the action without searching the store for the place to buy one. You won’t be overriding the existing Nintendo Switch Online system if you buy it in-game and, as a result, you’ll get it benefits. This means that you’ll get full access to the console’s NES and Super NES games as well as free online games like the battle royale Tetris.

A spokesperson for Nintendo of America told TechRadar after their report on the matter:

“As stated on the Game Store pages for the Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield games at, a Nintendo Switch Online membership is required to use the games’ online features. The games include an in-game option to purchase a Nintendo Switch Online membership for those who do not already have one.”

Nintendo isn’t dumping its online subscription feature. At least not anytime soon. Much like PS Plus and Xbox Live, the Nintendo Switch Online is the essence of multiplayer on the console.

It’s true though, that Nintendo has to make its subscription model look more intriguing. Both Playstation 4 and Xbox One models feature free games and exclusives like wallpapers and more. Nintendo has to follow that model too and it’s even easier for them.

Nintendo Switch has a huge library of titles that could benefit from such a system, games that are buried under piles of games on the store. Give players another reason to get a yearly subscription other than paying online and they’ll jump right on the hype train.

Pokemon Sword and Shield release on November 15th exclusively on Nintendo Switch. We’ll be covering news and guides for the upcoming pokemon game in the weeks to come.