Nintendo Switch Online's NES Games Are Playable Offline For A Week


Nintendo’s online subscription service for Switch launches soon, and one of the benefits you get for subscribing is access to a library of NES games. Each of these classic titles supports some form of online play, whether that be competing directly against another player in Balloon Fight or taking turns controlling the action in a traditionally single-player title, but up until now, it has been unclear whether or not the NES games could be played offline. It turns out they can, but there’s a slight caveat.

According to the FAQ page on Nintendo’s website, the NES games included in the Nintendo Switch Online service can be played offline for up to seven days. That means you’ll periodically need to “check in” online every week in order to verify that you still have an active subscription and maintain your access to the games.

20 NES titles will be available once the Nintendo Switch Online service launches on September 18, including some of the console’s most iconic games, with additional titles coming each month. As previously mentioned, each NES game supports online multiplayer; in single-player titles, you’ll be able to switch between who’s controlling the game, or the second player can use a hand-shaped cursor to point out hints and applaud certain actions. You can take a look at the complete launch lineup below:

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

In addition to the NES library, Nintendo Switch Online subscribers will be able to back up their Switch data via cloud saves; however, not all Switch games will support the feature, and you’ll need to have an active membership in order to keep your cloud saves. There will also be “special offers” exclusive to Switch Online subscribers, such as a pair of NES-shaped Joy-Cons for use with the aforementioned NES titles.

Nintendo will offer Switch Online subscriptions in three increments; you’ll also have the option to purchase an annual family plan, which will extend the service’s benefits to up to eight Nintendo Accounts across multiple consoles. When the service launches, you’ll be able to sign up for a seven-day free trial, but if you don’t cancel before the trial period ends, it will automatically turn into a one-month subscription. You can read more about the service in our roundup of everything we know about Nintendo Switch Online.

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