Switch Online Membership Isn’t Needed to Play Free-To-Play Games Such as Fortnite

Here’s a little bit of interesting news for you. As of writing, you don’t need to pay for a Nintendo Switch Online membership to play free-to-play eShop games. All of you worried that you’ll have to start paying to play games like Paladins and Fortnite online on your Switch, it appears that’s not the case.

As we all know, we will have to start paying to play Switch games online in September. Paying for the Nintendo Switch Online membership will be the same difference as buying PlayStation Plus, or Xbox Live Gold membership. Indeed, paying for the service will reward us with free NES and SNES games with online multiplayer to boot. What’s interesting, however, is that it appears we don’t need the Switch Online membership to play free-to-play games. This is according to ResetEra user ggx2ac.

If you head onto the eShop and choose any priced game featuring online play, such as Splatoon 2, you’ll see this message in the fine print:

“To use online services you must have access to a wireless internet connection. Some online services may not be available in all countries. From the full launch of the Nintendo Switch Online membership service in 2018, online play requires a paid membership.”

You’ll find this fine-print on any retail game with online multiplayer, but you won’t see it on any free-to-play eShop game. It sounds as if the likes of FortnitePaladins and Pokemon Quest will remain free-to-play, even without a paid Switch Online membership. Despite this, Nintendo still has the chance to change this. The Switch Online membership is set to begin in September, so there is still a month for Nintendo to apply the above message to any free games.

As it stands, however, we’ll still be able to play Fortnite completely for free without paying for a Switch Online membership come September. Isn’t that lovely?