2 Switch Consoles in 1 Household - Playing at The Same Time

We have 2 Switch consoles at home, sometimes the kids each want to play a downloaded game but that’s currently not possible so the either have to take turns or one has to play a cartridge game. What is the best way to set them up so both consoles can play at the same time? I did have a quick read through Nintendo’s Family plans but I got confused (I must say I’m getting old and I find everything about Nintendo confusing, their interface and even simple user prompts around downloading updates or ‘start software’ seem very counter intuitive).

Comments

  •  

    sometimes the kids each want to play a downloaded game but that’s currently not possible

    Do you have a family plan?

    If you create a Family Group, up to eight Nintendo Accounts can use the Nintendo Switch Online membership service under one Family Membership!

    https://www.nintendo.com.au/nintendo-switch/onlineservice/me...

    • -1 vote

      No, I don’t. This is where I got confused. I don’t want my kids to have their own accounts/Nintendo IDs. With Netflix, you can also have an individual account but still use 2 concurrent streams. Perhaps it’s the terminology that confuses me. So I have to pay $55 annually for the right to play the game I’ve paid for on 2 different consoles at the same time? That sounds a bit expensive for all the light gamers out there.

  • +1 vote

    What is the best way to set them up so both consoles can play at the same time?

    Get a family plan, then add the other console to the group, or if you don't mind sharing with other ozbargainers, you could look for a family group here with 2 available spots https://www.ozbargain.com.au/search/node/nintendo%20type%3Ac...

    •  

      Thanks. So I would need to get 2 spots in a family group to make this work? Who will pay for the $55/year, is that the one who heads up the group? Does any personal info get shared like email addresses etc between group members? Can they chat to each other etc (don’t really want my kids to be approached by others even if it’s within the OzBargain community). Thanks for your help!

      • +1 vote

        So I would need to get 2 spots in a family group to make this work?

        Yes

        Who will pay for the $55/year, is that the one who heads up the group?

        Yes, then you transfer them the money

        Does any personal info get shared like email addresses etc between group members? Can they chat to each other

        I don't think so. Just checking mine, I can only see the other person's username, gender, and country.

        •  

          Thanks so much, that’s very helpful!

  • +3 votes

    Playing the same downloaded game on both consoles at the same time isn't officially supported. You can do it, but it requires a few workarounds. To get this to work, your kids should have their own individual accounts/Nintendo IDs. The process basically works like this:
    * Account A is the account on which you purchased the game. The primary console for this account is Switch 1, and the account is also logged in on Switch 2.
    * Account B is a second account on the console. The primary console for this account is Switch 2, and the account is also logged in on Switch 1.
    * The primary console for an account can play all downloadable games associated with that account in offline mode, regardless of what account is being used.
    * Secondary consoles for an account can play downloadable games associated with that account, but with some limitations. TLDR; it's easiest if you're using the account associated with the game, while being in online mode. If you're in offline mode, or you use an account not associated with the game, you could get booted off.
    * So to have both kids playing at the same time, you want to put Switch 1 in offline mode, and play the game on that Switch with Account B. Switch 2 meanwhile stays in online mode, and plays with Account A.

    There is no way to play online with the same game on both consoles at the same time, without buying a second copy (either physically, or a digital copy on a 2nd account).

    Nintendo Switch Online is required for online play, and you'll need a family group set up if you want both accounts to be able to play online, but having family sharing set up will NOT let you get around the limitations on game sharing.

    By default, the first console you set an account up on is the primary. You can find info from Nintendo about how to change which Switch is the primary console for an account at the following link. - https://www.nintendo.com.au/help/linking/how-to-set-the-prim...
    If you don't yet have a second account set up for your kids, it'll be easiest to simply create that with whichever console isn't already the primary console for your first account.

  • +1 vote

    It depends what kind of downloaded game you want to play.

    If it's one of the free ones from Nintendo Switch Online service then having two slots in a Nintendo Family account works well.

    If you want to play two purchased games at once, it gets a bit more complex. There is a setting for a Primary Console and Secondary Console for each Switch device an account is logged in on in the eShop that you'll need to toggle around to get it set up. The key differences are that the Primary Console has full access to the digitally owned games, while the Secondary Console can only play the digitally owned games while it is online. Both can't play the same game online at the same time - but the Primary Console could play a game whilst offline and the Secondary Console could play the same game whilst online.

    To start with, on the Switch with the games installed, launch the eShop with the account the games were purchased under. On the upper right click on the player icon, scroll down to the bottom and look for the option titled "Primary Console". Select "Deregister" and this switch will now become a Secondary Console - this can be changed later.

    On the second Switch, log into that same Nintendo Account by going to System Settings > Add user. This device is now registered as the Primary Console. The digitally owned games can now be downloaded from the eShop on the second Switch.

    If you want to change which is the Primary Console, just deregister the Primary one in the eShop and it'll swap back over.

    For example, I have a regular Switch and my wife has a Switch Lite. Sometimes we want to play Catan or Mario Kart together, so we have our own accounts that own those games. We've also logged into eachother's Switches so that we can play the games owned on each account - most are on mine, but I set her account up on the US eShop where sometimes the prices are a bit better. I own Stardew Valley so she can play it if she's Online and I'm not playing it, or if I'm also playing it but I'm offline. If we were both playing it and both online at the same time, it would pause the game on one Switch.

    edit: Essentially what Archaic said

  •  

    Thanks so much everyone for the detailed feedback! I’m not looking to game the system, even my kids understand that you can’t play the same game on 2 consoles at the same time. I didn’t realise when I bought games as digital downloads these would be more restrictive than the physical copies in terms of playing on 2 consoles (ie only one downloaded game to be played at any time under 1 Nintendo account).

    Just one more question: the Nintendo online account is currently in my name and I guess all their game progress is stored against it. I don’t play games myself, other than the odd MK8 game with them. Do I simply rename mine into Kid1 and then get a new one for Kid2, both on a family plan? Does Kid2 then need to start their Mario Odyssee game from scratch again?