Nintendo Switch Online is not required for Fortnite

Fortnite - Nintendo Online

Are you ready to take the Nintendo Switch Online plunge solely to satiate your Fortnite fix? If that’s your only reason for subscribing to Nintendo’s new online service, you might want to rethink the purchase. Fortnite will still be playable online without a Nintendo Switch Online subscription. The Nintendo Switch Online service is set to go live this week. Many games featuring an online component will require the service in order to make use of online play.  But, Fortnite will not be one of them.

What makes Fortnite so special?

Similar to the online services of Nintendo’s console competitors, it seems likely that games that require an online connection may be exempt from the online Nintendo service. Fortnite, for example, is only playable in an online atmosphere. Ergo, requiring a separate paid subscription in order to access the game could severely limit the game’s exposure. This, of course, is something Nintendo and other console makers would want to avoid.  It would negatively impact online-only games like Fortnite. While the Switch isn’t exactly seen as a prime candidate for MMO (Massive Multiplayer Online) titles, it is likely this exemption could extend to any potential future online-only games for the Switch. According to the Nintendo FAQ’s page regarding the Nintendo Switch Online service, this is what it had to say:

“Beginning September 18, 2018, a Nintendo Switch Online membership is required to participate in co-op and competitive online features for many first- and third-party Nintendo Switch games, including Splatoon 2, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, ARMS, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

Some games, such as Fortnite can be played online without a Nintendo Switch membership.

Additionally, Nintendo eShop, friend registration and management, sharing screen shots and video over social networks, parental controls, game software and system software updates, game news, and other service functionality will be available without becoming a Nintendo Switch Online member.”

So there you have it. If Fortnite was your main draw towards acquiring the service, you can forgo the added cost, at least until Super Smash Bros. Ultimate hits the market!

Chris Hinton
Accountant by day, video games enthusiast by night.  Somewhere in between all of that, I'm a husband, dad, and generally a giant man-child, too.  If a game is all about action, there's a safe bet I'm playing it.  I started laying waste to virtual worlds as a youngin' on the ol' Atari and haven't stopped since.