'Fortnite' Doesn't Require Nintendo Switch Online

Fortnite players won’t need a Nintendo Switch Online subscription to keep playing the battle royale game on Nintendo’s console.

Set to go live on Sept. 18, Nintendo Switch Online is a paid service that works similarly to PlayStation Plus or Xbox Live Gold in that it lets subscribers play online against and with one another among other benefits. While not every game has an online component, most of those that do will require the service to make use of the online functionality, but Fortnite won’t be one of those games.

Nintendo’s FAQ about the Nintendo Switch Online service confirms this with the first answer on the page addressing a question Nintendo Switch owners were already wondering: What games can be played without Nintendo Switch Online? Nintendo shared a list of games that will require Nintendo Switch Online while listing Fortnite specifically as a game that won’t need the online subscription.

“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,” Nintendo’s FAQ said.

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

Other games that don’t require the membership weren’t listed, but another answered question said that the product pages for certain games will denote whether or not they require the service to play online.

The FAQ gives confirmation that Fortnite doesn’t need Nintendo Switch Online, but the idea that it wouldn’t isn’t totally unexpected. At the start of September, it was noticed that certain games on Nintendo’s various product pages didn’t included a message that said “To use online services you must have access to a wireless internet connection.” Fortnite was among these games alongside Paladins and Pokemon Quest, but it was unknown at that time whether the disclaimer just hadn’t been put on those games yet or whether that signaled that the game wouldn’t need the service, though speculation leaned towards the latter.


Nintendo’s stance on Fortnite’s online component falls in line with the way Sony’s PlayStation Plus service works as well with the PlayStation’s online membership not needed to play Fortnite either. Epic Games’ FAQ for Fortnite hasn’t been updated to say anything about Nintendo Switch Online, but it does address whether the game can be played without online services from Sony and Microsoft, Xbox Live Gold being the only online subscription needed to play Fortnite at this time.