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Can You Play Nintendo Switch Without Internet? (When Do You Need It?)

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If you recently purchased a Nintendo Switch or if you are thinking about getting one but are unsure if the Switch requires you to have internet then this article is for you!

Knowing the ins and outs of something before you buy it is incredibly important so knowing whether you need the internet for your Switch or not before you ever get one is important as well. 

So, do you need the internet for a Nintendo Switch? 

You can play Nintendo Switch games in offline mode if you have already downloaded them to your Switch or if you are using their Switch game cartridges. Some online Switch games require you to be online to play them (like Fortnight, Among Us, Fall Guys, etc.) but most Switch games can be played offline.

So you can play on the Nintendo Switch without internet access as long as the games are already downloaded or you aren’t trying to play an online game. Without the internet, you can do virtually anything you would want to on the Switch besides accessing the eShop (or downloading games from the library) or playing completely online games.

You can still save games onto your console’s memory or SD card but won’t be able to do a cloud save without being on the internet. You also can’t update your Switch software (or game software) when you aren’t connected to the internet.

Basically, all of the Nintendo Switch games can be played without internet access but some of them are mainly built around playing online so playing by yourself might not be as much fun with those games.

If you are going someplace where there’s patchy or no internet connection, but you still want to enjoy your games, then the Nintendo Switch offers the perfect opportunity to do so since you can play without internet.

Just because all of the games allow you to play offline doesn’t mean that they are all of equal caliber when playing the single-player mode. Since you can only play single-player on your Switch when you don’t have the internet then choosing the right games to play while you are offline is an important process. 

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When Do You Need An Internet Connection For Your Nintendo Switch Or Nintendo Switch Lite?

As mentioned above you do not have to have the internet to play games on your Switch. However, there are some things that you cannot do if you don’t have the internet. What are those things that you will need to have internet access to do?

Some important things for your Switch that require internet access are:

  • Accessing your Nintendo Account
  • Downloading games via the Nintendo eShop
  • Playing online multiplayer games
  • Using your Nintendo Switch Online membership
  • Online gameplay (some games are only played online such as Fortnite, Among Us, Fall Guys, etc.)

Of course, without the internet, you can still enjoy playing the many single-player games on your Switch but if you don’t enjoy the single-player experience and don’t have friends or family that live nearby then playing with the internet might not be a good experience for you.

Can You Play Nintendo Switch Without Internet? (When Do You Need It?)

Free Offline Nintendo Switch Games (That You Don’t Need An Internet Connection To Play)

The Switch is a popular console that has many free games available that you can download from the eShop. However, many of those free Switch games require you to have the internet so you can play them.

Of course, you will need the internet to download these games. But, are there any games that you can download from the Nintendo eShop that won’t require the internet to actually play them?

To get the answer to this question I opened up my Switch and started downloading. I downloaded the 100+ free games that the Nintendo Switch currently has available on the eShop. Then I shut off the internet on my Switch and tested each and every game to see if it would work!

The following free games can be downloaded from the Nintendo eShop and don’t require you to have internet access to play them:

  • Angry Bunnies
  • Brawlhalla (is mainly online but it also has offline play against a computer or other people on your Switch)
  • Capcom Arcade Stadium (have to download all but one of the individual games inside this game while online)
  • Capcom Arcade Stadium 2 (have to download all but one of the individual games inside this game while online)
  • Chocobo GP
  • Color Zen
  • Coloring Book
  • Comic Coloring Book
  • Cover Fire: Offline Shooter
  • Crush Crush
  • Deltarune Chapter 1 & 2
  • Fallout Shelter
  • Fantasy Strike
  • Fighting Ex Layer: Another Dash
  • Hexceed
  • Jump Rope Challenge
  • Kitten Squad
  • Lost Lands: Dark Overlord
  • Ninjala (will ask you to connect to the internet but has training and practice modes when you are offline)
  • Nintendo 64 Games Nintendo Switch Online (Requires Nintendo Switch Online subscription, downloading the specific games, and going online every 7 days)
  • Nintendo NES Games Nintendo Switch Online (Requires Nintendo Switch Online subscription, downloading the specific games, and going online every 7 days)
  • Nintendo SNES Games Nintendo Switch Online (Requires Nintendo Switch Online subscription, downloading the specific games, and going online every 7 days)
  • Pinball FX3
  • Pokemon Quest
  • Prime World Defenders
  • Puzzle Galaxy
  • Sega Genesis Games Nintendo Switch Online (Requires Nintendo Switch Online subscription, downloading the specific games, and going online every 7 days)
  • Stern Pinball Arcade
  • Super Kirby Clash
  • The Pinball Arcade (have to download the tables while online)
  • Tricky Doors
  • Turbo Shot
  • Zaccaria Pinball

Note: Even these games that allow you to play offline may have a prompt that the Switch generates that might tell you to connect to the internet. However, the internet is not required to play any of the games listed above once they are downloaded.

It should also be noted that these games are currently the ones that you can download for free and then play offline. In the future there may be additional games added that you could download but I will keep updating this list as Nintendo adds additional games to the eShop.

Can You Play Nintendo Downloaded/Digital Switch Games Offline?

You can download a variety of games from the Nintendo eShop including every game that you can buy from the store or online. But if you purchase a game from the eShop and then download it can you play it while you are offline?

You can play downloaded Nintendo Switch games while you are offline. The only limitation is that you can only play them locally (on your console) and not against people around the world.

So for example, if you download Super Smash Bros. onto your Nintendo Switch and then go somewhere where you no longer have internet you can play that game just like if you had the physical cartridge. You can play it with one player or with local multiplier (multiple people playing on your Switch). The only thing is you cannot play using the Nintendo Switch Online service (since you are not connected to the internet).

Now it is important to note that some free games that you download will require you to be online since they are only designed as only multiplayer games and do not have a single-player storyline.

Some of these types of games are Among us, Fortnight, Fall Guys, etc. however, any full game that you purchase from the Nintendo Switch eShop that you can also buy a physical cartridge for will be able to be played offline as soon as it is fully downloaded to your Switch console.

Can You Play Nintendo NES, SNES, Or N64 Games On The Switch Offline?

With a Nintendo Switch Online subscription, (or Expansion subscription) you get access to many different NES, SNES, and N64 games. You can choose which of these classic games that you want to download to play on your Switch but after they are downloaded to your console do you have to be online to play them?

You CAN play the NES, SNES, or N64 games on the Switch when you are offline. However, you have to go online at least once every 7 days to be able to continue to play them while offline.

This is because Nintendo requires an active Nintendo Switch Online subscription to play these games. So they require you to get online with these games at least once every 7 days so that Nintendo can verify that you still have an active subscription.

So as long as you have gone online in the last 7 days then yes, you can play the NES, SNES, or N64 games that you have downloaded to your Switch without needing to be online or connected to the internet.

How To Get Online (To Play Nintendo Online Multiplayer, etc.) With Your Nintendo Switch?

If you are brand new to the Nintendo Switch and have never had one before you might be wondering how you can connect to the internet (assuming you have internet in your home). But how exactly do you get internet access on your Switch?

The most common way to get online via your Nintendo Switch is to connect it ti your Wifi via a modem/router combo device. Of course, you can also use a mobile hotspot to get your Switch online if you prefer.

Neither the Switch nor the Switch Lite allows you to connect to the internet via a modem or by using a wired connection. So if you don’t have Wifi you will either need to get it or purchase a LAN adapter so you can get online with your wired connection.

You can plug the LAN adapter into the USB port on your Switch dock and then connect that to the LAN cable that runs from the adapter to your router. This will allow you to get online with your Switch but only while it is docked.

Once you are online you will be able to access the e-shop and play any online games that you want to with your Nintendo Switch console.

Do You Need WiFi To Play The Mario Kart Game On The Nintendo Switch?

The Switch is the best console Nintendo has created in many people’s minds. This is true and the sales of the system back it up. The Switch is the best-selling Nintendo device ever made. 

What makes the Switch so amazing? The main thing that makes the Switch so amazing is the simple fact that it can be used on the go as a handheld device, as well as in your house as a home gaming console. 

Most companies will only be able to produce these two types of consoles separately. It was almost like Nintendo was showing off when they made the Switch able to do both flawlessly. 

One of the favorite games that people love to play on the Switch is Mario Kart. This game is so much fun to play against your friends and family and see who is the best racer. 

While there are many different strategies in order to win, there is also some luck involved. The biggest question people have when they go to play Mario Kart on the Switch is do you need WIFI to make it work?

You can play Mario Kart on the Switch without WIFI. Having the internet will give you access to Nintendo Switch Online features (such as playing with people all over the world), but without having Wifi or the internet you can still play Mario Kart just fine.  

While most people play Mario Kart online, some people who are just starting out will play the game without the internet so they can practice. Learning the courses before you play online is a great way to win once you start playing online. 

If you know the courses and have practiced them playing offline, then when you go to play the game online you have a far better chance of winning the games. It can also be good to play offline if you do not want to play against other people over the internet and you prefer to just play against computer-generated opponents. 

Even though you do not have to have WIFI to play Mario Kart, most people find that playing online with friends and strangers is far more fun than just playing against the computer. Playing against other opponents online (through multiplayer gaming) will challenge you and push you to play a better game. 

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe (Nintendo Switch)

Can You Play Mario Kart 8 Offline/ Without An Internet Connection?

Just when you think Mario Kart couldn’t get any better, Nintendo released Mario Kart 8! This game is not only better because of the maps and characters, but also for its new design. 

If you are thinking about purchasing this game, you may want to consider if it can be played offline. No one wants to buy a game that can only be played online and does not actually allow you to play with friends or family members who live right down the road. 

Mario Kart 8 can be played offline with up to 4 players. If you want to play with more than 4 players, you will need to have WIFI available. 

Offline gaming is still tons of fun as you can play with friends or family members but if you don’t have anyone around it is also nice to be able to use your Nintendo Switch Online subscription and play against people around the world.

Not only can you play games on the go or at home, but now you can play games like Mario Kart 8 at home without the internet and with up to 4 players

Playing Mario Kart 8 online allows you to not only play with your friends, but you can play with many more people that you do not know. Every game is different as the opponents normally change, and their skill level changes along with it. 

Super Mario Odyssey (Nintendo Switch)

How Many GB Is The Super Mario Odyssey Game?

When downloading games for your Switch, you are probably interested to know how much space they take up. You don’t want to download a game that uses more space than you currently have available on your device. 

This is why many people will not only look up how much space a new game is but will also know the size of their free space on their Switch. Most people who own a Switch will also have a large SD card.

People want to keep track of how much free space they have on their devices so they know how many games they can download. So how many GB is Super Mario Odyssey?

Super Mario Odyssey takes up 5.7 GB of space on your Switch when you download it. Most people do not have that much room free on their Switch device, so they will need an SD card with their device to download the game. 

Because you have an SD card, you can go and download many games on your Switch without ever running out of space. SD cards are super common when it comes to the Switch which is why people buy them. 

No one wants to run out of room on their Switch when they are downloading games. If you do not have an SD card for your Switch, you can find one by clicking here.

Knowing how much space you have available can come in very useful. This is because each game is different. Some games will only be .5 GB while others can take up to 13GB of storage. 

Depending upon how big of an SD card you have for your Switch will depend upon if you need to worry about space or if you have plenty. Most people will just buy a large SD card so they never have to worry about running out of room on their Switch. 

Animal Crossing: New Horizons - Nintendo Switch

Why Is The Animal Crossing Game So Popular?

Animal Crossing is one of those games that can either be a gigantic hit, or one that no one wants to play. Because there are many different games, and so many people playing games all the time, What makes a game popular?

Even if you are not creating a game, you are probably wondering what makes a game popular. This is especially true with Animal Crossing as it isn’t anything spectacular. 

Animal Crossing is so popular because people want to build a life outside of their reality. Animal Crossing is more like a getaway from the life you are in rather than just a game. 

Animal Crossing was not a giant hit overnight, it took time for people to start to play and the word to spread. The best way for a game to be popular is by people telling their friends how much fun it is and that they want them to join them and play the game as well. 

When playing the game, you can customize everything on your island exactly the way you want it. It is the perfect place to go and build a perfect life. 

The 8 Best Nintendo Switch Games That Don’t Need Internet

To help you out, here’s a list of the very best games to download or buy that are still tons of fun to play even without internet access. 

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild + Expansion Pass Bundle - Nintendo Switch [Digital Code]

1. The Legend Of Zelda: Breath Of The Wild

This is one of the very best games offered by Nintendo for the Switch. Everyone knows that Breath of the Wild is an amazing part of the Zelda series. The visuals, as well as the sounds, are both stunning.

The soundtrack used also works with the vibrant world of the game. If you want to enjoy a good story along with a great combat system, then this is the game for you. As a bonus, you don’t need the internet at all to play it and the single-player mode is quite captivating. 

You can check out some of the reviews of this game here. 

Undertale Nintendo Switch Standard Edition [Physical]

2. Undertale

Undertale is another one of the best games that Nintendo has to offer. If you have not played it then rectify that mistake and get it as soon as you can. This game works absolutely amazing as an offline and solo mode experience. The game is RPG story-based and some great twists will completely change your entire view of the genre. 

However, if you are looking for a game that will keep you busy for a hundred hours or more then know that this game isn’t it. No one would probably like it as much if it was stretched out for so long.

Undertale is a great ten to fifteen-hour package game which is worth your time. No internet, but satisfaction. 

You can learn more about the game here. 

Super Mario Odyssey (Nintendo Switch)

3. Super Mario Odyssey

This is one of the ideal games to play offline. You don’t need an internet connection at all since there’s zero online content on this game. You won’t have to contend with DLC here either. Super Mario Odyssey comes with vibrant sandboxes which are Mario’s kingdoms.

You will be able to use his new capture technique here which will give him the ability to take full control of his enemies and NPCs as well. 

There’s a lot to do in every kingdom, so there’s zero chance that you will get bored while you are offline. You will be able to easily spend a hundred hours or more playing this game and that too without any kind of internet connection needed at all. 

You can check out its massive amount of positive reviews on Amazon by clicking here

Fire Emblem: Three Houses

4. Fire Emblem: Three Houses

Full disclosure, this game does have a little online content as there are travelers in the game. But you should know that that will in no way even put a dent in the enjoyment of the game. Fire Emblem: Three Houses will let you complete every battle at the pace you set. There are no timers. You will also be able to enjoy support conversations in the game with other kinds of units without any kind of online connection needed.

There’s a lot to be enjoyed and done here as you will be able to explore the monastery and do a lot more. Know that it will take around 200 to 300 hours to complete each and everything in the game. So if you have a long stay somewhere without any internet connection, then do pack this Switch game to go with you.

This game is a little less well-known so be sure and read the reviews and more about it before you purchase it.  

Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield Double Pack - Nintendo Switch

5. Pokémon Sword And Shield

Pokémon games are something that you should for sure have for your Nintendo Switch. Pokémon Sword and Shield are great games and they can be mostly enjoyed without any internet connection. We say mostly because without connecting to the internet, you will be missing out on some great stuff like battling and trading online.

You will also not be able to interact with various other trainers present in the area. But you don’t need to worry, you won’t miss out on much if you don’t have the internet. 

Even without it, you will be able to battle with and trade with people locally. You will also be able to hunt, mainline, play post-games, etc. without an internet connection. In Pokémon Sword and Shield, having an internet connection will enhance the gaming experience, but it’s not necessary at all. 

You can buy both of these games in a double pack on Amazon here. 

Cadence of Hyrule: Crypt of The Necrodancer Featuring The Legend of Zelda - Nintendo Switch

6. Cadence Of Hyrule

This Crypt of the Necrodancer and The Legend of Zelda game is made perfectly for an offline experience. Set in the land of Hyrule, this game has all the usual suspects in the form of enemies and characters.

You will be playing in the form of a rhythm-based mode and attacking right on the beat which is set very well to the Zelda soundtrack. 

While it’s not an extra Zelda game, you will still have tons of fun playing it. This game is a digital download so you will have to purchase and download it using the internet before you go offline. 

The Switch has plenty of internal storage to download this game and since it is a download then it is almost half the price of some other cartridge games. You can learn more about it here

Super Mario Party

7. Super Mario Party

This game has online content, but it’s in a very small quantity. This just means that there’s a ton to do offline when you don’t have the internet.  You will be able to enjoy minigames, party modes, and more on this game.

There is a little cache of minigames that can be enjoyed online, but other than that Super Mario Party is an entirely offline experience. 

You can read a few of the thousands of reviews on Amazon by clicking here. 

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - Nintendo Switch

8. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

This game does have a lot of online content, but you won’t need it at all to enjoy Super Smash Bros. You can instead play using the solo adventure feature as the World of Light and more which are available to play offline. You will also be able to play with or without a friend in classic mode.

What’s more, is that you will get the opportunity to make stages and peer into the vault too. 

Truthfully, there’s a lot to play online, but there is also a lot to do while you are offline as well. Do give this a try while you are bored and without the internet. 

You can find this classic game at most retailers including on Amazon here. 


Overall, these are just a few of the best games that you can play offline and not miss out on much at all. You will find that there are a lot more games that can be comfortably played offline, without missing out on much content, just give it a little search and you are sure to find tons more! 

You can certainly use the Nintendo Switch offline but in general playing, it online adds a lot of fun as you can play with or against people from all over the world.

Playing online is relatively cheap as well as you can get a Nintendo subscription for just a couple of dollars a month that will give you access to playing those online games. 

Playing offline with your Switch is still a ton of fun and if you don’t have the internet where you live or are going off-grid you can still play games on your Switch without needing it.