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Can You Get Banned On Nintendo Switch? (How Does It Happen?)

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The Nintendo Switch is one of the most innovative gaming consoles that brings a unique gaming experience to all of its users. Investing in a new Nintendo Switch won’t cost you a fortune and there are many different ways to use the Switch console.

Often there are lots of young people who want to get this console due to the portability factor. This innovative factor makes it quite good for playing in any location whether you are on the go or hooked up to a large TV. 

One of the best attributes of this console is its portability.  This portable approach is due to the fact that the Joy-cons can be detached or attached depending on how you are going to be using the device.  With this console, you can play a lot of online games or in offline mode, you can play games by downloading or installing the games beforehand.  

One downside to all of the online capabilities is that you can get your Switch console banned and lose access to all of those online capabilities! Of course, you won’t get your Switch or Nintendo account banned for no reason. 

There are some specific things that you can do that will cause your Switch to get banned. Some of those reasons are: 

  1. Hacking
  2. Custom Firmware
  3. Piracy

There are certainly many other things that you can do to get banned but those happen much less often than the above three do. 

Getting banned on your Switch is certainly something that you will want to avoid so knowing exactly what causes the ban and what you can do to avoid getting banned is important for you to know. It is also important to know what happens when your Switch gets banned.

If you have a banned Nintendo Switch you will lose access to their online service. Although you can still play your downloaded games or cartridges you won’t be able to access the internet to download additional digital games. You also won’t be able to play online using official channels

You also won’t be able to get a refund for any unused subscriptions if you get a hardware ban.

I will discuss what causes the ban as well as what a ban would mean to you in the rest of this article. 

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What Happens When Your Nintendo Switch Is Banned?

When your Switch is banned or you buy a banned Nintendo Switch there are certain things that you can no longer do with your console. Some of the most noticeable ones are:

  • The first thing that you will notice when your Switch gets banned is that you can play only offline games and you no longer have access to any online playing or the eShop. This is the biggest issue that will arise when your Switch gets banned. 

  • Another thing that happens some of the time (but not all the time) is that you will not be able to play some brand-new games that are released. This is because once your Switch is no longer in good standing you will also not be able to update your Switch and some new games require an updated console. Not having access to all of the games even when played offline is a huge downside to a banned Switch.

  • Another thing that happens as soon as your Switch is banned is that the value of the console goes down substantially. For example, right now a banned Switch is selling for $100-$150 less than a similar used console is selling for. When your console gets banned your value immediately drops.

3 Reasons That A Nintendo Switch Gets Banned

There are many ways that your Nintendo Switch can get banned. You just have to keep these things in mind when using your Switch or trying to do something with it. These things should all be avoided if you don’t want your Switch to get banned. 

Some of the reasons that your console might get banned are: 

1. Hacking

People often try to hack their Switch games or systems using homebrew software to get free access to some games or so they can cheat on games. Nintendo takes hacking and this type of tampering very seriously. If anyone is trying to hack their console Nintendo has a special system that is designed to catch it and ban your console (often without warning).

Whether you are ignorant or willfully trying to break the rules Nintendo doesn’t really care. They will ban you without a second chance if you get caught hacking your console.

2. Custom Firmware

Custom Firmware is one of the prominent causes of getting a Switch banned. Using custom firmware (CFW) violates the service agreement and that will lead to the possibility of getting banned. Custom firmware is one of the biggest problems nowadays that the gaming console industry is facing. 

Nintendo is quite firm on preventing the Switch from getting custom firmware. Often gamers disable the error reporting to try and keep from getting caught but if you are using custom firmware you are likely to get caught eventually and at that point, you will likely get banned.

If you are going to use custom firmware and want to avoid getting caught your best bet is to delete the error log all of the time to try and prevent Nintendo from seeing it. Deleting the error log all of the time might help you last longer before getting caught but all it takes is Nintendo seeing the error log one time before you delete it and you will be in trouble. 

3. Piracy 

Piracy is probably the biggest reason that most people’s Switches will get banned. This is one of the easiest ways to get banned as piracy is a pretty popular thing and people are always looking to get things for free. Nintendo, of course, wants all piracy removed from their platform so anyone caught with pirated games or software will get an immediate ban. 

Nintendo has a system that checks every game on a console when it is played and if the game you are playing is pirated then they will ban your console. The way Nintendo does this is when a game is being installed it takes time to get the certifications. In the case of piracy, certificates get mismatched.

The Nintendo server always looks for authentic certification while you are online. If they find out the certificates are missing, then your Switch will get banned.

If you want to learn more about the Nintendo Switch being banned then check out the video below. 

What Does A Banned Nintendo Switch Mean?

A banned Nintendo Switch means that the device has been permanently suspended from accessing Nintendo’s online services. This typically happens when a user has been found to be in violation of Nintendo’s terms of service, which includes things like hacking, cheating, or engaging in other malicious activities.

When a Switch is banned, the user will no longer be able to connect to the internet via Nintendo’s servers to download games or updates, use online multiplayer, or access any other of Nintendo’s online features.

It’s important to note that a banned Switch is different from a bricked Switch, which is a term used to describe a device that has been damaged or rendered unusable due to a hardware or software malfunction. A bricked Switch can sometimes be fixed, but a banned Switch cannot be un-banned and will remain permanently suspended from accessing Nintendo’s online services.

Can You Play Online With A Banned Switch?

It is not possible to play online with Nintendo’s network on a banned Switch. When a Switch is banned, it is no longer able to connect to the internet via Nintendo’s servers and access online services such as the eShop, online multiplayer, and other online features.

You can access the internet using a banned Switch if you have homebrew software but that will not be done through the normal Nintendo servers. So although you can access the internet with a banned Switch you won’t be able to do it normally and there will be a lot of additional steps that you must take to get online or have any online functionality when your Switch has been banned.

Can You Play Downloaded Games On A Banned Switch?

When your Nintendo Switch has been banned you can still play all of your previously downloaded games or purchased cartridges on your Switch. Just because your Switch is banned does not mean that you will lose access to your previously downloaded games.

A banned Switch refers to a Nintendo Switch console that has been banned by Nintendo for violating the company’s terms of service. This can occur for various reasons, such as using unauthorized modifications or hacking the device.

When a Switch is banned, it means that the device has been permanently blacklisted by Nintendo’s servers. This prevents the banned Switch from accessing the company’s online services, including the eShop where games can be downloaded. As a result, the banned Switch will not be able to download any additional games, game updates, etc.

It is important to follow Nintendo’s terms of service and avoid any actions that could result in a ban, in order to continue enjoying the full range of features and services offered by the company.


If you buy a banned Nintendo Switch or get your Switch banned then you will miss out on all of the online features that your Switch can offer. You will lose online gaming, access to the eShop, downloading additional games, and even updating your console. 

Losing all of these things might not seem like that big of a deal but when the newest games come out and require that your console be updated then you will likely feel differently about the issue. 

Ultimately the best way to avoid having a banned Switch is to only buy a new one and never violate Nintendo’s terms of service to keep your console from being banned.