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What Happens If Nintendo Bans You On The Switch?

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Have you ever been playing on your Nintendo Switch and thought about what would happen if you were banned? Maybe someone you know was recently banned and you want to know what is going to happen to them.

Well, in this article, we will go over everything you need to know about being banned on the Nintendo Switch. 

So what happens if Nintendo bans you on the Switch?

When Nintendo bans you on the Switch it means that you can no longer use the Nintendo Switch Online service. When your Switch is banned you cannot download games, get firmware updates, get game updates, or have any online use.

Offline games can still be played on your Switch console even after it is banned and any games that you have downloaded to your console’s internal storage or SD card will still work just fine. It’s not like your entire console will turn into a brick.

However, not being able to access Nintendo’s servers via Wifi or access parts of your console anymore is quite annoying. That’s why I would recommend that you do everything within your power to not get a console ban.

If you want to know more about the Nintendo Switch and what you can get banned for, you will want to keep reading. You can also check out this video to see what you can get banned for on the Switch. 

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Can I Make A New Nintendo Account To Not Be Banned?

Depending on the type of ban, making a new Nintendo account will sometimes not even get you back online playing. There is always a reason for the ban, and if it is a temporary account suspension, you should find out what you did, and learn from your mistake.

If it’s a permanent ban from hacking or another similar violation, there is a good chance the system is banned as well. This means a new account wouldn’t help you as your entire Switch console is banned.

If you have received a full console ban the only way to get online via Nintendo’s servers again is by purchasing a new Switch.

The only other way forward is to contact Nintendo to discuss your ban and the next steps you can take.

Nintendo accounts are rarely banned, so if your account is banned, then you must have done something major. Since the console will not communicate with the Nintendo server, it won’t be able to download any games the associated account has purchased.

There is a technique that involves downloading games from the Nintendo website and then using the update download progress feature from the console to download the game though.

When Nintendo bans you, you can’t:

  • Play online
  • Enter the e-shop
  • Download software and updates from the Nintendo servers
  • Access Nintendo Switch Online subscriptions
  • Link a Nintendo Account

Here is what you can do:

  • Download updates for the Switch from Nintendo’s server except if you are permanently banned
  • Play offline with your game or backups.
  • Update your games with tinfoil
  • Play with your friends locally

What Makes Your Nintendo Switch Get Banned?

There are quite a few different reasons why your Nintendo Switch might be banned. In this section, I will give the three most common reasons that your Switch might be banned either temporarily or permanently.

1. Playing Pirated Nintendo Switch Games

Nintendo has put in place anti-piracy measures to sniff out consoles playing pirated games and ban them from the Nintendo network permanently for piracy of any sort.

Nintendo stores an encrypted client certificate in the trust zone core of each switch unique to that console. When you sign in, Nintendo’s servers identify your console by that certificate, which means if your switch gets banned, it will remain banned.

Physical cards and digitally downloaded games have encrypted certificates that identify them as legal. For the downloads, the encrypted ticket that is embedded in the match code also has information about the console and the user who bought it.

Trying to play a copy of a game that was purchased on another console and with another account, and your Switch will get banned. This will make you not even able to play legit games online.

All certificates are checked when your console goes online. Nintendo shouldn’t be able to detect if you play pirated games completely offline. This is not 100% true as sometimes your console will still send codes when it is offline.

It is possible the console’s firmware could know pirated games you play offline and flag your console for banning when you are connected online the next time. 

2. Buying Games From A Pirated Source

The cost of most games is high, and if you want to play a lot of them, that can add up quickly. That is the reason why many players turn to third-party online stores where they can buy Nintendo games for cheap instead of buying them from Nintendo directly.

Historically, Nintendo games rarely go on sale. How many would go down that path if there was a chance that buying from stores could result in all of their games being taken away?

Probably not many. The problem is most people do not know that doing this could get their account banned. 

This is precisely what happened to several Switch owners. They purchased a code for a Switch game from Game Flip (an online marketplace where anyone can sell codes and other digital items) and later they realized that Nintendo banned their Switch account.

Nintendo stopped them from accessing not only the game they bought from Game Flip but all previous purchases as well. 

When Nintendo’s customer service department was reached, users were informed that there was nothing Nintendo could do about it. The ban stayed in place since the company said they could not help. 

Recently Nintendo has updated its fraud policy according to internal Nintendo documentation. According to the updated policy, after someone shows proof of attempting to dispute the original purchase and pursue a refund, Nintendo can lift the ban if they so choose.

This can happen by trying to get a refund from the seller or disputing the charge with their bank.

The game downloaded with the code will no longer be in the user’s library, but they can rebuy it. This policy update also comes with another warning. This warning is that if the user reencounters the problem, Nintendo will issue a permanent ban.

3. Using Homebrew Software To Jailbreak Or Mod Your Console

If you use custom firmware (CFW) or homebrew software on your Switch when you go online via Nintendo’s servers you will find that your console will be banned. Even if you aren’t using the homebrew software to pirate software and only want to use it for custom themes or to customize your Switch experience in another manner it doesn’t matter.

If Nintendo detects that your Switch console is using any software or hardware that it should not then your Nintendo Switch will be banned.

4. Other Reasons For Switch Bans & Suspensions

The three reasons mentioned above are the most common reasons why Nintendo Switch consoles might get an immediate ban. However, there are many other reasons why a specific console or account might get a suspension or temporary ban.

The following actions might not be a bannable action but will cause your account or console to be suspended until the issue is resolved. Some of those include:

  • Any adult content uploaded or used
  • Violations of Nintendo Code of Conduct
  • Credit card fraud (filing a chargeback for your subscriptions or games falls under this)
  • Saying anything via chat, text message, or other mechanisms that violates Nintendo’s terms.
  • Profile violations (using adult images or curse words)

What Can A Nintendo Ban Do? 

Getting banned by Nintendo on the Switch has harsh results. An infraction can easily lock the owner out of their entire library. The ban also applies to the online services for that account, which means you can no longer play online or download Mario Maker levels.

Earlier Nintendo has punished especially egregious infractions with a hardware-level ban. This means Nintendo uses the unique key that every single console gets and bans it from their network forever.

In this scenario, the ban is applied at the account level, which means you can start a new account on the same Switch that will work online. This means you have to rebuy every single game, which is quite expensive.

The problem became that some of the people getting banned weren’t attempting to steal a game. They were simply purchasing more game codes from a third-party market.

Some of the people who were banned by Nintendo fell for a pure scam. The seller offers a legitimate download code for a game on the online marketplace game flip for cheaper than full price.

The buyer then redeems that code on Nintendo’s eShop and, in short order, starts playing the game they already sold. If the system was initially bought with a stolen credit card and the owner of that credit card issues a chargeback.

Nintendo will flag the code as illegitimate and suspend the redeemed account.

No matter how sketchy cheap games are, there is always going to be active interest. It’s not illegal to sell codes, nor is it illegal to buy one but often those codes are purchased with fraudulent credit cards so the seller is engaged in fraudulent activity. 

What Can Get Your Nintendo Switch Banned?

There are several actions that can result in a Nintendo Switch being banned. The most common reason is piracy, which refers to the unauthorized use or distribution of copyrighted material. This can include downloading and sharing illegal copies of games, hacking the Switch to run unlicensed software, or using modified devices such as game emulators or mod chips.

Another potential reason for a ban is engaging in online misconduct, such as harassment, bullying, or other forms of abuse toward other players. Nintendo has a strict code of conduct for its online services and takes swift action against players who violate these rules.

Additionally, tampering with the Switch’s hardware or software can lead to a ban. This can include attempting to modify the system’s firmware, overclocking the CPU, or using unauthorized tools to access the Switch’s internal components.

Overall, the key to avoiding a ban on your Nintendo Switch is to follow the rules and guidelines set forth by Nintendo and to only use officially licensed and approved products and accessories. By doing so, you can ensure that your Switch remains in good standing and can continue to be used for its intended purposes.

How Do I Know If My Nintendo Switch Is Blocked?

If your Nintendo Switch is blocked, there are a few signs you can look for to confirm it. Firstly, if you try to turn on your Switch and it does not respond or displays an error message, this could indicate that it is blocked. Additionally, if you attempt to connect to the internet with your Switch and it fails to connect or only connects intermittently, this could also be a sign of a block.

Another way to tell if your Switch is blocked is by trying to access certain features or services. For example, if you try to access the eShop or online multiplayer and are unable to do so, this could indicate that your Switch has been blocked. Similarly, if you try to use any digital content or software on your Switch and it does not work, this could be a sign that it is blocked.

If you suspect your Switch is blocked, you can try to troubleshoot the issue by performing a hard reset or checking for software updates. If these steps do not resolve the issue, it is a good idea to contact Nintendo customer support for assistance. They will be able to confirm if your Switch is indeed blocked and provide guidance on how to resolve the issue (if there is any way to do so).

Does Modding Your Switch Brick It?

Modding your Switch does not necessarily brick it, but it does carry a certain level of risk. A bricked device is one that is no longer functional and cannot be repaired.
Modding, or modifying, the firmware of a device allows for custom features and functionality.

In the case of the Switch, this can include installing custom firmware, custom themes, and the ability to run unauthorized games.

While modding can provide enhanced features and gameplay, it can also cause instability and potentially brick the device. This is because modding involves altering the device’s firmware, which is the software that controls the hardware. Any mistake or error during the modding process can cause the firmware to become corrupted and render the Switch unusable.

Additionally, modding can also void the warranty of the Switch and make it ineligible for repair by the manufacturer as well as likely end up with you getting a ban from Nintendo’s servers for that console (Nintendo doesn’t like it when people mod their consoles and will often issue bans).

Therefore, while modding does not automatically brick the Switch, it does carry a level of risk and should be done carefully and with caution. It is recommended to only mod the Switch if you have a thorough understanding of the process and are willing to take on the potential consequences.

It is also important to regularly back up your data in case of any unforeseen issues.


Now that you know what will happen if your Nintendo Switch account gets banned, you will want to make sure that you do not break the rules. You will also want to check and make sure that if you are purchasing a used Switch that the console is not banned and is not able to go online.

If you want to know more about how to tell if your Switch console is banned before you buy it, you will want to read this article.