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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, update games, or play online with your Switch.

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 ban, you should find out what you did, and learn from your mistake.

If it’s a permanent ban, 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.

The way forward is contacting 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 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 into the e-shop
  • Download software and update from Nintendo server
  • Subscribe to Nintendo Switch online
  • 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 Nitendo 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 the anti-piracy measures to sniff out consoles playing pirated games and banning them from the Nintendo network permanently.

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 your 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. Frequent Disconnection In Games

If you keep on disconnecting games like Splatoon Two and Super Smash Bro may lead to a temporary ban. Ultimate and posting user-produced content that is considered offensive can also get you banned.

Once you realize that your Nintendo has been banned you should always try and reach the customer service department for your next step to see if you can be unbanned. 

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. 


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.