Nintendo Switch: you can now access downloadable content on several consoles without deactivating one

Nintendo Switch

Ever since the Nintendo Switch was launched, you could access your downloadable content on any Nintendo Switch console, as long as you logged in with your Nintendo Account. However, there was a big catch: you had to deactivate the previous console in order to access your content on another one. Pretty handy when buying a new console, but somewhat cumbersome when you just wanted to play a quick game.

But starting with Ver. 6.0.0, released today, there’s no more “Active Console”: this has been replaced by “Primary” and “Non-Primary” console. A Primary console is the console on which you connected to the Nintendo eShop for the first time. You can access all your content without any restriction whatsoever. A Non-Primary console is any additional console that you linked your Nintendo Account to.

The big change is that now, you can access all your content on a Non-Primary Nintendo Switch console without having to deactivate the Primary one first. However, there are restrictions:

  • you have to be connected to the internet at all times to access your content. If you lose access to the internet, the game will pause after a certain amount of time, but you will be able to resume once you’re connected again;
  • only the user who purchased the content can access it (unlike a Primary console, where all users registered can access all games without any restrictions);
  • if downloadable content tied to your Nintendo Account is accessed on any other Nintendo Switch console, the game will also pause (that’s what the online-only restriction is for: to prevent users from simply sharing their accounts)

In case you want to change which Nintendo Switch console is the Primary one, here’s what you have to do:

  1. Access the Nintendo eShop on your primary console and deactivate the console for your Nintendo Account from the user menu.
    • If you do not have access to the original console, you can also deactivate a primary console off-device once per year.
    • Off-device deactivations can be done by visiting accounts.nintendo.com, selecting “Shop Menu”, and then “Deactivate Primary Console”.
  2. On the second Nintendo Switch console, use the same Nintendo Account to access the Nintendo Switch eShop. This is now the activated console for your account.

If you do not already have a Primary console (because you just bought your first Nintendo Switch, for example), here’s what you have to do:

  1. Link a Nintendo Account to your Nintendo Switch console.
  2. Access the Nintendo eShop and select your Nintendo Account.
  3. If the Nintendo Account does not already have an active console, this console will become the primary console for your Nintendo Account.

Source: Nintendo


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Founder and main writer for Perfectly Nintendo. Tried really hard to find something funny and witty to put here, but had to admit defeat. Also known as Maintenance Guy by some. Twitter: @lite_agent