Confusion Over Online And Pokemon Sword and Shield

Confusion over the online portions of Nintendo’s upcoming Pokemon Sword and Shield titles has led to some fans being hopeful that players would be able to enjoy the game without having to subscribe to the Nintendo Switch Online service.

This confusion was brought up by several people commenting on unclear wording on the official Pokemon Sword and Shield website that stated:

Nintendo Switch Online membership (sold separately) and Nintendo Account required for some online features. This game includes an in-game purchase option for users who do not have a membership. Not available in all countries. Internet access required for online features.

We reached out to Nintendo of America for clarification on this matter and if players would be required to have a Nintendo Switch Online account or if they could, as implied by the wording to some being able to purchase a Pokemon only ‘subscription’ to play the online portions of the titles.

Nintendo of America replied with the following statement to clear up any confusion:

As stated on the Game Store pages for the Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield games at, a Nintendo Switch Online membership is required to use the games’ online features. The games include an in-game option to purchase a Nintendo Switch Online membership for those who do not already have one. – Nintendo of America

Pokemon Sword and Shield will require a Nintendo Switch Online account to play the only portions of the title and will offer the ability to purchase the subscription directly through the game itself. Hopefully, this will clear up any confusion the public has about this issue. Are you happy with having to pay a monthly fee to play Pokemon online? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

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