Do I Need A VPN For My Nintendo Switch?

Thomas Ujj

Thomas Ujj

February 27, 2017

Did you grow up playing Zelda or Mario Kart? If so, you are probably one of millions of Nintendo fans around the world that is hyped for the seventh Nintendo home video game console, The Nintendo Switch. Originally known as the “NX,” the Switch looks to blur the lines between traditional and mobile gaming.

The Switch will release on March 3rd and be playable both at home and on the road. This encourages gamers to take the system with them on car rides, flights, or even the everyday commute to work!

Detachable “Joy-Con” wireless controllers, support for third-party developers, and an affordable price tag ($299.99) are some of the other reasons why Nintendo fans can’t wait for the Switch to launch. Immensely popular games like The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim and NBA 2k18 will debut on the Switch!

Nintendo Switch Trailer

Nintendo has highlighted a lot of the system’s features and games in the recent Super Bowl Switch commercial.

Will using a VPN unblock content on the Switch?

Using a VPN with past Nintendo consoles like the Wii and Wii U have generally been for two reasons: Unblocking geo-restricted content and bypassing firewalls at school or work. While it is assumed that this same usability will carry over to the Switch, there are some key features worth mentioning.

Region-Free Gaming

Unlike previous Nintendo consoles, the Switch will be completely region-free in terms of games and other content. This allows gamers to use cartridges or downloaded software regardless of their location.

Nintendo did, however, announce that there will be regional eShops where users can download games and content. This indicates a potential VPN angle with the Switch, as you can use a VPN to tunnel into different regions to save money.

No native VPN support

Much like all the major gaming consoles, there does not seem to be native support for setting up a VPN with the Nintendo Switch. As such, Switch gamers will be able to use a VPN by either sharing a VPN connection through a PC or by configuring a VPN on a home router.

Check out these recommended VPNs for gaming or take a look at this custom VPN router to see how you can get your Switch connected to a VPN.

Using a VPN for Switch Multiplayer?

One of the biggest complaints with the Wii and Wii U was the poor online multiplayer included with these two systems. Nintendo is looking to revamp this by offering a subscription service that will offer online multiplayer, voice chat, and various exclusive offers.

Best Nintendo Switch VPN

Nintendo hasn’t revealed all of the details behind this new subscription service, other than that it won’t be available until Fall 2017 and will probably cost less than $30 a year. In the meantime, there will be a free trial available at launch. Unfortunately, the service will be restricted to people in the US, Canada, and Mexico.

If you don’t live in one of these countries and want to access the online service and enjoy multiplayer with your new Switch, you will need to use a VPN to tunnel into one of the aforementioned countries. By changing your virtual location to one of these countries, you can also use online multiplayer on your Nintendo Switch at launch.


With games like The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, and dozens of third-party titles, the Switch is practically guaranteed to be a hit with casual and hardcore gamers alike.

While some of the technical details and VPN compatibility for the Switch remain largely a mystery, more details will be available when the console officially launches on March 3. I will update this article accordingly, so stay in touch to find out!

Thomas Ujj

Born in Canada, raised in the U.S, yet somehow living in Hungary. I have a passion for anything technology related, gaming, freedom and privacy, food and Italian football team AS Roma.

One response to “Do I Need A VPN For My Nintendo Switch?

  1. AFAIK, Nintendo almost never used IP-based lockout before. Usually, setting a different country on the console to access different content was enough, so multiplayer with an US/CA/MX account without a VPN might work, gowever there’s no guarantee. I know only one confirmed case of IP blocking so far – Miitomo registration page. However, this can be easily bypassed with a VPN and with some trickery, it is also possible to download and use the app worldwide with full experience. I also heard rumors about Fire Emblem Heroes (Nintendo’s newest mobile game) being IP-blocked (it won’t let you play if launched in unsupported countries), but even if this is true, a VPN will solve that too.

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