Nintendo Online has been the bane of many gamers’ existence ever since it burst onto the scene in 2018.
If you’re looking for an online gaming platform to help you burn off some stress, Nintendo Online isn’t it.
From a terrible user interface to a lack of usable features, there’s not much that Nintendo gets right.
The worst part might be the connection issues, but you have plenty to choose from.
Below we break down seven of the reasons Nintendo Online is a terrible platform.
1. No N64 Games
There have been rumors that Nintendo 64 games are coming to their online platform – but to this point, that’s all it’s been.
It’s a disappointing development because if Nintendo released a large portion of their Nintendo 64 library to their online platform, it would instantly vault it into must-have territory.
However, Nintendo seems content teasing the development and instead redesigning and revamping one Nintendo 64 game at a time – then releasing them for a premium price.
2. Useless Family Plan
Nintendo claims to have a “Family Plan,” but in reality, it’s nothing more than a cost-sharing plan. You can’t share games in a library, you can’t connect accounts, you can’t do anything!
While we understand that they don’t want multiple people playing the same game with a single purchase, there are ways that Nintendo can circumvent these concerns. Currently, it doesn’t seem like Nintendo is interested in trying.
Finally, considering you have to be over 18 years old to purchase a membership, this isn’t a family plan at all. It’s a way for friends to drop their subscription price a bit through cost-sharing.
While that is a nifty feature, it leaves much to be desired.
3. Connection Issues
Ever since Nintendo Online was released, there has been a litany of complaints about Wi-Fi connectivity problems. Currently, the only answer seems to be to use a wired Ethernet connection, as their Wi-Fi systems are complete junk.
However, since they use a peer-to-peer connection, if the people you are playing with are using a Wi-Fi connection, you’ll still experience tons of dropped connections and tons of lag.
It’s a recurring frustration no matter what you do. Some of the issues stem from the fact that the Switch is a mobile console, and some individuals are trying to play online when they’re away from home.
But that’s not the root cause of the problem, and until Nintendo does something to fix it, addressing the smaller issues won’t solve the problem.
4. No Free New Games
If you’re hoping to gain access to some new games every once in a while as a part of your Nintendo Online subscription, you’re going to be disappointed.
While both Xbox and Playstation offer free monthly games for their members, Nintendo doesn’t have anything similar.
Dropping a free game or a killer sale every once in a while to reward members and entice them to keep renewing their subscription would be greatly appreciated.
But instead, Nintendo keeps pushing on with the same sales model, which leaves fans always wanting for more.
5. Poor User Interface
If there’s one thing you don’t want to screw up, it’s the user interface. Unfortunately, Nintendo Online botched that too.
You can’t customize your home screen theme, which gives everyone the generic setup that’s hard to follow. They don’t use any organizational folder system, so you’re left-clicking through tons of menus to find what you want.
While all of those issues are annoying, we’d put up with all of them if Nintendo Online could figure out a unified account system. For instance, if you have a WiiU, a 3DS, and a Switch, you’ll need three different accounts with three different Miis.
It doesn’t make any sense. Nintendo makes multiple consoles for different applications; there’s no reason you shouldn’t be able to connect all your devices to a single account.
6. Voice Chat
Nintendo’s voice chat feature is the worst in the industry. So, for most online voice chats while gaming, all you need to do is plug in your headset, and you’re on your way. With Nintendo, nothing is ever that easy.
If you want to use their online chat features, you’ll first need to download the Nintendo Switch Online App to a smart device – that’s right, you’ll be talking into your smart device unless you buy a Bluetooth headset that connects to the device.
But even once you’ve downloaded the app, it doesn’t work with every game! In fact, Nintendo only supports voice chat in 14 of their new games and their entire NES library.
It’s such a standard feature that most online gamers don’t even think about it, but with Nintendo, they make it outright impossible in many of their games.
It’s so bad that some third-party apps have started to step in and smooth things out. Talk about a disaster.
7. The Competition Does it Better
If this was the first or only online service out there, we might understand why Nintendo screwed it all up. But the fact is, both Sony and Microsoft have developed far better online services.
When you sign up for either one of their services, you get access to free monthly games, great connections, a smooth user interface, and easy ways to communicate with your friends and teammates while you play.
Nintendo Online doesn’t offer any of those things. While a Nintendo Online subscription is a bit cheaper, we’d rather pay for a usable service instead of getting stuck with junk that never functions properly.
With Nintendo Online, it all feels like a sorry knock-off, which is a shame because the Nintendo Switch is a fantastic console. We just wish it had an excellent online service to go with it.