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Nintendo Switch Online servers down? 4 tips to fix your account outage

Flip that internet switch back on.

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Nintendo Switch is once again one of the hottest gifts of the holiday season. With that massive influx of sales, however, the hardware maker anticipates some new Switch owners may not be able to create the Nintendo Account required to connect to the internet and use the Nintendo eShop. In this guide, we’ll outline what you can do if you experience account creation issues. These four tips aren’t guaranteed to solve all your problems, but they’re worth considering nonetheless.

Why can’t I create an account on Nintendo Switch?

In a tweet published by Nintendo’s Japanese support account on December 19, the hardware maker posted a short message regarding potential account creation issues over the holiday weekend. The announcement, translated to English via Google Translate, reads as follows:

“This weekend, access will be concentrated on the server of #NintendoAccount, and it is expected that [a] Nintendo Account will not be created immediately.”

In other words, because so many new Switch owners will be trying to create Nintendo accounts at the same time on Christmas and a few days thereafter, the account creation process might be delayed. With that in mind, we’ve got four tips to consider that might help get you gaming as soon as possible.

4. Double check your internet connection

Even though Nintendo itself believes there may be account creation issues over the holiday weekend, it’s still possible the problem might be with your personal internet connection or the Switch’s connection to your network. Before driving yourself too crazy, it may be helpful to follow these basic tips.

To check your internet connection, visit the System Settings menu shown here.

  • Check another functional device, like a smartphone, to confirm you still see the little “pie” wifi icon that signifies your wireless connection is active. If you don’t see it, go unplug your wireless router, wait approximately 30 seconds, and plug the router back in. After about 10 minutes your internet connection should be working as intended.
  • Verify the Internet Settings on your Nintendo Switch by going into the System Settings menu, which is marked by a sun-like icon on the right-hand side of your Home Screen. Go to the Internet section and select “Internet Settings.” You should see your network at the top of the listed connections with a blue checkmark next to it. If you see no checkmark, select your network name to connect to it.
  • Also in the Internet menu, it may help to select the option to “test connection.” If you see “success” next to “internet connection,” the problems are likely on Nintendo’s end.

3. Play cartridge-based games without a Nintendo Account

While a Nintendo Account is necessary to access any of the Switch’s online services such as the eShop, it should still be possible to play any cartridge-based games you’ve purchased regardless of whether you’ve finished the account creation process or not. In that case, maybe start with one of those first.

2. Create your Nintendo Account before Christmas Day

It’s possible if you’re reading this it may be too late, but the aforementioned source tweet suggests “if you are planning to use the Nintendo Switch family for the first time, we recommend that you create [an account] in advance.”

Don’t wind up stranded like Gulliver. You may want to create your Nintendo Account before Christmas to ensure you can connect.


To do so, head to Nintendo’s official account registration website. To make the process a little faster you can sign in using an existing account for Google, Twitter, Facebook, or even an Apple ID. If none of those methods suit you, simply fill in the required Nickname, email address, password, and other details found on the lower half of the page.

It’s possible that, while account creation from the Switch itself may not be functional, this website might be working better if you're accessing it from a device with a fast, reliable internet connection.

1. Download any digital games in advance

Provided you’ve been able to use the above link to create a Nintendo Account in advance, it would also behoove you to open up the Switch itself, log in with the account you previously created, and download any desired digital games from the eShop.

To access the eShop, simply select the little shopping bag icon on the device’s home screen. When making your first purchase you may be asked to enter a credit card or payment information if you didn’t do so as part of the initial account creation process.

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