Nintendo has confirmed that Pokémon Sword and Shield will require a Switch Online subscription to access the games’ online features.
While this may sound obvious, a somewhat ambiguous product listing pointed to the contrary.
Earlier this week, TechRadar discovered that Nintendo’s official page for Sword and Shield suggested that a Switch Online subscription wouldn’t actually be necessary to access online features like battling or trading.
“Nintendo Switch Online membership (sold separately) and Nintendo Account required for online features. This game includes an in-game purchase option for users who do not have a membership,” reads the listing.
This seemed to indicate that non-subscribers could simply purchase access to online features from within the game. However, Nintendo has since clarified what this description actually means.
“As stated on the Game Store pages for the Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield games at www.nintendo.com, a Nintendo Switch Online membership is required to use the games’ online features,” said a Nintendo spokesperson in a statement to TechRadar. “The games include an in-game option to purchase a Nintendo Switch Online membership for those who do not already have one.”
Therefore, don’t expect Nintendo to stop making Switch Online a requirement for online game features anytime soon.
Pokémon Sword and Shield will launch exclusively on the Nintendo Switch on November 15th.