When the Nintendo Switch launched back in Spring 2017, it featured free online play, just like the Wii U and Wii that came before. There were only a couple of games that had online play enabled, but it was free for everyone to enjoy. When 2018 rolled around, Nintendo made that announcement that they were launching their paid online subscription service, which made online play closer to how Playstation and Xbox handle it.
Since then, it’s been pretty clear-cut on what games require an online subscription, at least for first party Nintendo games like Super Smash Bros. and Animal Crossing New Horizons. It gets a little confusing when free-to-play games are involved in the mix, like Hi-Rez’s Paladins and Phoenix Labs’ Dauntless.
Since Pokémon Unite is launching on both the Switch and mobile platforms with crossplay enabled, many fans were unsure of whether the game required an active Nintendo Online subscription. Well, we have good news for those without an active sub: Pokémon Unite does NOT require an active Nintendo Online subscription.
You can download the game and start playing against other players around the world for free! This also means that your friends without Nintendo Switches can also join you when the game launches for smartphones later this year.
Pokémon Unite is available now on the Nintendo Switch and will launch on iOS and Android in September 2021.