Best online multiplayer games for Nintendo Switch 2023
The Nintendo Switch has been out in the wild for a while now, and we've seen some seriously fantastic games released for it since it launched back in 2017. Unfortunately, the Switch has been a little light when it comes to games supporting online multiplayer. While we hope to see some new games soon, here are some of the best Nintendo Switch games with online multiplayer available right now.
★ Featured favorite
The quintessential multiplayer party game is finally on the Nintendo Switch. While you might enjoy the up-to-eight-player brawling mayhem with local players on the couch, online mode is by far the best way to test your Smash skills with players from around the world. You can play for fun and giggles at any time, or you can try to rise through the ranks and play against tougher and tougher opponents with a variety of different rulesets.
Catch 'em all with friends
Pokémon Sword and Shield is the most multiplayer-focused entry in the mainline series yet. In addition to the single-player campaign and battling other trainers online, you can team up with friends to capture gargantuan Dynamax and Gigantamax Pokémon in Max Raid battles.
Rise up together to hunt monsters
Monsters are going on a mad rampage, and only you and your friends can stop them from destroying Kamura Village. Hunt giant monsters, carve their hides, and use them to forge mighty weapons and armor to help you save your home. For the first time in the Monster Hunter series, you get to bring your Palico companion along in multiplayer as well the new Palamute companion, meaning you can have up to 4-players and 4 NPC partners for a total of eight hunters at once.
Wario is back at it again!
If you're looking for a crazy party game to play with your friends, look no further than WarioWare: Get it Together! Featuring over 200 mini-games and 14 playable characters, this game will have you and your friends laughing for hours on end in both single-player and multiplayer modes.
Find the imposter!
Among Us is a social deduction game where you and your crewmates are stranded on a broken spaceship with a murderous imposter hiding among you. Your goal is to repair your ship before the imposters sabotage your efforts and kill you off. With up to 15 players both online and local Wi-Fi, finding out who the imposters are will be difficult and sometimes hilarious.
Get your ink on!
When it comes to getting a game going with friends, one of the very best options would have to be Splatoon 2. You can get together with three other friends and take on another team of four in a turf war, a splatter battle to cover everything you can with ink. The team with the most surface area coated in their color is the winner.
Battle royale with cheese
As the king of the battle royale-style games, Fornite has an incredibly robust player base. This means that you'll never be waiting for people to play with you. You can also join any of your friends on just about any other platform — unless, of course, your friends are playing on PS4. If you want to get into some heated battle royale action, Fortnite is going to be your go-to on the Nintendo Switch. The best part? Fortnite is free to play!
A new version of an old fav
Mario Kart is a multiplayer stalwart. The only difference is that rather than turning on the couch and yelling at your friend who just banana peeled you, you can yell at them through your headset. Mario Kart is a killer game all on its own. It also happens to have great multiplayer and a robust community of players. If racing is your bag, it's well worth the price.
How about combining racing and soccer? Rocket League does just that and does it quite well. If you want some frenetic, over-the-top gameplay, then Rocket League is probably for you. Also, it's cross-platform, so there is always a bunch of people to challenge.
Mine with pals
It was only a matter of time before Minecraft made its way to the Switch. Just about the only platform Minecraft isn't on is the Etch-a-Sketch. You and your friends can dive deep below the earth to mine precious resources or stay up top to build the fortress of your dreams. Just like Rocket League, Minecraft is cross-platform, so there is a massive community of people to interact with if you choose. It also has one of the easiest methods for your friends to join your game online.
Save the Villagers
Minecraft Dungeons is a co-operative dungeon crawler set within the Minecraft universe. Form a party of up to four players online or locally and embark on a quest to save the world from the evil Arch-Illager. Explore levels inspired by Minecraft's iconic biomes. Fight classic enemies like Zombies, Creepers, and Endermen to acquire powerful gear that can turn your character into an unstoppable warrior or a powerful sorcerer. Best of all? Minecraft Dungeons supports crossplay between the Nintendo Switch, Xbox, PS4, and PC.
Return to Sanctuary
Diablo III Eternal Collection is finally the way to go for those who have always wanted to play Diablo on a Nintendo system. The Eternal Collection contains all past updates and DLC, including the Necromancer class. It lets you play online with up to three others as you delve into the dark dungeons of Sanctuary and battle Hell's foulest demons.
The world needs heroes
Overwatch is an online multiplayer, team-based, First-Person Shooter featuring a diverse cast of heroes and villains to play as. Pick your hero and join the fight to defend or capture objectives in 6v6 matches. In addition to Ranked Matches, the Arcade mode filled customizable match types and the PvE Seasonal Events where you hordes of enemies together with your friends.
Pay me a visit
Out in 2020, Animal Crossing: New Horizons is unique on this list in that its multiplayer online play is entirely peaceful. Visit other towns, dig up fossils, pick fruit, talk to charming animal villagers, plant flowers, and share cute designs with your friends, all without needing to be in the same room. It's early yet, but it also seems natural that Animal Crossing: New Horizons will end up with a bustling online villager and fruit trading economy.
Hunt generations of monsters
Celebrate the history of the Monster Hunter series with Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate. Gather your friends together to form a party of four hunters to hunt down fearsome monsters in online and local multiplayer. With a roster of over 100 monsters, customizable move-sets, hundreds of weapons and armor to grind for, and being able to play as cats? This action-hunting game will keep you hooked for months on end.
Dominate with style
Apex Legends is a Third-Person Shooter Battle Royale. You play as a rogue's gallery of mercenaries, pirates, and outlaws fighting for survival in the bloodsport known as the Apex Games. Pick from a roster of 16 Legends with unique abilities, join a squad of three players, and fight in epic battles which can support up to 60 players online.
Enjoy some of the best Nintendo Switch games online with friends
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In this day and age, online multiplayer is more essential to gaming than ever before. While past Nintendo consoles had lots of local multiplayer, Nintendo has embraced the online scene in recent years. One such title is Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. The sheer amount of characters to play as and content to unlock is absolutely insane. What fighting game do you know has Mario, Sonic the Hedgehog, Mega Man, Pac-Man, Terry Bogard from King of Fighters, Minecraft's Steve, and Sephiroth from Final Fantasy VII, among many others beating the snot out of each other? With dozens of stages, hundreds of videogame soundtracks, and various game modes to partake in, this is undoubtedly the biggest Super Smash Bros. game ever made.
Pokémon Sword and Shield is also a solid multiplayer game in the Nintendo Switch's library. This game has something for everyone — a lengthy single-player campaign, hundreds of new Pokémon to catch and trade with friends, and an addictive PVP endgame where you can build the most powerful team of Pokémon to battle other trainers online.
For 3rd party titles, I highly recommend Monster Hunter Rise. This title has hours of content for you and your friends to sink their teeth into. You can switch aspects of your weapon's move-set to suit your playstyle. It features the quality of life improvements from Monster Hunter World. It has cool monsters inspired by Japanese mythology to hunt, and you get to ride giant adorable dogs called Palamutes. What's more, it will be receiving a massive DLC expansion soon called Monster Hunter Rise: Sunbreak, which will feature more monsters to slay and gear to acquire. So, now's the best time for you and your friends to get in on the hunt.
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Alexander Cope is a writer for Windows Central and iMore that has been gaming since the 16-bit era.