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Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack — Online multiplayer guide

Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack Nintendo 64 Sega Genesis Controllers
Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack Nintendo 64 Sega Genesis Controllers (Image credit: Rebecca Spear / iMore)

It's pretty awesome that the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack has made it possible to play retro games like Mario Kart 64 online with friends and family. The Expansion Pack offers both Nintendo 64 games, which support up to four players, as well as Sega Genesis titles, which can be played with up to two people. Not sure how to set up online mutliplayer? We're here to help.

How to play Nintendo 64 and Sega Genesis games online

Just like the Nintendo Entertainment System and Super Nintendo Entertainment System applications, you'll be able to invite and play with anyone in your Nintendo Switch Friends List. You'll also be able to use voice chat, but only through the Nintendo Switch Online mobile application.

Which N64 games offer online multiplayer?

Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack Nintendo

Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack Nintendo (Image credit: iMore)

The following games support up to four players:

  • Mario Kart 64
  • Dr. Mario 64
  • Mario Tennis
  • Star Fox 64
  • Win Back: Covert Operations
  • Sin and Punishment (2 players only)

How to play Nintendo 64 games online

Here's how to get your multiplayer session off the ground:

  1. Select the Nintendo 64 — Nintendo Switch Online application from the HOME menu.

Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack Nintendo 64 Multiplayer App Home Menu

Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack Nintendo 64 Multiplayer App Home Menu (Image credit: iMore)
  1. In the menu in the application's left margin, select Play Online. Your system will automatically search for any friends who may be playing Nintendo 64 games as well.Source: iMore

Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack Nintendo 64 Multiplayer Play Online (Image credit: iMore)

Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack Nintendo 64 Multiplayer Searching Players (Image credit: iMore)
  1. Choose a friend's lobby to join. Whoever creates a lobby has control of all menu actions until you've quit.Source: iMore

Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack Nintendo 64 Multiplayer Join Friend (Image credit: iMore)

Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack Nintendo 64 Multiplayer Join Friend (Image credit: iMore)
  1. Once your friend has chosen a game, have fun playing!Source: iMore

Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack Nintendo 64 Multiplayer Join Friend Mario Kart (Image credit: iMore)

Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack Nintendo 64 Multiplayer Join Friend Mario Kart Gameplay (Image credit: iMore)
  1. If no one is available, you can choose to create a lobby and play a game while you wait. When your friends come online, they can simply join your lobby. If you'd like, set a three-digit passcode that friends can enter when joining your lobby.Source: iMore

Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack Nintendo 64 Multiplayer Play While Wait (Image credit: iMore)

Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack Nintendo 64 Multiplayer Set Passcode (Image credit: iMore)
  1. If you'd like, you can invite a friend to play online with you. Select up to three friends from your Friends List. You can always invite friends later by heading to the menu in the left margin.Source: iMore

Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack Nintendo 64 Multiplayer Invite Friend (Image credit: iMore)

Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack Nintendo 64 Multiplayer Invite 3 Friends (Image credit: iMore)
  1. To quit, head to the menu in the left margin and select Quit Online Session. If you're currently playing a game, press the - button to quit. Press "Yes" to proceed.Source: iMore

Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack Nintendo 64 Multiplayer Quit Online (Image credit: iMore)

Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack Nintendo 64 Multiplayer Quit Online Session (Image credit: iMore)

Now you're all set to start an online N64 gaming session or to join one that a friend has created. If you want to play Sega Genesis games online then continue on to the next section.

Which Sega Genesis games offer online multiplayer?

Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack Sega Genesis Mega Drive

Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack Sega Genesis Mega Drive (Image credit: iMore)

The following games support up to two players:

  • Contra: Hard Corps
  • Dr. Robotnik's Mean Bean Machine
  • Golden Axe
  • Gunstar Heroes
  • Sonic The Hedgehog 2
  • Streets of Rage 2

How to set up Sega Genesis online multiplayer

Here's how to play these games with friends:

  1. Select the "Sega Genesis — Nintendo Switch Online" application from the HOME menu.

Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack Sega Genesis Mega Drive Home Menu

Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack Sega Genesis Mega Drive Home Menu (Image credit: iMore)
  1. In the menu in the application's left margin, select Play Online. Your system will automatically search for any friends who may be playing Sega Genesis games as well.Source: iMore

Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack Sega Genesis Mega Drive Play Online (Image credit: iMore)

Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack Sega Genesis Mega Drive Search Friends (Image credit: iMore)
  1. Choose a friend's lobby to join. Whoever creates a lobby has control of all menu actions until you've quit.Source: iMore

Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack Sega Genesis Mega Drive Find Friends (Image credit: iMore)

Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack Sega Genesis Mega Drive Join Friends (Image credit: iMore)
  1. Once your friend has chosen a game, have fun playing!Source: iMore

Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack Sega Genesis Mega Drive Sonic 2 Gameplay (Image credit: iMore)

Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack Sega Genesis Mega Drive Sonic 2 Gameplay (Image credit: iMore)
  1. If no one is available, you can choose to create a lobby and play a game while you wait. When your friends come online, they can simply join your lobby. If you'd like, set a three-digit passcode that friends can enter when joining your lobby.Source: iMore

Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack Sega Genesis Mega Drive Play While Wait (Image credit: iMore)

Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack Sega Genesis Mega Drive Set Passcode (Image credit: iMore)
  1. If you'd like, you can invite a friend to play online with you. Select a friend from your Friends List. You can always invite friends later by heading to the menu in the left margin.Source: iMore

Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack Sega Genesis Mega Drive Invite Friend (Image credit: iMore)

Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack Sega Genesis Mega Drive Friends List (Image credit: iMore)
  1. To quit, head to the menu in the left margin and select Quit Online Session. If you're currently playing a game, press the - button to quit. Press "Yes" to proceed.Source: iMore

Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack Sega Genesis Mega Drive End Online (Image credit: iMore)

Nintendo Switch Online Expansion Pack Sega Genesis Mega Drive End Online Session (Image credit: iMore)

Now you can experience these Sega Genesis games with friends regardless of whether or not they're sitting right next to you. Enjoy these classic games!

Things to look out for

Some users have experienced quite a bit of input lag when playing both single-player and multiplayer games. If this happens to you, check your internet connection to see if it's secure. The Nintendo Switch OLED model has a built-in ethernet port in the console's dock, but regular Switch users will have to purchase a LAN adapter as a separate accessory.

Multiplayer madness

If there's one thing about Nintendo, it's that it has always focused on couch co-op and multiplayer. However, with social distancing and meeting friends online, it's always good to have the option to play with others, even if you're not in the same room. Setting up a multiplayer party isn't very difficult, so you'll be dominating the Mario Kart 64 track in no time!