Super Mario Maker 2 vs. Super Mario Maker 2 + Nintendo Switch Online Bundle: Which should you buy?

The Super Mario Maker 2 bundle is definitely the better option for most people, especially anyone who wants access to online content for any of their Switch games, anyone planning to get an Individual Nintendo Switch Online Membership, or those who already have an Individual Membership.

The bundle gives you a 12-month Individual Membership for 50% off the regular price. It's a great way for new people to test the service out without spending too much. If you already have an Individual Membership, you can stack the 12 months onto your existing months. It's a win-win. The only time in which we'd recommend going with the game on its own is if you have a Family Membership or if you don't want any access to online gaming.


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Header Cell - Column 0 Super Mario Maker 2 + BundleSuper Mario Maker 2 (without Switch Online)
12-month Nintendo Switch Online Individual Membershipx
Story mode
Local multiplayer
Local co-op creation
Online multiplayerx
Play online members' levelsx
Upload levels for online members to playx

What is Nintendo Switch Online?

Nintendo Switch Online is a service offered by Nintendo that allows you to access online content on a number of Switch games as well as a library of NeoGeo games. There are two types of memberships: Individual and Family. Family Memberships make it so up to eight Nintendo Accounts within your home get access to this online service. In comparison, Individual Memberships only work for one account even if there are multiple accounts on your Nintendo Switch console.

When we spoke with a Nintendo representative, we were told that you can stack Individual Memberships purchases up to 1,000 days, which is a little less than three years. This means that if you already have a Nintendo Switch Online membership and you get the bundle, you'll add 12 months to your current account at 50% off. Not a bad deal at all. The rep further clarified that the code that comes with Super Mario Maker 2 doesn't expire, so you can redeem it whenever works best for you.

  • Individual Membership: $4 for one month, $8 for three months, $20 for 12 months
  • Family Membership: $35 for 12 months

Nintendo Switch Online is an important aspect of Super Mario Maker 2. As you can see below, you get access to exclusive features like online co-op, course download, and more if you have Nintendo Switch Online.

Super Mario Maker 2 without online content

  • Story mode
  • Level creation
  • Local co-op creation
  • Local multiplayer
  • Nearby play

Super Mario Maker 2 with online content

  • Story mode
  • Level creation
  • Local co-op creation
  • Local multiplayer
  • Nearby play
  • Leaderboards
  • Online multiplayer versus
  • Online multiplayer co-op
  • Play other online players' courses
  • Post comments on online courses
  • Download online players' courses to play offline
  • Upload your courses for others online

When is it better to just get the game?

Even though the Switch is a more kid-friendly console and offers parental controls, some parents still don't want their children to have access to online content. In this case, you'll just want the game without the bundle. Don't worry, the new Story Mode will give you over 100 unique levels to play through.

Additionally, you might not want the bundle if you currently have a Family Membership. We verified with a Nintendo representative that anyone who already has an existing Family Membership won't be able to tack the 12 months from the bundle onto their account. They will be given an Individual Membership in addition to their existing Family Membership. You likely won't need both.

On the level

We highly recommend purchasing the bundle even if you already have a Nintendo Switch Online Individual Membership. You'll get access to the game, get a sweet deal on the membership, and you'll even be able to stack the included 12-months onto an existing membership if you have it. The best part about it all is you'll have access to an ever-expanding number of levels created by other players online. Play all of the fun activities that Super Mario Maker 2 has to offer.

The only exception here is that Family Membership holders might want to get the game on its own since you can't stack Individual Membership months onto your Family Membership.

Rebecca Spear
Gaming Editor

Gaming aficionado Rebecca Spear is iMore's dedicated gaming editor with a focus on Nintendo Switch and iOS gaming. You’ll never catch her without her Switch or her iPad Air handy. If you’ve got a question about Pokémon, The Legend of Zelda, or just about any other Nintendo series check out her guides to help you out. Rebecca has written thousands of articles in the last six years including hundreds of extensive gaming guides, previews, and reviews for both Switch and Apple Arcade. She also loves checking out new gaming accessories like iPhone controllers and has her ear to the ground when it comes to covering the next big trend.