One of my favorite gifts to give for a variety of occasions are new video games. I enjoy picking out titles I think the recipient would like, and thanks to vast digital libraries, the possibilities are endless. However, I didn’t know how to gift a game to someone on Nintendo Switch, so I decided to do some research.
Since we’ve owned a Switch, it’s opened up a whole new platform (literally) for gifting games. I never realized how many unique titles were available outside of the other major consoles.
Of course, that meant figuring out how to deliver my new found arsenal to my gift recipients. If you’re in the same boat as well, then I’m here to show you all the different ways you can gift a game to someone on Switch!
Can You Gift a Game Through the Nintendo Switch eShop?
No, unfortunately you’re not able to gift a game directly to another player through the Nintendo Switch eShop, or through the console directly.
Largely this is done for security reasons, and because different worldwide regions have different shops to ensure compatibility. For reference, there are 4 regions available on Nintendo Switch: The Americas, Europe, Australia/New Zealand, and Japan.
Any game purchased through the eShop is tied to your specific user account. This does mean that you’re able to sign in to a console other than your own and access your game library (as long as you’re connected to the Internet) if you wanted to do some form of sharing.
However, you won’t be able to access your own stuff if someone else is signed in to your account. While this might work well for someone like your spouse or siblings, I feel there are better ways to gift games.
Gifting a Digital Switch Game Via Digital Game Code
The absolute best way to gift a game to someone on Nintendo Switch is to give a digital game code, when possible.
I say ‘when possible’ as there are two caveats:
- Not all titles are available for purchase as a digital game code, and some are exclusive to certain retailers
- The game code must be redeemed in the same region it was purchased (so you can’t gift it to an overseas friend)
However, if this method works for your situation, I find it’s a lot of fun. Your recipient won’t know what game it is until they actually enter the code, making for an awesome surprise!
How to Give Digital Switch Games
- Locate the game you want to purchase on the retailer’s website, or on a physical card in-store
- Purchase the code, scratching off the back to reveal it if you have a physical card
- Present the code to your intended gift recipient
It could be a text or an email with the code, or you could write it in a card and send it to them. If you’re very creative you could make a puzzle out of it to reveal letters of the code!
As I mentioned before, it’s also important to keep the region in mind when you use a digital code to gift a game to someone on Switch. If your recipient lives in a different geographic area, use an online retailer from their location to make the purchase.
For example, Amazon has 24 global pages accessible, making it easy to shop internationally without having to leave home!
What Stores Can I Buy Digital Switch Game Codes From?
- Best Buy
- Instant Gaming
These are the most popular large retailers to purchase digital game codes from if you’re looking to gift a Switch game. There are of course other options out there, but make sure to do research that it’s a creditable, licensed seller that you’ll receive a legitimate working code from.
What Are Some Popular Switch Games Available as Digital Codes?
- Super Smash Bros
- The Legend of Zelda
- Donkey Kong Country
- Mario Kart
- Among Us
- Super Mario Party
- Super Mario Odyssey
- Devil May Cry
- Animal Crossing
- Pokemon (Various Titles)
Note that Fortnite itself is a free download from the Nintendo eShop so it requires no purchase for the game. However, if you wanted to gift special packs or skins, they are periodically available as a digital code that you could gift to someone on Switch.
This list is far from comprehensive of all the great games you can purchase digitally. If you want to check out what’s available from some major retailers, here are some quick links below:
Sending a Nintendo Switch eShop Gift Card
If the game you had your eye on isn’t available as a digital code, or you don’t know exactly what to give, this one’s for you. Sending an eShop gift card is another great way to gift a game to someone on Nintendo Switch.
Choose between values of $10, $20, $35, or $50 cards. For a digital code, you can purchase them online from the same major retailers that carry digital game codes as well. This option also gives you the choice of a physical gift card, if you’d like to actually be able to hand it to someone.
To give the card with a specific game in mind for the recipient, make sure to research the price and ensure the card has a high enough value to cover it. I also like to print a picture of the box art and include it with the gift card, as a way to give a digital Switch game.
Buying a Switch Game on Someone’s Console on Their Behalf
Buying a game on someone else’s console on their behalf is a nice surprise way to gift a game to someone on Nintendo Switch. This option really only works if this is someone you live with, or visit regularly, as you’ll need access to their physical console.
Here’s how to buy a digital Switch game as a gift to someone:
- Power on their console
- Select their primary profile
- Locate the game in the Switch eShop
- Proceed to purchase
- Once checkout is complete, the game will download automatically
If you’re not Switch savvy, Nintendo has a full guide on how to purchase and download content.
Note that payment methods accepted include gift cards, credit cards, or PayPal. I personally recommend purchasing a gift card (or e-gift card) ahead of time for this.
Otherwise, make sure to delete your credit card or PayPal info off the console when you’re done, unless you want the recipient to be able to use it again going forward.
Purchase a Nintendo Switch Online Subscription
If you want to gift many digital games to someone on Nintendo Switch without shelling out for each individual title, then purchasing a Nintendo Switch Online subscription is a great option.
Think of it like a streaming service on television, except your access is to a library of different games instead of shows. There are two main options:
- Regular Membership: $20 (US) for a 12-month subscription, with access to over 100 NES and SNES titles
- Expansion Membership: $50 (US) for 12 months. Includes all the regular membership content, as well as N64 and SEGA Genesis games and some other popular titles
Even the more robust membership level costs less for an entire year than one brand new release, and you’ll have hundreds of games to enjoy!
Codes and cards for Nintendo Online subscriptions may also be purchased from major retailers, so you’ll be able to give it to your recipient that way.
Nintendo Switch Online Family Subscriptions
Instead of giving someone their own subscription, you could also give away digital Switch games access by sharing an online family subscription.
That’s right, we all know about the account sharing from popular streaming services, and it works the same way here!
The family Switch online subscriptions are $35 for the base tier and $80 for the expansion annually. This allows up to 8 players to share the subscription! For something I’m already using, that’s not a lot of additional cost to share with my friends.
You’ll just need to log into your account from a computer or smartphone. Create a family group, and add each member using their email address. Once the subscription is active, they’ll be able to access it!
Every person using the subscription must have their own console. The even better news is that it works worldwide. If you want to share the family subscription with your international friends, feel free!
Have a falling out or a breakup? Don’t worry, you can remove someone from your family group anytime. Give that spot back to someone else you want to give digital Switch game access to.
Mailing or Giving Physical Switch Games
Our final option for how to gift a game to someone on Nintendo Switch is the good, old-fashioned method of giving a physical game.
Even in this modern, digital age, there’s still something I love about the classic feel of a box and game cartridge. Maybe it’s the enticing box art that gets me, but it just feels wholesome.
Both physical and online retailers have tons of physical Switch games to choose from. If you’re local to your gift recipient, grab one in person or have it shipped to your home for wrapping.
Assuming the giftee is not nearby, arrange to have it shipped directly to their home instead. Of course, this means you’ll need to know their address, so this doesn’t always work out for those friends you’ve made online.
Just like the digital game codes, make sure to pick the correct region for the Switch game when purchasing a physical copy.
With these physical gifts, you can also learn 7 easy ways to hide a gift card inside a present!
There are so many great ways on how to gift a game to someone on Nintendo Switch. Whether they’re near or far, friends or family, you’re sure to find a method that works for you.
Give the gift of digital or physical Switch games and open up a world of fun!
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