Do You Need Nintendo Online to Play Pokemon Unite?

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Pokemon Unite has taken the Nintendo Switch by storm with fans of the Pokemon franchise loving its first step in the MOBA genre. It's also been a hit with those who have no real attachment to the franchise which is probably the biggest testament to the quality of the overall game.

Given that the game is advertised as free-to-play, but is an online-only title, it leaves us asking whether or not it is true free-to-play because you might have to pay for a Nintendo Online subscription, right?

Do You Need Nintendo Online to Play Pokemon Unite?

Pokemon Unite does not require an active Nintendo Online subscription to play the game, bonus! You must have an internet connection and either a Nintendo or Pokemon Trainer account to play the game, but no cost or subscriptions are involved.

While surprising that Nintendo hasn't locked the game behind their online service paywall, it would have been controversial to do so as a mobile version of the game is set to be released this year also.

Nintendo has no dominion over the title on mobile so wouldn't have been able to enforce the same subscription requirements meaning players would likely play on mobile rather than Nintendo Switch due to the true free-to-play nature.


Fortunately, no such scenario need to exist as common sense wins out. The game will be true free-to-play, enforcing the need for a Nintendo or Pokemon Trainer account only to keep track of player progress. It will also allow for cross-progression between the Nintendo Switch and Mobile versions once both are available.

If you log in to Pokemon Unite by 31 August, you will also receive Electric-type Mythic pokemon Zeraora absolutely free. As the mobile version isn't due for release until September 2021, players have been promised a similar offer for mobile will be available at launch.

While fans are happy to see the game hit the Nintendo Switch and Mobile, could we also see it hit PC? We can only hope.