Nintendo has explained that Pokémon Sword and Shield’s online features will still require a Switch Online subscription for players to access the new gameplay elements (via TechRadar).
Last week, we reported on a statement found on the official Sword and Shield website that inferred that the game would let players use its online features without a Nintendo Switch Online subscription. It said: ‘Nintendo Switch Online membership (sold separately) and Nintendo Account required for some online features. This game includes an in-game purchase option for users who do not have a membership.’
Sounds a little vague, doesn’t it? Well, a Nintendo of America representative spoke to TechRadar and clarified what the fine print actually means. ‘As stated on the Game Store pages for the Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield games at www.nintendo.com, a Nintendo Switch Online membership is required to use the games’ online features,’ they said. ‘The games include an in-game option to purchase a Nintendo Switch Online membership for those who do not already have one.’
So, if you don’t have a Switch Online subscription and would like to engage with the battles, Special Trades, and Pokémon Camps of Sword and Shield, the game will point you toward the purchase. It would have been strange for the game to circumvent the subscription, as no other titles have ever done the same, but it was an intriguing moment. Pokémon Sword and Shield has revolutionised the series in other ways, like an autosave option that allows the player to save before choosing their starter.
Pokémon Sword and Shield will release for the Switch on November 15.
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