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You can try Switch Online for free right now — here's how

Nintendo Switch Online
(Image credit: Nintendo)

While it's not clearly marked as part of the Memorial Day sale festivities, Nintendo has an offer that should appeal to Switch owners yet to experience the delights of online play — and it's absolutely free.

Nintendo Switch owners in the US and Canada now have the opportunity to take out a free seven-day trial of Nintendo Switch Online (opens in new tab), even if they've previously taken advantage of a free trial of the service.

The only people who miss out are those outside of North America, and those who are currently subscribed. 

Nintendo Switch Online: One week free trial (opens in new tab)
Nintendo Switch Online not only adds worldwide multiplayer to titles such as Mario Kart Deluxe, Smash Bros Ultimate and Splatoon 2, but also gives players access to a growing library of retro classics from the NES and SNES days. It's usually $3.99/month or $19.99 a year, so this is a great way of trying before you buy.

Nintendo Switch Online is, as the name suggests, the way you take your Switch online for worldwide multiplayer gaming in titles such as Mario Kart 8 Deluxe and Super Smash Bros Ultimate

But more than that, it also lets gamers of a certain age relive their youth with a large and growing library of NES and SNES games to download and play at will. It also introduces cloud saves, though admittedly you're unlikely to benefit much from that over the course of a seven-day trial.

It usually costs $3.99 per month or $19.99 per year, so a free trial is a nice way of seeing if you'll get enough use from the service to justify the outlay. 

It's also good timing, as Mario Strikers Battle League is about to get an online demo, including multiplayer matches, between June 3 and June 5. So, take out your free trial today or tomorrow and you'll be able to see how the game is shaping up ahead of its June 10 release. Nintendo has full details of how to access the demo, and when it can be played, here (opens in new tab).

To start your free Switch Online trial, just grab your console and head to the Nintendo eShop via the home menu. Select the account you want to use, and then press "Nintendo Switch Online" on the left side of the screen. Press "Free Trial" from the banner along the top of the screen, and follow the steps.

Note that the free trial does require you to supply payment details, and that if you don't cancel before the end of the free week, you'll automatically pay for the month, which will then auto renew. But so long as you cancel the auto-renewal before the end of the trial, you won't be on the hook for anything. Nintendo has details of how to do that here (opens in new tab)

Looking to save more money? Be sure to check out our roundup of the best Memorial Day gaming deals for selected highlights for PlayStation, Xbox and Switch. 

Freelance contributor Alan has been writing about tech for over a decade, covering phones, drones and everything in between. Previously Deputy Editor of tech site Alphr, his words are found all over the web and in the occasional magazine too. When not weighing up the pros and cons of the latest smartwatch, you'll probably find him tackling his ever-growing games backlog. Or, more likely, playing Spelunky for the millionth time.