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Nintendo traces its origin to the beginning of the 19th century. Before it burst into the world market, it created and sold artistic playing cards. Over the decades, Nintendo tried its hands at different businesses. However, it was only in the 1970s that it discovered its niche. 

By the 1980s, Nintendo has established its reputation as a game console and video game maker. Today, Nintendo is synonymous with fun, colorful titles, memorable characters, and whimsical storylines.

Furthermore, Nintendo has created many iconic game consoles and characters. They’ve collaborated with their competitors to create online worlds. Here, players can link up with each other to compete or cooperate. 

But, having a Nintendo account and using its network comes with certain conditions. Players violating these terms could get banned from their accounts or consoles. So, let’s explore what happens if a player finds themselves in this situation.

Does Nintendo Ban Consoles or Accounts?

Nintendo can ban both devices and accounts. But although they refuse or block devices, they do not remove accounts. Note that players can also get their accounts suspended. 

With a suspension, you won’t be able to connect your device to Nintendo’s online network. More so, you won’t be able to log in at all.

We will discuss some common reasons for account suspension or console banning. If a console gets banned, it can no longer access Nintendo’s online services. Despite the ban, you should be able to regain access to the company’s online world using a second device.

Are Nintendo Switch Bans Permanent?

Nintendo Switch bans tend to be permanent. Before we get into more details, let’s define account suspensions and bans. An account suspension prevents you from signing in to your account. Thus, you won’t have access to Nintendo’s online services. 

There are several reasons why the company might do this. But most of them have to do with the user agreement when you signed up for the account.

Note that a suspension is not permanent. If the company suspends your account, there’s an expiry date for the restriction. When Nintendo suspends your account, an authorized representative will inform you. They will also tell you the reason for the account suspension. 

To better understand this, suspensions have something to do with accounts. Bans, on the other hand, are for devices. Indeed, bans are directed at hardware rather than accounts. So if you get banned, Nintendo has decided to block your Switch from accessing its network.

You cannot reverse the process when Nintendo places a hardware ban on your device. As such, the company only issues bans for severe violations. To be more specific, hardware bans have something to do with user agreements or terms of service.

Because of this severity, Nintendo makes the bans permanent. Whatever device you were using to access the online network will no longer be able to do so again. Although the company can lift this ban, it rarely happens. 

What Happens if Nintendo Bans You?

What happens should Nintendo decide to ban you depends on the type of ban you receive. These bans have two major categories and subcategories. 

Account Bans

We often think of account bans as suspensions. But, most of the time, they are actual bans. When you get banned, you won’t be able to sign in to view or log in to your profile. Switching to a different device under the same account will yield similar results. What you can do is wait for the suspension to end.

Getting banned also prevents you from accessing all the data that connects to that account. And that includes access to your Nintendo profile. You won’t be able to retrieve any game data, online interactions, and personal settings. 

Hardware Bans

This ban is for gamers who commit serious offenses. For example, each Switch console has its certification code for online use. You use this unique certificate when setting up your Nintendo account for the first time. 

But if Nintendo found any reason to ban you, they would remove that unique identifier. So instead of access, you’ll get blacklisted. So every time you access your Nintendo account, the system will ping you and prevent your attempt. 

What Are the Reasons Nintendo Banned My Account?

The precise reasons for these bans depend on what the user did. Most of the time, Nintendo issues temporary blocks that expire after some time. It happens while the company conducts a further investigation. 

Before we get into why players get banned, let’s talk about one significant factor we cannot control — hacking

Like any device that can access the online world, a Nintendo console is vulnerable to hacking. In these situations, malicious actors may gain access to some data on a Switch, including account credentials and information. 

When this happens, the intruder may use a player’s account to make purchases, or they may engage in behavior that is against Nintendo’s user agreement.

In either case, the company will usually issue a complete account ban here. Nintendo may do this as a way to make sure that the same account is no longer helpful in any way to bad actors who might use it for nefarious purposes. 

However, because a hack like this tends to be invasive, the company will usually choose to disable entire accounts across all devices entirely. It is for the protection of both Nintendo and the players, many of whom will have things like automatic payment methods saved in their profiles.

Account Ban Parameters

Breaking the company’s user agreement can institute a ban. Additionally, breaching the rules and regulations of the Nintendo community could get you banned. 

The online world Nintendo has curated over the years is robust. However, to ensure fun and fair play for everyone, the company has strict policies that govern one’s access to this world. 

If Nintendo caught you cheating, you’d get your entire account banned. If you lose this trust, it will issue a ban. That way, Nintendo does the best course of action: removing all access from you. 

Hardware Ban Parameters

When you find you can log in to your accounts in general but cannot do so using a particular device. It means that the Switch or console in question received a hardware ban. 

One of the most common reasons for this is that the player 

installed homemade files on the device, which alter its function somehow. 

Nintendo discourages game file modification. So, any unauthorized changes to how the Switch works can result in a ban on that Switch being able to get online.

What Can I Do if Nintendo Bans My Switch?

If Nintendo bans your Switch, there may be very little that you can do. If you know the ban was through no fault of your own, you can try contacting the company. Explaining your story may cause them to take the block off your Switch. However, this is not necessarily a likely outcome. Your only recourse may be to get a new Switch altogether.

Can You Still Use a Banned Nintendo Switch?

Yes, you can still use a Switch on the ban list. However, its functionality will have far more limitations than a Switch in good standing. Essentially, you can still play any downloaded games on the device. 

However, you will no longer have access to the company’s online shop. It means that you can’t make further purchases using that Switch. You also won’t have access to your online profile. Most importantly, you can’t engage in online gameplay on that device.

You will no longer easily access patches or updates, including new content or fixes for common issues. There would also be no way for you to update the system for the device itself through official channels.


A Nintendo Switch ban can come with many drawbacks. Although the device should still be useful for playing games offline, any such ban would limit how flexible or playable the Switch is as the ban stretches throughout new game releases.

Furthermore, some players may face account bans that deny them access across multiple devices. Because Nintendo prefers to keep the door open, most bans its issues tend to be for specific hardware certifications instead.