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You don’t need Nintendo Switch Online to earn Nintendo Switch Sports unlockables — from a certain point of view

You’ll be playing bots in ‘Trial Mode’ but you will still get points

A man goes bowling in Nintendo Switch Sports Image: Nintendo
Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

Nintendo Switch Sports is, effectively, a party game played with friends. And, 99% of the time, you’ll need a Nintendo Switch Online subscription to play online multiplayer on any game on the Switch. But you can still play Nintendo Switch Sports, by yourself and without a Nintendo Switch Online subscription, and earn progression toward unlockables.

That might sound like hair-splitting, but it does work. You’ll just be competing against very easy CPU competition in “online” single-player modes. But you will earn points that can be put toward unlockables.

We saw it for ourselves earlier today. If you already have Nintendo Switch Online, just create a guest account and log in under that. When you tee up a single-player match, you get a screen informing you that you’ll be playing in trial mode.

Trial mode notification for Nintendo Switch Sports players who do not have Nintendo Switch Online Image: Nintendo via Polygon

As we found out after a quick — and easy — badminton match, we still picked up points that can go toward rewards. So, if you’re reading that you don’t need a Nintendo Switch Online subscription to play Nintendo Switch Sports, that’s technically correct. And that, as we all know, is the best kind of correct.

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