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Diablo 3 on Switch: Online vs. offline (Update)

Here’s what you can and can’t do if you don’t have a network connection

Blizzard Entertainment

Diablo 3’s arrival on Switch is a big deal. For one thing, it’s the first Blizzard game on a Nintendo console in 15 years. But it’s also the first time Diablo 3 will be available on a portable console, and an unreliable internet connection comes with that portability.

So what can you do in Diablo 3 on Switch if you’re 30 feet underground in a subway tunnel? Quite a lot, it turns out. But not everything.

This is how it breaks down.


Everything in the game is accessible when you’re online. That includes all multiplayer and single-player modes.

You’re going to need to pony up for a subscription to Nintendo Switch Online if you’re looking to play online multiplayer, however.

Both players will also need Nintendo Switch Online subscriptions, or a single Family subscription, if you’re interested in playing online with two characters.

Long story short? You’re going to need an internet connection and a Nintendo Switch Online subscription to get the full Diablo 3 experience on the Switch. But it doesn’t need to be a constant connection to make use of many of these features.


This is where things get complicated.

You can play local multiplayer without an internet connection or even more hardware, since your Switch comes with two Joy-Cons.

You only need to be online to create your Seasonal characters, but after doing so you can still play offline and work toward your seasonal rewards (like pets and other cosmetics). Going offline may make you ineligible for the leaderboards, however. Stay online while playing if that’s important to you.

All things considered, there’s actually very little in Diablo 3 that requires a constant internet connection, outside of leaderboards and online play itself, but it’s important to know what works and what doesn’t before you begin.

UPDATE: The original article stated that Nintendo Switch Online paid subscription account was required to create Seasonal characters. A free Nintendo Account will actually work just fine for character creation, solo and local play. Online play still requires a paid subscription, though.

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