Get ready to shell out for a Nintendo Switch Online subscription if you want to enjoy the platform’s two new Pokemon games to their fullest extents. Nintendo has announced that Pokemon Let’s Go Pikachu! and Pokemon Let’s Go Eevee! will both require a premium subscription to the online service for some of their features. While the games will still largely be playable without one, there’s reason for Pokemon fanatics to consider paying Nintendo’s $20 asking price for Switch Online.
In a new statement to Eurogamer, The Pokemon Company confirmed the Switch Online requirement. It notes that while the two Pokemon Let’s Go titles won’t have features like the Global Trade System, Wonder Trade, or Battle Spot – which have all been offered by other modern Pokemon titles – players will still be able to battle and trade with one another. If you want to do those over the internet, you’ll need an active subscription to Switch Online.
Switch Online is essentially Nintendo’s version of Xbox Live Gold or PlayStation Plus. A subscription will be required to play most Switch games online, though there will be some extra perks for users who decide to sign up. While you have an active subscription, for instance, you’ll be granted access to a revolving library of classic NES games, some of which will be enhanced with online multiplayer capabilities for the Switch.
It’s worth pointing out that Nintendo’s online service will cost significantly less than the offerings from Sony and Microsoft. While Xbox Live Gold and PS Plus both require a $60 annual payment, Switch Online will only cost $20 per year. Users will also be able to buy one month and three month subscriptions for $3.99 and $7.99, respectively, while Nintendo will also offer a family membership that supports eight accounts for $34.99.
Of course, many players probably expected that Pokemon Let’s Go would be subject to Switch Online’s paywall, but this is still a significant announcement as this is the first time in Pokemon‘s long history that you’ll need to pay extra to access core features of the game. Pokemon Let’s Go launches on November 16, while Switch Online will officially launch in September.