How to set up two factor authentication (2FA) for Nintendo Switch

With reports of unauthorized breaches on the rise, you may want to set up two-step verification (2FA) on your Nintendo Switch. Here's how.


Nintendo Switch sales have been on the rise over the past couple of months, going back to the holiday season. For those new Switch owners, security is an important element, especially with reported breach attempts on the rise. Fortunately, Nintendo supports two factor authentication (2FA) for both the Nintendo Switch and the Nintendo Switch Lite.

Two factor authentication is especially important given a recent report from Eurogamer, indicating that unsavory types are looking at accessing Nintendo accounts that do not belong to them in an effort to buy Fortnite VBucks. Nintendo has also encouraged its users to exercise tighter security on their accounts.

So how does one go about enabling 2-Step Verification/two factor authentication?

How to set up two factor authentication (2FA) for Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch 2FA

You won't need a Nintendo Switch or Nintendo Switch Lite for this process. This is simply for the Nintendo Account tied to the devices. Setting up the extra 2FA security measures is a process that can be done entirely online.

According to the Nintendo Support website, you'll first need to sign in to your Nintendo Account before proceeding any further. After signing in, you'll find "Sign-in and security" settings on the left side of the page. If you scroll down to "2-Step Verification" and see "None," then click the Edit button to get started on setting up your 2FA. Follow the prompts to verify your email address, if necessary.

You will be prompted to download Google Authenticator on your phone. You can find this free program on the App Store and Google Play. Open the app once you've downloaded it and scan the QR code provided by Nintendo. If it doesn't work, you can manually enter the six-digit code from the Nintendo website.

Sometimes, things happen and you lose your phone. If, for whatever reason, you do not have access to Google Authenticator, you can use one of the backup codes offered by Nintendo. Click the Copy button on the page and send the backup codes to a .txt or .doc file and save them. Access them only when needed, because the codes are one-time-use only.

You are done! Thanks to two-step authentication (2FA), you should have no further issues with ne'er-do-wells attempting to make purchases with your saved payment information. Enjoy your Nintendo Switch safely.

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

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