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Nintendo Network ID: What You Need To Know

If you are a new Nintendo user, you have come across the Nintendo Network ID, commonly abbreviated to NNID. Unfortunately, you are probably a bit confused since you are yet to understand what it is and how it works.

The Nintendo Network ID (NNID) is a service offering games and content through the internet. You can access services, such as playing games online and updating software. You can also link your NNID to your Nintendo Account and facilitate the transfer of funds between the two.

We tell you everything you need to know about the Nintendo Network ID, from what it is and how you can access it to linking it to your Nintendo Account. Everything may seem overwhelming, but it’s simpler than you thought.

What is a Nintendo Network ID?

Red switch on a nightstand showing the home screen

The Nintendo Network ID (NNID) is Nintendo’s service that offers games and content through the internet. It provides various services, such as playing games online with users worldwide,  sending and receiving messages, and downloading and updating software.

You can also check and change your user settings using the Nintendo Network ID.

What’s the Difference Between a Nintendo Account and a Nintendo ID?

The Nintendo Network ID is not to be confused with the Nintendo Account. The two differ in that they are used for different purposes. NNID is used to make purchases on 3DS and Wii U, while the Nintendo account helps facilitate purchases on the Switch.

You can access Wii U and 3DS eShops using your Nintendo Account and purchase games. Its reward system also offers you redeemable Nintendo loyalty points.

How to Find Your Nintendo Network ID

There are different ways to find your Nintendo Network ID

On a linked Wii U console:

  1. Go to the User Selection screen.
  1. Your NNID is displayed in the top right corner, below your nickname, in orange letters.

On a linked system in the Nintendo 3DS Family:

  1. Go to System Settings > Nintendo Network ID Settings.
  1. Your NNID is displayed on the sign-in screen below your nickname.

The NNID is 6 to 16 characters long and contains letters, numbers, and symbols. And note that if you’re trying to find a lost Nintendo Switch, that’s a little harder.

Nintendo Network ID Settings

Here’s how to access your NNID settings and what each setting means. On the Nintendo 3DS Home Menu, select System Settings > Nintendo Network ID Settings.

The settings allow you to view and update your information relating to NNID. Here’s what each setting lets you do.

  • Profile Settings: Allows you to update your email address, time zone, gender, and region. You cannot edit your country or birthdate.
  • Password Settings: Allows you to request a temporary password and change your NNID password.
  • Mii Settings: Opens the Mii Maker and allows you to change your Mii settings.
  • Non-Nintendo Device Settings: Enables you to access Nintendo Network services from a non-Nintendo device such as a smartphone or PC.

You can also review and accept the Nintendo Agreement and delete your NNID on the system.

Nintendo Switch with home screen showing different games

If you have just started using the Nintendo Switch, you may realize you haven’t linked your Nintendo account and NNID. Linking the two is essential for your gaming experience. You can transfer funds across the two accounts and purchase different items across devices.

For example, you can send your Nintendo account funds to your NNID and purchase games from the Wii U eShops. You will use the username and password for both accounts, so be sure to know them. And do note that it’s possible to get your Nintendo account suspended, which we cover in a separate guide.

There are two ways to link your Nintendo Network ID and Nintendo Account.

Using the Nintendo Account Website

Using the Nintendo website is the easier and faster method. Here’s how to do it.

  1. Using a web browser, visit
  1. Sign in using your account’s email address and password.
  1. You’ll see a menu tab on the left side. Select User Info.
  1. Scroll down and next to Linked Accounts, click Edit.
  1. Check the Nintendo Network ID box.
  1. Finally, enter your NNID’s Username and password.

Using Nintendo Switch

The Nintendo Switch also allows you to link your two accounts. Before you begin, ensure your Switch menu uses Version 3.0 or higher. This will enable it to display the 3DS and Wii U icons. If not, update it and then proceed.

  1. Select your user icon from the Nintendo Switch Home Screen.
  1. Choose Friend Suggestions.
  1. Highlight the 3DS or Wii U icon using the L and R buttons and press Next. If the Next button is grayed out and you can’t select it, it implies that your accounts have already been linked.
  1. Enter your Nintendo Account password and press Next.
  1. Sign in using your Nintendo Network ID username and password.

You have successfully linked the two accounts and can merge your funds. In addition, you can now buy games across different Nintendo devices.


There’s everything you need to know about the Nintendo Network ID. First, quickly link it to your Nintendo Account if you are yet to do so and enjoy all the goodies in the eShops. Also, don’t forget your password, as it comes in handy.