How to use Xbox One and Nintendo Switch cross-play

Cross-platform multiplayer is one of the latest features on the rise across new releases, with a growing list of titles offering multiplayer between platforms. Allowing players to band together regardless of their console, "cross-play" blurs the lines between ecosystems, making it easier than ever to play with friends.

While Sony policies mean that the PlayStation 4 is often excluded from the cross-play action, the Nintendo Switch has embraced the initiative alongside the Xbox One. Here's everything you need to know about Xbox One and Nintendo Switch cross-play and the growing list of titles with support.

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How cross-play works on Xbox One and Nintendo Switch

In the past, buying a console has meant being locked into an ecosystem, with games and online services tied down to a single family of devices. However, the lines between platforms have begun to blur, with various titles allowing buyers to play together regardless of the console they own.

Although cross-play is becoming an increasingly popular feature, it's still far from a common implementation in games. Without a standard for multiplayer between consoles, cross-play varies between games and their approach to online features. This means that while cross-play is now more common, the supported platforms and its execution varies from title to title.

With cross-play being developed and implemented at the will of a developer, the steps for using the feature can also drastically vary between titles. While one may require players to set up a dedicated private match to play between systems, another may simply allow players matchmake together, regardless of platform. This often comes down to the nature of the gameplay and what approach a developer deems best for the best experience.

How to use cross-play on Xbox One and Nintendo Switch

While the specific steps behind using cross-play vary from game to game, there are some common prerequisites to meet between titles.

To use cross-play, you'll need a copy of a supported game for both Xbox One and Nintendo Switch. And without any form of cross-platform systems for purchasing titles, like Microsoft's Play Anywhere program for Xbox One and Windows 10, you'll need to buy two copies of each title.

Both consoles will also need online connectivity and multiplayer access. On Xbox One this means an Xbox Live Gold subscription, while on Nintendo Switch, players will need a Nintendo Switch Online subscription. For now, the Nintendo Switch Online subscription is offered for free, though a paid rollout is scheduled for later in 2018.

List of cross-play games for Xbox One and Nintendo Switch

Adoption of cross-play is on the rise, though only a small subset of games across Xbox One and Nintendo Switch actually offer this functionality. Of those offering cross-play, many also offer multiplayer between more than just the two platforms, including PC and Mac.

Several developers have also announced plans to implement cross-platform play between Xbox One and Nintendo Switch in their titles. Among these is Microsoft, with Nintendo Switch cross-play support on track for 2018 and other upcoming multiplayer titles.

  • Minecraft (Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Windows 10, Android, iOS, Windows 10 Mobile, Apple TV, Fire OS, FireTV, Gear VR)
  • Crazy Justice (Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Steam)
  • Gunscape (Xbox One, Nintendo Switch)
  • Trailblazers (Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Steam, Mac, Linux)
  • Hover (Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Steam)

Have you used cross-play on any of the aforementioned games? Which games would you like to see with cross-play support? Make sure to drop into the comments section and share your thoughts with us.

Updated June 18, 2018: Refreshed with the latest details on cross platform multiplayer.

Matt Brown

Matt Brown was formerly a Windows Central's Senior Editor, Xbox & PC, at Future. Following over seven years of professional consumer technology and gaming coverage, he’s focused on the world of Microsoft's gaming efforts. You can follow him on Twitter @mattjbrown.