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.

How the Nintendo Switch fits perfectly in this PC gamer's life

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 (opens in new tab) 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 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.

  • For one to anyone who reads the Nintendo Online Subscription will be $20 a year including free games. Also Playstation is really missing an opportunity.
  • Sounds about right, though I heard rumors that the paid service will be delayed until Fall 2018.
  • i don't see Playstation jumping on the console cross-play still not anytime this year. they value their ''player base security'' in a way Microsoft and Nintendo.. do not use as an excuse for not giving what the players want. shame but at this point i gave up my hope for playing against my PS friends.
  • They value security so much, probably because they're system is the only one that has been compromised.
  • Really? What system was compromised? The PS4?
  • He is referring to the time when most of Sony was hacked
  • Wait MS was also hacked... Why did he use the word "only"?
  • In what way was MS Hacked? Sony had a big issue with PS Service. They had to pull it down for 10 days or so. MS has battled their share of DDOS attacks, but I haven't seen anything about them being hacked.
  • @Xsled
    MS also had major issues in 2007. Went down around 11 days.
  • When was Xbox user information compromised? Unlike PlayStation Network no credit card information was obtained through DDoS attacks.
  • Why do you keep on lying? Did you even read the articles? You obviously didn't because you're a troll. You clearly don't understand anything. "The forums called Xbox360 ISO and PSP ISO let gamers share and download free and pirated copies of games." Xbox Live itself was never hacked.
  • WOW So posting a link now is a lie??? HAHAHAHA
    You're hilarious. I didn't even say anything. LOL Anyway you asked and here is a DIRECT QUOTE:
    "When was Xbox user information compromised?"
    I replied. End of the story.
  • Xbox Live was never hacked like the competition and credit card information was never stolen.
  • Sony had user data compromised. MS had services disrupted. Bit of a difference.
  • Here's the Sony shill. He went into hiding after Xbox announced over 50 games at E3 and over 10 of them being exclusives. Sad that he's still defending Sony for not supporting cross-play. Their reason is due to 'money'.
  • He defends Sony for not supporting CrossPlay? That's just being silly XD It's obvious why Sony doesn't want to open for it. I wouldn't if I were running the ps4 business. The stance and pros&cons is clear, nothing there's to say / defend. And... he didn't know Sony got hacked / compromised... (c'on, it's a HW company)
  • @jams_11
    LOL you are ridiculous. I posted that in january.
    I didn't go into hiding as I posted my E3 review of XB conference here: You seem to be a diehard MS/XB fan, who can't handle any criticism, so I would suggest that you read only the positive points. :) Oh and MS didn't announce 50 games lol. Either you don't know the meaning of the word announce or you are just lying. And 10 XB exclusives announced? LOL
    Please name them, if you can't then please stop lying, it's becoming obvious... Sony supports cross-play more than MS. But where did I defended Sony for not supporting this? please post links.
  • How many times will I have to tell you to mind your language? Why can't you respect others? There's a normal way to debate but what you're doing borderline abuse.
  • So calling me "Sony shill" is acceptable? LOL
    I didn't even talked to him and he attacked me.
    I keep it gaming, he just insults me ofc your reaction is typical, defend the fan of the MS no matter what...
    Typical... :)
  • You attacked others. You always attack and abuse. Even my editors agree you're a troll. Do you even realize what you say? Maybe try reading your comment history and see why everyone calls you that.
  • I attacked others here?
    Just quote me, instead of making up stuff!!!
    I said:
    "Really? What system was compromised? The PS4?"
    "Wait MS was also hacked... Why did he use the word "only"?"
    "@Xsled MS also had major issues in 2007. Went down around 11 days." No attacks. That's just you making things up.
    Typical!! :) Ok so does your editors and you think "Sony shill" is ok and acceptable? About my history?
    Well, like I said I'm cynical ; I don't LOVE a company, I don't mind criticising and trashing companies.
    If critics don't exists how can companies improve?
    But that has nothing to do with insulting and lying to me..
  • Be friendly to others and they'll be friendly to you.
  • Ok so what you're telling me is I can't criticise MS or XB on this website? Or even ask questions (like I did here)?
    Only praise is acceptable, and if you criticise MS/XB, people has the right to insult you but you can't reply them...?
    Is that how your editors here feel?
  • Again if you are a Sony fanboy why are you on a MS/XB website to begin with? Go play God of Bore and one of those generic jrpg's that Sony is famous for.
  • I'm not a Sony fanboy and I don't own God of Bore (whatever that is). So I guess I can post here. :)
  • Keep in mind that asking for someone's personal information can get you in trouble.
  • Wait what? How can I get in trouble?
  • You Sony shills are getting beyond ridiculous. Still don't know why you even bother trolling on a Microsoft site. Here are the list of exclusives. Please tell me how i'm lying again? I guess you'll be going into hiding again.
  • LOL You do know the meaning of the word announce?
    Ori was announced last year, Crackdown was announced in 2014, SoT is already released. PUBG, Cuphead, Black Desert, Tunic, Session aren't XB exclusive, they are on steam.
    Not just that PUBG, Black Desert, Tunic, Session are timed so not xb1 exclusive. In case you didn't know console launch exclusive is not the same thing as XB1 exclusive. Battletoads, the yearly Forza Horizon 4, Halo Infinite and Gears 5 are console exclusives.
    Note: I didn't say XB1 exclusives but console exclusives because I'll be able to play all of these games without ever owning a XB1. :) At least you didn't hide this time. You were wrong (obviously) but at least you didn't run away. :)
  • I'm not running anywhere. My list includes over 10 Microsoft exclusives. So where am I lying again? Are you going to go back into hiding like you did during MS's E3 presentation?
  • I already said where you lied.
    You said:
    "Xbox announced over 50 games at E3 and over 10 of them being exclusives."
    Your list included games that was already announced for years. Your 10 so-called exclusives include games that are on non-MS platforms and are even timed. Why do you keep saying I went into hiding? Didn't you read my review about E3?
    How long are you going to keep avoiding the points I'm making?
  • "I'm not running anywhere."
    Says that before running away... :)
  • Sony was hacked and user data was compromised. DDoS isn't hacking.
  • Again, when was Xbox Live servers hacked. All of your links don't point to that. Do you understand the difference between a third-party website being compromised versus Xbox Live?
  • Double comment - wish we could delete in the app.
  • This article is kinda funny:
    "Cross-play is becoming common on Xbox One and Nintendo Switch" 
    Common? How many games are we talking about? 6-7 out of how many? "While Sony policies mean that the PlayStation 4 is often excluded from the cross-play action"
    For your information, the PS4 has WAY more games that are cross-play than the XB1. 
  • talking CONSOLE CROSS-PLAY. do u see playstation somewhere with xbox and Nintendo?? nope!! everyone can do cross-play with PC. doing console to console is something different. and sony has put up lame excuse to not do it. ''not for the players, lets stay the outside kid in the corner''
  • He didn't say "CONSOLE CROSS-PLAY' he said PS4 is often excluded from the cross-play action.  The fact is PS4 is doing more cross-play than XB1. Simple as that.
  • Clearly you don't understand what cross-play is and it kinda seems natural with you coming across as a diehard Sony apologist.
  • He's clearly a Sony shill who went into hiding during E3. Unfortunately he's back.
  • @jams_11
    You are ridiculous. That was posted in January.
    I already gave you my E3 review. Now move along... lol
  • Here are the list of exclusives. In case you missed my reply above.
  • I replied you. :)
    Your list was funny. Thanks for the laugh. :)
  • Lol your response was/is predictable. Thanks for my morning laugh ;)
  • @fdruid
    I see you often posting stuff like this and then running away when I call you out.
    So tell me what was wrong in what I said? Now have the guts to come out and reply me, and not just run away because you'll come across as yet another diehard MS/XB "fan"...
  • Sony's stance is clear, they are not opening it just to send users, their-most-valuable-advantage-since-e3-13 away.
  • you seem to miss the point of what the cross play is.
  • So what is cross play according to you?
  • Wake me when we get saves that work on cross-platform.  So I can play the upcoming Dragon Quest Builders on Switch using my endgame save from PS4.
  • Could be wrong but I think cross saves work on Fortnite (xbox, pc, mobile and switch) and Minecraft (xbox and pc, soon for switch, not sure about mobile). Also I think most MS Play Anywhere titles have cross saves as you're essentially using the same account. Not sure about any PS games that cross play with PC, Mobile.
  • Well, PS4 has a lot more games that are doing cross-play with non-Sony platforms than MS with non-MS platforms.
  • Cross-play is not as cool as I thought it would be. Killer Instinct on Steam you can't play competitive matches against Xbox Players I believe. Tekken 7 doesn't have cross-play. Honestly, it's not a very common feature. I'd really like to have FIFA be cross-play. But it doesn't seem to be happening.
  • My son has told me that he heard Stardew Valley will also be on that list, but not anytime soon.. 
  • Sony owns the largest player base. It does need to associate with riffraff like Xbox and Nintendo users.
  • Guys we are consumers and we want both the Xbox and PlayStation on the market. Cross pay between those consoles will not be good for us. Leave the things as they are.
  • Cross play should help with better diversity in purchasing decisions. You would no longer have to buy a certain console to play online with friends. You could buy the console you prefer, enjoy your exclusives and connect around the games you wish to play. Cross play would put more pressure on MS to better define itself through its exclusive content and the functionality/power of their platforms hardware/software. Currently both Nintendo and PS have arguably defined their identity and value propositions for their user base across a broad range of demographics, way more consistently than MS.
  • No it won't be good. This moment we have Xbox and PS4 (don't count Nintendo and I have my reasons for that) and if these consoles have cross play, this means one of these two consoles would have to be out of the game. This means that only one will stay (PS4 for example) and the prices will grow up high. For this to happen both consoles need at least 200 exclusive games, and more quality exclusives (like God Of War and Uncharted from one side and Quantum break and State of Decay from the other) and then there would be a good reason for people to choose what that want. At this moment, with this things we have today crossplay between Xbox one and PS4 would be catastrophe for consumers.
  • Everything should have cross-play. It's effin' 2018, for crying out loud.
  • Minecraft already offering cross-play between Xbox and PC. Works pretty well. Strange it is not on the list in this article.
  • Depending on the game and implementation, Xbox One owner can cross play with Switch, PC, Android and iOS (even cross-gen-play with xb360 and xbOg).
    Both MS and Nintendo will give a go sign to any developer, they will even allow gamer to link account across different platforms if dev wants to do that (but Sony blocked ps4 Fortnite player from doing so...)
  • I think MS and Nintendo might come up with a game from each camp and offer it on both consoles with CrossPlay. For Example let's say Forza Horizon is ported to the Switch for XBOX, Switch and PC crossplay and Nintendo makes a Super Smash Bros port for XBOX Play anywhere support. Can you imagine how enraged PS fanboys would be? Also, Sony would look like a complete idiot because it wanted to play alone and act like a big bad ass. Not saying this is true, but would be nice to see something like this happen.
  • Well, they aren't really "playing alone". The PS4 has more games that are doing cross-play with non-Sony platforms than MS with non-MS platforms. Also a PS4 fornite play will be able to play against potentially a lot more player than a XB1 or Switch player...
  • Even though I’m a Xbox gamer,
    way in the world would Sony want to have crossplay with other consoles when they are by far Nr.1 in sells, players and exclusives?!
    They would only lose sells in consoles. As for the MS and Nintendo would be a big advantage as they would hope that gamers wouldn’t have to choose between consoles on buying anymore, and in this mode could balance the sellings.
    For example: It wouldn’t be anymore the sellings like sony 50% MS 35% and Nintendo 15%
    It will be 33:33:33%.