Nintendo Switch Sports: How to take part in the Online Play Test

Nintendo Switch Sports ket art showing Joy-Cons being used for various sports
(Image credit: Nintendo)

Nintendo Switch Sports was undoubtedly one of the bigger announcements from the most recent Nintendo Direct. The original Wii Sports is legendary at this point, making for one of the most beloved and accessible games of all time. 

The series is now ready to make the jump from Wii and Wii U consoles, onto the ever-popular Nintendo Switch. Players will be able to use the Switch’s motion controls to mimic the sports, but also take the experience on the move, especially handy when going to family meet-ups! 

Nintendo Switch Sports' release date is set for April 29, but there is an opportunity to get your hands on the title before you buy it. Nintendo is running a free online playtest, a rare occurrence for Nintendo, later this month. This is everything you need to know about getting into that to try it all for yourself. 

How to apply for the Online Play Test?

A Mii plays tennis on a clay court in Nintendo Switch Sports.

(Image credit: Nintendo)

There are a couple of hoops you will need to jump through first to get into the online test. First up, you will need an active Nintendo Switch Online.

You will also need to register to jump into the online test. Registration opens February 15 at 8PM ET/ 5PM PST (or February 16 at 1AM GMT). In order to register, head over to the Nintendo Switch Sports page on the Nintendo website and register there. Nintendo hasn't said how many people will be allowed into this testing phase so registering early is best. You wouldn't want to have to sit on the sidelines.

When and what time will the will the online play test take place?

A Mii sends a bowling ball down a course with a portion of the lane missing in Nintendo Switch Sports.

(Image credit: Nintendo)

You won't be able to play the Nintendo Switch Sports online test whenever you like. There is a set schedule of when it will be playable with each test lasting just 45 minutes.

Here are the timings for when you can play the game:

 February 18

  •  7PM PST/10PM ET/ 3AM GMT (February 19) 

 February 19

  •  3AM PST/6AM ET/12PM GMT 
  •  11AM PST/2PM ET/8PM GMT 

 February 20 

  •  3AM PST/6AM ET/12PM GMT 

 What will it include?

Players play Badminton against each other in Nintendo Switch Sports.

(Image credit: Nintendo)

It’s worth keeping in mind that this test won’t contain the full game, and your play will be restricted. There are only three sports you will be able to take part in. They are Tennis, Bowling, and Chambara. The first two are staples of the series and will need to be great for the legacy to remain intact. Chambara will be a nice chance to try something new.

However, you won't be able to play with your friends. Multiplayer matches in the demo can only be arranged through matchmaking with strangers. You won’t be able to play with people of your choosing. 

It’s clear this is an online test for Nintendo to try its servers, as evidenced by the restrictive parameters. That said, it’s a great way to get a taste of the game and glimpse if it's living up to its massive legacy.

Patrick Dane
Gaming Guides Editor

Patrick Dane is TechRadar Gaming's Guides Editor. With nearly a decade in the games press, he's been a consistent voice in the industry. He's written for a plethora of major publications and travelled the world doing it. He also has a deep passion for games as a service and their potential to tell evolving stories. To wit, he has over 2000 hours in Destiny 2, over 1000 in Overwatch and is now deeply into Valorant.