Nintendo has admitted that hackers may have gained names and passwords that could be used to access more than 160,000 Nintendo Accounts.

In a statement on its support site, it confirmed that Nintendo Network ID information for a staggering amount of gamers was illegally accessed. And that could mean that your ID and password have been seen, maybe even shared.

It is likely you will know whether you have been affected over the coming days, as the Japanese gaming giant has vowed to send an email to all account members it believes were exposed.

In addition, it has discontinued the ability to use a Nintendo Network ID to access a Nintendo Account and it will be informing users on the steps needed to reset their passwords soon.

However, you are also strongly encouraged, whether you have been affected by the breach or not, to enable two-factor verification (AKA two-factor authentication or 2FA) on your account for good measure. Here's how.

How to enable 2FA on your Nintendo Switch Account

To switch on two-factor verification on your Nintendo Account, head to the account website here, sign in and follow these steps below.

  • Click or tap on "Sign-in and security settings" in the left-hand column.
  • Click or tap on the "Edit" button next to "2-Step Verificaiton settings" at the bottom of the right-hand column.
  • Click or tap the red "2-Step Verification setup" button that appears.
  • Click or tap the red "Submit" button that appears under your registered email address.
  • You will be sent a verification code to your email address which you will need to enter into the box to continue the process. If you don't immediately receive the email, do check your junk folder in whichever email client you use.
  • Click or tap on the "Submit" button after entering the verification code.

The next step will require the use of the Google Authenticator app for iOS or Android.

  • Once downloaded and installed (if you didn't already have it), open the Google Authenticator app and tap on the plus symbol at the top of the page.
  • Tap on "Scan the barcode" on your mobile device and scan the QR code that appears on the Nintendo Account page using your phone or tablet's rear camera.
  • A section will appear in Google Authenticator under "Nintendo Account" along with a changing set of six randomly generated numbers.
  • Type the current six digits into the "Code" section on the Nintendo website and hit "Submit".

This bit is very important: on the next webpage you will be given 10 "Backup codes". You MUST note these down because if you ever cannot use Google Authenticator or upgrade or replace your phone, you will need these to enter your Nintendo Account in future.

If you do not have them, you could run the risk of being locked out of your account permanently.

After that is done you have locked your account behind two-step verification and no-one else can access your Nintendo Account easily. We also suggest you also change your password just in case.