With the launch of Nintendo Switch, all indications seemed to point to Nintendo moving away from the cumbersome way to add friends to play lists. Unfortunately, a day-one patch preparing for tomorrow's launch of the console has revealed that the dreaded friend code is still there.
In the menu under add a friend, you can add friends view local connections, previous players you have gamed with, or existing friends on your Nintendo's smartphone apps. However, the company is still requiring you to add the 12-digit friend code if you want to play with someone you have never played with before. Right now, there is no other way to add a player, such as searching by user name. This could be a stopgap measure or something to help ease the transition from its older online services like the Wii U.
Friend codes were originally Nintendo's way of protecting younger users from predatory friend requests, but the code tends to be more of an annoyance, leading to criticisms that the company had seemed to be listening to. The Nintendo Switch Online Service was not supposed to have friend codes, but details of the service are still subject to change. The service will cost somewhere between $17.50 and $26.50 a year.
We reached out to Nintendo concerning the use of friend codes on the Nintendo Switch. They stated the following methods would be available for use in adding friends to your Switch profile:
- By linking Nintendo Switch to your Nintendo Account, your friends from Miitomo and Super Mario Run will appear as friend candidates so you can easily send them a friend request.
- Nintendo is planning it so that friends from social networking services will be listed as candidates, too.
- In the future, you will be able to send a friend request to friends associated with your NNID (Wii U/Miiverse) and Nintendo 3DS.
- In some games you will be able to use an in-game interface to send friend requests.
- You can send friend requests to those who have played with you recently.
- You can establish a friend through local wireless communication.
You can also send a friend request by using a friend code.
From this new information from Nintendo, it seems as though friend codes will be one of the many available options for adding friends to the Nintendo Switch.