One of the most entertaining aspects of a game console is the ability to play with friends. Unfortunately, some major game companies make it difficult to find and add friends to your list of potential multiplayer buddies. If you’re using Nintendo’s Switch to interact with your gaming brethren, here’s how to get your pals onto your friends list, and deal with Nintendo’s dreaded “Friend Code” system.
Image credit: Drew Angerer/Getty
Link Your Switch to Your Nintendo Account
To add friends to your Switch’s local user account, you’ll have to connect it to your Nintendo account, the one you’ll use to manage things such as purchases, downloads and friend requests.
On the Switch’s homepage, select the System Settings icon. Then, select “Users”, and choose the profile you’d like to associate with your account. Select Link Nintendo Account, and sign in with your Nintendo Account (or create a new one by selecting “Create Account”).
Find Your Friend Code
After you link your Switch’s user profile to your Nintendo account, you’ll be able to add friends. Select your profile in the top-left corner, and tap “Add Friend”. There, under the Sent Friend Requests icon, you’ll see your 12-digit Friend Code.
Add Some Friends
On the “Add Friends” page you’ll be presented with multiple methods by which you can, well, add friends to your Switch’s Friend List.
- Search With Friend Code: Nintendo’s method of searching for friends manually eschews searches via email in favour of the company’s 12-digit Friend Code. Of course, you’re probably not going to remember your own Friend Code, let alone the dozen numbers associated with a friend’s account, so be sure to get them to send their Friend Codes to you (or write them down) so you can add them manually.
- Local Users: Did your buddy bring his console over for a quick ARMS match? Selecting “Search for Local Users” will let you find users in your proximity and add them that way.
- Suggested Friends: The Suggested Friends list will show you other potential friends based on your friends list on your Wii U, 3DS or smartphone app like Nintendo’s Miitomo (all of these should already be associated with your Nintendo account). If you’ve already got friends through those consoles or apps, you can find them there and send friend requests that way.
- Users You’ve Played With: If you’ve played an online multiplayer match with someone, selecting the “Search For Users You’ve Played With” option will present you with a recent list of users you’ve gone toe-to-toe with.
Keep Your Friend Code in Your Contact Card
While Nintendo’s Friend Code system is a convoluted method by which you can add friends to the Switch, you’ll have to use it for the foreseeable future (or until they get their act together and let you search via email). Until then, you can ease the burden of remembering and sharing that code by storing it somewhere you’ll always be able to find it: Your contact list.
On your smartphone, select your Contacts app and find your contact card. Hit “Edit” and look for the “Add social profile” option. From there, you can add a custom note or custom social profile (just name it “Nintendo” or something) and store your Friend Code there. Whenever you need to share it with someone, just message them your stored friend code from your contact list. Want to make it easier for people to find you? Just store that code in a social media bio, such as on your Twitter account.
This article has been updated since its original publication.