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The horror: Nintendo Switch still uses the dreaded friend codes

Nintendo: Future Switch updates will let friends connect through social networks

nintendo switch friend codes review
Mike Epstein/Digital Trends
Why it matters to you

With the numerous modern design features of the Nintendo Switch, the return of friend codes is disappointing.

The Nintendo Switch marks a huge turning point for Nintendo. Its interface and control scheme allow for play on both televisions and in portable mode. Its third-party support includes major developers like From Software that we never expected to see on a Nintendo platform. Its flagship title could be the best game of the year. But one thing hasn’t changed: If you want to add a new friend on the Switch, you are likely going to be using a friend code.

The return of friend codes was first discovered after the Switch received a Day 1 update, adding online features that weren’t in prerelease units. After clicking on your user profile, you will spot your friend code listed in small text in the bottom right corner. Prospective friends have to enter this if they wish to send you a friend request.

There are a few other options to make the process a little easier, similar to what we saw with the mobile Miitomo app. If you’re in the same room as another Switch user (remember that this is technically a portable system, too), you can add them as a friend without using a friend code. You can also add friends you played with online without using a friend code, though Eurogamer’s Tom Phillips is quick to point out that you cannot add friends via social media networks yet.

The system won’t be this limited for very long, however. On Thursday, Nintendo clarified that future updates will allow for players to use social networks as well as Nintendo Network ID — used on the 3DS and Wii U — and in-game interfaces in order to add friends.

Antiquated friend-adding system aside, we have been very impressed with the Nintendo Switch thus far, calling the “the best console from the company in generations.”

Updated on 03-02-2017 by Gabe Gurwin: Added information based on a statement from Nintendo regarding future updates.