In a strange twist of fate, the brand new Nintendo Switch console has reverted to using friend codes to connect players. That’s despite the Japanese gaming giant claiming that Nintendo Switch friend codes would not be a thing back in January.
So, that means rather than adding someone via their gamertag, Facebook or Twitter accounts, you’ll have to exchange friend codes. And they’re not exactly memorable, they’re a 12-digit code more akin to a PSN or Xbox Live store code.
Fans weren’t exactly pleased about the news and fled to Twitter to protest the decision:
Nintendo sticking to the friend code system for the Switch is tragically hilarious. Hopefully there are other methods.
— NOLAnerdcast (@NOLAnerdcast) February 14, 2017
It takes balls – BALLS – to say you don't plan to use the same awful friend code system, then turn out to be using it from day one.
— Going F S A T (@Red_Vanguard) March 3, 2017
"Hey whats your Nintendo Switch Friend Code?"
*types in code*
"Credit Card number accepted."
— Kristian Howard (@RedMageKing) March 2, 2017
— Billy Chatterton (@BillyChatterton) March 2, 2017
Friend codes aren’t the be all and end all
However, it’s not totally doom and gloom. For one, you no longer need to have both friend codes in order to connect. You can give your pal your Switch friend code and then merely accept their request – or vice versa.
But Nintendo has also promised that there will soon be other ways to connect with your fellow Switch users. At the moment, if you’ve connected with a friend by playing Miitomo or Super Mario Run, you can request to add them to your Switch friends list.
In the future, though, you’ll be able to connect with your pals in a number of different, more modern, ways:
“Several methods can be used to add friends as quickly and easily as possible,” said Nintendo in a statement to Polygon. “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.
“Also, we are 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."
So fear not, you won't have to be scribbling down your mate's digits on a scrap of paper or logging them away on your phone until you can Switch it up again. The future is friend friendly.
The Nintendo Switch is available worldwide from March 3 2017, priced at $299.99/£279.99.