Nintendo Nintendo Switch

Nintendo Switch Uses Friend Codes To Add Friends

This may not come as welcome news to many of you but the day one update on the Nintendo Switch is live and confirms that you’ll be using friend codes to add friends on the console. You’ll need to enter a 12 digit code to add friends you haven’t played with before which harks back to the days of the Nintendo 3DS and Wii. However, you can add friends from Super Mario Run and Miitomo, Nintendo’s mobile games.

The options in the Add Friend menu are:

  • Search for Local Users
  • Search for Users You’ve Played With
  • Search with Friend Code (12 digit)
  • Sent Friend Requests



    1. Actually, You can add people who played with you on a match online easily sending a friend request… ONLY the people you played with, if you haven’t played with someone you can’t add them if you don’t have the Friend Code.

  1. Why are people ignoring this?

    Search for Local Users
    Search for Users You’ve Played With

      1. Yea hopefully those options are actually usable and not limited. Friend codes are such a stupid thing to use. There’s nothing fun about typing a code just to add someone. Only all those old timers at Nintendo could possibly think that it’s a good idea

        1. I’ve always used the people you’ve played with to add to friends. I think on Wii U I use the feature to add the user id from people I was in a group with but never even played a game or spoke with them on the Wii U so that was useless for me but the other feature was much better for me. For someone else it might be the other way around.

      1. I don’t mind when someone talk about something bad. I rarely see them explain why it is bad. Compare products is one thing but wanting a product to be just like another product doesn’t give us choices. Being able to search user names will be easier and quick but I wouldn’t just say Sony has it why can’t Nintendo let us use user names to search or the Wii U let us why can’t the Switch. Different products is different. Also, the standard wording. Nothing is a standard in gaming but playing games.

    1. ||The Switch system concerning adding friends is more similar to the Sonyan system than the Wii U as it currently stands by the given information, but of course the cattle only see the words [Friend Code] by instinct…||

      1. If you look at anything in life, people just like to complain about stuff. One track mind I just.

        1. ||That’s why your realm is overflooded by pirates, hackers and powerful agents doing whatever they want to cause problems…||

    2. I don’t think people are ignoring that, it’s just that none of those two options make certain situations less inconvenient, or allow me to avoid friend codes entirely.
      What if I meet a new person in actual real life who happens to have a Switch as well, and I’d like to add them? Am I supposed to memorize my friend code and expect them to have theirs memorized as well? Also, typos are much easier to make with things like that, so what if I accidently mess up one digit? I’ll have to wait until the next time I meet them, because as we all know with friend codes, you can’t just send a request if you have the other person’s code, no, they have to manually enter your code correctly as well before they will appear on your buddy list. Don’t you agree that having a username would make everything much more easier in that situation?
      What if I meet someone online (not online in a Switch game, but on the internet, on forums, for example) who happens to have a Switch as well? I’ll have to go out of my way to turn on my Switch, check my friend code, go back to my PC to send it to them, then go back on the Switch to enter their friend code, with a higher chance to make typos that are harder to spot than with usernames. Quite the hassle, to say the least.
      I’ve had both situations happen to me plenty of times with the 3DS. I was active in the Pokemon and Animal Crossing communities for a while, and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had issues and delays caused by friend codes. Extremely unconvenient.
      It’s just an incredibly unnecessary process in my opinion, and personally, I genuinenly can’t understand how this is supposed to be acceptable in this day and age. It was really inconvenient on the 3DS, and it’s going to be really inconvenient on the Switch. What did they make the NNIDs for then? The user ID you can set up on My Nintendo? I just don’t understand.

      1. I can see you frustrated. You have your reason. I can respect that you gave me a reason why it doesn’t meet what you need in life. For me none of that matter. I’ve had people give me their username and I’ve misspelled it so that happens in anything. Telephone numbers not written correctly. email address not written correctly. There is no easy way because in those situations if you haven’t played with them then you going to have to type it in one way or another. letters vs words. As I already said, user names are easier. I’m glad that never my situation. If I don’t play a game with you, then its no reason for me to add a person I don’t play a game with.

        1. Yes, there’s definitely chances for you to misspell names/phone numbers/emails etc., denying that would be silly. But what I was trying to get at is, there’s a difference between that and friend codes – when exchanging usernames, you’ll be able to send the other person a request, they don’t have to enter yours as well. But if you do make a typo, the other person having your username too is a “backup plan” in some way, because they can send you a request instead if you can’t. With friend codes, you need to enter the other person’s code, and wait for them to add yours, so there’s twice the chance to mess up. Even if you enter theirs right, it won’t work out if they enter yours wrong. Plus, I believe memorizing my username is easier than memorizing my friend code. I know how to spell it too, so misspelling your own username when sharing it with someone else seems less likely than getting your friend code wrong. But maybe that’s just me.
          Similar situation as described above with phone numbers, just give the other person a ring once you have their number, and they’ll have yours on their phone straight away, you don’t necessarily have to manually enter each others’ numbers. And the whole “giving a ring” stuff usually happens right away too, considering a lot of people have their phones on them most of the time. I won’t always have my Switch with me when meeting someone I might want to add.
          What I’m trying to say is, it’s just not as easy and convenient with friend codes.
          Believe me when I say you’re very fortunate if you managed to avoid problems with friend codes so far, it can get frustrating indeed, hah. But I appreciate you looking at it from my perspective and respecting the issues I have with it, even though you personally have not experienced them before.

          1. I would never know the issue without people like you explaining why it is bad for you. This is how it should be. The old saying is always true. There is 2 sides to everything.

  2. Really? Nintendo needs to fire some people like yesterday. Someone is sabotaging this company from the inside. This is so disappointing. How could they go back to friend codes? Goofs. That’s what they are. I can’t help but laugh at them. lol. If they cant even get this right… It doesn’t look good for the future of the Switch. Looks like i’ll probably end up selling it to some poor shmoe, after I play Zelda. Although, I might hold onto and play some MK8 arena BM first then sell it.

  3. “Nah, i dont want to use na friend code, add me , my name is “ilovecats_123_babydolls_dafuqwatimdemonmuramasa@%¨¨%¨&&#@@äëîÖÛpatapôns2babydollfromhell_&elalala”

  4. You can add people near you, and add people you played(aka your friends) , and it IS a real problem for you that you need a code to add someone you never saw, never played with ???

    1. The situation where it becomes a problem is when you meet someone you want to add and play with, such as a friend from work or school. Then you can’t just search for her username and send a request, she also needs to give you her number.

  5. This is absolutely great! The brilliant system Wii had, where you just clicked a button and were ready to go, was changed to a crappy inconvenient hassle with Wii U.

  6. In all honesty, I never really saw a problem with friend codes. Is it really any different from searching by user name? A lot of user names are more complicated than friend codes are. I think the biggest problem with them is the unnecessary length. If Nintendo issued 10-digit numbers (rather than the standard 12-digit numbers) comprising of 0-10, there would be 10 billion possible number combinations; more than enough to prevent any repeats.

  7. I remember after the Switch reveal event on January 13 happened, I made a comment on the round-up article, wondering about a couple things that weren’t mentioned during the presentation, and friend codes were among the points I brought up. Someone called me dumb for thinking Nintendo could be stupid enough to force friend codes upon us for another generation, after they weren’t even a thing on the WiiU.

    …Well, well, well. How about that? :^)

    1. King Kalas X3 {Greatness Awaits at Sony PlayStation 4! Hopefully it will also await us at Nintendo Switch if Nintendo doesn't FUCK things up again!} says:

      Or when we dissed one of Nintendo’s mobile games using friend codes out of fear the Switch might bring them back & people said “that’s not gonna happen” or “there is nothing that says it’s coming back for Nintendo systems.” I hate “I told ya so!” moments. Someone is always getting screwed.

  8. Totally not gonna lie, and yes I am in the minority here, but I personally don’t care whether or not they use friend codes. I’m used to having to type in people’s usernames to add them on other social apps, so a 12 digit code doesn’t bother me that much at all, especially when there are other options.

  9. When I had the Wii and WiiU I didn’t have any friends on there. Guess it doesn’t seem to matter to me. I am getting the Switch from a guy on EBay. canceled my order last month. Fair is fair. Always played 1 player games.

  10. King Kalas X3 {Greatness Awaits at Sony PlayStation 4! Hopefully it will also await us at Nintendo Switch if Nintendo doesn't FUCK things up again!} says:

    :/ I see some people are already defending this like the sheep they are. Least tre802001 understands why some of us hate this so he’s not one of those self centered sheep.

  11. King Kalas X3 {Greatness Awaits at Sony PlayStation 4! Hopefully it will also await us at Nintendo Switch if Nintendo doesn't FUCK things up again!} says:

    Anyway, hopefully there is an option to search for people over the internet like on PS4 later on when they start charging us for online. If not, just another strike on Nintendo being Dumbtendo again.

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