Friend Codes Return On Switch, But More Options Are Coming

You'll eventually be able to add someone as a friend using their Nintendo Network ID.


The release of Nintendo Switch's day-one update revealed that the system makes use of the dreaded friend code system. However, this will be further supplemented (or replaced entirely) at some point down the line.

No Caption Provided

In a statement shared with GameSpot, Nintendo said that you'll eventually be able to send friend requests using your Nintendo Network ID or by connecting through social networks. As it stands, the primary method for adding someone to your Switch friends list is to use their randomly assigned, 12-digit friend code.

Here's what Nintendo said when asked about the friends list situation:

"Several methods can be used to add friends as quickly and easily as possible:

  • 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."

Unfortunately, it didn't offer any sense of how soon we might see the NNID and social networking features implemented. Many questions remain about elements of Switch's online service, including how its mobile app will work, when Virtual Console will debut, and exactly how much its premium online service will cost.

Switch launches tomorrow, March 3. For more, check out our review and our roundup of everything you need to know.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email

Join the conversation
There are 20 comments about this story