Nintendo Switch Online App Requires Your Phone To Be Unlocked To Use Voice Chat

That'll drain the battery pretty quickly.

63 Comments
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Now Playing: GS News Update: Nintendo Switch Online App Has Voice Chat Issues

The Nintendo Switch online app is now available on iOS and Android, and it allows for social connectivity for multiplayer games like Splatoon 2. It gives players voice chat and friends list functionality, for instance, by connecting with their Switch accounts. However, it appears that the functionality has some requirements that are a bit unwieldy.

Voice chat, for instance, requires that your phone be unlocked with the app running. This means that you can't start chatting and then lock your phone and throw it in your pocket, as is possible with phone calls and other voice chat services. Instead, you'll have to leave your screen on the whole time, which uses a lot more battery. You also can't switch out of the app to text or check something on the internet, or chat will be cut off.

Splatoon 2's absurd headset setup.
Splatoon 2's absurd headset setup.

Since voice chat is only available through the app--Splatoon 2, for instance, has no built-in chat--this has irked some players. In addition, since you have to plug your headset into your phone to get voice chat, you won't be able to plug the headset into the console to get game audio; this problem has resulted in a bizarre peripheral to let you do both. There's no knowing what Nintendo's reasoning behind this decision was; some have speculated that the company intends to disincentivize chatting to keep the playing field level for all players or to keep the game family-friendly. It could also just be a result of Nintendo's relative inexperience in the online multiplayer space, although that isn't exactly excusable, given that it's 2017 and online chat has been around for well over a decade.

In spite of the problems with the app, Splatoon 2 has been well-received by critics. GameSpot gave it an 8/10, with Kallie Plagge writing, "All the small changes, and even the bigger ones in single player and League Battles, make for a fresh take on the already unique shooter. If you played a lot of the original, the sequel has enough to keep you coming back, and if you're new to the game, it's a fantastic place to jump in." The game launches on Friday, July 21.

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Avatar image for rickjamesia
rickjamesia

Wow... that is terrible. This is the first time I've ever been glad I have no friends with a Switch yet.

Avatar image for franklucito
franklucito

No one is going to use this. All of my friends and I have already decided that we're just gonna use PSN party chat.

Avatar image for freeformrulz
freeformrulz

Don't worry nintendo fanboys will find a way to turn this around

Avatar image for slypher9
Slypher9

so where is the "OTHER Options" Reggie stated would be available.. and who is there right mind though of this idea.. I bet someones cashing in

Avatar image for water1
Water1

The more we find out the worse this is

Avatar image for lebanese_boy
lebanese_boy

Amazing console, absolutely love it.

Dumb app tho.

Avatar image for BassMan
BassMan

WTF were they thinking? Why not just use a Bluetooth headset to connect directly to the Switch and have a chat app running in the background?

Avatar image for slypher9
Slypher9

@BassMan: because Nintendo hate whats there already

Avatar image for d_
D_

Even though this is incomprehensible the Switch still has its value.. I basically told myself this would be my go-to for the likes of Zelda, Mario, etc., and portable gaming..

While more competitive/social games will be for other stuff. Sure, I’d like it much better if Nintendo didn’t seem like the special olympics of the gaming industry, but its 1 of those love-hate relationships.

Avatar image for ButDuuude
ButDuuude

Nintendo is the most stubborn video game company there is. Still does not have something as simple as voice chat. Even the PS2 had it, but Nintendo is struggling with it in 2017. Nintendo needs new management.

Avatar image for consolehaven
ConsoleHaven

@ButDuuude: If you're interested, you can read up on how Nintendo is managed. It makes for a fascinating read and sheds quite the light on why they do what they do.

Avatar image for XxAK47xX
XxAK47xX

Nintendo needs to learn how to **** off

Avatar image for dreadborne
Dreadborne

People will complain until Nintendo mentions a game that they like and then it's all forgiven.

Avatar image for tstindt90
Tstindt90

Only the very small yet super vocal minority actually want voice chat and those said people already use things like Skype, Curse, Discord, Google Hangouts, ect. Also if you're playing Splatoon on your Switch and using a voice chat on your phone, why would you even put it in your pocket? Also turn the brightness down on your phone so it isn't draining the battery so much. Also I doubt people are walking around the streets playing Splatoon 2. Almost if not everyone should have a portable battery for their phone/Switch anyways already since most phones still don't make it through the day with moderate to high usage. And even if you are stupid and don't already have one you can find a wall outlet or an open USB port to simply plug it in to recharge. No idea why people are acting like this is the ONLY way to do voice chat while playing.

Avatar image for LeoKRock
LeoKRock

@tstindt90: this is the "official" way and it should be better. I understand having an adapter for 'in-game audio + chat' but requiring the app to be on screen at all times is just lazy programming. Hopefully it will be solved by the time they start charging money for it...

Avatar image for bj91x
bj91x

So, you can't "switch" anything on your phone during use...

Isn't the whole draw of the Switch to... you know, switch on the fly?

Maybe people should just switch to another console or PC.

Avatar image for GoodOldUncleSam
GoodOldUncleSam

"If you do the same thing as others, it will wear you out," - Satoru Iwata -

Avatar image for ButDuuude
ButDuuude

@GoodOldUncleSam: FACEPALM

Avatar image for di0
Di0

Ah Nintendo, so innovative and simple! Never change.

Avatar image for girlusocrazy
GirlUSoCrazy

That explains why DeNA partnered with Nintendo to design all this, they also don't know wtf they're doing online

Avatar image for FallenOneX
FallenOneX

Going to keep asking this question: How much does it cost MS and Sony to run their servers? I'm convinced that the real reason they don't just go all in is because they waited too long and the costs are scaring them off.

Avatar image for Lach0121
Lach0121

This will fail.

Nintendo will change this, or hardly anyone will use voice chat on the Switch.

I like my Switch, but this ensures I will not be chatting online with anyone on it.

Avatar image for FallenOneX
FallenOneX

@Lach0121: Thanks for saving me a bit of typing.

Avatar image for beantownsean
BeantownSean

Garbage Design...Garbage Usability.

I actually hate voice-chat and avoid it like the plague when I can, but this implementation is so archaic.

Avatar image for kinan
Kinan

So, shitty apps and mistakes aside, why does Splatoon 2 need voice chat? There's no competition involved, it's just a 3-minute, paint everything you see game for fun, I don't see anything competitive about it

Avatar image for sashj
SashJ

Im actually dying to see how many people will actually use this feature. If the a lot of people actually use it, you know the Nintendo fanbase has gone full retard.

Avatar image for veryDERPY
veryDERPY

what were they thinking? they weren't

bunch of morons

Avatar image for straightcur
straightcur

What is wrong with Nintendo? Do they not understand modern technology? They need some new blood at that company. This is like an out of touch grandparent

Avatar image for playstationzone
PlaystationZone

Why can't ninendo use headsets than using your phone be lit easy.

Avatar image for doctor_mg
Doctor_MG

Well that's stupid. I hope they fix that.

Avatar image for asnakeneverdies
ASnakeNeverDies

@doctor_mg: You better hope they change it instead, as there's nothing to fix. You've to be clear, lest Nintendo gets confused.

Avatar image for FLEEBS
FLEEBS

I absolutely love my Switch, and I tend to defend Nintendo much of the time, but this just ridiculously stupid.

Avatar image for lunchbox2042
lunchbox2042

Just use a voice chat service that allows you to lock your phone instead of Nintendo's half baked idea.

Avatar image for tonyleo01
tonyleo01

You know what, though. Since Nintendo demographic is younger, I most likely would inevitably rip the headphone off my head after hearing a bunch of 10 year-olds screaming into my ears.

I also have zero friends on Switch so no voice chat is actually no loss to me.

Avatar image for asnakeneverdies
ASnakeNeverDies

They forgot to mention that pure myrrh needs to be burnt while bathing in the blood of a unicorn in preparation for any chat sessions, which will only be allowed in-between the first and last quarter of the synodic cycle.

Avatar image for asnakeneverdies
ASnakeNeverDies

@7tizz: Splatoon 3 will only be accessible through the main menu of 1-2-Switch by means of cart-swapping. You heard it here first buddy!

Avatar image for mototim34
mototim34

Love my switch

Stoked for future games

I absolutely hate how stupid and behind the times Nintendo is.

Ps2 did game chat with a single usb connection headset back in 2001. 16 years later Nintendo still has their thumb up their A$$

This literally pisses me off off. Splatoon 2 is a game that NEEDS party chat with buddies. So i still have to resort to using a ps4 party in the backround. Pathetic!

Avatar image for Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

Nintendo is completely clueless. We're going to eventually find out their "voice chat" app is actually just calling the other person.

Avatar image for kinan
Kinan

@Thanatos2k: Or just use Discord or Skype, seriously why even include an app specifically for Splat2n voicechat.

Avatar image for blue-peregrine
blue-peregrine

Not so well played Nintendo.

Avatar image for JustPlainLucas
JustPlainLucas

Jesus Nintendo... In the mean time, if you're going to use your phone to chat with your friends, you might as well just call them.

Avatar image for xnshd
xNSHD

Nintendo being as "innovative" as ever.

Avatar image for mattcake
mattcake

And there was me thinking the amount of cables with PSVR was silly.

Avatar image for bdrtfm
BDRTFM

In other words, totally useless. They really shouldn't have bothered at all.

Avatar image for BabeNewelll
BabeNewelll

Someone should start a parody series "Nintendo Requires <insert silly thing here>".

- "Nintendo Requires a 56k modem for sending emails"

- "Nintendo Requires you to buy an adobe premiere licence to record gameplay clips ".

- "Nintendo Requires you perform a handstand to unlock your console".

Avatar image for kinan
Kinan

@BabeNewelll: - "Nintendo Requires you to buy mini figurines to unlock special items in-game".

OH WAIT

Avatar image for PSYCHOV3N0M
PSYCHOV3N0M

@kinan: Ariipoffs

Avatar image for 129260
129260

@kinan: burned.

Avatar image for sashj
SashJ

@kinan: Haha, That was good.

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