With the launch of Nintendo Switch, all indications seemed to point to Nintendo moving away from the cumbersome way to add friends to play lists. Unfortunately, a day-one patch preparing for tomorrow’s launch of the console has revealed that the dreaded friend code is still there.
In the menu under add a friend, you can add friends view local connections, previous players you have gamed with, or existing friends on your Nintendo’s smartphone apps. However, the company is still requiring you to add the 12-digit friend code if you want to play with someone you have never played with before. Right now, there is no other way to add a player, such as searching by user name. This could be a stopgap measure or something to help ease the transition from its older online services like the Wii U.
Friend codes were originally Nintendo’s way of protecting younger users from predatory friend requests, but the code tends to be more of an annoyance, leading to criticisms that the company had seemed to be listening to. The Nintendo Switch Online Service was not supposed to have friend codes, but details of the service are still subject to change. The service will cost somewhere between $17.50 and $26.50 a year.