Nintendo Switch is finally among us, and with it comes a day-one patch, as usual nowadays. This free update adds the eShop to the system, as well as other new features, the most controversial one being friend codes.
That’s right, the company reintroduces friend codes, 12-digit numbers that let other players add you as their friend. After their last appearance on Nintendo 3DS, they return on Switch with a limited capacity of 300 friends per account.
There are three other methods to add friends on Nintendo Switch. You can search for local users, for users you’ve played before or send friend requests. However, unless you are in the same lobby or you’ve already played with someone, you’re forced to give a player your code to add them.
Nintendo fans universally dislike this method. Friend codes are random numbers that feel unpractical, annoying and outdated. The company should be working towards delivering a better, modern online service, but this move directly contradicts their commitment.
What’s more confusing is that Reggie Fils-Aime, Nintendo of America president, stated in an interview with CNET this January that “there are no friend codes within what we’re doing”. Did Nintendo change their mind in the last couple of months?
Nintendo already argued that friend codes increase control over the player’s interactions with other users. The company believes that they offer security, despite their inconvenience.
Regarding the 300-friend cap, it is considerably lower compared with PlayStation Network and Xbox Live maximum capacity, 2,000 and 1,000 friends respectively.
In addition to the eShop and the awful friend codes, the day-one patch also includes a variety of system features like:
- Free online gaming
- Post screenshots on Facebook and Twitter
- Gaming news from Nintendo
- An option to turn on the TV via CEC
- Show battery life in the Home menu
- Formatting a microSD card
There are also options to block and favorite people, as well as pull friends from iPhone titles, like Super Mario Run or Miitomo. However, it is not possible to add friends using your linked Facebook or Twitter accounts.