Friend Codes Strike Back: How to add and remove friends on the Nintendo Switch

If you’ve recently invested in a switch or have had it for a few years, you’ll probably want to add at least a few friends. Although this is not rocket science, the process can feel a bit confusing at first.

Unless you remember that you can only add up to 300 people to your friends list, here’s how you can add your best friends to the Nintendo Switch.

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Using friend code

Although former U.S. Nintendo President Reggie Phils-I promised that they would not be part of the Switch’s online infrastructure, the Switch uses a modified version of the “friend code” system seen on previous Nintendo consoles. Used on the Wii and most recently the system’s 3DS family, a friend code is a 12-digit password that you can send to friends outside the console, which they can then push to send a friend request.

Find your friend code

On the home page, click your account icon in the upper left-hand corner, presented as “Steve’s Page” in the image below.

Your buddy code is available in two places: in the Landing menu (Profile) and in the Add Menu menu. The code you should send to your friends so they can find you.

Profile menu

Add friends menu

How to add a friend

On the user page, click Search with friend code and type a user’s 12-digit code to send a switch friend request.

If entered correctly, your friend’s nickname and user icon will pop up and you can confirm that you want to send the request.

Returning to the Friend Ad menu, you can check your pending requests under Friend Requests.

Unlike previous friend code codes, the sender’s friend code needs to be known to be the user’s friend to receive the request. Once accepted, the user will appear in your friends list on the user page.

Accept friend request

When someone sends you a friend request, a notification dot will appear next to the Add a page user page. The Friend Requests inbox at the top of the menu lets you know who added you.

Click the friend request to see the requesting user’s icon and nickname. From here, you can either accept, reject or block the user.

Adding friends locally

If you have some friends, you don’t have to bother with friend code to add new pulse.

You can find the nearest switch players at the bottom of the search for local users in the Ad Friends menu on the user page. To find each other, you must each click the same symbol. Our best guess is that this is a parental control feature, although it is not incredibly sophisticated.

After agreeing on the symbol, look for the user’s nickname and icon, then send a request.

Note that adding friends locally is not effective unless both users are logged in to the online service.

Adding friends who have played with you

Outside the gate, the switch apparently lets you add users you previously played with. After playing multiplayer games go to the Friends section attached to the user page. Here, click to search for users.

From here, simply select the person you want to add and press it Send friend request Button

Adding friends through Nintendo apps

Official Nintendo apps – Super Mario Run, Mitomo, Fire Emblem Heroes – will appear below the Suggested Friends in the Ad Friends menu on the user page linked to your Nintendo account. From here, you can avoid the friend code process by clicking on a user and sending a request.

Share your experiences on social media

It doesn’t make you more technically friendly, you can exchange friend codes by sharing images on social media. The switch has a great share feature that lets you add image captions and create memes to upload to Facebook and Twitter.

On the User page, click on User Settings and scroll to Posting to Social Media to link your switch to your Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Once connected, go to the home page and select Albums.

Unfortunately, the switch does not allow screen capture inside the album but you can select an image, add a caption and click post to blast it across social media.

Adding best friend

If you are particularly fond of certain friends, you can elevate them to the status of best friend. Navigate to your friends list and choose one of your favorite friends. Click the Best Friend option.

That user will now have a star in the upper left-hand corner of their icon. Sadly, your friend will not be aware of their new importance in your life because identifying the best friend is a one-way street, but if you have a plethora of friends with the same avatar, they can come in handy.

Remove / block friends

If you no longer want to be friends with certain users, you can befriend them. You can take this one step further by blocking the user, which prevents you from reconnecting.

Go to your friends list and select the friend you want to remove.

Click Options.

Choose to remove either friend or block. If you change your mind later, you can go to user settings and manage the block-user list to open the door for friendship again.

In the future.

As mentioned, Nintendo said it is working on a more civilized way to add friends. At one point, you may be able to add friends by linking to your Nintendo account on social media – with Nintendo Network IDs – names that are easier to remember and share than 12-digit friend codes. According to Nintendo, there will be an in-game friend request system for easy connection to specific titles.

There is also the curiosity about user ID, a separate username associated with your Nintendo account that became available a few weeks before the switch was introduced. At first, it looked like user IDs would replace NNIDs, but considering the future plans for Nintendo NNIDs, it’s not clear if the new username will be used to add friends to the switch.

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