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How to add friends on your Nintendo Switch


Nintendo is notorious for making online capabilities on its console a bit of a hassle. Even adding friends on the Nintendo Switch with friend codes can be a bit of a hassle. Fortunately, Nintendo has made it a bit easier over the years.

But if you’re new to the console, it can be somewhat overwhelming. Unlike PlayStation or Xbox, Nintendo’s online systems can seem pretty archaic to some.

Adding friends on Nintendo Switch isn’t as straightforward as on other consoles. It involves sharing convoluted friend codes that you then have to enter to initiate the request in the first place.

But follow along, and we’ll try to make the process a bit simpler for you.

How to find your Nintendo Switch friend code

nintendo switch friend code
Image: KnowTechie

Nintendo doesn’t give users unique gamertags when they create an account. Instead, the platform assigns everyone a unique friend code that they share to add new friends.

As you can imagine, it’s not the most intuitive design that exists. It’s tough to try and remember your own unique code to share with your friends. And that’s not to mention the hassle of typing in the codes using the Switch’s controller or touchscreen.

But that’s how Nintendo has set it up. So first, we’re going to look at how to find and share your friend code on the Nintendo Switch so you can start adding friends.

Start by loading up your console and logging into your account. Then, follow along with the steps outlined below:

  1. Tap your profile picture in the top leftnintendo switch profile picture

  2. Navigate to the Profile tabnintendo switch profile tab

  3. Find your Friend Code on the rightnintendo switch friend code

And that’s where you can find your friend code. This is the code that you will give to your friends so they can send you a friend request. So now, we’ll look at how to do that.

How to send a Nintendo Switch friend request using a friend code

So now we’ll go over how to actually add a friend on your Nintendo Switch or Nintendo Switch Lite. On your Nintendo Switch itself, you have a few different options. We’ll start by looking at friend codes.

  1. Tap your profile picture in the top right
nintendo switch profile picture
Image: KnowTechie
  1. Scroll down to the Add Friend tab on the right
nintendo switch add friend tab
Image: KnowTechie
  1. Select Search with Friend Code
nintendo switch search with friend code
Image: KnowTechie
  1. Enter the friend code and select OK
nintendo switch enter friend code
Image: KnowTechie

Once you’ve done that, the person whose friend code you enter will receive a notification the next time they log in. Then, they can navigate to the same Add Friend menu to accept it.

Alternatively, you can use the Search for Local Users feature to add friends. If you and your friend both have your Nintendo Switch in the same location, you can use this option to quickly add friends.

The final option that you have on the Switch console itself is adding friends that you’ve recently played with online.

Choose the Search for Users You Played With option to bring up a list of users that you have played online matches with. From there, you can send them a quick friend request to not have to bother with friend codes.

Use your phone to add friends on Nintendo Switch

nintendo switch online app logo on a purple background
Image: KnowTechie

As you can see, adding friends on your Nintendo Switch isn’t the easiest thing in the world. Unless you’re right next to your friends who also have their console or you’re looking for someone you’ve already played with, you have to work with those annoying friend codes.

However, Nintendo at least recognizes that this method isn’t easy or intuitive for most gamers. The company has actually added a couple of additional ways to add friends using the Nintendo Switch Online mobile app.

You’ll have to start by downloading the Nintendo Switch Online app for your iOS or Android device. Then, follow the steps to link your Switch account to the app account.

Once you finish that, you’ll have a few other options for adding new friends on your Nintendo Switch.

How to use the Nintendo Switch Online app to copy your friend code

One of the initial features of the Nintendo Switch Online app is the ability to copy your friend code to your phone’s clipboard. Then, you can just paste it on your device and send it to anyone you want to add as a friend. Here’s how that works:

  1. Open the Nintendo Switch Online app and tap your profile picture in the top right
nintendo switch online app profile picture
Image: KnowTechie
  1. Tap the copy symbol next to your friend code
nintendo switch online app copy friend code
Image: KnowTechie

Once you do that, you can then go and paste your friend code anywhere and share it with your friends. They can also use the app to enter the code by tapping on the Friend Requests section from the same menu.

nintendo switch online app friend request button
Image: KnowTechie

That’s already an easier method than having to manually remember or shout out your friend code so that someone can send you a friend request.

But Nintendo recently went a step further, adding the ability to add friends using a URL or QR code.

Add friends using a URL

To help make things even easier, you can copy your friend code as a URL. Then, when you share it with your friends, it will automatically open the app with your friend code entered so they can send you a request. It’s found in the same section of the app:

  1. Open the Nintendo Switch Online app and tap your profile picture in the top right
switch online app profile picture
Image: KnowTechie
  1. Tap the three-dot menu next to your friend code
switch online app three dot menu
Image: KnowTechie
  1. Select Copy as URL
switch online app copy as url
Image: KnowTechie

The app will then create a custom URL and save it to your clipboard. You can then share that URL with friends, and when they open it, they will be given a prompt to send you a friend request.

Do keep in mind that anyone with your custom URL will be able to send you a friend request on your Nintendo Switch.

Add Nintendo Switch friends using a QR code

Maybe the most convenient option that Nintendo has added to the app is the ability to save your friend code as a QR code.

Then, you can always have it handy in your phone’s photo gallery to share whenever you want. Check this out:

  1. Open the Nintendo Switch Online app and tap your profile picture in the top right
switch online app profile picture
Image: KnowTechie
  1. Tap the three-dot menu next to your friend code
switch online app three dot menu
Image: KnowTechie
  1. Select Save as QR Code
nintendo switch online app save as qr code
Image: KnowTechie

With this method, the app will create a unique QR code for you and save it on your device. Then, whoever scans the code will be automatically prompted to send you a friend request.

But remember, like the URL option, anyone with the QR code will be able to send you friend requests.

Nintendo’s complex friend request process is made easier by the mobile app

While it’s completely possible to add friends on Nintendo Switch from the console itself, it’s not the most straightforward process there is. You have to deal with 12-digit friend codes that can be hard to remember.

You can add friends who are in close proximity a little easier. And if you use the Search for Users You Played With option, the process isn’t that bad either.

But the easiest way to add friends on the Nintendo Switch is through the Nintendo Switch Online mobile app. There, you can easily copy your entire friend.

Or you can go a step further to copy your code as a URL or a QR code that will automatically prompt other users to send you a friend request.

However you plan to add friends, this article should help you on your journey. Don’t you just love Nintendo’s overly complicated processes?

Have any thoughts on this? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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