Switch Day One Update Brings Back Friend Codes

The Nintendo Switch’s Day One update is finally here, and among other things, it brings back the Friend Code system to add online friends. Taking up 12 digit codes, these Friend Codes are a way to exchange identities for online play. You’re not limited to Friend Codes only, as you can also add friends locally or if you’ve matched up with them previously in another game.

Nintendo fans of old will be acquainted with Friend Codes, going back to 2005 and the launch of Mario Kart DS and the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection. Friend Codes were not system-by-system, and instead offered friend lists on a game-by-game basis. That system was continued with the Wii and 3DS, but dropped with the Wii U, which used Nintendo Network IDs instead.

Taking only a minute to download, the update also activates the eShop, updates the News app with listings of the system’s games (with helpful links to buy), and allows you to link your Nintendo Account to social media to share screenshots.


With the eShop out, it’s noteworthy that downloadable demos (such as Puyo Puyo Tetris’ demo available in Japan) no longer have a play limit, as they did on 3DS and Wii U. Which also bears mentioning that any region’s eShop can be accessed on your local Switch unit, provided you have an account matching that region (i.e. a Japanese Nintendo Account can access the Japanese eShop).

Unfortunately, the update does not fix the oft-noted connectivity problems with the system’s Joy-Cons. Nintendo has previously said it is investigating the issue.

To compliment your Switch experience, Nintendo has released their Parental Controls app on iOS and Android, which lets parents restrict their children’s playtime and track how much they’ve been playing. In the summer, Nintendo will release their mobile app that gives users online features from game invites to voice chat.

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A man with a plan. My favorite video game franchise is Pokemon, but his favorite video game is Resident Evil 4. I can also tell you trivial cartoon factoids.