A function standard with Sony and Microsoft’s consoles, the Nintendo Switch friend invites feature finally brings the console to the 21st century of online play.
It has always taken Nintendo a little bit of time to catch up with the curve in terms of how gamers interact online. They almost never include voice chat in their games, and talking elsewhere in them has always been odd (anyone else remember using the tags in Smash 4 to share taunts and Discord tags?)
While the Nintendo Switch friend invites don’t exactly fix the Switch’s overall lack of player to player communication, it’s a step in the right direction.
To ask another player to join you in a compatible game, you need only ask them to do so on their user page. It sounds simple enough, and should make getting together with people that you’ve added on your Switch a little bit easier.
With the Wii U’s Miiverse, players were able to message each other back and forth by using the feature’s antiquated, email-like messaging system. The Nintendo Switch lacks any means of contacting other players, as it only previously offered an option to join a player in a compatible game that someone just so happened to be playing.
While there are games that allow you to have voice chats with others via the Nintendo Switch Online app, the sell is pretty difficult. Why would you bother opening up an app on your phone when you’re already busy playing around with your Nintendo Switch, especially when there’s no guarantee that others in your lobby will be in the voice chat room as well?
Perhaps Nintendo will see the interest behind the Nintendo Switch friend invites and add in a proper chat feature to the console. Sure, it does make the console effectively much more “family-friendly” with a neutered means of contacting others, but that’s sort of the risk of playing online with strangers, now isn’t it?
The Nintendo Switch friend invites feature went live with the console’s 9.0.0 update.