Nintendo Switch: How to Add Friends & Send Friend Requests

The first patch for the Nintendo Switch sees the return of the dreaded friend code system. That isn’t the only way to add friends though — there are three major options, and we’re going to explain them all. The first one, and the one we’re (mostly) familiar with, is the friend code system.

To add friends, you’ll need to get a friend code, or find your code. Those are located on the Profile screen, under the “Add Friend” tab. Look at the bottom right to spot your friend code. They’re long (just long enough to be annoying), so you’ll have to write them down to share online. But, it isn’t the only way to add friends.

Locally, you can use special symbols to filter nearby Switch profiles. If you’re an online gamer, and you’re looking for more online pals, you can search through a list of every profile you’ve encountered recently online. This is just the first step in the Switch, so we’re going to guess more Friend Options will become available in the coming months / years. For now, check out everything you need to know below.


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How to Add Friends & Send Friend Requests

Do This First: Link Your Switch Profile to a Nintendo Account

From the Switch Home Screen, select your Profile in the top-left corner. From the Profile tab, select “Link to a Nintendo Account” — sign up online here.

  • Follow the on-screen instructions. You can either Create Account or Sign In to an account you already have.

Linking your account gives you access to other online features, including ones that haven’t yet been announced.


How to Add Friends / Send Requests

There are five options when you select the “Add Friends” tab on the Profile menu.

  • Received Friend Requests
  • Search for Local Users
  • Search for Users You’ve Played With
  • Search With Friend Code
  • Sent Friend Requests

Received Friend Requests” allows you to look at any friend requests sent to your profile. You can either accept / decline any requests here.


Search for Local Users” allows you to search and add friends that are at the same party / event / bus ride as you. You’ll have to coordinate to add them. After selecting this option, you’ll get to search based on four symbols.

  • Green Diamond
  • Blue Club
  • Pink Heart
  • Orange Spade

Both local profiles looking for local friends will need to select the same symbol. After selecting a symbol, you’ll begin searching for anyone nearby that also selected this symbol. Do it at the same time with ¬†friend, then select the profile that pops-up to add friend.

NOTE: If your local friend isn’t appearing on the profile list, press [Y] to search again.


Search for Users You’ve Played With” allows you to look at a list of player profiles you’ve encountered when playing online.


Search With Friend Code” allows you to search for a friend code. Selecting this option brings up a text input screen — you’ll have to talk to your friend through text message / other online means to share a Friend Code.

  • Your personal Friend Code is located at the bottom-right corner of the Profile screen. It’s visible under the five options while on the “Add Friend” tab.

Sent Friend Requests” allows you to check the status on any friend requests you’ve sent. You can also cancel any requests you’ve sent if you’ve changed your mind.