Nintendo Switch Online App Is Available to Download

Marlene Weaver
July 20, 2017

We assume this message means that the servers aren't yet live, but that the app has been pre-released in advance of Splatoon 2's release on Friday.

Nintendo is taking its time rolling out a full online service for the Switch.

The online Nintendo service is free until a paid subscription service launches in 2018. Some fans will tell you that the Nintendo Switch's appeal is too closely associated with its seeming simplicity for Nintendo to possibly risk compromising it by incorporating modern apps and abilities. And unless you plan on buying Splatoon 2, there's virtually nothing you can do with the app at the moment. Opening or switching to other apps while it is running will temporarily disconnect the voice chat service while users are on the other app, but will reconnect once back into the Switch Online app. Invites will appear as a notification on your phone, so long as you have the app installed.

The Nintendo Switch doesn't make you go through a lengthy start-up process filled with network management, update downloads, and bandwidth checks.

It's a bit of a unusual setup but will allow you to use voice chat openly with friends while in the online lobby and during online play (depending on the game).

In order to communicate with friends over voice in Splatoon 2 (and only friends, as is Nintendo's way), each friend will need to have the Nintendo Online app downloaded and running on their phone or tablet.

Game purchases never carry forward, nor do usernames and friend lists - each subsequent console's service feels like Nintendo started from scratch.

Nintendo has launched a new online app for the Nintendo Switch. But can you use voice chat outside of compatible games though?

You can enjoy voice chat in different ways depending on the type of game you're playing. We've had pieces of information released to us over the last few months, but now we know more as Nintendo has released a FAQ and some users have gotten their hands on it.

I have to have the app open the whole time?

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