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Nintendo Switch Online app's latest update finally makes it worthwhile

The Nintendo Switch Online app, the official mobile companion app for the Switch’s multiplayer subscription service, has received a massive overhaul.

As well as introducing a totally revamped design, the 2.0 update makes it significantly easier for Switch users to add friends. Whereas players had previously had to manually copy a 12-digit code each time they wanted to add someone to their friends list, you can now copy the identifier in a single tap in the app.

That makes the whole process a lot less cumbersome and the Nintendo Switch Online app, which has until now been largely redundant, worth a download.

Additionally, the app now lets you set your online status and see which of your friends are online without needing to pick up your console. According to the patch notes on the iOS app store, a bunch of other changes have also been implemented.

The update follows the rollout of Nintendo’s new mission and rewards system, which lets players earn My Nintendo platinum points for completing simple weekly and monthly challenges. We reckoned it’s an easy way of bagging some points to spend on freebies.

Screengrab of the new Nintendo Switch Online app features

(Image credit: Nintendo)

Analysis: simple but effective

The Nintendo Switch Online app has been a little bare since its release in 2017. Its functions are limited and many players never think to install it. The app’s most useful feature has, until now, been its online voice chat, which lets you speak with other Switch players in multiplayer games.

That's hardly revolutionary, though. Voice chat, online-status selection, and in-game chat are all provided on the PS5 and Xbox Series X without the need to download an additional app. But the ability to copy your player code in a single tap, rather than laboriously typing out the 12 digits every time you want to add someone to your friends list, will finally give many players a reason to download the Switch app.

Hopefully, Nintendo will continue expanding its features. It could one day be a true companion app for the console, rather than a forgotten add-on.

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