Nintendo Switch Online, the new companion app for the Nintendo Switch has arrived, and there is plenty to parse out. Unlike the apps for PlayStation or Xbox, Nintendo has gone the game-specific route. You'll now be able to enjoy more features, including inviting friends to play with you, provided you have the app open when you're playing a compatible game.

There's plenty to go over, and we have the details for you here!

September 13, 2017 — The Nintendo Switch Online app has been updated for iOS and Android with better voice options.

With this update, Voice Chat will continue to function when you leave the Nintendo Switch Online app and will even continue if the phone is in sleep mode. Nintendo has also addressed some small bugs in the interface, and added support for a wider array of Bluetooth accessories for chatting while splatting.

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What does the Nintendo Switch Online app do?

The Nintendo Switch app works as an extra hub for content, at least for games that work with it anyway. Each game will offer different content through the app, in an attempt to give you access to everything you could want for gameplay. To access everything, though, you'll need a few things.

Namely, a Nintendo Switch console, a compatible game, a Nintendo account, and a phone with the Nintendo Switch app loaded on it. For now all of that online content is entirely free, but come 2018, you'll have to pay in order to access it. After 2018 gets here, you'll be looking at a subscription fee similar to Xbox Gold or PlayStation Plus.

Which games does it work with?

At the moment, the Nintendo Switch Online app has functionality with one game, Splatoon 2, and you'll need to use the app to reach Splatnet. Splatnet is where you can invite friends to online lobbies, use voice chat features, and reach leaderboards, amongst other things.

For now, it's just Splatoon 2, but you can be sure that down the line plenty more games will include functionality with the Nintendo Switch app.

How does the voice chat function work?

Different games will implement this feature differently, but generally, you'll need to be friends with the people you want to chat with. Thanks to an update to Nintendo Online, Voice Chat will continue to function when you leave the Nintendo Switch Online app and will even continue if the phone is in sleep mode.

How to invite friends to matches

Inviting friends to a match is slightly more complicated than I would have preferred, but there aren't too many hoops to jump through. You'll need to first create a match in the online lobby, and then send a notification to your phone. From there, you'll need to switch to the app, where you can open the room you just created. Once you've done that, you'll be able to invite friends to come and play with you, so long as you are connected to them through Social Media or have played with them recently.

If a friend is inviting you to a match, it's slightly easier. You just need to accept the invitation through the app, and you'll be able to join them for as many matches as you want to play.

What else can I use the Nintendo Switch app for?

As we mentioned earlier, each game will decide on what content becomes available through the Nintendo Switch app. Some features you can expect from different games, like voice chatting and inviting friends to multiplayer matches. Others will be game-specific, though, like Splatoon 2's ability to purchase items at a special gear shop, leaderboards, and schedules of which stages will be available at which time.

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