Two days ago Nintendo fully released its new voice chat system which is surprisingly complex for a next generation system. In order to use this feature, you will need your smartphone and Switch at the same time. Unlike every other system out there, Nintendo’s voice chat is going through a mobile phone application. This means you’ll need to plug a headset into your phone if you want to talk to others, instead of the system directly like the PS4 or Xbox One.
Here are the steps to getting your Nintendo voice chat to work:
1. Download the Nintendo Switch Online App
- In order to set up your voice chat, you’ll need to go into the App Store and download Nintendo Switch Online. This application is free and clocks in at a rather small 61.3 MB, so you won’t need to worry about space on your phone. Unlike some of Nintendo’s other apps, this online service has released for both Android and iOS devices at the same time.
2. Sign Into Nintendo Switch Online
- After you open the application, you will be prompted to sign with your Nintendo ID. Make sure to use the same profile as the account you want to use voice chat for otherwise, this application will not work. Both your Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Switch Online app must be under the same profile.
3. Go to the Online Lounge in Splatoon 2
- Now go back over to your Nintendo Switch and open up Splatoon 2’s Online Lounge section. You will need to open a lobby for your friends to join so select the “Create a Room” tab. Remember, this part may change depending on the game, but for now only Splatoon 2 has voice chat. Once this is open you should receive a notification on your smart phone where you can invite Nintendo Switch friends, people you’ve connected with on social media, or recent players.
4. Invite Your Friends
After you’ve made the lobby and have your Nintendo Switch Online application running, invite your friends to both. In order to make the voice chat work, your friends need to join both the Splatoon 2 lobby and the one on your smart phone. If you’re just joining a voice chat you’ll still need to have your phone and Nintendo Switch at the ready. This is the only way to do voice chat through the Switch officially, however, it may be far easier to use third party applications like Skype or Discord.
Remember, you have to keep the Nintendo Switch Online app open at all times, otherwise, it will close you out of voice chat. This means you cannot temporarily close the app unless you want to be booted and have to rejoin the lobby. We recommend having your phone charging at all times to ensure it doesn’t die on you during gameplay. Also, the audio for Splatoon 2 is not mixed with the voice chat so will have to have the audio come through your television’s speakers.
This is not an elegant system at all and sadly it doesn’t look like there is any other official option on the way. While voice chat isn’t required to play Splatoon 2, the team centric gameplay does make having voice chat incredibly useful. The one benefit to linking your app is that you’ll get detailed stat tracking and information for Splatoon 2.