Nintendo Switch Online has had a pretty shaky history over the past five years. Originally debuting as a free service, Switch Online offered at best a convenient way to play Nintendo online games. Serious latency issues, game-breaking bugs, and other technical issues plagued Switch Online when it first crashed. At the same time, Nintendo released the Switch Online mobile app, designed to be used as a means of communicating with online friends. The Switch Online mobile app, paling in comparison to competitive systems, was soon forgotten, but Splatoon 3 is struggling to keep it.
About a week ago, Nintendo held a large-scale live broadcast of one of the most anticipated games of the year, Splatoon 3. During this live broadcast, a lot of information about the upcoming game was presented, ranging from new weapons, maps and modes and ending with the subtleties of faster combat in Splatoon 3. But among the rest, the announcement was hidden that Splatoon 3 will use the Nintendo Switch Online mobile application, which even the most persistent Nintendo fans have long forgotten.
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Problematic history of the Switch Online mobile app
The Nintendo Switch Online mobile app, launched in June 2017, was released simultaneously with Splatoon 2. The Switch Online mobile app soon gained notoriety when a scheme appeared online showing how to set up Splatoon 2 voice chat. Almost everyone mercilessly mocked the now infamous scheme, and many were confused by multi-step instructions, and all this is just to connect the headset to the controller and get access to the Splatoon 2 voice chat system.
Since then, the Switch Online mobile app has remained in the shadows, appearing from time to time only when a large release of Nintendo AAA is released. One of the biggest uses of the Nintendo Switch Online mobile app was for Animal Crossing: New Horizons, where players could access a special messaging system known as NookLink. NookLink allowed players to send phone chat messages, send reactions, browse the Nook catalog, and mark daily Nook points. This app was additionally added at the launch of the Happy Home Paradise DLC, now allowing players to check the Happy Home network from their phone and access custom projects.
Splatoon 3 does its best to keep the Switch Online mobile app
While the Switch Online mobile app had good functionality for several of Nintendo’s own games, it lacked features for regular Nintendo Switch players to download, and as a result, the accompanying Switch Online app is rarely talked about today. Despite this, Splatoon 3 is going to try very hard to get players to finally download the Switch app.
Following its predecessors, the interface of the companion app Splatoon 3 will be called SplatNet 3 and will allow players to view their last few online matches. From here, players will be able to find a lot of statistics about how well they performed, including areas where they could improve, such as accuracy. It is likely that this statistic will be available in Splatoon 3, but for those who just want to register, this is not a bad feature.
However, the real appeal of the functionality of the Splatoon 3 mobile app is that players will be able to unlock a number of cosmetics that are supposedly exclusive to the app. Thus, for those engaged in completion, the Switch Online mobile app will become a necessary download when Splatoon 3 is released in just a few weeks. At the same time, it is unknown whether these exclusive skins will really attract ordinary players to the Switch Online application.
The release of Splatoon 3 for the Nintendo Switch is scheduled for September 9.