the Nintendo Switch doesn’t have a built-in microphone, which makes voice conversation while playing online games quite complicated. However, there are still a few ways to talk to your teammates on the Switch. Here’s how.
The answer depends on your game
The Switch does not have voice chat features built into its operating system. Nintendo offers a voice chat solution in the Nintendo Switch Online app for iPhone and Android, but this requires a Nintendo Switch Online Membership. This is necessary for playing online in many games like Mario Kart and Splatoon, but not all online games require it.
For example, Fortnite uses a separate Epic Games account and does not require a subscription to Nintendo’s online games. As a result, some non-Nintendo games ignore Nintendo Online’s voice chat solution and do so directly on the console with headphones.
In other words, most Nintendo games require a separate smartphone app to chat online. You connect your headphones to your phone and chat via the app while you play. Some third party games can do this on the switch itself via the 3.5mm headphone jack.
Here’s what you need to know:
Nintendo Switch online application: Use it for Nintendo games like Mario Kart, Super Smash Bros Ultimate and Mario Tennis Aces. You install the app on your phone and chat with your friends.
Directly on the switch: Some third party games, including Fortnite and Overwatch, do not require a separate application. You simply connect standard headphones to the only 3.5mm audio jack on your Switch and chat without the app, just like a smartphone. Again, Nintendo’s own games will not work with this.
Go to Discord: If all this seems too complicated, we agree. We suggest you upgrade to Discord or another app like Teamspeak if you want to chat with your friends while playing Switch games.
The Nintendo Switch online app
Nintendo’s official voice chat solution is an app that you can download for iOS and Android. In addition to in-game voice chat with your friends and teammates, you can use the app to add other Nintendo users as friends, ping them to play, and view your and your friends’ stats for certain games. . You can also use it to invite friends via social media.
Depending on the game, you can either chat with other players in your lobby, or with the friends you have added. Splatoon 2 and Mario Kart 8 are some of the popular games that support the app. To use it, you must have a Nintendo Online account.
However, many users point out that the experience of using the app is quite bad, with audio delays and frequent connectivity issues. Also, unless you have an audio mixing console, you can’t use just one pair of headphones on your phone and your Nintendo Switch at the same time. If you want to use headphones, you have to choose between hearing voice chat and hearing in-game audio, which can be crucial for some games.
In addition, the application is locked by region. It is currently not available in several territories, in particular those of Asia and South America. Since many of these games have global player bases, this limits easy access to voice chat to a large portion of the potential player base for a game.
Integrated voice chat for specific games
One of the special features of Nintendo’s mobile solution is that the single 3.5mm audio jack on the console has an audio input, so it supports built-in voice chat. However, since this is not a widely implemented feature, only a handful of games support the Switch’s built-in voice chat without having to use the app.
Blizzard’s Overwatch third-person shooter and the Epic Games Fortnite survival game are among the games that support it. If you are playing one of these games, plug in a pair of good helmetand you can immediately talk to your teammates. Nintendo’s own games don’t support this and require the app.
Unfortunately, the Nintendo Switch does not support Bluetooth headphones, so you cannot use them for voice chat.
If the game you’re playing doesn’t support built-in voice chat, and the Nintendo Switch Online app is buggy or unavailable in your area, you should look for a third-party app. The most popular voice chat app is Discord, which has many features and offers applications for mobile and desktop. Discord supports push-to-talk and voice activity settings to detect audio input. The mobile app also lets you seamlessly enter and exit the app without interrupting or stuttering calls.
There are a few other alternatives, such as TeamSspeak and Skype, but none are as robust or have as large a gaming community as Discord.
You should keep in mind that third-party apps will not have native integration with the game you are playing, so it will be difficult to chat quickly with strangers. However, if you’re chatting with people you already know, the smoother voice experience makes it a great alternative to the Nintendo app.
The future of Nintendo Switch and voice chat
Nintendo is unlikely to abandon the use of the mobile app. Most of the proprietary Nintendo titles or games that the company distributes themselves will likely use the application implementation. However, future multiplayer title ports to the switch may support the built-in voice chat feature.
For now, if you are playing with your friends, we suggest going to Discord.