Nintendo 3DS to have a single Friend Code for online play

Making our lives a hell of a lot easier

Nintendo 3DS to have a single Friend Code for online play
26th January, 2011 By Ian Morris

The bane of playing a Wii or DS game online with people you know in real life, Friend Codes were a prerequisite for online play, requiring you and a friend to exchange a 12 digit code for each and every game you own if you wanted to play online together. Not really being much of an online person, the system didn't really bother me too much - until I bought Mario Kart and wanted to play against Everybody Plays' Editor, Ian.

Needless to say, actually getting to play each other online was anything but a walk in the park. First, we sent each other messages with our Mario Kart friend codes in, which we then registered in our copies of the game, yet, somewhat confusingly, Mario Kart refused to believe that we were friends (little did we realise then that you're only officially friends the next time both of you have connected to the internet in the game), so we assumed it hadn't worked. After much faffing, several re-sent messages, and a few muttered threats of damage towards the Wii, we eventually got it working - but it was far more of a faff than it needed to be.

Thankfully, there'll be no such faff on Mario Kart 3DS.

Originally implemented to protect people's privacy, each Friend Code was a unique combination of both the game and console's online ID numbers, meaning that even if you sold the game or console, there was no risk of people impersonating you online. The problem was, for most people, friends codes were just too much of a faff - so when it came to the 3DS' online functionality, people were hopeful the scheme would be dropped.

Thankfully, the people have had their wish granted. At the recent event in Amsterdam, Nintendo announced that they've revised their system, so that while you'll still have to exchange a Friend's Code with your, er, friends, this time round, you'll only have one to remember - a single Friend Code for each 3DS system, that isn't dependant on the game you're playing.

Stored on a friend's list that keeps a record of up to 100 friends, the newly-revised Friend Code system will let you find out whether your friends are online, and what they're playing, letting you join in with their game with a simple press of a button. Thankfully, registering a friend in real life is even easier, as if you and a friend are playing together in the same room wirelessly, your Friend Codes will be automatically registered to each other's 3DSs, without the need to exchange codes. Smashing.

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