How to Send Messages on Your Nintendo Switch

The Nintendo Switch is one of the most popular gaming consoles on the market. Its hybrid design that works as both a handheld and home console makes it very versatile. However, one thing the Switch lacks is a built-in messaging system to communicate with your friends.

Can You Send Messages on the Nintendo Switch?

Unfortunately, there is no way to directly send text messages to other players on the Nintendo Switch. The Switch does not have a messaging application and its communication features are limited.

However, there are some workarounds that allow you to chat with friends while playing games on your Switch. Here are the main options:

Use the Nintendo Switch Online App

Nintendo offers an official app called Nintendo Switch Online. When you connect the app to your Nintendo Account, it enables the following communication features:

  • Voice chat – You can chat with voice in compatible online multiplayer games. The app syncs to the game so you can talk to teammates.
  • Sending invites – You can send invites to friends to join your online session.
  • Seeing what friends are playing – The app shows which games your friends are currently playing.

The voice chat feature only works while actively playing a compatible online game. You cannot use the app for general messaging.

Use Game-Specific Chat Features

Some Nintendo Switch games have built-in text or voice chat features that allow you to communicate with other players in the game. For example, Fortnite, Rocket League, and Monster Hunter Rise allow chatting natively in the game.

The functionality varies between games – some may be text-based while others enable voice. Check if your favorite multiplayer titles include communication.

Use Third-Party Apps

There are third-party apps and services that can facilitate communication between Nintendo Switch players:

  • Discord – Popular chat app that works on phones, PC, and consoles. Create a Discord server and chat via text, voice, and video.
  • – Service that connects Switch players through a shared Discord server. Matches you with friends based on linked Friend Codes.

These solutions allow more flexible chat but require using another device in tandem with your Switch system.

Setting Up the Nintendo Switch Online App

If you want to use voice chat on your Switch, the Nintendo Switch Online app is currently the only first-party option. Here is how to set it up:

  1. Download the app – Available free on iOS and Android devices.
  2. Log in or create a Nintendo Account – Use your existing account or create a new one.
  3. Link your Nintendo Account on Switch – Go to System Settings > Users > Link Nintendo Account. Scan the QR code in the app.
  4. Enable voice chat in a supported game – Launch a compatible title, like Splatoon 2, and turn on the voice chat feature in settings.
  5. Start voice chat in the app – Open the Nintendo Switch Online app and tap the voice chat icon to connect.

Make sure you are using the same Nintendo Account both on your mobile device and Switch console to sync up the app’s services.

Tips for Communicating on the Nintendo Switch

Here are some handy tips to improve communication when playing online multiplayer games on your Nintendo Switch:

  • When using the voice chat app, make sure your phone is plugged in or has enough battery life. The app must stay open during play sessions.
  • Try out various USB headsets or earbuds to chat hands-free and hear game audio at the same time.
  • If your games support in-game text or voice chat, use those instead for a smoother experience without juggling devices.
  • For chat via Discord on your phone, connect a Bluetooth headset to your Switch to hear the game audio. Some headsets with dual pairing can connect both to the Switch and phone simultaneously.

Is Messaging Likely to Come to Switch?

Fans have long been requesting direct messaging capabilities on the Switch itself. However, Nintendo has not announced any plans to add such a feature down the line.

The reasons are unclear, but Nintendo may prefer to keep communication tied directly to gameplay rather than general social media-like messaging. Parental control concerns around kids chatting to strangers might also motivate this limitation.

For the foreseeable future, third-party apps and game-specific social features will remain the only options for communicating on your Nintendo Switch. With smartphones being ubiquitous, Nintendo may see no reason to build in messaging when most gamers already carry chat-capable devices.

So while native messaging would be convenient, don’t expect to see it integrated into the Switch system menus and dashboard anytime soon. The workarounds listed above are your best bet for the time being.


  1. The Nintendo Switch lacks built-in messaging capabilities – you cannot directly send texts to other players.
  2. Solutions like the Nintendo Switch Online app provide voice chat during gameplay sessions.
  3. Some games have their own communication features for chatting while playing.
  4. You can use third-party apps like Discord to chat from a separate device.

Messaging friends through the Switch itself would be a useful improvement. But for now, the available options allow chatting while you game, even if it requires some effort juggling devices.

Hopefully these tips help you stay connected with your gaming buddies on the Nintendo Switch! Let your friends know which chat solutions you use so you can coordinate playing and talking seamlessly.