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Nintendo's fancy Switch Online App is now available, and Splatoon 2 is the first game you'll be able to use it with.

The Japanese veteran has taken a rather unusual approach with this app; instead of including match-making features and voice-chat in-game, those elements are channelled through your smart device.

Given how confusing this process potentially is, we decided to put a guide together which takes you through each step.

Getting Started

First up, you'll need to download the app to your iOS and Android device. You'll also need a Nintendo Switch and compatible game (obviously) and a Nintendo Account linked to your Nintendo Switch console and smart device. Devices using iOS 9.0 (or later) and Android 4.4 (or later) are supported.

Setting Up A Room

In Splatoon 2, press the X Button to open the Menu, and then select "Lobby" (select "Grizzo" if you are joining a Salmon Run.) Select "Online Lounge" and then "Create Room". 

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At this stage you can select "Allow Nintendo Switch friends to join the room with a password" if you would like users without the Nintendo Switch Online app to join your game. Select OK to create the room. 

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You'll then be told that a notification will be pushed to your smart device, enabling you to continue the process from there.

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Using Your Smart Device

Select the notification or open the Nintendo Switch Online app and view the room you've created. 

The moment you do this you'll be prompted to invite some friends. You can invite from your social network by posting an invite link on Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, Gmail and many other popular social networks or apps. Alternatively, you can simply invite people from your Nintendo Switch friends list, or select a Switch user you've previous met online.

Setting Up The Match

Dropping back to the Switch, you'll be able to see who has joined your room as well as tinker with the game settings. You can select the mode - Turf War, Rainmaker, Splat Zones or Tower Control - and pick your stage. You can also toggle secondary gear abilities on and off if you so wish.

During play, voice chat is enabled for those players on the same team - you won't be able to hear what the rival team is saying. You can mute voice chat at any time by pressing the button on your smartphone's screen. Voice chat comes through your phone's speaker - all game sounds are pumped through the Switch, as normal. If you want to combine the two then you'll need a compatible headset, like the one produced by Hori.

Things To Note

  • You can't use voice chat outside of games, so to chatter with your friends they'll need to be present in the Online Lounge within Splatoon 2, or any other compatible game.
  • You can't share your Nintendo Account for voice chat on multiple smart devices. You'll have to sign out of one device before using your Nintendo Account on another.
  • You can use wireless Bluetooth headphones for voice chat, but remember that you'll only hear the voices of other players - all the in-game sounds will still be restricted to the Switch itself. A special headset is required to mix them together.
  • If you get a call on your smartphone during a gaming session, the voice chat will disconnect automatically. It will restart in the same room once you open the Nintendo Switch Online application again, provided the match is still active. If you exit the Switch Online App during play to load up another application, voice chat will also disconnect.