Super Smash Bros. Ultimate will use the Nintendo Switch Online smartphone app for its voice chat service. This announcement came during today’s massive Smash focused Nintendo Direct. While the news isn’t all that surprising, given the reliance on the app from all of Nintendo’s other online games, it is still disappointing for those who hoped for a more robust chat system within the game itself.
This means players who want to talk with their teammates or opponents in a given online match will still need to use the app, which requires some additional steps to set up. You can’t hook up a mic to your Switch and talk away, instead you’ll have to connect through the app and have a headset connected to your phone, unless you just want to use the in-built microphone and speakers.
Nintendo’s reliance on this app has come under a lot of scrutiny ever since it first became clear. Nintendo has always had its own take on online multiplayer features, and this was just another instance of that trend. Fans haven’t been too pleased with the setup, as it requires so much effort for something that is so simple on other devices. We’ll see if anything more streamlined comes out in the future, but for now you’d better have your smartphone handy, if you want to play some Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.