Nintendo DS: Day 27 (The Problem With Friend Codes)

   10 December 2005, mid-morning

I have two Nintendo DS games you can play online, Animal Crossing: Wild World and Mariokart DS. Mariokart will let you play with anyone you please online, but Animal Crossing limits you to people you tell it are your friends. This is done by entering your friend’s friend code; keep in mind that your “friend” may be a complete stranger you met on the internet. Nintendo offers no means of exchanging friend codes, so it has to be done through other channels—for example, Chris and I exchanged codes when I first mentioned I owned Animal Crossing. The problem is that this really isn’t enough to start playing with your friend; you also need to coordinate when you are playing your game for the friend codes to be of any use. If I log into the Nintendo WiFi Connection to challenge my friend online to a game of Mariokart, he also needs to be online. The only way I can determine he is online is to either: try and challenge him and see if I get a response, or communicate with him through some other channel and tell him to log on to the WFC as well. I’ve seen people posting their friend codes online all over the place, but this is really only solves half the problem of playing with your friends online. You need a means of communicating with all your friends that you are playing online. Since in many cases your “friends” are in fact random people you are meeting on the internet, you may not have their telephone numbers, email addresses, or IM names. Communicating when you are online in a simple manner is just as important as exchanging friend codes; I will need think about how to do that more.



  1. Wifico was created by people from the Nintendo DS LiveJournal Community. It solves the easy part of playing with strangers: getting friend codes. The site is primarily used by LiveJournal users from that community.

    A better attempt at solving both problems involved in playing online is the web site Animal Crossing Live. Itís still far from perfect. Update: I just tried using this service now. It works well. You enter your friend code, and are matched up with someone at random. (If you want to visit a town, you are matched with someone who recently opened their gates. If you want people to come to your town, you are matched with people who want to visit.)

    One problem with dealing with totally random people is that they can muck up your town, and you have little to no recourse beyond banning them after the fact. A user over at the Animal Crossing community on LiveJournal had someone deface her notice board.

  2. why isn’t anyone writing back

  3. Besides the fact you meant to write this comment in another thread, no one is writing back because pretty much no one besides myself plays Animal Crossing here. As I wrote at the bottom of that post (now the top), joining the LiveJournal group is a better use of your time. You'll find friends much faster there. I hardly play online now. There are a few other services for finding people to play with, but the group is a good start.

  4. ty so much sango !!!

    my name:desmond


    friend code:4209-8056-3056

    plz reply

    when can i come?

  5. wow

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