During a livestream today, Nintendo announced that Splatoon 2 will get a companion app, called Splatnet 2, via the Nintendo Switch Online mobile app. Splatnet 2 will allow players to look up battle statistics and character progression, as well as shop for in-game gear and accessories.
Splatoon 2 is the first game officially revealed to support the Nintendo Switch Online app, which will be handling all of the console’s online services. In the case of Splatoon 2, players will use the app to find and invite other players to join Private Battles, Splatfest Battles, and League Battles. The companion app will also be used—along with a separately sold headset dongle—to communicate with other players via voice chat. When used with Splatoon 2, voice communications will be automatically set to “team-only voice chat.”
Nintendo Switch Online is Nintendo’s planned online service set to launch alongside Splatoon 2 later this month. Though online connections for Switch games like Arms and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe have been free thus far, all future online functionality will require a Nintendo Switch Online subscription, priced at $19.99/year. With this subscription, Nintendo has promised dedicated online matchmaking and voice chat (provided via the smart phone app) and—in 2018—a Netflix-like games service, granting members access to a yet undisclosed library of NES games like Super Mario Bros. 3, Balloon Fight and Dr. Mario.
Splatoon 2 is set to launch for Nintendo Switch on July 21. If that’s too long to wait, Switch owners can participate in a live Splatfest event on July 15 from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm PT, accessible through the Splatoon 2 Demo.