Update: A third source has confirmed this report. GameXplain reached out to Nintendo, and Nintendo confirmed that the report is correct. Their statement has been added to the bottom of this article.
Nintendo will launch Super Mario Maker 2 next month. The upcoming Switch game takes everything people loved about its predecessor and adds more! One of the exciting new additions is online multiplayer, both cooperative and competitive. Unfortunately, online play may come with a pretty significant limitation. According to at least two sources so far, the game doesn’t let you play online with your friends.
A handful of gaming news outlets recently got the chance to go hands-on with Super Mario Maker 2. Now that their embargo has lifted, previews are popping up all over the internet. According to NintendoWorldReport’s article, Nintendo is restricting online play to randoms only. This, they were told, is done to make things fair.
Super Mario Maker 2 and online play
Nintendo’s reasoning is that, with global leaderboards, the matchmaking for competitive play would be compromised if you could play with friends. That limitation also extends to co-op play as well despite those not being leaderboard driven.
You can still enjoy cooperative and competitive play with friends in local modes, but not online. Dutch gaming site Power Unlimited made the same claim in their hands-on preview as well. However, Polygon’s report says “players can team up or battle with friends, both locally and over the internet.”
Did two separate Nintendo reps get it wrong? At certain live events, Nintendo will hire contract workers that aren’t actually full-time employees. This has led to misinformation in the past. However, NintendoWorldReport’s Neal Reznor has asserted this is not the case this time. The employee he spoke to was a Nintendo Treehouse employee, not just an event hire.
Nintendo has not yet issued an official public statement. But for now, it looks like Super Mario Maker 2 won’t have online play with friends. Perhaps Nintendo will change their minds down the road. Until then, you may be playing with randoms.
This is true. As the game is now, you cannot create Friend lobbies online. You can only play online with randoms. You can still get friends together and play with local play, and you’re free to play with four players on one Nintendo Switch system. You can also still challenge your friends with your creations and take on their designs through Course IDs and having them follow your Maker profile.