Nintendo isn’t really a company that comes to mind when you think of talking to people online. As a company where multiplayer doesn’t really require you to talk to other players, it also isn’t really a surprise that the Nintendo Switch voice chat solution is far from any sort of elegant.
The solution in question comes from the Japanese company Hori, who made an “official” Nintendo Switch headset to provide you with a way to talk to your friends while playing games. Hori provided a handy dandy diagram of how you need to plug something in if you want to listen both to the game’s audio and your friends’ voice chat.
Essentially, in order to listen to both to game audio and your friends, you would have to get two separate cables that will come out of the GamePad and your smartphone, respectively. They would then plug into a splitter that comes with the Hori headphones, and doing so would allow you to talk to your friends and hear the game audio at the same time.
The Nintendo Switch voice chat solution would work with Nintendo’s voice chat smartphone app, which is supposed to be coming out this summer (hence your smartphone’s use in the splitting). However, if you want a less clunky solution you’re likely out of luck, and may have to find other ways to talk to your friends that don’t require you to have a bunch of plugs and wires around.
Hopefully both Hori and Nintendo can come up with a better way to deal with the Nintendo Switch voice chat solution, but if not, the smartphone voice chat app may end up a big failure for both, and will be rough times for players who were hoping for a more conventional method of talking to their friends while playing with them online.