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Nintendo Switch system update adds small fixes, hidden features

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Your bugged-out play time may already be restored

The Nintendo Switch in its dock, with the Joy-Con grip. James Bareham/Vox Media

Nintendo released a new system software update for the Nintendo Switch on Monday, adding some relatively minor features to the console. But there are some fixes and apparently some unannounced new features included as part of the update, numbered version 5.0.0, which will make a lot of Switch users happy.

One of the more important bug fixes in the system update relates to Play Activity. Switch owners noticed recently that their play time had been reset to zero in games they started playing one year ago, a bug related to the console’s calendar. This week’s update should fix that, according to Nintendo.

The update also includes a new way to find friends through Facebook and Twitter, as well as updates to parental controls.

Switch users are also reporting some updates not listed in the version 5.0.0 update, including unconfirmed fixes for Joy-Con syncing and improved support for USB wireless headsets.

Here’s the official word on what’s included in Switch software version 5.0.0, from Nintendo’s support website:

Improvements Included in Version 5.0.0 (Distributed 03/12/2018)

Added the following system functionality

Facebook and Twitter friends that also use Nintendo Switch can now be added through Friend Suggestions

  • Friend suggestions are based on the Facebook and Twitter accounts you have linked to your Nintendo Account
  • To view your friend suggestions, from the top left of the HOME Menu head to your User Page > Friend Suggestions
  • You must be 13 or older to use this feature

Select from 24 new ARMS and the Kirby series icons for your user

  • To edit your user icon, head to your My Page on the top left of the Home Menu > Profile

Digital software purchases made from a PC or smart device will start downloading sooner than previously, even if the Nintendo Switch console is in Sleep Mode

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To keep the Parental Controls PIN private, the default method for PIN entry has been changed to entering using the Control Stick and buttons instead of the on-screen number pad

  • When prompted to enter you Parental Controls PIN, press and hold the + Button to change between input methods

Captured videos in the Album will be restricted by Parental Controls depending on the Restricted Software setting and Software Rating Organization

Using the Nintendo Switch Parental Controls app, add specific software titles to your whitelist to exclude them from the console’s Parental Controls Restricted Software setting

  • Play-Time Limit restrictions will still apply even when the software title has been whitelisted.

Receive notification when pre-purchased software is ready to play

Nintendo Switch Pro Controller grip colors will now display in the Controllers menu

General system stability improvements to enhance the user’s experience, including:

Resolved an issue that caused Play Activity to display incorrectly in the Profile section of your User Page