Wii Friend Codes: how to play with friends online

Learn more about the Wii's most confusing feature -- playing online with Friend Codes!

The Nintendo Wii isn't just a gaming console -- it's also a great way to keep in touch with your friends from across the globe. Through the Wii's Message Board features, you can send notes, pictures, and custom Mii avatars back and forth from your console to theirs. But first, you've got to set it up!

Unfortunately, the Wii Friend Code system is a bit convoluted. Luckily, the GamePro editors have broken down the steps that you need to 1) find your Wii number as well as 2) add friends to your Wii's address book.

Notice: For the following steps, make sure that your Wii is connected to the internet

How to find your Wii's Friend Code:

Step 1. Turn on your Nintendo Wii. You should be looking at the main menu. Make sure that your Wii is connected to the internet via Wi-Fi (or a third-party Ethernet/USB adaptor).

Step 2. Look for the Wii Message Board icon. It's located in the lower right-hand corner, and looks like an envelope. Select this icon with your Wii Remote and press the A button.

Step 3. Look for the Create Message icon. Now that you're on the Wii Message Board, look to the lower left-hand corner of your screen. Aim your Wii Remote at the icon and press A.

Step 4. Look for the Address Book. Once the Create Message window pops up, point at the icon labeled Address Book and select it with the A button. (The Address Book is where you'll also be able to add other Wii friends, but we'll get to that in a minute)

Step 5. Locate your Friend Code. Now that you have your Address Book open, move your Wii Remote over to the left scroll button, and then press the A button. The first page of the Address Book should display your Wii's unique 16 digit "Friend Code" number. This is the number that you want to share with friends, and will allow you to connect to other Wii systems.

How to register other Friend Codes

Step 1. Return to the Wii Message Board (see above). Select the Address Book.

Step 2. Select the Register button. Be sure that your Address Book is open so you can enter and save Friend Codes.

Step 3. Select Wii Address. You'll be given the option to select either a Wii address or Others. "Others" merely consists of friends' e-mail addresses and cell phones, which isn't too important here. For now, select the Wii Address option using the A button.

Step 4. Type in your pal's Friend Code. You'll be prompted to "Enter a Wii Number." Using the virtual keyboard, type in your friend's 16 digit Friend Code. Double-check that you've entered the Wii number correctly When you're finished, select OK.

Step 5. Choose a nickname for your friend. An "Apply Nickname" prompt should appear. This is how you'll see your friend when you receive messages from them, so enter your friend's name or a silly nickname. Select OK when finished.

Step 6. Add a Mii, if you want. After you've chosen a nickname for your friend, you have the option of attaching a Mii to your friend. This Mii will be your friends' avatar, and will display alongside their nicknames. If you'd like to attach a Mii, select Add a Mii, and then choose a Mii from your gallery. Choose OK when you've all done.

Step 7. You're done! You've officially registered your friend's Wii console, and will soon be able to send messages and Miis back and forth via the internet. Take note, however, that your friend has to reply to your Wii friend request before you can start interacting with one another. The friend request will be sent posted as a note on your friend's Wii Message Board, where they can accept or decline your invitation.

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