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What does the L next to the Nintendo Switch Wi-Fi symbol mean?

Have you noticed a tiny L character appearing next to the Wi-Fi indicator on the Nintendo Switch home screen?

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Nintendo Switch L character Wi-Fi symbol
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Have you noticed a tiny “L” character appearing next to the Wi-Fi signal symbol on the Nintendo Switch home screen? Here’s what it means.

Some Nintendo Switch users have recently spotted a tiny capital “L” snuggled up to the home screen’s Wi-Fi connection icon. But what does it mean?

Various theories circulating on internet forums and message boards suggest that it indicates a low-quality Wi-Fi connection. Indeed, the Switch doesn’t have the strongest wireless networking capability. The console uses a Broadcom BCM4356 chip and owners have found issues with its signal strength and range ever since launch.

Nonetheless, the standard three bars of the Wi-Fi icon are all that are required to indicate the strength of a wireless internet connection. The truth behind the “L” is actually much simpler.

Nintendo Switch L character Wi-Fi symbol

The “L” just means the Switch is using a Local Wi-Fi connection. It will be familiar to anyone who has played Nintendo Switch games using local wireless multiplayer, such as Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and FIFA 20.

The reason many players are noticing the character for the first time is due Pokémon Sword and Shield’s online game modes.

By default, Pokémon Sword and Shield is always primed for trading, battles and raids with other players. And to do this, it defaults to using the Switch’s local wireless connection. You’ll notice that if you go into the game’s Y-COMM menu and connect to the internet, the “L” disappears. You can also check the game’s connection status – which is displayed as either “Local Communication” or “Internet” – in the top right corner of the Y-COMM menu.

So it’s nothing to worry about, and if you want to turn off all wireless communication to save battery life, you can do so by putting your Nintendo Switch into Flight Mode.

The various ways in which the Switch can connect online are detailed on the Play Nintendo website.


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Guides

How to visit islands online in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Want to play Animal Crossing: New Horizons online? Here’s how to visit and host friends using the game’s online multiplayer features.

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Animal Crossing New Horizons - Dodo Airlines
Dodo Airlines

Want to play Animal Crossing: New Horizons online? Here’s how to visit and host friends using the game’s online multiplayer features.

Starting a new life on a deserted island is fun, but wouldn’t it be nice to visit some friends occasionally? And how about inviting some mates over for a beach party? Fortunately, Animal Crossing: New Horizons supports online and local multiplayer for up to eight players.

Multiplayer isn’t available at the start of the game, but once Dodo Airlines fully opens on day two, you can visit a friend’s island and have up to seven guests visit yours.

Before you start, make sure you have some buddies on your Nintendo Switch Friends List and – for online multiplayer – a subscription to Nintendo Switch Online.

How to invite online friends to your Animal Crossing island

  1. Visit the Dodo Airlines terminal located on the south beach of your island.
  2. Got to the front desk and speak to Orville, the ever-helpful attendant.
  3. Select “I want visitors.”
  4. Select “Via online play” and then “Roger!”
  5. This being Nintendo, the game connects to the internet in a very 00s way. Beep beep beep, etc.
  6. Once connected, choose from the following options, depending on who you want to visit.
    • All my friends! – Anyone on your Nintendo Switch Friends List
    • Only my Best Friends! – Any friends you have assigned Best Friends Status in Animal Crossing: New Horizons
    • Invite via Dodo Code – Generates a one-time code that can be shared with multiple friends, best friends, and random Switch users.
  7. Orville will then open the gate and players can visit your island. (See below)
  8. Press the minus (-) symbol whenever you want to end the online session. You can also ask Orville to close the gate and prevent new players arriving without kicking off players who are already there.

How to visit a friend’s Animal Crossing island online

  1. Visit the Dodo Airlines terminal located on the south beach of your island
  2. Speak to Orville on the front desk.
  3. Select “I wanna fly!”
  4. Select “I wanna visit someone.”
  5. Select “Via online play” and then “Roger!”
  6. Once the game connects to the internet, you have two options:
    • Search for a friend – Players on your Nintendo Switch Friends List
    • Search via Dodo code – A player that has shared a code, either directly or publicly
  7. If you select Dodo Code, tap in the five-digit code and press Confirm.
  8. Orville will open the gate and you can embark on your journey.

How to add Best Friends

Once you have played online with players from your Nintendo Switch Friends list once, you unlock the option to assign them Best Friend status within the NookPhone app. Once the request is accepted, you become BFFs. The main difference is that Best Friends are allowed to use their Shovels and Axes on other player’s islands.

Local WiFi Multiplayer

Local multiplayer on the same WiFi network works in much the same way, just select Local Play when speaking to Orville.


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5 really useful Animal Crossing: New Horizons websites

Here’s our list of five really useful resources for Animal Crossing: New Horizons players on Nintendo Switch.

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Animal Crossing: New Horizons
Nook Inc.

Need help finding critters in Animal Crossing: New Horizons? Want to test your design ideas before adding them to the game? Here’s our list of five really useful destinations for all villagers.

If you’re new to the world of Animal Crossing, starting your new life can be a little daunting. The early stages Animal Crossing: New Horizons are thoughtfully guided, but there’s an overwhelming amount of information to absorb concerning the game’s flora and fauna, design and customisation options, inhabitants, and events.

Nintendo wants players to uncover the game’s pleasures without too much direction, and to find joy in experimentation and exploration.  Nonetheless, a neighbourly helping hand is always welcome, and fans have created some useful tools that players can use to create, test, and research their new homes.

Here are five Animal Crossing resources – both official and unofficial – that we recommend using to enhance your New Horizons experience.

Happy Island Designer

Animal Crossing: New Horizons has more options than ever when it comes to customising your home from home. A little town planning goes a long way, and Eugeneration‘s Happy Island Designer is perfect for experimenting with new island layouts. The tool lets you place homes, bridges, civic buildings, trees, and flowers. You can also experiment with terraforming by sketching rivers, paths, and different ground levels. Any maps you create can be exported as an image to work from.

Visit: Happy Island Designer

AC Patterns

AC Patterns is our top destination for creating custom and pro designs when we’re away from our Nintendo Switch. One of the most impressive features is the ability to upload your own images and transform them into patterns. Patterns can be shared online, saved locally, and turned into QR codes which you can upload into Animal Crossing: New Horizons using the Nintendo Switch Online smartphone app. Here’s our guide on how to do that.

Visit: AC Patterns

Nookpedia

Nookpedia is a lovingly-created database that catalogues every fish and insect in the game (so far). Each creature’s entry details its seasonal availability, and a includes a hint on where it might be found. Also helpful is a filter to determine which creatures will be unavailable when the month changes. No string fish for us.

The Design section also includes user-submitted patterns. These can be transferred to the game using a code at the Able Sisters’ store.

Visit: Nookpedia

Animal Crossing Amiibo Catalog

Once you have opened the Harv’s Island or the campsite in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, you can use the game’s amiibo functionality. Animal Crossing amiibos come in two forms, figures and cards, both of which remain in plentiful supply at online retailers. The amiibo figures are based on the game’s common cast of characters, such as K.K. Slider and Tom Nook. However, the cards also include the majority of villagers featured in the game. There are five series of cards available, with each pack containing a random selection of three. The Animal Crossing Amiibo Catalog website details the villagers available in each series, making it easy to track those you have and want.

Scanned amiibos can join you for a photoshoot on Harv’s Island and also be invited to the campsite, at which point you can encourage them to become permanent residents. In-game posters of every villager you scan can also be purchased.

Visit: Animal Crossing Amiibo Catalog

Tom Nook on Twitter

With seasonal events in Animal Crossing: New Horizons now delivered by software updates, staying up to date can be tricky. However, Tom Nook is here to help. Nook took over the game’s official Twitter account in February and publishes a daily dispatch of tips, village announcements, and “Life Advice”. Much of it seems obvious, but it’s always worth checking to make sure you’re not missing out on anything important.

Visit: Tom Nook on Twitter


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Guides

How to find and catch the buzzing insect in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

What is that buzzing? Where is the insect? How do I catch it? Here’s how to catch the Mole Cricket in Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

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Animal Crossing: New Horizons - Mole Cricket
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What is that buzzing? Where is the insect? How do I catch it? Here’s how to catch the Mole Cricket in Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

There’s nothing more relaxing than taking a stroll around your island in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, but what is that buzzing sound disturbing the peace?

It is, in fact, a Mole Cricket, a perfectly harmless critter that can only be detected by its buzz. The Mole Cricket is available from November to May in the Northern Hemisphere, and May to November on Southern Hemisphere islands. It’s available 24-hours a day but takes a little bit of effort to catch. Here’s a quick guide.

How to catch a Mole Cricket in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

  1. You can’t deliberately set out to catch a Mole Cricket, so just go for a stroll and listen out for its buzz.
  2. Once you hear the buzz, stop walking. We recommend wearing headphones as it makes it a little easier to pinpoint the cricket’s location.
  3. Walk around slowly until the sound is at its loudest. It should be roughly equal in each ear.
  4. Pull out your shovel and start digging up the ground around you.
  5. When you find the right spot, the cricket will appear and start jumping away.
  6. Swap to your net and set off in hot pursuit. If you’re quick enough, you’ll catch the rascal before it escapes.

The first time you catch a Mole Cricket, you should donate it to Blathers at the museum. Subsequent crickets can be sold to the Nooks for 500 bells. Not too shabby.


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The best Doom Eternal weapon mods (and the order you should unlock them in)

The latest Doom game is awash with unlocks and upgrades. Here’s our guide to the best Doom Eternal weapon mods (and the ones you should unlock as a priority).

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Doom Eternal rocket launcher weapon mods
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The latest Doom game is awash with unlocks and upgrades. Here’s our guide to the best Doom Eternal weapon mods (and the ones you should unlock as a priority).

Early on in Doom Eternal, as the game is subjecting you to death by tutorial, you’ll run into a weapon mod upgrade station. It’s a weird little green floating robot that contains at the most weapon upgrade, but also, the potential for every weapon upgrade in the game.

It’s weird, sure, but it’s not the weirdest thing in the game. (Don’t tug too hard at those threads. The sinew holding the game together is tenuous at best, and it’s actively worse when they try and explain anything. Definitely do unlock the retro armour, though.)

Doom Eternal weapon mod upgrade robot

Because weapon mod upgrades are limited by the number of unlock robots, this means you have to be selective about your weapon mod choices. Well, at first. The further you get into the game and the more you explore, the more weapon mods you’ll unlock. By the endgame, you’ll likely have unlocked them all, or thereabouts.

But as you progress through Doom Eternal, you’ll need to be picky about the order you unlock weapon mods to be the most effective demon slayer. Here are our recommendations for the ones you should prioritise as you work through the weapons on offer.

Combat Shotgun

Doomguy’s first weapon – there’s no pistol in Doom Eternal – is one of his most basic. But it’s also one of the most versatile, if you pick the right mod.

You might be tempted by the Full Auto mod, which sounds like a good idea, but the Sticky Bombs mod is far more useful. You’ll lean on it for taking down Cacodemons for one thing – the daft round boys will just eat those explosives up – but it’s also handy for targeting weak spots and sticking to speedy enemies, or for doing damage to a group of demons.

Heavy Cannon

This is Doom Eternal’s version of the assault rifle and its usage is similar. Less powerful than the Combat Shotgun with a slower rate of fire than the Chaingun, but is quite a sensible weapon for a very unsensible game.

Again, the Micro Missiles mod seems like the winner here, but you’re far better favouring the Precision Bolt. It consumes multiple rounds to fire, but does dramatically more damage and at a much greater range. Use this to pick enemies off before they can engage, or target demon weaknesses with extreme precision.

Plasma Rifle

Doom Eternal’s Plasma Rifle is very similar to the classic version. It’s rapid, like the Heavy Cannon and Chaingun, but packs a bit more punch per round – particularly to energy shields.

Both the mods for the Plasma Rifle are decent, actually, so you’ll want to unlock both. The Heat Blast uses residual energy from firing the rifle to deliver a burst of energy and push back nearby enemies. The Microwave Beam, on the other hand, will freeze an enemy on the spot with chain lightning, particularly handy for speedy, slippery demons.

Super Shotgun

The Super Shotgun is, as ever, one of the most powerful “regular” weapons. It uses two shotgun shells per shot and deals devastating damage at short range.

You can’t mod the Super Shotgun in Doom Eternal because it comes equipped with a mod out of the gate. It’s fitted with an under-barrel grappling hook called the Meat Hook, which functions like a cross between Mortal Kombat’s Scorpion and Link’s Hook Shot. “Get over here!”

Rocket Launcher

Now we’re getting up to the heavy-duty gear. Your Rocket Launcher doesn’t deal as much damage as the ones equipped on the demons, but it does have some neat tricks.

You could argue that both the Rocker Launcher mods are useful, but we’d favour the Lock-on Burst. After a couple of seconds to acquire a target, it fires three rockets – which is obviously three times the damage – but better than that, the rockets will track and home in on their target. This is vital against fast-moving beasts and can be used to effectively shoot around corners. The other mod, Remote Detonation, just allows you to detonate a rocket in flight.

Chaingun

The Chaingun is Doom’s classic, chain-fed Gatling gun. Where normally it shares ammo with the pistol, here, it shares ammo with the Heavy Cannon.

Again, both the mods for the Chaingun are useful. One allows you you to raise an Energy Shield to deflect incoming projectiles, while the other turns the Chaingun into a Portable Turret. The turret deals huge damage in a short period – which means it splurges ammo and is prone to overheating, in true video game turret tradition – whereas the shield has obvious uses.

Ballista

The Ballista is a brand new beast in Doom Eternal. It’s an energy weapon, similar to the Plasma Rifle, but consumes a lot of ammo per shot to deal heavy damage. Also, it’s a demonic laser crossbow. Crossbows are cool.

The Arbalest mod sounds like the better one here – a charged explosive bolt – but you’ll want to favour the Energy Blade. That delivers a horizontal beam of energy that can cut demons in half, and fans out to target a big group.

BFG-9000

You can’t mod the BFG-9000 in Doom Eternal, but why would you want to? It’s the best.


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How to transfer patterns to Animal Crossing: New Horizons using NookLink and QR codes

Here’s our guide to using the NookLink app to transfer Design Pattern QR codes from Animal Crossing: New Leaf (and the web) to Animal Crossing: New Horizons. 

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NookLink and QR codes in Animal Crossing: New Horizons
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Here’s our guide to using the NookLink app to transfer design pattern QR codes from Animal Crossing: New Leaf (and the web) to Animal Crossing: New Horizons. 

I played over 300 hours of Animal Crossing: New Leaf on Nintendo 3DS. That’s not long compared to some players, but it’s enough time to build up a nice collection of patterns and Pro Design clothing patterns.

Like a gazillion other players, I have now started a new life in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, but I don’t want my hard work to go to waste.

Here’s how to use the Nintendo Switch Online smartphone app to transfer designs from Animal Crossing: New Leaf (and the web) into Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

Before you start, you need the following:

  • A Nintendo account – You can get one right here
  • The Nintendo Switch Online smartphone app – Available via the App Store or Google Play
  • A Nintendo 3DS console and a copy of Animal Crossing: New Leaf or Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer
  • Access to the web if you want to download designs from other players.

Setting up NookLink

To start, load Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Select the minus (-) button on the title screen to access the settings page and choose ‘NookLink settings’. The game will connect to the internet and begin the set-up process.

Open the Nintendo Switch Online app on your smart device – make sure it’s connected your Nintendo account – and select Animal Crossing: New Horizons in the Game-Specific Services section. NookLink will open and the set-up process will be completed.

How to use the NookLink App to transfer QR codes

Using the ‘Designs’ option, you can transfer patterns from New Leaf, Happy Home Designer, and the internet to New Horizons through the magic of QR codes.

To transfer QR codes from Animal Crossing: New Leaf on Nintendo 3DS, follow these instructions:

  1. Load the game and visit the Able Sisters store on Main Street.
  2. Use the Sewing Machine at the back of the store.
  3. You can only create a QR code from a pattern you have created. Choose ‘Create a QR code’.
  4. Select the pattern you want to use and wait for the QR code to be generated. The code is also saved to the Nintendo 3DS Camera library.
  5. On your smartphone, open the NookLink app. Select ‘Designs’, then ‘Scan a QR code’.
  6. Point the camera at the QR code and confirm you want to save it. You can only transfer one design at a time.
  7. In Animal Crossing: New Horizons, start the game and open the NookPhone.
  8. Select the Custom Designs app.
  9. Press the plus (+) button to ‘Download’ and the game will connect to the internet.
  10. Select ‘OK’ to transfer your design to a spare slot.

Clothing – shirts, tops, and dresses – are considered Pro Designs. They consist of four QR codes representing the front, back, left, and right sides of the design. The NookLink app will scan each code in sequence, and voila, the pattern is transferred.

Transferred design patterns are saved to the Custom Designs tab. Costumes are saved to the Pro Design tab. It’s also worth noting that you can’t edit designs created by someone else.

If you’re looking for some good Animal Crossing QR codes, a quick web search will return plenty of options. We highly recommend the Animal Crossing Pattern Tool, which also has its own design tool. (Hat tip to creators Thulinma, DamSenViet, and Myumi.)

What else does NookLink do?

In addition to its design functions, NookLink also includes the following moderately useful features.

Passport

You can review your villager passport, including your name, motto, and birthday. It also displays your town name and lists current residents.

Chat Keyboard

Send chat-balloon messages to the game when you’re playing online. But be careful, other players can read these. Please be nice.

Best Friends

Players assigned Best Friend status in New Horizons are displayed here. To become a Best Friend a player has to be a friend on your Nintendo Switch console, and you need to have played together online. You can designate Best Friends in the NookPhone app.

Settings

Change the active player or app language. You can also pass the time by reading a copyright notice and some development credits. Fun times.


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