How to Play Mario Kart With Your Friends On the Nintendo Switch (Online and In Person)

The new Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is out for the Switch, and it’s awesome. There are more ways to play with your friends (and subsequently lose them) than ever before. Some of those options are a little confusing, so we’re going to break down how to play with your friends, no matter where you are or how many Switches you have.

Several people can play on one console with a split-screen. Up to eight people can play on their own Switches with wireless play. You can also play with up to twelve friends over the internet with online play. The Switch also supports several controller configurations. Let’s go over how to do each of these one by one.

Note: The Switch’s controllers work a little differently than most consoles. Each Switch comes with a pair of Joy-Con controllers that can be used as a single large controller for one person, or as individual, smaller controllers for two people. So, if you want to play with four people, you only need two pairs of Joy-Con controllers. You can also use Pro controllers, though those are obviously limited to one per player.

Play Local Split-Screen With Up to Four Players On One Switch

The easiest (and cheapest) way to play Mario Kart with your friends is local multiplayer. This mode only requires one Switch and one copy of Mario Kart (plus controllers for everyone). It will also be familiar to everyone who’s been hurling blue shells at their friends and relatives since the Super Nintendo.

To use this mode, choose Multiplayer from the main menu. Here, you can select how many people you want to play with—up to four players.

Next, choose your game mode. If you choose Grand Prix, you’ll need to choose your difficulty (50cc, 100cc, etc.) before moving on to the next step.

You’ll see a screen like the one below where you can assign controllers to players. Press and hold the L and R (or SL and SR) buttons on your controller in the configuration you want to use. At the top of the screen, you’ll see the three different configuration options you can use your controllers in.

For example, if you want to use the left and right portion of a Joy-Con controller separately, you would turn the controllers sideways and hold the SL and SR buttons on each controller. Your screen should look something like this.

If you want to use both Joy-Cons to make a full size controller, press L and R on the two halves of the Joy-Con at this screen. Your controller configuration should look something like this.

You can add up to four players using any combination of controllers. For example, if you have two Joy-Con pairs, each half can be a standalone controller, allowing four people to play. In that case, your screen would look like this.

During this phase, you can easily pair controllers from other consoles…

How to Switch or Launch Apps From the MacBook Pro Touch Bar

Apple put a touch screen on the MacBook Pro, but doesn’t offer some way of launching or switching apps from it. Seriously, Apple? It seems like an oversight, but happily a couple of developers have stepped up to offer this feature.

Two main applications offer touch bar app switching and launching: TouchSwitcher and Rocket. Both are compelling in their own way, but we like TouchSwitcher as a starting point. Here it is in action:

It’s simple enough, but there’s a bunch of functionality hidden just below the surface. Let’s dive in.

Command+Tab for the Touch Bar

TouchSwitcher, when launched, adds a button on your Control Strip.

Press this button and the App Controls segment of the touch bar shows you all of the currently open applications.

Tap any icon to switch to that program. It’s simple, but it works entirely in the touch bar.

But there’s more! You can hold your modifier keys to close or hide apps.

  • Hold Shift and tap an app icon to hide that app.
  • Hold Option and tap and app icon to quit that app.

You can hold the key and tap a bunch of apps to quickly hide or close things i bulk. Honestly, this application is worth installing for this alone.

You can also hold Control and tap to see a list of options for the app.

Here you can hide or quit the application, or you can hit the Star icon to add a given app to your list of favorites.

Where do the favorites end up? To the right of your currently open apps, though you’ll have to…

How to Set Up Parental Controls on the Nintendo Switch

You can play the new Nintendo Switch on the TV or on the go…which means your kids can get twice as addicted to it. Here’s how to set time limits, bedtime reminders, and content restrictions on the Switch.

While the Switch comes with some basic parental controls, like filtering games by their rating, the real star is a new parental controls companion app that you can use to set time limits, monitor your child’s activity remotely, and even block access to the console entirely.

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How to Set Up Nintendo’s Parental Controls App

To get started, you’ll need to download the app for Android or iOS. Open the app and make sure your Switch is nearby.

When you first open the app, tap Next (you can also tap About Data Usage, if you’d like to disable Nintendo’s analytics tracking). Then, tap Sign In/Create Account to link your Nintendo Account.

Tap “Sign in” to log into an existing account or tap “Create a Nintendo Account” if you don’t have one. We’ll assume you already have an account. If you don’t, check out our guide to Nintendo Accounts here. Enter your email address or User ID and your password, then click “Sign in.”

Tap “Use this account” to link your Switch console to your Nintendo Account.

The next screen will tell you to get your console ready. Tap Next to see your registration code, then grab your Switch for the next few steps.

On your Switch’s home screen, tap the Settings button.

Scroll down to the Parental Controls section and tap Parental Controls Settings.

Choose “Use your Smart Device.” If you don’t want to use the app, you can choose “Use this console” here, but you won’t have access to features like limiting play time or getting notifications when your…