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Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Why Discord Removing Four-Digit Discriminators is Bad for Nintendo Switch Owners

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - Well, it's bad for ME, at least. I don't know what to do!

Recently, Discord announced that they will change how Discord usernames will work. This will allegedly be rolling out soon. When is soon? “In the coming weeks” to be notified of when you can update your account, and then “the course of several months” to actually do it, with the earliest Discord adopters going first. I made a Discord account in 2017 because of AOL Instant Messenger (AIM) ending. That means there are millions of people who've been using it before me, but that's still before the majority of its users. I haven't received any notification of when I'll be able to upgrade my username.

The gist of the change is that rather than having a name and then a number sign with four digits afterwards (which are randomly assigned among the four-digit numbers not already in use... unless you pay Discord to be able to change them) that allows for ten thousand people to have that same name, you'll just have one unique username. You send friend requests to that unique username, and you can also have a different display name (which doesn't have to be unique compared to literally every other Discord user) that shows up when you actually talk to people. This is generally how every other service works. Think like Nintendo Network IDs on Miiverse. My NNID was PrinceOfKoopas (I'm the only Nintendo Network ID holder named PrinceOfKoopas), but my display name was Ludwig (of which there were many posers).

Here is my problem: I use my Discord tag (Koopa#5969... for now!) as my Nintendo Switch profile name for the explicit purpose of getting random people I play online with to send me a Discord friend request. It actually works, because people recognise that a name with a number sign with four digits following it is a Discord username. It's distinct to Discord.

Nintendo Switch Koopa#5969 Discord tag profile Splatoon Super Smash Bros.
I made my Discord name Koopa specifically to fit in the Switch's 10-character limit, since #5969 takes up five characters.
Otherwise, I'd be using Ludwig or PrinceOfKoopas as my Discord name.

When Discord changes how they do names to be a normal alphanumeric phrase (you can also use periods and underscores), and if I change my Switch profile name to be that Discord tag, no one is going to know that is a Discord tag. They'd just think it's a regular name, so no one is going to put that name into Discord's friend requester.

The workaround WOULD have been for Discord to allow for the # symbol in their new names, but they don't allow for that. Maybe I can make my unique Discord identifier to be koopa.5969 or koopa_5969? ...Or maybe change the number to be koopa.1337. Would people on a Switch realise that's a Discord tag and try it? Would they realise it if it was ludwig.123, for example? Because if it was just ludwigvkoo, no one is gonna put that in the Discord friend request box.

All of this thought is only necessary because the Nintendo Switch has no communication features whatsoever. I can't just go send a message to someone on my Switch friend list and tell them to send me a Discord friend request at “princeofkoopas”. Even the 3DS and Wii U friend lists, in a post-Miiverse world, have a free-form 16-character (at least for the 3DS, since I just counted it) message / status that will pop up when you scroll by a person. “” happens to be 15 characters. ...Which brings me to another question.

Splatoon 3 KoopaTVorg 1463 The Original Prince Splashtag locker
I probably need to change the references to I've been making.
(The #1463 here doesn't mean or do anything.)

HOPEFULLY, you've read the news from KoopaTV's 10-year anniversary article that this website is ending. Given that, I should probably change my Splatoon 3 name, which gets to be different than your Switch name for some reason. You aren't allowed to use the # symbol in your Splatoon 3 name, unlike your greater Nintendo Switch account name, so that's why I picked it to be KoopaTVorg. But after July 3, will I still want to have KoopaTVorg as my name? Driving traffic to the site won't be my life's work at that point, though it certainly wouldn't hurt for people to check out KoopaTV's grand archive of amazingness. But more importantly, if I'd want people to talk to me after playing Splatoon 3 with them in a random queue, KoopaTV wouldn't be the best way to do that because it's hard to hold a conversation on a deserted website. And if I change it to a new Discord username, again, will people know to send a request to that?

I should mention in closing that everything I've discussed has been a violation of Nintendo's Nintendo Account User Agreement and Code of Conduct rules. These state “You should not include personal information such as your name, your email address, your address or your telephone number or any other personal information in User-Generated Content.” and “Don't share personal information, content that is obscene, illegal or otherwise inappropriate, copies of products or services, copyrighted or trademarked works, commercial activity such as advertising or other promotional materials, or any other content that isn’t yours to share.”, respectively. A Discord tag or website URL to talk off of Nintendo's services is certainly a violation of that, though if you can't share your name, I guess using “Ludwig” and “Koopa” are also violations.

Ludwig thinks the risks of getting in trouble with Nintendo or attracting people who send friend requests for the purpose of sending grotesque or shocking imagery (that's happened before) are worth the possible rewards of making new friends, so he asks you to help him figure out what to name himself on Discord, and then what to do with his Nintendo Switch account name and Splatoon 3 name. As of July 16 2023, his Nintendo Switch name and Splatoon 3 name are both “KoopaTVorg”, despite the site's lack of new content.


  1. I managed to find you because of your screen name in SSB for Wii U.

    1. Exactly my point. It's important!

      So wot do I do going forward?

  2. I've seen people link their Instagram.

  3. Will it let you use something like "Discord:koopa_5969" or "D@koopa_5969"? I know it was convenient that it was unique (Twitter used to be that way with @ names always meaning them until other social media made that not unique) but they aren't going to roll back so workarounds are really the only option.

    1. Because the Switch's character limit is 10, that would mean I might have to do "D@[eight-char-long-Discord-name]" and hope that gets the point across.


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