Miitomo: Inside Nintendo’s First Mobile App and How to Play

George Tinari

The day has finally come. Nintendo has given into the masses and stopped being so stubborn about only releasing console games. The company released its first app ever for iOS and Android: Miitomo. You may have heard a thing or two about Miitomo, but judging by the name alone it’s understandably difficult to figure out what the app even is.

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Miitomo brings the familiar MIi characters into a social game for your smartphone | Photo: Gregg O’Connell/Flickr CC

It turns out, Miitomo uses Nintendo’s Mii characters first launched alongside the Nintendo Wii. They even had small appearances on the Nintendo DS. You can create your Mii to represent your look and personality, add friends, play mini-games for prizes and ultimately learn more about your friends through clever question and answer rounds. It seems the whole point of Miitomo is to connect with the people you matter to you in an eye-opening way.

Without further ado, let’s explore Miitomo. See how you can create and customize your Mii, plus make friends and gain points throughout the game.

Creating and Customizing Your Mii

When you first download Miitomo, you have to create a Mii character to represent yourself in the game. Nintendo gives an insanely wide amount of room for customization. For the Mii’s eyes alone you can pick from dozens of eye types, change the color, shape, angle, distance between both eyes, height, length and more. The hairstyles are abundant as is just about every other customization option you can think of, so take the time to get creative.

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If you don’t have the patience for scrolling through and picking individual elements of the face, Miitomo actually has a cool camera feature. Tap the Camera icon at the top to take a picture of your own face and Miitomo will intelligently try to match a Mii design that’s close to how your face looks. It’ll start randomly generating results as it analyzes your face in real time.

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In my experience, however, this almost never worked out well. As you can see from the screenshot, it looks like Miitomo just threw some random choices at me — none of which look anything like my face.

When you’re done customizing the face, you move on to name, voice and personality. Choose a nickname and dictate how to pronounce it. Then scroll to check out the voice hexagon, where you can edit five properties of how your voice sounds by dragging the points: pitch, speed, depth, accent and energy. You can even choose a delivery, which puts emphasis on different words and phrases.

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The personality section features the same hexagon with different facets: movement, individuality, manners, attitude and expression, so customize to what suits you.

Tap Next to move ahead and find out what your overall personality is, at least according to Miitomo. then tap OK at the top right to finish up the process and begin the journey into Miitomo.

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Note: At any point later on, you can tap the Menu tab at the bottom to access your ProfileCloset or Edit Mii to change your personality, face or clothes and accessories.

Adding Friends, Socializing and Gaining Points

Let’s cut to the chase: Miitomo isn’t much fun at all without any friends. So head to the Friends tab and link your Facebook and/or Twitter accounts to see what friends are using Miitomo already. You can also add friends you’re with in person using the face-to-face feature.

Once you’ve added some friends, you can go back this Friends tab to visit them every so often. When you do this, you’ll primarily just answer questions about them or provide your own thoughts on various topics. When they return to the game, they’ll be able to see your answers to questions like “What’s my favorite pizza topping?” or “What’s the last video that made you laugh?”

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The whole process ends up becoming about getting to know your friends a bit better and hopefully becoming closer to them through these question-and-answer sessions. It’s quite entertaining. That said, you can also tap your own Mii at the top of the screen to answer questions about yourself for friends to figure out later on.

The game has three kinds of currency that I’ve summed up in one convenient word: points. Really though, you earn coins, candy or game tickets. Coins are easy to earn just by logging in every day, visiting friends, answering questions, commenting on answers or changing your wardrobe. You can earn candy in similar ways like bonuses or by winning games and can give friends candy in exchange for some of their answers. Game tickets (or coins) can be used to play mini-games, though there aren’t very many.

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As coins accumulate, you can head to the Shop tab to buy different items to customize your appearance like shirts, pants, accessories and weird body suits. Or you can scroll underneath the shop to find games, which update and change every few weeks. There, you can spend coins on game turns in exchange for prizes like candy or clothing items.

Miitomo comes down to this: it’s an online world limited to you and your friends where you can socialize, get to know each other, play some mini-games and dress up in kooky outfits. But it works, and it’s fun with a decent amount of friends.

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George Tinari

Written By

George Tinari

George Tinari has written about technology for over seven years: guides, how-tos, news, reviews and more. He's usually sitting in front of his laptop, eating, listening to music or singing along loudly to said music. You can also follow him on Twitter @gtinari if you need more complaints and sarcasm in your timeline.