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How to Make the Most of the StreetPass Feature on the Nintendo 3DS

Updated on May 6, 2014
A shiny Nintendo 3DS XL.
A shiny Nintendo 3DS XL. | Source

What is StreetPass?

StreetPass is a new communication technology Nintendo introduced for its 3DS handheld console system. Essentially, when your 3DS passes by another 3DS console, the two consoles exchange information, such as the Mii that you created when you first used your 3DS. The “StreetPass Mii Plaza,” a collection of mini-games preloaded on each console, is the main hub of your StreetPass activities. In the plaza, you can meet all of the Miis that you've collected and attempt to clear some of the game's accomplishments, such as collecting a certain number of StreetPasses from different counties. In addition, a variety of 3DS games use this data to add more content and new experiences to your game.

A close-up shot of the Miis gathered in the plaza.
A close-up shot of the Miis gathered in the plaza. | Source

Enabling StreetPass

To use StreetPass, you need to enable the StreetPass setting on the games that use it. In some games, you'll be asked to setup StreetPass as you start playing the game. In other games, like “Animal Crossing: New Leaf,” you'll have to play the game for awhile before you can turn on StreetPass. To toggle the StreetPass settings in the Mii Plaza, open up the game and keep pressing left until you reach the settings icon, a red toolbox with a wrench. Select the StreetPass option, and change it to the setting you prefer.

Once you have enabled StreetPass in your games, you need to make sure that your system is in the correct mode to receive StreetPass data. Before you head outside to collect StreetPasses, turn on the console. Use the wireless slider on the right side of your console to enable StreetPass. Next, simply close the console so that will activate sleep mode. Do not turn the unit off; you should see a blue light on the bottom portion of your console. As you go about your day, keeping checking the indicator light on the top right corner. If you get a StreetPass, the light will turn green.

Disabling StreetPass

Most games have a setting option within the menu to change your StreetPass options. However, you can also disable specific titles from using StreetPass in the System Settings section of your home screen. After selecting System Settings, choose Data Management. Next, select StreetPass Management. You'll see a list of the games that are currently using StreetPass. To disable StreetPass on one game, simply click on that game's icon and select Deactivate StreetPass.

Talking to this friendly dog in "Animal Crossing: New Leaf" will help you access the game's StreetPass features.
Talking to this friendly dog in "Animal Crossing: New Leaf" will help you access the game's StreetPass features. | Source

Which Games Use StreetPass?

Many 3DS games use StreetPass to give you additional content. Some popular games that use StreetPass include:

“The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds”

As you progress through this game, you'll have the chance to duel Shadow Links collected via StreetPass. If you successfully win a battle, you'll earn achievements and gold.

“Animal Crossing: New Leaf”

In this game, you can exchange data about your home and its furnishings with other players. Located just off of your town's main street, you can visit a special plaza to see the homes of other players. You can even buy furniture from each home's catalog.

“Fire Emblem: Awakening”

In “Fire Emblem,” you can construct a team that you will send out to other players with StreetPass. The teams that you receive will appear on your map, giving you more battles to level up your characters and a chance to recruit other Avatars to fight on your team.

You can usually find a section in the game's manual to give you more information about that game's StreetPass features.

In "Flower Town," you'll have the chance to grow pretty flowers with the help of your StreetPass guests.
In "Flower Town," you'll have the chance to grow pretty flowers with the help of your StreetPass guests. | Source

What are the Extra StreetPass Games You Can Buy in the Mii Plaza?

Although the Mii Plaza comes with a few games, you may be itching for some more StreetPass games. In 2013, Nintendo released four additional games for the Mii Plaza: “Mii Force,” “Flower Town,” “Warrior's Way” and “Monster Manor.” Separately, each game costs $5.00 US. If you buy all games as a bundle, however, you'll save $5 and get them all for $14.99. However, Nintendo didn't do a very good job making it clear that you can buy the games in a bundle. Take a look at this link from Nintendo to get help buying the bundle.

The man in red might know something about this StreetPass thing...
The man in red might know something about this StreetPass thing... | Source

Getting More StreetPasses

Struggling to get more StreetPasses? Finding StreetPasses can be a challenge, especially if you live in a suburban or rural area. Try a few of these ideas:

  1. Take your 3DS everywhere you go. Get a good and sturdy case for it so that it will be safe as you travel throughout your day. Keep it tucked away and out of sight to ensure it doesn't get stolen.
  2. Include side trips in your normal errands to places where you know there will be lots of people. Airports, schools, shopping malls and tourist destinations are some of the best places to get StreetPasses in the wild. Airports and tourist destinations are especially good venues to find StreetPasses from people outside of your hometown.
  3. Go to gaming and anime conventions to collect huge amounts of StreetPasses quickly. Many people who go to conventions bring their consoles to pass the time while waiting in lines.
  4. Look for meetups in your area for 3DS fans. Some fans regularly host special events in their home cities to get more StreetPasses and just hang out with fellow gamers.
  5. Look for StreetPass Relay stations in your town. Basically, these stations save a certain number of StreetPasses, leaving them on the system for you to download when you visit. McDonalds, Home Depot and Starbucks are just some of the most common places to find these zones. Use this map to find a zone near you.

At a place like this, you'll have no trouble filling up your StreetPass Mii Plaza.
At a place like this, you'll have no trouble filling up your StreetPass Mii Plaza. | Source

Why Did I Only Get 10 StreetPasses?

Unfortunately, you can't endlessly pickup StreetPasses all day long without doing anything; all games that use the technology have some kind of limit on the number of StreetPasses you can collect. For example, on the Mii Plaza, you can only welcome 10 people into your plaza at a time. To start collecting more, you'll need to meet the current guests. Once you've cleared your gate, you can start collecting again. Other games have their own limits. In “The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds,” you can save up to 20 Shadow Links before the system will stop accepting more.

Admiral Fluffykins doesn't seem to understand StreetPass or SpotPass.
Admiral Fluffykins doesn't seem to understand StreetPass or SpotPass. | Source

Is SpotPass Similar to StreetPass?

SpotPass is just a way for Nintendo to deliver extra content to you. If you have SpotPass on and you connect to an Internet-enabled wireless connection, your console will connect with Nintendo for updates and other content. Although the two have similar names, they provide different functions.

Is StreetPass Safe to Use?

StreetPass operates by connecting over a local wireless network with other consoles. To date, there have been no privacy or security concerns raised by StreetPass.


StreetPass is an exciting feature of the Nintendo 3DS that helps extend the life of your games and give you more content for free in the "StreetPass Mii Plaza." The best way to get the most of the feature is to take your console with you everywhere you go! You never know what fun surprises you'll find waiting on your 3DS.


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