For the most part, Yo-Kai Watch is a single player experience. You go around Springdale as Nate or Kate, making friends with all the Yo-Kai and helping everyone with their problems. However, there are some elements that allow people to interact with other players, in a way.
For instance, Yo-Kai Watch is compatible with the Nintendo 3DS’ StreetPass function. If you enable it and go past someone else with the game, their Yo-Kai may show up in your Wayfarer Manor. I’ve only StreetPassed three people with the game, so I haven’t experienced all of the possible encounters, but it seems like most Yo-Kai who come to visit either want to briefly battle or give you an item. So far, I’ve only received minor things like food or medicine. However, there is a chance that you can befriend these traveling Yo-Kai if their Rank is between B and E.
You can access the Wayfarer Manor after getting access to the Heights area, after about 4 hours of playing the game. It could take longer to reach that milestone, however, if you’re grinding or taking on a lot of side quests.
It is also possible to participate in local multiplayer battles in Yo-Kai Watch. These proceed in the same fashion as the single player matches, only you’re using ad-hoc wireless to battle a friend in the same room as you. This is triggered by heading to the Lambert Post Office near Nate and Kate’s homes. Visit one of the clerks to set up the match. You will be ranked based on your performances and receive items, but individual matches won’t provide significant rewards.
There’s also the Yo-Kai Cam, though I hesitate to call it social. If you use this feature, you can take a picture of someone’s face. (Animals’ faces won’t register.) You will then “catch” a Yo-Kai that represents that is “tied” to that person. Reaching certain hallmarks in terms of caught Yo-Kai will result in rewards that can be claimed from the Lambert Post Office. However, you don’t need to take pictures of different people. Taking about 10-20 pictures of yourself will do just fine.
Finally, there are all the means of earning coins for the Crank-a-kai machine next to the shrine. You can use three coins in the machine every day. Coins can be found in-game, via inputting passwords at the post office, by scanning in QR codes, or by paying 10 Play Coins for one. You have a random chance of getting a great Yo-Kai from these coins or mediocre items. It’s worth doing, as that’s how I ended up getting a Rank B Benkei and Rank A Robonyan. It also makes watching the anime series worthwhile, as a QR code for the game appears every episode. QR codes are scanned in at Piggleston Bank, while Play-Coins can be exchanged immediately at the Crank-a-kai.
There’s a Crank-a-kai trick you can use to try and ensure you only get Yo-Kai with your coins. Save at the shrine before you use the machine. Then, go there and try using a coin of each color. Make a note somewhere if one color coin does give you a Yo-Kai. Reload your prior save, then go and use that coin. You’ll get the Yo-Kai. Save, then test two other coins that are of a different color than the ones you used before. Each real world day, Yo-Kai Watch determines which prizes will be doled out for coins. You can walk away every day with a new friend.
Yo-Kai Watch is immediately available for the Nintendo 3DS.