As millions of Nintendo Switch users around the world stay in their homes and start going online to play, some may find out that they are unable to join a match with friends at all. While the problem is not new, many players may actually encounter this issue for the first time.
If you have no idea what to do, we provide a list of possible solutions below.
To also give you an idea why this problem occurs, we include the common factors to consider. We hope that you’ll find this article useful.
Causes why your Nintendo Switch is unable to join an online match
If your Nintendo Switch is online but you are unable to join a match to play with other players over the internet, there are a number of possible reasons for that. Below is a list of factors that you should consider when diagnosing a possible connectivity issue on your Nintendo Switch.
Switch has NAT type issue.
If your console is getting a restrictive NAT (Network Address Translation) type, it may encounter difficulty joining a match, or may be unable to join at all.
NAT type is determined by your router settings. ISP-provided routers are usually configured to allow non-restrictive NAT types (like NAT Type A or B). If you’re getting a restrictive NAT type such as NAT Type C, D, or F, your router settings will have to be reconfigured. For such, you’ll have to talk to your Internet Service Provider.
Console is getting slow download speed.
If your console is getting slow download speed, you may experience lag while in a game, or there may be issues when trying to join in an online match. Some games don’t require fast internet connection at all. Games like Animal Crossing New Horizons can run without issues even if your connection speed can’t top 3 Mbps. Other games like Rocket League or Fortnite may require that you have at least 3 Mbps or higher but that’s it. Try to run an internet connection test and check your download speed.
Ping or latency is high.
Latency refers to the time a signal travels from your console to the game server, and back to your console. If your latency is high (measured in milliseconds or ms), your console may encounter an error when joining a match. You should strive to keep ping or latency below 100 ms.
The Internet Connection Test tool in Nintendo Switch does not provide ping results so if you want to get a general idea what your local network’s ping is, you need to use third party speed test apps or websites such as speedtest.net.
Game server is down or under maintenance.
If you are having trouble joining a match online with just one game, it’s possible that the issue may be coming from the game server. Some games may encounter server problems from time to time.
If you have another online game, try playing it and see if your console can join a match. If the game works and there’s no issues with your online experience, stop troubleshooting your Nintendo Switch console.
Instead, just wait until the game server issue is resolved by checking after a few hours.
How To Fix A Nintendo Switch that won’t connect with others online
Below are the potential solutions that you must do to fix a Switch that can't join matches:
Close the game and relaunch.
A simple possible solution to all sorts of issues on Nintendo Switch is a system restart. Just turn off and restart your Switch normally before attempting to join matches.
If nothing changes after restarting, continue with the rest of the solutions below.
Check NAT Type.
There are 5 types of NAT in Nintendo Switch: A, B, C, D, and F. To check your console’s NAT type, run an internet connection test by going to System Settings>Internet>Test Connection.
In order to play online, your console must have either a NAT type A or B. While the ideal is NAT type A, having a NAT type B is also fine as most Nintendo Switch games will allow you to join matches online.
If your console’s NAT type is either C, D, or F, you’ll most likely encounter problems when playing online.
When on NAT type C, your Switch may find it hard to connect with players that have restrictive NAT types.
On NAT type D, your console will only be allowed to connect to players with NAT type A.
NAT type F is the most restrictive, and will block the console from communicating with other players.
I personally encounter NAT type D and F when i tried to use my smartphone as a mobile hotspot when playing online. If you rely on your mobile phone’s data connection to connect to the internet and you are getting NAT type D or F on Switch, consider using your home wifi instead.
Remember, there’s no setting that you can change in your Nintendo Switch to change the NAT type it’s getting. NAT type is determined by your router and ISP. If the reason for your problem is caused by a certain NAT type, we suggest that you talk to your Internet Service Provider for help.
Check the download speed.
By and large, the faster your internet connection speed is, the better it is for online gaming. Make sure to do a connection speed test (System Settings>Internet>Test Connection) to check the download speed. If your Switch is getting slow download speed result, this may be the reason why it keeps getting disconnected or unable to join a match. Consider disconnecting other devices from your home network before running a speed test again.
If your wifi is slow, you may need to contact your ISP for assistance.
For Nintendo Switch gaming, we highly recommend that your console has at least 3Mbps download and upload speeds in order to lessen the chances of connection issues.
Ask friend to perform same set of troubleshooting steps.
In case you are only unable to join a match with a certain player and all the things mentioned above (NAT type, latency, download speed) check out on your end, it’s possible that the issue may be on your friend’s side. Ask him or her to troubleshoot the problem using the suggestions in this guide.
Troubleshoot your local home network.
If you are unable to join a world or matches online with all players, that can be an indication that your local network has a glitch or faulty. Try troubleshooting your network by restarting the router. If that won’t help, get help from your Internet Service Provider.
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