If your Nintendo Switch can’t join match making, play in a lobby with your friend, or if your friend can’t join your hosted match, this guide should help. There are a number of possible reasons for any of these cases so you’ll need to perform a few solutions.
Many Nintendo Switch users encounter problems playing with others all the time. This is because networks are not set up in the same way. Some connection problems are easily fixable while others may require external help from Nintendo or an Internet Service Provider.
Below are some of the common scenarios that are reported to us:
- can’t join game with certain friend
- can’t join online match with anyone
- friends cannot join you in an online match
- getting 2618-0513 or similar
- getting NAT errors like “traversal process has failed”
Reasons why you are unable to join match with friends online
If you are having a problem joining a match with your friend in whatever game on your Nintendo Switch, there can be a number of factors that you need to check. We list the common causes for this type of problem below.
New changes to your local network.
If you were able to play online with your friend/s before, the first thing that you must ask yourself is: were there any changes to your local network recently?
Mundane things like changing router settings may cause connectivity problems if you are not careful. The same can occur if you have a new modem or router installed.
In some cases, changing security settings on your ISP’s end may change the NAT type on your Nintendo Switch without you knowing it.
NAT on your Nintendo Switch is restrictive.
The type of your Nintendo Switch NAT is often the cause of connectivity problems. Ideally, you want to have NAT type A although NAT type B is also fine. Any other NAT types (C, D, and F) may be problematic and may prevent your console from performing certain online activities.
Your friends NAT type is not set optimally.
If your NAT type is either A or B but you’re still having an issue playing online or performing certain online activities, it’s possible that the problem may have something to do with your friend’s NAT type. To fix the problem, you’ll need to tell your friend to troubleshoot his or her NAT type.
Too much latency.
Latency or high ping can result to connectivity problems. Nintendo Switch users with slow download and upload speeds may find out that they can’t join the lobby of their friend. Try running a connection speed test on your console to check the download and upload speeds.
How to fix a Nintendo Switch that can’t join friends online or on match making
Below are the possible solutions that you can try to fix your Nintendo Switch connection problem.
- Power cycle network equipment.
Whenever you encounter any connection problem, it’s always good practice to restart or power cycle your modem, router and console.
Unplug the modem or router from the power source for about 30 seconds. While waiting for the device to reboot, shut the Nintendo Switch down by completely turning it off.
After 30 seconds, turn the router back on, wait for all the lights to stabilize, and turn the Switch back on.
- Run a speed connection test.
In order to get the necessary network information to troubleshoot your problem, you want to perform a speed test on your Nintendo Switch. Here’s how it’s done:
-Go to the Home screen.
-Select System Settings.
-Select Test Connection.You want to take note of your NAT type, Download speed, and Upload speed.
- Fix slow connection.
If you are unable to join a friend online on whatever Nintendo Switch game, you want to make sure that your download and upload speeds are above at least 3Mbps. Anything slower than that can be a problem.
I’ve personally experienced having an issue connecting to Fortnite with 5Mbps download speed at times. If your connection keeps dropping or if your Switch can’t seem to maintain a solid connection with friends in a multiplayer game, try improving your download and upload speed. Talk to your Internet Service Provider on how to do that.
- Improve your Nintendo Switch NAT type.
The other important network information that you must check is the Network Address Translation or NAT type. If the NAT type on your Switch is C, D , or F, you want to change that and strive to get NAT type A or B.
To change the NAT type on your Nintendo Switch, follow this guide: How To Get NAT Type A On Nintendo Switch | Port Forwarding.
If your own NAT type is already either A or B, there’s a chance that the cause may be coming from your friend’s end. Tell your friend to follow the suggestions in this guide so he or she can troubleshoot the console on his or her end.
- Put your Nintendo Switch in DMZ.
Some modem or routers may have more enhanced security settings, which may block a console from performing certain online activities. To check for this possibility, you can put your Nintendo Switch into your router’s DMZ.
If you haven’t tried configuring your router settings before, or if you don’t know how to do it, refer to your router manual or documentation. If the router is provided by your ISP, contact them for help.
- Check your ISP security settings.
For some Nintendo Switch users, the reason why they are unable to join their friend online is something beyond their control. Some ISPs may implement stricter network security than others. We suggest that you contact your ISP if none of the solutions in this guide has helped in fixing your Nintendo Switch connection problem.
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