How To Fix Nintendo Switch Connection Problems

Connection problems on Nintendo Switch can come in different forms. For some, it may be a regular disconnection while others may encounter slow connection when gaming. Others may have it worse if they can’t connect online at all. Whatever your issue is, this troubleshooting guide should help you get back to playing online again.

Causes of Nintendo Switch connection problems

There can be many different issues why your Nintendo Switch has connection problems. Let’s discuss some of the common ones below.

Home network glitch.

Your Nintendo Switch may not be able to connect to Nintendo servers due to an issue with your own local network. There are a number of possible factors that can come into play when troubleshooting your home network. It can be that:

  • your router needs refreshing, 
  • your console is not using the best wifi frequency available, 
  • connection is blocked by incorrect port, 
  • you’re not selecting the correction region, or 
  • You’re using a slow or non-working DNS server. 

All these things must be taken into consideration in your troubleshooting below.

Servers-side issues.

The other possible cause for network connection problems on Switch can be attributed to things beyond your local network. Sometimes, game servers or Nintendo’s own network can go down. If there’s a problem from Nintendo’s side, all you can do is to wait until the issue is fixed.

Game-specific error.

At other times, connection problems may happen due to an issue with the game itself. Inefficient  coding or programming error may affect the system which can then lead to glitches that might give the appearance of a connection problem. Just like server issues, such a situation may only be fixed by updates, or a solution from a developer’s end. 

Random software bug.

In some rare cases, a software bug may develop and cause the console unable to connect online. Depending on the problem, you may be able to fix the problem by restarting the console, refreshing the network, or doing a factory reset.

Fixing connection issues on Nintendo Switch

Below are the possible solutions that you can try to fix connection problems on Nintendo Switch. 
Before you go any further, make sure that you check your Nintendo Switch account status. If it’s not active, you will not be able to use key online features when gaming.

  1. Move the game to internal storage (if it’s running off SD card).

    This one applies to games or software that are installed to the SD card. If you don’t use the microSD storage for your games or software, then just ignore this suggestion. 
    If you have a connection problem when playing a game or running a software that’s stored in the SD card, you want to uninstall the game first, then install it again to the internal storage.
    To uninstall a game from an SD card:
    -Highlight the game you want to delete on the Home Screen of your Nintendo Switch.
    -Press the + button on the right Joy-Con to open the Options menu.
    -Select Manage Software from the menu on the left.
    -Select the game.
    -Select Manage Software.
    -Select Delete Software.
    -Select Delete again when asked to confirm.
    Once you’ve uninstalled it, make sure to turn the console off before you install it again.
    To install a game to the internal storage:
    -Turn off the Nintendo Switch.
    -Remove the SD Card.
    -Power On your Nintendo Switch.   
    -Select eShop from the Home screen.
    -Select the Profile from which the game was originally purchased.
    -Select the Profile in the upper right corner of the eShop screen.
    -Select Redownload from the menu on the left.
    Re-insert the SD card once the game is finished installing.

  2. Check your region.

    In case your Switch is unable to connect at all, or if the connection seems slow, make sure that you check if you’re using the right region. This is especially important if you’re playing online with other players. Using a region that’s far from your current location can add to the distance your signal travels which may lead to packet loss or lag. Picking the nearest region can be important to improve communication speed and ping when gaming. 
    This suggestion can be game-dependent. If you’re not playing online at all, then just ignore this.
    The option to select a region may or may not be available for the current game you’re playing. Try to check the game settings before you play online to see if there’s an option for you to change the best region to use. 
    For example, in Rocket League, you can use the following steps to change the region:
    -Run the Rocket League game.
    -In Rocket League Select Play.
    -Select Play Online.
    -In the Region drop-down select Recommended.

  3. Power cycle the router.

    This one is a basic network troubleshooting step. You need to restart your router if there’s no known server issue and your Nintendo account is active. To do this, just turn off the router and wait for a couple of minutes. After that, reconnect your Switch to your network and see if the problem goes away.

  4. Disconnect other devices from network.

    If your connection is slow or keeps disconnecting, it’s possible that your Nintendo Switch is not getting enough bandwidth. Other devices in your network may be streaming videos or downloading, causing the slow connection problem. Try to disconnect other devices from your network and see if the connection problem on your Switch is fixed.

  5. Use 5GHz over 2.4GHz (if possible).

    If your router is capable of broadcasting on both 5GHz over 2.4GHz frequencies, we strongly recommend that you use the former. 5GHz is less susceptible to signal interference compared to 2.4GHz although it has a limited range. 
    If you’re not familiar on how to check your router if it has the capability to use 5GHz, talk to your Internet Service Provider or to the router manufacturer.

  6. Change MTU settings.

    MTU stands for Maximum Transmission Unit. If you are having lag or freezing issue when playing online, you may need to increase the MTU in order to fix it.
    Follow the steps below on how to do this:
    -Go to the Home Menu.
    -Select System Settings.
    -Click Internet and then Internet Settings.
    -Select the network currently active
    -Choose to Change Settings and highlight the MTU option
    Change the number to 1500.

  7. Open the correct port on your router.

    If you have internet connection on your Switch but you are unable to play online with a particular game, it may be because your router is blocking the necessary port. What you need to do in this case is to set up port forwarding on your router. Before you do so, make sure that you Google the necessary ports of a certain game. For example, Rocket League needs the following port ranges: 7000 – 9000 UDP (For Game Servers), 80 TCP (HTTP Connections), 443 TCP (HTTPS Connections).
    Not every game uses the same port so be sure to know the ports you want to open first before troubleshooting router.
    Again, if you don’t know how to access your router’s user interface and change the ports, refer to your ISP or router manufacturer.

  8. Change the DNS servers.

    In some rare cases, your ISP’s DNS servers may become slow or problematic. You can try to see if that’s the case by using Google’s DNS servers instead. You can change the DNS servers on your Switch by doing the following steps:
    -Go to the Home Menu.
    -Select System Settings.
    -Click Internet and then Internet Settings.
    -Select your network from the list of networks located under Registered Networks.
    -Select Change Settings, then scroll down and select DNS Settings.
    -Select Manual.
    -Select Primary DNS, and then hold down the B Button to delete the DNS (it defaults to zeros).
    -Enter 8.8.8.8 as the primary DNS, and then select OK.
    -Select Secondary DNS, and then hold down the B Button to delete the existing DNS.
    -Enter 8.8.4.4 as the secondary DNS, and then select OK.

Restore software to defaults (Factory reset).

If none of the solutions above has helped, consider wiping the console with a factory reset. This can be an effective solution to do if the cause is due to an unknown software bug.

Suggested readings:

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