The Nintendo Switch Network Adaptor Really Helps With Online Gaming 

The Nintendo Switch Network Adaptor Really Helps With Online Gaming 

If you like multiplayer, you’ve probably heard all about how you should be playing with a wired connection. The Switch, like the Wii U before it, doesn’t even have an Ethernet port — but you can fix that.

A week and a half ago, I purchased a Nintendo-licensed LAN Adaptor. At $49.95, the official thing is not a cheap add-on, and it’s especially annoying to have to shell out any money at all considering that both the PS4 and Xbox One have this functionality built in. All the same, I wanted to test the adaptor out because I’ve been playing a hell of a lot of Splatoon 2 lately.

For the most part, my Wi-Fi connection seemed OK enough in Splatoon. Every 10 matches or so, a Turf War match will briefly be interrupted by connection issues, or I’ll mysteriously drop out of the game, only to be greeted by this warning:

The Nintendo Switch Network Adaptor Really Helps With Online Gaming Punished for being on Wi-Fi…

Punished for being on Wi-Fi…

The game made it sound like I had maliciously rage-quit from the match, but that wasn’t the case at all. My guess? My connection hiccuped, because as we all know Wi-Fi isn’t as stable as a wired connection. So I tried fixing it.

For me, this meant using an extremely long Ethernet cable and hooking it up to my Switch via a network adaptor. The adaptor plugs into the USB slot on the Switch, which means you can only use it docked. For some folks, this won’t be an option — maybe your router is too far away, for example. But if you have the money and ability to do it, I’d wholeheartedly recommend it.

Over a dozen hours later, I’ve yet to drop from a Splatoon match or see any weird connection issues. It’s all been smooth as butter; my shots go where I think they do, and there are never any teleporting squidkids. Hilariously, I’ve now encountered the opposite problem: I stay in matches where other players disconnect, something that can be particularly harrowing in modes such as Salmon Run. I’m betting those folks were all on Wi-Fi, too.

Beyond the in-game benefits, having a wired connection is mighty useful whenever you’re downloading a game. Something that might have taken an hour or two before can now be nabbed in 10 or 15 minutes, which allows me to get back into the action quicker. Life with a Switch network adaptor is definitely better, if you can swing it.


  • WTF, no ethernet port!?

    EDIT: So let me get this right, $470 for the Switch with no game, plus $50 for the ethernet adapter, plus $40 for the frickin’ AC adapter = $560.

    I can get a PS4 PRO with GTAV for the same price!

    Nintendo can fuck right off with their money-gouging ways. I won’t be buying a Switch anytime soon 🙂

    • Sure you could, but the Switch is a pretty decent console and take $40 off because the AC adaptor is included AND $50 unless you want to buy the official Ethernet Adaptor (a third party one works fine, just make sure you know it works, some do, some don’t and the old Wii U ones work if you can pick one up cheap). So it’s still technically only 470 over the Pros 560.

      As for a lack of an ethernet port, it allows the Switch to be cheaper (not many people plug in their consoles), allows the dock to be smaller and it’s a portable console, it’s designed for Wi-fi use. It’s just optional if you are having issues with your connection.

      If you want to debate games, GTA V is back at 99 bucks at EB and PSN and 50 at JB, that’s a 4? year old game now. BOTW is currently 90 and it released this year.
      Both games are HUGE and time consuming, but which allows you to play on the go 🙂

      • Fair enough, I thought the AC adapter wasn’t included (like the New 3DS). I guess my point was that Nintendo like to screw you for an arm and a leg for stuff that should really be included in the first place. I mean, using wi-fi for online gaming can be sketchy. It reeks of Don Mattrick’s ‘we have a product for those who can’t connect to the internet – the Xbox 360’ remark. If you happen to have bad wi-fi reception, or don’t use wi-fi, you get to pay extra for an adapter. Not to mention the abomination that is Nintendo’s voice chat solution…

        • Nah, need the AC to use the dock so it’s included. I use Wi-fi for all my gaming and it’s never been a problem for me, yes it’s not the greatest way to game and if your console is not near the router and/or your wi-fi signal is weak and can be pretty crappy. But that’s where the Switch is great, just undock it and play portable near the router (just means no docked TV play).

          Nintendo have never had an ethernet port in their consoles, Wii and Wii U used the adaptors (all which can work on the Switch) and the Gamecube did have one, but not many games ever needed it (iirc).

          It’s just in this case the Switch being portable and expensive, not having one was more better a reason then making the console slim and not many people using them.
          Plus it’s not like it’s expensive, I have seen people picking them up as cheap as 10 dollars, just need to be sure it works with the Switch.

          As for the Voice chat…that’s very much the stupidest thing ever :/ it sucks and Nintendo sucks for even thinking about it, poorly implemented.

    • Yeah look.. what everyone seems to forget, this console has more to it than power. Items like the screen, built in speakers (that don’t suck), Dock, two Bluetooth controllers all add up in the end. If you were to add a screen to the PS4 or Xbone with a second controller – its prices would increase too!

      There is also the secondary issue – this console has been designed to be portable as well. Swapping from wifi to Ethernet isn’t a fast or elegant process, which would result in disconnections every time you picked up or put down the console in the dock.

      The Switch will use Wii Ethernet adapters which can be found super cheap – but let’s not forget the real issue to this article – its about his shitty wifi. I run twin Switches in this house and at the opposite end of my wifi with zero disconnects. Its not the consoles fault here.

  • Just because your connection is dodgy doesn’t necessarily mean that’s a reflection of the majority.

    For me, I’ve zero issues whatsoever gaming online via a wireless connection. Whether that be the Switch, PS4 or Xbone.

    • Mine and one of my friends drops connections alot. Seems worse when docked. In a room where literally every device from wii u to laptops to cheapo android tablets get max strength signal. I had to buy a 20 buck range extender even though my router is a room away. The switch wi fi is dodgy and theres been lots of people saying the same thing

    • Same, mine seems to work great no matter where I am in the house and I play online often.

    • That’s great, but I’m sure you understand how frustrating and unfair it must seem to someone who has sketchy wi-fi to have to buy an overpriced LAN adapter or otherwise modify their wi-fi setup (especially if all their other devices work fine).

      • Problem might be related to the other devices – it could literally be he has too many devices on the network, or simply, the router is dying or not up to the latest standards.

    • Said it a few times already – either Switches, Xbone, laptops, chromecast a etc all work with no issues or drop outs. All run perfectly.

      That being said I spent a fair amount of money buying a high end router (which a lot of people don’t). People like to bitch about ANY hardware manufactures product doesn’t work correctly on wifi, but if you don’t buy decent hardware to begin, or over saturate the network, it simply won’t work.

    • You mean like $80+ for a second controller? Or $30 for a rechargeable battery pack? Thanks SONY and MS! /s

      Think before posting.. none of the 3 gaming giants have fairly priced accessories – all of them have made stupid prices or decisions.

  • So do you need Nintendo’s official adapter, or will any USB Ethernet adapter with the same chipset work?

    • Most USB Ethernet Adaptors work, however not all. Not sure if even the same chipset or not is guaranteed for it to work. But you can use non official Nintendo Ethernet Adaptors on the Switch, you can also use the Wii U version if you can find one.

  • I have a wii adapter, which also works on the wii u and switch. I think you can get a generic one for like ten bucks, which will work just as well.

    I use it with an ethernet-over-power adapter, which avoids running a hells-long ethernet cable down the stairs. :p

    Mostly that ethernet is for my steam link which needs the bandwidth, i haven’t noticed much change on the switch between wifi and hard-wired.

    • I got a powerline adapter myself. Can’t recommend it enough! Solved my problem with one of my PS3s having dodgy wi-fi reception and now I get better online gaming experience all ’round.

  • Nintendo. Releasing hot garbage in 2017 that lacks defining features that were a staple in 2010.

    I’m not only talking about the Ethernet port either. Basic online functionality is non-existant on the Switch. Hell you can’t even voice chat without downloading an app on your SMART PHONE.

    • What? You mean like Discrord?? Which has become one of the biggest game communication services across all consoles and PC? And need secondary hardware on consoles to use?

      Shame it also does stuff OTHER CONSOLES can’t do like be portable and offer local internet less multiplayer.

  • LOL funny seeing all the replies. Guys – it’s a PORTABLE console. Wifi is built in and more costly than Ethernet. There is a reason it’s also not in there, if you undock the system it has to “Switch” connections – which isn’t fast. Takes a few seconds to swap over and you would be dropped from your online game.

    People need to think before commenting – yes this console is pricey compared to Xbone and PS4 (not the new Pro or X). But it also has a lot more under the hood – screen, speakers, two Bluetooth controllers, dock. Its a powerful tablet at a much reduced cost, decent tablets without controllers go well over $400.

    AS FOR the issues in online play – it’s 100% his wifi. Running two here with wifi at the opposite end of the house with no dropouts. Also – the Wii Ethernet adapter works which can be found second hand super cheaper.

    • Or they can think that $50 for something that is a couple of dollars worth max is over-priced, even with the context of whats included in the console. People are allowed to think differently.

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