Nowadays, most games on your Nintendo Switch will require an Internet connection - whether this is to join a party with your friends, play online with others around the world or just receive the latest updates and instalments of your favourite titles.

If you are finding you are receiving network error messages or you're unable to join parties, there is likely an issue with your connection.

Restart your Nintendo Switch

Quite a few Nintendo Switch network errors can be fixed with a simple power cycle! To do this please close down any games that are open, then:

  1. Hold down the POWER Button on the top of the console for 3 seconds 
  2. Select Power Options from the Power Menu that's displayed 
  3. Select Restart

Then, restart your console and retest your game.

If pressing and holding the POWER Button for 3 seconds doesn't display the Power Menu, you have an alternative option. By pressing and holding the POWER Button for a minimum of 12 seconds, you can force the console to power off.

Make sure your system and games are up-to-date

You can find steps on how to do this here:

Restart your Networking equipment

Once you have rebooted your Switch, the next essential step is to power cycle your modem and router. If your modem and router have physical power buttons or toggles, switch them off for at least one minute. If your devices don't have a power switch, unplug them from the power source instead.

Regardless of the method, start by turning your modem back on. Wait until all the lights are on as usual, and then proceed to turn your router back on.

Once both are fully turned on, try to get your Switch connected to Wi-Fi again. If there was a temporary problem with your network equipment, this should clear it up.

Clear your Nintendo Switch Cache

You can find steps on how to do this here:

NAT Types

Networks with a stricter NAT type can potentially hinder certain online activities, such as connecting with other players over the internet.

The NAT type, both on your end and on the end of the player you are trying to connect with, can impact the connection process. If you encounter difficulties connecting to a particular player, it is conceivable that the issue may be attributed to their NAT type.

Ideally, on Nintendo Switch, you are looking for an A or B NAT type - if you have a C, D or F NAT type, you are likely to find some restrictions on your connection.

For more information on NAT types and how to change yours, please see:

Ensure your router's wireless security key setting is compatible with Nintendo Switch

The Nintendo Switch console supports WEP, WPA-PSK(AES), and WPA2-PSK(AES). If your router is using a different security type (e.g. WPA-PSK(TKIP)), you will need to change this security type within your router's settings.

Make sure your Switch is not in Airplane Mode

Activating airplane mode on your Nintendo Switch allows you to conserve battery life by disabling all wireless communication. However, keep in mind that while in this mode, you won't be able to connect to the internet.

To verify if your system is in airplane mode, look for an airplane icon located in the top-right corner of the home screen. To toggle this mode, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Settings on your Nintendo Switch
  2. Select Airplane Mode from the menu
  3. Alternatively, you can access the Quick Settings panel by holding the HOME button, and from there, easily switch on or off airplane mode

Please note: Your Nintendo Switch does not allow you to activate airplane mode while it is docked. However, if you enable airplane mode while in handheld mode and subsequently dock your system, the Switch will remain in airplane mode until you manually disable it.

Review your Switch's Network Settings

If your Nintendo Switch still cannot establish a Wi-Fi connection after following the previous steps, it is necessary to explore the internet connection options on your Switch to identify the underlying problem.

  1.  To begin, access the Settings menu from the HOME screen
  2. Navigate to the Internet tab
  3. Select the Test Connection option to perform a quick check and verify if everything is functioning properly

If the issue persists, you can select Clear Settings to remove the existing connection and set it up again, which may resolve the problem.

At this stage, it is also advisable to test other devices on your network to ensure their ability to connect to the internet.

Keep in mind that corporate networks, such as those at your workplace or college, may restrict your Switch from accessing Nintendo's online services. In such cases, there may be limited options unless you can persuade the network administrator to enable gaming services.