The Nintendo Switch will have a robust online gaming service by the end of the year, but if you want to use a LAN connection to get the console online, you won’t be able to do that without a USB LAN adapter. This article covers how to get your Nintendo Switch online with a LAN adapter instead of Wi-Fi for the people who want a more stable connection when gaming in TV mode.
Online gaming is basically a standard with both home consoles and handhelds. With the necessity to have online multiplayer as an option for almost every game, people desire better and faster internet speeds. For competitive players or just players who want to minimize the changes of lag issues, that means connecting your console to a router or cable modem via an ethernet cable instead of Wi-Fi.
The Wii U was Wi-Fi only out of the box, and that’s the same for the Nintendo Switch. In fact, you can see exactly what comes with the Nintendo Switch to find out if you may need anything else to get it working the way you want it to. For now, you’ll need a USB LAN adapter, similar to what was required for the Wii U.
If you still have your Wii U LAN adapter, that will work with the Nintendo Switch. If not, there are several options at Amazon and other retailers, but keep in mind not all USB LAN adapters will work with the Switch. We'll update this article once we have a 100 percent confirmed list of the adapters that do work, but for now, you can use the Nintendo brand LAN adapter that worked for the Wii and Wii U. Once you have the adapter, connect it to one of the USB ports on the Nintendo Switch dock, then run an ethernet cable to your modem or router and you’ll be good to go for online gaming on the Nintendo Switch. Of course if you remove the tablet from the dock you’ll have to connect via Wi-Fi if you want to game online.
You can choose from a USB 2.0 or USB 3.0 adapter, but the speed you get will be effected by your internet subscription more than anything else. Ideally you’ll want a USB 3.0 gigabit adapter for the fastest possible speed (anything about 100 Mbps), but if you don’t have gigabit internet (fiber) you can probably get away with a USB 2.0 non-gigabit adapter and still be okay. You can also pick up a USB hub and LAN adapter in one to give yourself additional USB ports since there are only two on Switch.
For more on the new system, check out our Nintendo Switch console hub!