Two Nintendo Switch consolesSource: Rebecca Spear / iMore

Local wireless play may seem strange for those of us out there who rely on online for multiplayer of any sort. But you don't need an internet connection for local wireless play. All you need is two Nintendo Switch consoles (yourself and your friend), the same game cartridge, and the simple task of being next to one another. For this guide, we used Mario Kart 8 Deluxe as an example on how to set up local wireless play, though you should be aware that every game that supports local wireless play has a different method for setting it up.

Products used in this guide

How to connect two Switch consoles for local play

Make sure the game you're playing supports local play

  1. If you have a physical copy. Look on the backside of the box near the bottom. You can see that Mario Kart 8 Deluxe offers local play for up to 8 players.
  2. If you don't have the physical copy of the game, go to Nintendo.

    Pointing to local play section on back of Mario Kart 8 Deluxe boxNintendo websiteSource: iMore

  3. Type the game's name into the search box.
  4. If more than one option shows up, click on the correct game.

    Nintendo website using the search bar to locate Mario Kart 8 DeluxeUsing Nintendo website to search for Mario Kart 8 DeluxeSource: iMore

  5. Read the game's info to see if it supports local wireless play.

    The Nintendo website's description of Mario Kart 8 DeluxeSource: iMore

How to connect two Switch consoles for local play Connecting Switch consoles

  1. Sit close by the person or persons you're going to be playing locally with. Proximity is needed for local wireless play.
  2. Each player will need their own Nintendo Switch and a copy of the game, whether digital or physical. If you have the physical copy, insert the Mario Kart 8 cartridge into your Nintendo Switch consoles.

    Two Nintendo Switch consoles side by sideMario Kart 8 Deluxe cartridge and Nintendo SwitchSource: iMore

  3. Click on the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe icon from the Nintendo Switch menu to boot up the game.
  4. Press any button to move on from this screen.

    Nintendo Switch home menuMario Kart 8 Deluxe opening menuSource: iMore

  5. Scroll down to Wireless Play.
  6. Select the local wireless play option that suits your needs. If you want to play with two people on this Switch, press 2p. Otherwise, stick to 1p where one person will be on this Switch.

    Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Wireless Play menuScreenshot from Mario Kart 8 DeluxeSource: iMore

  7. Only one player needs to create a room. This person should press create a room.
  8. The player(s) from the first Switch will need to choose a driver.

    Screenshot from Mario Kart 8 DeluxeMario Kart 8 Deluxe character selectionSource: iMore

  9. Next these player(s) from the first Switch will need to select a kart, set of wheels, and a glider.
  10. When this has been done click A to move on. Your Mii(s) will now appear in the garage. It's now time for any other Switch consoles to join the room that's been created. Up to eight players can play together. This can be done with eight people each on their own Switch or with four Switch consoles hosting two players each.

    Mario Kart 8 Deluxe kart, wheel, and glider selectionMario Kart 8 Deluxe local wireless roomSource: iMore

  11. Any additional Switch consoles that want to join the room will need to scroll down to Mario Kart 8 Deluxe's main menu until they get to local wireless play.
  12. Choose whether you want to host one or two players from the Switch console(s) that wants to join the room by pressing either 1p or 2p.

    Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Wireless Play menuScreenshot from Mario Kart 8 DeluxeSource: iMore

  13. You'll see your friend's host room on the screen. Select your friend's room.
  14. Each player joining the room will need to choose their character.

    Msrio Kart 8 Deluxe roomMario Kart 8 Deluxe character selection two playersSource: iMore

  15. On the next screen players will need to choose their driver, wheels, and glider. Once this is done, each player's Mii enters the garage.

    Mario Kart 8 Deluxe kart, wheel, and glider selection two playersMario Kart 8 Deluxe local wireless garage wait roomSource: iMore

  16. Player one then sets up the rules for the race. Once everything has been set up, player one presses OK to start the race.

  17. All of the Switch consoles are now connected. Enjoy your race!

    Mario Kart 8 Deluxe screenshotTwo Nintendo Switch consoles set up in local wireless play Mario Kart 8 DeluxeSource: iMore

One of the best things about the Nintendo Switch is that it actually offers plenty of games that you can play with friends instead of needing to rely on random online players. There are several games out there that support local wireless gameplay, but the steps to setting everything up are different from one game to the next.

Our top equipment picks

If you are excited about local wireless play, then you'll need the necessary equipment. Of course that means having a Nintendo Switch at the ready and a fun game to play with your friends.

Multiplayer racer

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

An awesome game for any player

This fun racing game let's play from a huge roster of characters. It's a family friendly game that can be enjoyed by little kids as well as adults. Plus, it's one of the best games to play with friends.

Additional Equipment

If you're looking for other games that support local wireless play, we've got you covered. Here are three other multiplayer Switch games we highly recommend:

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate ($60 at Amazon)

Brawl against your friends using your favorite Nintendo characters. There are 74 playable characters to choose from and there's plenty of DLC if you want to add even more to the roster.

Luigi's Mansion 3 ($60 at Amazon)

In addition to the single-player, ghost-catching hijinks, up to eight players can enjoy party games where you either work together or compete against each other.

Taiko No Tatsujin ($54 at Amazon)

Taiko No Tatsujin will have you beating to the best rhythm in no time. You'll use your Joy-Cons to swing to the music and up to four Switch consoles can connect to play locally.

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