How many Nintendo Switch consoles can play together on a local wireless network?

Nintendo Switch, Switch Lite, and a 3DS
Nintendo Switch, Switch Lite, and a 3DS (Image credit: iMore)

Three Switch Lite consoles playing together (Image credit: Nintendo)

How many Nintendo Switch consoles can play together on a local wireless network?

Best Answer: Depending on the game, up to eight Nintendo Switch consoles can play together over a local wireless network. This is an ad-hoc network created by the consoles themselves, so no Wi-Fi is needed. This results in less latency and lag unless the consoles are too far apart. However, each console needs a copy of the game to play.

No Internet? No problem!

With the Nintendo Switch, you and up to seven other people can play a game together wirelessly, without needing an Internet connection. However, you'll need to pick a game that supports local wireless multiplayer, like one of the best racing games for the Nintendo Switch, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, and everyone will need to have their own copy of the game to join a local wireless game.

Since playing over local wireless is all done through an ad-hoc wireless network (non-discoverable by other non-Switch devices), you don't need a Wi-Fi connection to play. The result is a more lag-free experience since this mesh network is created just by the consoles themselves. However, the only downside is that all consoles need to be relatively close to each other (about 10 feet) to keep the local wireless connection.

How do you set up a local wireless game?

Nintendo Switch Lite (Image credit: Nintendo)

First things first, you need to pick a game that supports local wireless multiplayer. Some games may only support online multiplayer, like Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles. In contrast, others, like Mario Kart Live: Home Circuit, only support local wireless multiplayer.

There will be a "Local Wireless" option in the game menu if it's available in whatever game you are playing. You can host a room and wait for other players to join or join any available rooms nearby. If you are the host, you can create some rules for joining parties. Different games also have different limits on how many players can join.

For example, in Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, the player who hosts the room can select the race rules. Up to seven other players can join in the local wireless room. Each player votes for their track preference and the game randomly chooses one of those chosen tracks for each race.

In Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, up to four players can play together with local wireless. One person needs to host a room by selecting the Local Wireless option, and then up to three other people can join by selecting that person's room under Local Wireless. Everyone picks a stage they want to battle on, and the game picks from those at random. Pick your fighters, then start the battle.

Short on consoles?

Sometimes, a game can support up to two people per Switch on each linked local wireless console. This is the case with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, so technically, you can have eight people playing together with just four Switch consoles and four copies of the game.

With two people on a single Switch, games like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe will be in a split-screen view, allowing both players to see their own character in each half. Just use each half of a Joy-Con pair as controllers if you are low on extras.

Game versions out of sync?

Nintendo Switch Lite Yellow (Image credit: Nintendo)

Games usually have patches and updates that come out now and then. When playing a game through local wireless, everyone will need to have the same game downloaded or have the physical game card in their Switch console. But if you haven't had a chance to update your game yet, don't worry.

Whoever has the latest version of a game should set up the lobby through a wireless LAN multiplayer. This allows everyone else that joins their lobby to download the most recent game patch via an ad-hoc wireless network.

Alex Huebner

Alex has been working with iMore as a Freelance Gaming Writer for three years. You can also find a few articles of hers on Android Central and Windows Central. She regularly covers Nintendo Switch games and accessories as well as iOS game apps. In addition to the Nintendo Switch, you may also find her playing on the PlayStation and PC. When she doesn’t have a controller in hand she likes to spend her time with her husband, son, and dogs, exploring new places, or hiding away with a book (or comic book). A few of her favorite games include the Zelda franchise, Little Nightmares, and Animal Crossing.