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.
- Ultimate hybrid: Nintendo Switch ($299 at Amazon)
- Handheld only: Nintendo Switch Lite ($199 at Amazon)
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?
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.
In whatever game you are playing, there will be a “Local Wireless” option in the game menu if it’s available. You either 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?
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.
TV or handheld play
The original Switch works in Docked mode with your TV or handheld on-the-go. It will play any Switch game without a problem, and the larger screen is good for split-screen view.
A smaller handheld
Nintendo Switch Lite
Compact, handheld gaming
The Switch Lite is smaller and more compact than the original, making it perfect for handheld-only gamers. However, it cannot be docked to play on a TV, and won’t be able to play all games without extra controllers.