Back when we published our Mario Kart 8 Deluxe preview, focused on the Battle Mode, we mentioned the presence of a LAN multiplayer option. It was notable because, while standard local wireless play supports eight players, LAN allows the full complement of 12 players that you normally get in online matches. We quipped that it would be good at events "if you successfully rig this up with those darn LAN adapters". Some pointed out, not without logic, that perhaps only one adapter would be needed to 'host' the others, however, making it an option more readily available to groups.
The reality seems to be that it is ultimately only really suitable for competitions and events; arguably that's to be expected. A press release for the game emphasizes the requirements to use the LAN mode, including the need for each console to have its own adapter.
Up to 12 consoles in TV mode can be connected via LAN Play***, with one or two players per connected Nintendo Switch for a maximum of 12 players
***For LAN Play each console requires its own USB to LAN adapter, sold separately. At least two connected Nintendo Switch consoles are required for LAN Play.
Specifying TV mode and a LAN adapter for each system naturally limits its usefulness outside of core events, though you could get a full complement of 12 racers at 60fps through six consoles using two-player splitscreen.
To be fair to Nintendo this is really a 'bonus' mode, not something to be used often. In fact, the LAN option isn't even visible as standard, you have to do some button presses for it to even appear:
From the main menu you need to hold L and R and then click the left stick to swap Wireless Mode to LAN Mode. You'll also need a router connected to the Internet in between the consoles (similarly to Splatoon on Wii U, it needs to 'authorise' online and then it runs a true LAN after that).
So there you have it. If you fancy some 12 player LAN gaming, start buying some LAN adapters. Or just play in standard local wireless or online, that might be less hassle.
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Yet more money to spend on Switch accessories.
"An ethernet port on the system would make all of these go away..."
But Nintendo want your money. €35 for the HORI one above or you can buy one on Ebay for a couple of €.
Internet on the go ??
Very disappointing that LAN has to be wired, but I can kind of see why they chose that particular route. Can't imagine many people having many LAN games when the wireless option works perfectly well with bugger all setup.
Was to be expected. I'll mostly be playing in split-screen on the couch and singleplayer in handheld mode, but still a bummer for those interested in the LAN support.
Not great but kinda expected
The Wifi works fine on my Switch (Splatoon testfire had a silky smooth connection) and I never play official competitiin anyway so this will never affect me, but its cool that Nintendo gave people this option.
I suspect the vast majority would never use it anyway but as always it's a nice option to have if a little fiddly. Can you not just play 12 players online to create exactly the same effect?
Gathering 12 people for a Mario Kart session at once OUTSIDE conventions and events frankly feels like a tall order anyway. Although even as someone who wouldn't have much use for Ethernet connections on Switch, I do wonder if a direct port could be at least added to the dock in future revisions. The console itself looks a bit too thin to me to feature one comfortably.
How does wireless local play work then???
@carlos82 Imagine 8 or so friends all on switches playing MK8D in the SAME room?!! Carnage I tell you! I'll be sure to bring real banana skins to throw at my buddies in real life!! That's true multiplayer.
I don't know 11 other people.
@beazlen1 does it need wifi?
@JH64 as far as I'm aware local multiplayer upto 8 players doesn't need an internet connection
I suppose this could be great in an internet café environment, but what internet café possesses Nintendo consoles?
It all made sense until the router part. You need a router connected to the internet in order to link up the 12 consoles locally? Is this to prevent people from hacking the LAN mode?
I'd probably enjoy an ethernet port as I always keep the Switch connected to Ethernet. But I've been using the same $15 adapter I used for Wii, and then Wii U, and now Switch.
But increasing the cost of the system and making the console less of a success for a small percentage of users who care enough about an ethernet but not enough to pay $10 to get it seems like the wrong choice.
Put another way, charging everyone more (or decreasing the margin on the console for less successful product from Nintendo's point of view) by including a port very few want or need seems a poor choice.
Including a way to get to LAN play for big events is a big win, though! So, this just all seems like good planning and execution on Nintendo's part to me.
Meanwhile, can't wait to play with decent sized group this weekend as I have a couple other people with the Switch and game that we'll be getting together with. Three copies for sure which means we could have a couple rounds of 6 players. Will be interesting to see how it works with split screen and one JoyCon each... and who gets the TV?
If they allowed you to use WiFi for LAN play then it'd kinda defeat the point. I'd assume that their ad-hoc wireless setup would probably perform better than a bunch of systems connected via an access point. And anyways, this is a mode that only makes sense in situations where the wireless mode doesn't make sense. You're not going to want to have one dude connected via an access point at a convention.....
As for the "why the router" question @SMW asked. Well it's probably to streamline the setup. If you're doing a LAN you want a DHCP server up, which basically means you want a router. Why does it need internet access? Well it might just be a simple check. If you can connect to the internet via the LAN adapter then it's probably setup properly.
Hold up, I'm confused...
I thought it was possible to connect Switch's wirelessly in Tabletop mode for some on-the-go multiplayer action? ..only if you're all connected to the internet then I'm guessing?
@NaviAndMii no not if playing wirelessly up to 8 players. Connecting to the internet is for required for LAN gaming only.
@beazlen1 I used to do the same on the gamecube years ago and it's still the best times I've ever had playing multiplayer. What I was saying was couldn't you just be in the same room playing online together anyway?
Eh, don't know anyone else who has a Switch, so I'll stick to Local Play
the 'authorize' online thing for LAN mode can probably disabled. it may just be there so that it forces online local online multi-player.
if there is no 'authorize' online option, than the game may allow you to play 12 person online multiplayer with your friends even though they are miles away. long story short: they are trying to force users not to setup multiplayer sessions in the cloud or whatever you want to call it.
@JH64 It supports 8 players not 12 and you need to all be feeding into WiFi, I imagine, I haven't tried it in a park or anything
@NaviAndMii Yep, that's for eight players, this LAN business is a different option.
@beazlen1 @ThomasBW84 Thanks guys, appreciated
It's a shame there's no option to use a router's wireless LAN for 12 player multiplayer. What I'd really like is to have 3 Switches connect with 4 players each, so my friends and I can have 12 player matches with 3 TVs.
@MetaRyan Since the "online mode" is peer to peer...it's basically true wireless LAN for up to 12 players, with all the options in single player mode present and accounted for (even computers)
The local wireless play works without an internet connection.
@skywake A router isn't essential; there's a protocol called Multicast DNS in which each device assigns itself an IP address from within a dedicated range and searches for others in that range. (Apple call it Bonjour / Rendezvous)
People are recommending this adapter instead, which uses the same chipset as the official adapters. It's half the cost and 10/100/1000, though I'm not sure what benefit gigabit throughput adds for Switch right now.
To play with 8 Switches connected wirelessly, are tabletop and handheld mode the only way to connect or can you also use TV mode and connect wirelessly to other Switches that are either on tabletop, handheld, or TV mode?
@idork99 Nope that for handheld and tabletop mode only, but if you think for a second it makes all the sense in the world. What people fail to realise is that LAN can ONLY pertain to docked mode. Docked mode multiplayer on multiple switches already means multiple TVs, so you're unlikely to ever need that realistically at your friend's house or whatever. If you bring your Switch to his place and he invites a couple more people who also have the system AND the game, you'd be more likely to play handheld mode, each on your own system, and not every single friend bringing around their TV so everyone can play on his own big screen, right? If you were the kind of person that did (like we used to do in PC LAN parties back in the 1990s), then you're VERY likely to be the kind of person serious enough about LAN gaming that you are the kind of person who already owns the friggin adapter to begin with, so it's a non issue that it requires one at all.
Basically, if you play local multiplayer in handheld mode you don't need a LAN adapter, obviously, since you couldn't connect one at all, nor do you need an internet connection even, cause that would be stupid and would completely defeat the purpose of the game being on a handheld at all, cause you're likely to want to play that multiplayer with multiple switches on the go in places where there's no WiFi to speak of.
Most people who connect it to a LAN are going to have a router setup with DNS server and so on. Think of the amount of games people are likely to play at a LAN that require internet access. Even if its just to download patches. If you're going to the effort to setup 12 monitors for this and 12 Ethernet runs you're probably going to have a DHCP server somewhere and internet access.
So instead of trying to work for the niche scenario where someone is just connecting 12 Switches to a 16 port Switch with no router? They've made it work for the scenario that 99% of people who want a LAN mode are going to use. Because if they had played around with Multicast DNS they could very easily cause issues with people who do have a DHCP server. In short, Bonjour can go rouge. It's not worth it when the vast majority running this setup won't need it.
I already set up LAN parties for MK:DD!!! on GCN, so this is a welcome addition to me.
I would recommend checking out this link https://youtu.be/COgvZKKzLNg
Spawnwave is basically recommending the UGREEN USB 3.0 to Ethernet adapter over HORI due to value and performance, both of these which UGREEN does better than HORI
I'm guessing I'll just use the current LAN adapter I have for my Wii U now, but we'll see. I played tons of MK8 wirelessly without a hitch, but, eh...
This isn't true. I tested with a wireless network and LAN play worked fine.
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