I’ve already written about the other Nintendo Switch problems and fixes but I realized there is another problem many people face when setting up the Nintendo Switch. Yesterday as I was trying to connect my console to wifi I experienced one of the most annoying connection problems. The speeds were so slow that it was causing my download games to complete at a snail’s pace.
Slow download speed is one of the common problems faced by Nintendo Switch users. It can be caused by poor internet connection, weak signal, network congestion, hardware problems, or device issues. However, the issue is only temporal but may cause issues for the user if not fixed.
Irrespective of the cause of the problem, anyone can fix the slow WiFi issue easily and seamlessly. It doesn’t require a lot of time or experience to resolve. There are some things you can do to fix the problem and continue playing your games. You can either fix the problem by rebooting the console, updating the console, switching to the 5 GHz band, power cycling the router, or disconnecting other devices on the network.
If you are here, it’s already obvious that you are experiencing problems with Nintendo Switch’s slow WiFi connection. This guide will provide you with the solution to fix slow download speeds and sluggish WiFi performance on your Switch. If you have been to resolve the poor download and upload speed on your console, this post will be of immense help to you.
Why Is The Download Speed On Your Nintendo Switch Slow?
There are several factors that affect the download speed of your console. Here are some of them:
1. Poor Internet Service from the ISP
Slow upload and download speeds can be caused by your Internet Service Provider (ISP) and not the Nintendo Switch itself. That is to say that the problem is entirely out of your hands and can be fixed by your ISP.
If the service or quality of internet connection provided to you by your ISP is poor, you will experience slow Wi-Fi download speeds and other connectivity issues each time you want to download a game or play online games on your Nintendo Switch.
You can detect if there is an issue with your internet service provider by performing an internet connection test on your Nintendo Switch console. Here’s how to do that:
- From the Home Menu, click the System Settings icon.
- Scroll down and select Internet.
- Select Test Connection.
- Now, wait for the test results.
The result will provide you with the upload and download speeds of your console in addition to other items such as SSID, Internet Connection, Connection Name, NAT Type, and Global IP Address. However, what you want to take note of is the upload and download speed of your console.
The ideal download speed for the Nintendo Switch is 3 Mbps. If you get anything lower than that, you will likely experience slower speeds.
2. Problem With Network Devices
Slow or unresponsive network devices can slow down the download speeds of your console. If your router or modem is slow, it can become unresponsive and terminate the connection and this will likely affect the performance of your WiFi.
Moreover, any hardware or software issue in your modem or router that you use for the internet can reduce the download speed on your console. For instance, outdated firmware on these wireless network devices affects their performance, which causes slow download speeds.
Always ensure that your modem or router is updated and working properly to avoid any WiFi issues across your wireless devices.
3. Weak WiFi Signal
If your Nintendo Switch is placed far from your router, or if there are objects that can obstruct or cause interference with the internet connection, the WiFI signal may be affected and this can cause issues. Your WiFi signals can be affected if there are metal objects, steel-reinforced walls, aquariums, filing cabinets, power strips, cordless phones, and other wireless devices in your home.
Signal interference causes poor download speeds and this, in turn, affects your overall gaming experience. Anything that interferes with the WiFi signals negatively affects the speeds of the Nintendo Switch.
Have it in mind that there will be a stable internet connection when there is minimal or no interference with the WiFi signals. In addition, if the router signal is weak, try moving your console closer to the router to improve the Wi-Fi connection speed.
You can always refer to our troubleshooting guide in case your Nintendo Switch WiFi is not working.
4. Network Congestion
Even if your WiFi signals are great and there is no issue with your ISP, your router may not give you a great connection speed if there are multiple wireless devices using it. In other words, to have a fast connection speed, try not to have too many wireless devices connected to it.
Today, there are lots of electronic devices such as home security systems, HVAC systems, smart lights, and other home appliances that connect to the internet. If you have some of these wireless devices in your home and they all share the same Wi-Fi network with your Nintendo Switch, you may face slow internet speeds.
Devices that stream music, videos, or online gaming tend to consume a lot of bandwidth and they require a strong internet connection. We recommend you disconnect other wireless devices from your router and see if it will resolve the slow wifi issue on your console.
5. Software Problem
If the wifi problems on your console have persisted for a long time, the issue could be caused by a software problem. The Nintendo Switch software is updated regularly to fix various bugs, errors, and other glitches that could affect the console.
You are likely experiencing a slow download speed if you haven’t updated your Nintendo Switch software. One of the things you can try if other methods in this guide don’t work is to factory reset your console. If that doesn’t work either, the console may be having a hardware malfunction.
6. Hardware Problem
Right now, the Nintendo Switch is one of the best and most reliable gaming consoles on the market. It features a stunning, high-quality build design and appearance. Unlike the other five mentioned above, hardware problems are not so common when troubleshooting for technical glitches like slow upload and download speed.
However, hardware damage on your Nintendo Switch such as the loud fan issue cannot be ruled out. If after applying all the solutions in this guide and the wifi download issue is not solved, we can assume that the fault is from the hardware.
Confirm if there is any hardware damage on your console and take it to a specialist for repair or replacement.
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How To Increase Nintendo Switch Download and Upload Speed
The Nintendo Switch console has an exciting library of games to download and play online but all of this can be ruined by slow download speed.
If you want to troubleshoot the slow wifi issue on your Nintendo Switch, below are some ways to increase the speed and improve your gaming experience:
1. Start with an Internet Connection Test
If you are having issues downloading applications and games or playing online games on your console, you should run an internet connection test. This test can help determine the cause of the slow wifi download speed.
We have already provided you with the steps required to run an internet connection test on your Nintendo Switch. If the download and upload speed are below the optimal 3 Mbps, you should start looking for a solution to fix the problem.
Having taken this into cognizance, let’s look at other solutions to this problem.
2. Resolve Wireless Signal Interference Issue
Wireless signal interference causes low download and upload speeds on your console. Fixing this problem is simple – remove any obstruction in your room such as metal objects and other electronic devices that can block the network between your router and the console.
3. Move Your Console Closer to the Router
You can improve the internet connection by taking your console nearer to the router. Move to the room where your router is placed and check if the situation will improve. If the wifi works faster after doing this, remove all metal furniture or objects that could block the wifi signal.
4. Switch Off Other Wireless Devices
If there are multiple wireless devices on the same wifi network, switch them off and check if the download speed will improve. If there are other users using the same network, their online activities (including online streaming and file downloads) can affect the quality of connection. Disconnect those wireless devices and consider getting a dedicated router strictly for gaming.
5. Reboot the Console
Restarting your gaming console can help fix any memory issues interfering with the internet connectivity. To restart your Switch console, press the power for a few seconds, select Power Options and click the Restart button.
Hopefully, restarting the console clears the bug that slows down the wifi download speed. After the reboot, check the internet speeds of the console.
6. Power cycle the wireless router
If the reboot doesn’t work, turning off the router and turning it on can get it fixed. Be sure to disconnect the modem or router from the power outlet for around 30 seconds. After that, turn on the router and try to reconnect the Nintendo Switch console.
7. Change to 5 GHz Band on your Router
If your router supports dual-band, that is 2.4GHz and 5Ghz, you can try swapping from one to another to see if that will fix the issue. Follow your router documentation to perform the change or contact the manufacturer for support.
8. Update your console and router firmware
As simple as updating your console and router could help fix multiple bugs and technical glitches on these devices. Get your Switch console, go to settings and check for system updates. The download begins immediately if it finds any patches available.
You would also want to ensure that the router’s firmware is up-to-date. Connect the router to your PC using an Ethernet cable and get the firmware update from the manufacturer’s website, and then complete the upgrade by following the prompts. Also, you can consider performing a factory reset to see if the problem will be fixed.
9. Update the MTU Settings
There’s a lot of talk surrounding the Nintendo Switch’s slow wifi download speed. I did something no one else has talked about and my game’s download time reduced significantly from 81 minutes to 56 minutes.
You too can reduce your game’s download time by changing the MTU settings on your console. All you need to do is to go to follow the steps below:
- Click on System Settings.
- Select Internet.
- Select Internet Settings.
- Choose your preferred network.
- Select Change Settings.
- Highlight the MTU Option.
By default, the MTU is set to 1400 but you will change it to 1500. This MTU refers to the Maximum Transmission Unit. By increasing it, you are enabling your Nintendo Switch to download items at a better rate, thereby reducing sluggish downloads.
10. Use a VPN
If you are facing ISP-specific issues like throttling that reduces your internet connection, I recommend you to use a VPN. Although this gaming console doesn’t natively support VPNs, still, there is a way to install a VPN on your Nintendo Switch. Using a VPN can be a smart solution especially if your ISP isn’t compatible with other networks.
In addition to that, using a VPN gives you numerous benefits and gives you a great advantage over other gamers who don’t use a VPN. Using a VPN can help you bypass strict NAT, protect your privacy online, prevent DDoS attacks, as well as to access geo-restricted content and watch Hulu on your Nintendo Switch.
In case you are looking for a VPN for your Nintendo Switch, we recommend you to use any of the VPN solutions below:
11. Contact Nintendo for Support
If you have tried several options to fix the slow download speed on your Nintendo Switch, including doing a hard reset, rebooting the console, or contacting your ISP to no avail, the last thing you should do is to seek help from the Nintendo Switch customer support.
The team at Nintendo can help you troubleshoot and find out the error. Also, they have professionals and technicians who can give you advice or fix your console if required.
Does the Nintendo Switch Console download games faster in sleep mode?
If you want to download apps and games at a faster rate on your Nintendo Switch console, you can achieve this in sleep mode. When in sleep mode, the console channel all its energy towards the download and turns a blind eye to other functions.
Also, the sleep mode saves the battery life of your console. Let your console get into sleep mode, then use your phone app to get access to the eShop and download your preferred game. Before you start this process, ensure that your battery has sufficient charge. If not, plug your console into a power source for uninterrupted game download in sleep mode.
The Nintendo Switch is an awesome gaming console. However, it suffers from several notable problems. One of these problems is slow wireless download and upload speeds for internet connectivity. Many users reported that the wireless speed of their Switch consoles is half as fast as the one for the Wii U game console.
Fortunately, this is a very easy problem to fix! All you will need to do is follow this guide and make the necessary adjustments. The above processes are actually the most effective methods to reduce Nintendo Switch’s slow WiFi download & upload speed.
Hopefully, these tips will help speed up your own Wi-Fi speeds for downloading games and updates for the Nintendo Switch. After reading this post, we hope that you figure out the best way to optimize your Nintendo Switch Wi-Fi connection with little effort.
Roger Mark is a freaky gamer who has been involved in the gaming industry for more than a decade, mostly testing out hundreds of gaming consoles and devices including gaming mice, headphones, earbuds, controllers, speakers, chairs, desks, and TVs. After getting a massive amount of information about gaming gadgets, Roger deemed it wise to share it with others too. His articles are in-depth and simple to understand. When he is not writing, there is a 99% chance that he's playing video games or watching a blockbuster movie.