How to Connect the Nintendo Switch to Ethernet Ports

Nintendo Switch Ethernet Featured

If you love to play games online, you may already know the importance of an Ethernet connection to your console. Unfortunately, the Nintendo Switch doesn’t come with an Ethernet port built in.

This is probably due to its more portable nature; it’s designed to be taken around and outside the house rather than sticking in one spot for long periods of time. As such, many gamers have to rely on a Wi-Fi connection to get online with their Switch, which then opens the door for higher latencies online.

Thankfully, there is a way to get the Switch connected to an Ethernet connection while it’s in its dock.

How to Connect a Switch to an Ethernet Port

To do this, we need to make use of the USB ports on the side of the dock. You’re probably using these right now; they’re typically used for charging cables on external accessories.

Switch Ethernet Cable

Setup is very simple: once you have the adapter, plug it into the side of the console. Then, take an Ethernet cable and plug one end into the adapter and the other into a router’s spare Ethernet port. Now your Switch is connected to the Internet via Ethernet, but only while it sits in its dock.

With the Switch in its dock, turn it on and go to System Settings at the bottom, then selected “Wired Connection.” This will then allow you to set up a wired connection to your Switch.

As for what you can use as an Ethernet adapter, there is an official Nintendo Ethernet adapter for the Switch; however, if you do some shopping around, you’re bound to find other companies making third-party adapters that might be cheaper.

Why You Should Bother with Ethernet

Switch Ethernet Online

It’s true that these days connection speeds over Wi-Fi are pretty good. Why should you bother with getting an Ethernet adapter when the Wi-Fi connections are fast already?

The key here isn’t so much the download speeds, as much as it is the speed between your Switch and the router. By using Wi-Fi, you introduce a little bit of delay between your Switch and the game servers. This, in turn, makes games a little laggier than normal.

Switch Ethernet Dragon Ball

If you play basic games online, you may not notice much of a difference wtih Wi-Fi; however, fighting games rely on pinpoint timing to get It right. Playing on Wi-Fi may have a few frames of delay versus Ethernet; this may sound small at first but could make or break an attack connecting in a game such as Smash Bros. Ultimate or Dragonball FighterZ.

Unfortunately, having a perfect connection depends on your opponents using Ethernet connections as well. If they haven’t bothered, you’ll still encounter bad lag in certain games despite your wired connection.

Switching Things Up

If your Switch stays in one place most of the time, and your router is somewhat nearby, you can take advantage of more stable connections using an Ethernet adapter. While most people will settle with Wi-Fi, you can do your part to decrease lag by wiring up your console.

Do you refuse to play games online unless you’re on Ethernet? Let us know below.

Simon Batt
Simon Batt

Simon Batt is a Computer Science graduate with a passion for cybersecurity.

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