Nintendo Switch gets a free upgrade that's essential if you want to play online

Nintendo has patched the problem that was preventing some Switch owners from getting online

Nintendo Switch OLED
(Image credit: Nintendo)

If you're a Nintendo Switch owner and you've been frustrated by your handheld's apparent inability to see some wireless access points, there's good news: Nintendo has fixed the problem – although you'll need to get online in order to get it. But there's a workaround for that too.

The update is a Switch System Update, version 18.0.1, and it addresses an issue where some wi-fi access points simply didn't appear in the list of available networks when first setting up your connections. 

The new update fixes that, and if the issue is preventing you from getting online to update your console Nintendo says that you should change the security settings for your network to WPA2(AES). That should enable you to get your console online and download the update to make your Wi-Fi work properly – but don't forget to change your network's security settings back to normal when you've done that.

Nintendo shakes up its online offering

While Nintendo is busy fixing Switch owners' Wi-Fi woes, it's also been making changes to its online offerings for older consoles. Earlier this month it shut down the online play service for Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo Wii U users, after shuttering both consoles' eShops the previous month. 

It's a shame that the services have gone, but it's not really surprising: the Wii U is twelve years old and the 3DS is fourteen, with the latter handheld launching in the same year as Microsoft's Kinect and Sony's PlayStation Move. And while online play and shops are no longer available you can still download game updates and patches, or redownload previously purchased DLC and games, and Nintendo says it has no plans to change that in the foreseeable future.

With Nintendo cleaning out its older services, that's got me wondering about what's next – and in particular, when we'll see the long-rumoured Nintendo Switch 2, which we hoped we'd see last year. It looks like we'll have to wait a little longer: the most recent Switch 2 rumours suggest that Nintendo is now thinking about a March 2025 release date. Here's hoping it delivers some, or better still all, of the new Switch 2 features we'd really love to see.

Carrie Marshall

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written more than a dozen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote seven more books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (