Nintendo Switch Wi-Fi Issue May Be Causing Framerate Drops

An upcoming patch for an issue with the Nintendo Switch Wi-Fi may also have the benefit of helping with framerate drops.

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While the Nintendo Switch is no doubt powerful for a portable system, there have been some issues with framerate drops in certain games. While many, including myself, thought these issues were due to the Nintendo Switch's somewhat modest specs in comparison to its peers, a third-party developer informed Nintendo Life it may be connected to a known issue with the Switch's Wi-Fi connection which places additional load on the system's GPU.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, in particular, was affected by stuttering and slowdown. Zelda isn't the only Nintendo Switch game affected by graphical maladies though. Fast RMX suffers from resolution drops from time to time, and I Am Setsuna is affected by frame rate fluctuations in addition to being locked to 30fps.

Tests by users have shown that by turning off the Wi-Fi auto connect option in the Nintendo Switch System Settings, many framerate issues seem to be resolved. It seems that scanning and attempting to connect to Wi-Fi periodically puts a load on the CPU which causes framerate and resolution issues in certain games. When the auto-connect option is turned off, the users stated that the graphical issues were gone in Fast RMX and I Am Setsuna, and minimized in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

Whether this is a placebo effect or not hasn't been thoroughly tested. However, Nintendo Life claims that developers confirmed that Nintendo is aware of the Wi-Fi issue and that an upcoming firmware update would patch the problem.

Contributing Editor

From The Chatty

  • reply
    March 13, 2017 11:40 AM

    Jason Faulkner posted a new article, Nintendo Switch Wi-Fi Issue May Be Causing Framerate Drops

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      March 13, 2017 12:10 PM

      Very interesting. I'll try to do some testing on this tonight.

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      March 13, 2017 1:08 PM

      Sounds like a job for Digital Foundry.

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      March 13, 2017 2:41 PM

      I just had my first switch lockup :( it's stuck on the power screen and I just have to wait for the battery to run down. Is there any way to do a hard reset?

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        March 13, 2017 2:43 PM

        Try holding down the power button for more than 10 seconds.

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          March 13, 2017 2:59 PM

          Ooo that did it, thanks! I'd tried 5s, but not 10. Seems to be ok again now.

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      March 13, 2017 3:01 PM

      I don’t even see where this wifi auto connect option is?

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      March 13, 2017 3:12 PM

      I don't think this is the case, I get atrocious framerates in zelda and my wifi is solid, so the theory doesn't make much sense if only people with no wifi (Or wifi they turn off and on all yhr time , because that's a thing?) Are affected.

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        March 13, 2017 3:36 PM

        Yeah, I was rolling in a village yesterday and it was just choppy as hell. Made climbing/jumping problematic. My biggest problem is I want to play it on my TV with the Pro controller so I'm getting even more slowdowns than hand held mode. Seriously makes me wish Nintendo would just release on other platforms.

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      March 13, 2017 3:29 PM

      There was a similar issue with Dragon Quest 7 on the 3DS. When you turned off WiFi, the game got a lot smoother.

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      March 13, 2017 4:46 PM

      Let's be realistic here. The Switch is not powerful compared to decent portable systems like the completely reasonable Acer Predator 21X.

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      March 13, 2017 5:04 PM

      I have good wifi signal and have only had issues with one encounter. I've had a couple split second drops, but nothing as bad as many have.

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        March 13, 2017 5:11 PM

        Have you been to the Lost Woods? Its.... bad there.

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          March 13, 2017 5:13 PM

          Yeah it's clear they were like fuck it go. That's a slideshow.

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            March 13, 2017 5:24 PM

            I just switch it to handheld now if I get in a place that's really bad and I need to do serious platforming. But it makes me wish I could choose 720P for my TV if it would run the same as handheld mode does.

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          March 14, 2017 12:18 AM

          never had a single frame drop at the lost woods