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Nintendo Switch Will Also be Capable of True, Offline LAN Multiplayer

The Nintendo Switch is pushing local multiplayer, complete with the Joy-Con controllers that allow two players to game together right out of the box and support for split-screen on a single device. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe already supports up to eight consoles to connect over Wi-Fi for local multiplayer. But this week, Nintendo subtly announced in a Splatoon 2 preview that the Switch will also be capable of true, offline LAN connections as well, with up to 10 docked consoles able to connect together over Ethernet.

Of course, this is Nintendo, so you’ll need to take an extra step to make that happen. Since the Switch dock lacks an Ethernet port, you’ll need a USB-to-Ethernet adapter (Hori is selling a fancy, Nintendo-approved Switch-licensed one for $29.99, but really any adapter should do).

While older Nintendo consoles had multiplayer over Ethernet, they still relied on Nintendo’s online servers — so if your internet was down or Nintendo was just having a bad day, you’d be out of luck even if you were simply trying to connect to a console in the same local network. That makes the Switch the first Nintendo console since the GameCube to offer true LAN play, and is yet another sign that Nintendo is taking local multiplayer seriously this time around with the Switch.

Currently, Splatoon 2 is the only title that’s been announced to support the feature, with up to eight local combatants and two spectators being able to connect together, but it’s easy to envision that Nintendo could bring the feature to other titles like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe that could benefit from the local LAN support.