wiiu 3ds

Nintendo’s 3DS And WiiU Online Services Have Now Shut Down For Good

Dawn of the Final Day.

Final Update: And it’s happened. This morning saw the doors shut on online services for both the Nintendo 3DS and the Nintendo WiiU.

As already stated, online play and pretty much anything requiring online communication in games or apps like leaderboards or live information will now no longer function. Local communication features like StreetPass can still be used as before, and digital purchases on the 3DS or WiiU made prior to the eShop shutting down last year are still available to re-download and will be “for the foreseeable future.”


Update 08/04: And the final day is here. Online services for both the beloved 3DS and the less-appreciated WiiU are going dark at 10AM AEST tomorrow (or possibly 9AM AEST, as Nintendo statements from different regions are listing different times). After this time, online play and pretty much anything requiring online communication in games or apps like leaderboards or live information will cease to function. Local communication features like StreetPass will still function as per usual, and digital purchases on the 3DS or WiiU made prior to the eShop shutting down last year will still be available to re-download “for the foreseeable future.”

Depending on when you’re reading this, that means you have 24 hours or less left to play Watch Dogs’ multiplayer online with your mates on the WiiU.


Update 24/01: Nintendo has since published the date at which 3DS and WiiU online services will go dark, confirming this will take place on April 9th at 9AM AEST.

Nintendo also shared a statement around the changes, saying:

“At 4pm PDT on April 8, 2024, online play and other functionality that uses online communication will end for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U software. This also includes online co-operative play, internet rankings, and data distribution.

“You can find more information about badges for decorating the Nintendo 3DS HOME Menu using Nintendo Badge Arcade here.

“Please note that if an event occurs that would make it difficult to continue online services for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U software, we may have to discontinue services earlier than planned.

“We sincerely thank players for using the online services of Nintendo 3DS and Wii U software over a long period of time and apologise for any inconvenience.”

You can read the full post and FAQ around the changes here.

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Nintendo has announced out of nowhere that it’s planning to end online services on the WiiU and 3DS consoles as of April 2024, at which point online play modes and other online-enabled features like leaderboards in games will no longer function.

The news comes only a couple of months after Nintendo restored online functionality to both Mario Kart 8 and Splatoon on the WiiU, which were taken down for five months for “emergency maintenance,” and six months after it shut down the Nintendo eShop on both platforms.

Nintendo says it will announce a specific end date and time at a later date and that “if an event occurs that would make it difficult to continue online services for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U software” it may have to discontinue services even earlier than that.

The company posted an FAQ around the changes on its support website, which you can read below:

Will I still be able to play offline even after online services end?

Yes. Players will still be able to use features and game modes that do not require online communication.

Will any online services still be available even after online services generally end?

It will still be possible to use online services for the following software but that may also end at some point in the future.

  • Pokémon Bank
  • Poké Transporter

Are you also ending online services for software from publishers other than Nintendo?

With some exceptions, online services will end for all Nintendo 3DS and Wii U software. Please contact publishers for information about the online services for their software.

Will it still be possible to download update data or purchased software?

For the foreseeable future, it will still be possible to download update data and redownload purchased software and downloadable content from Nintendo eShop.

When online services end, will StreetPass and SpotPass no longer be available either?

StreetPass uses local communication between Nintendo 3DS family systems, meaning that it will still be available even after online services end. However, because SpotPass uses online communication, SpotPass features will no longer be available.

For example, you will be able to use StreetPass in StreetPass Mii Plaza, which is pre-installed on Nintendo 3DS family systems, but you will no longer be able to use features that use online communication (such as receiving new panels in Puzzle Swap).