The Nintendo Network is a service run by Nintendo that allows users to be matched up with other players and play games with each other. It is used by games for both the Nintendo 3DS and Wii U. It is the successor to the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection service.
A Nintendo 3DS without a Nintendo Network ID added can still access the eShop and purchase games/DLC, download game updates, and redownload items, but it cannot download demos or free apps (including free-to-start games). It can still go online in games and in apps such as the Friend List.
Once a Nintendo Network ID has been added to the 3DS, the eShop app will require the user to log in shortly after opening. Any purchases made on the 3DS from before adding the Nintendo Network ID will be transferred to the Nintendo Network ID.
A Nintendo Network ID can only be created from a 3DS or Wii U system; it then becomes locked to that system's serial number on Nintendo's servers and this cannot be changed easily. (A Nintendo Network ID may be shared between one 3DS and one Wii U.) Nintendo Network IDs cannot be created from a regular browser. Not all locales are able to create a Nintendo Network ID.
In addition to being mostly system-locked, Nintendo Network IDs are also permanently locale-locked. When a Nintendo Network ID is created on the 3DS, its locale can only be set to the system's current locale. If the user then changes their 3DS's locale from the System Settings, trying to log in to the 3DS eShop will fail with Error Code 022-2502[note 1] (even if the two locales share a currency) and the user will be prompted to exit the app. The same also applies to opening Nintendo Network ID Settings and downloading a game update from the Home menu (which requires connecting to the eShop), both of which require logging in if the system has a Nintendo Network ID added.
A Nintendo Network ID cannot be easily removed from a 3DS after being added. The user may format the entire 3DS (which permanently loses all save data for non-physical games, including on the SD card, and temporarily loses all downloaded software and game updates) to obtain a 3DS without a Nintendo Network ID on it, but that Nintendo Network ID is still locked to that 3DS's serial number on Nintendo's servers, and the user will not be able to add that Nintendo Network ID to a different 3DS afterward. If the current system locale and Nintendo Network ID locale are the same, the user may re-add that Nintendo Network ID back to the same 3DS, and redownload software and game updates. Formatting a 3DS with a Nintendo Network ID on it also requires an internet connection.
The user may also delete the entire Nintendo Network ID, which will permanently lose all purchases, including those on any Wii U system using the same Nintendo Network ID.
To transfer a Nintendo Network ID between two 3DSes, the user must have both systems in hand and perform a System Transfer, which also requires an internet connection. The receiving 3DS must also not already have a Nintendo Network ID added to it, and it is not possible to perform a System Transfer from any of the New Nintendo 3DS series down to any "non-new" Nintendo 3DS. If the user's 3DS is lost, contacting Nintendo customer service is required to add the Nintendo Network ID onto a different 3DS.
A Wii U without a Nintendo Network ID added cannot access the eShop.
A 3DS may only have one Nintendo Network ID added to it at a time. A Wii U may have one Nintendo Network ID per user account on the system.
Multiple Nintendo Network IDs may be associated with a 3DS if it is formatted in between each one. Doing a System Transfer will then transfer all of these associations to the other 3DS. If the destination 3DS already had a Nintendo Network ID associated with it (and has been formatted since), the destination 3DS will now be associated with the Nintendo Network IDs of both the source 3DS and the destination 3DS.
Players in the United Kingdom who create a Nintendo Network ID between December 10th, 2013 and January 31st, 2014 on their Nintendo 3DS will receive Super Mario Bros. Deluxe as a free download.
Games compatible with Wi-Fi
The following Pokémon games are compatible with the Wi-Fi Connection service.
Nintendo 3DS titles
- ↑ "This Nintendo Network ID cannot be used because its region setting does not match the setting of this system." "Please check Region Settings in System Settings ⇒ Other Settings ⇒ Profile, and confirm that this setting matches the ID."
|Nintendo online services|
• Famicom Network System (Famicom, 1988)|
• Satellaview (Super Famicom, 1995)
• Randnet (Nintendo 64DD 1999)
• Mobile System GB (Game Boy Color/Game Boy Advance w/Mobile GB Adapter and mobile phone, 2001) • Online Nintendo GameCube gameplay (Nintendo GameCube, w/GameCube Broadband Adapter/Modem Adapter, 2002)
• Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection (Wii, Nintendo DS Lite, Nintendo DSi, Nintendo DSi XL optionally w/Nintendo Wi-Fi USB Connector, Nintendo DS & DSi Browser, 2006)
• Nintendo Network (Nintendo 3DS, Wii U, Web, 2012/3)
• Nintendo Switch Online (2018; Nintendo Switch)
• Websites (Nintendo web browser games)
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