Does The Nintendo Switch Lite Need Wifi To Play Games?

The Nintendo Switch Lite is the cheaper more portable hand held only version of the Nintendo Switch, but does it need Wi-Fi to play games? Read on to find out.

The Nintendo Switch lite does not need Wi-fi to play games, as game cartridges come with the required updates. During the initial setup of your Switch you will be asked to establish a WiFi connection but this can be skipped and set up later.

I will explain the benefits Wi-Fi gives to your Switch experience, even if you don’t have Wi-Fi at home. and why you need Wi-Fi and why you don’t and if you can Animal Crossing without Wi-Fi

Want the best Switch accessories? Treat yourself or a friend to the best Switch products on Amazon by clicking here or the button below

Why You Don’t Need Wi-Fi For Your Nintendo Switch Lite

The Switch can be played on the train or in the subway, I play with my Switch all the time whilst commuting! I’ve even played my Switch 30,000 feet in the air on an airplane without the internet!

Luckily for you and me, the Switch has a tremendous library of amazing single-player masterpieces, from Breath Of The Wild to Mario Odyssey both are 100+ hour gaming experiences!

The Switch has a massive game collection there is always something for everyone to enjoy, compared to the PS4 and Xbox One the Switch arguably is a BETTER offline gaming experience.

To see my personal picks of the best 40 Switch games, check my post here. You will never get sick of playing games on the Switch!

To get the Switch Lite for a steal grab it on Amazon here.

Nintendo Switch Has Amazing Exclusives

Sure on the surface games like Breath Of The Wild and Mario Odyssey might appear childish, with the cartoony graphics and lack of realistic violence but if you let this put you off you are missing truly special gaming experiences.

Breath Of The Wild flat out is one of the best games ever made. Don’t believe me? It is 97% on Metacritic and won 189 game of the year awards!

That’s a lot of rewards!

Similarly, Mario Odyssey is 97%, and the reason I bought a Switch the fantastic fighting game Super Smash Bros Ultimate is 93%! I could go on again and again about numerous Nintendo exclusives and how well rated they are but you get the point.

Nintendo exclusives can ONLY be played on a Nintendo console, you can’t be playing Zelda or Mario on PlayStation or Xbox this will NEVER happen. Buying a Switch gives you access to some of the best games ever made, making the console more worth it.

Nintendos exclusivity is a reason why Nintendo games are so expensive, to learn more see my post here to see if you can get a bargain buying a used Switch see my post here. Why pay more?

Sure I am just some guy on the internet, but check this Reddit thread of numerous adult gamers JUST like you who bought the Switch and are LOVING it. The user ExcessiveGravitas quote below is just one of many who never played an exclusive Nintendo game but are loving the time spent gaming.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed Zelda, to a degree that has honestly surprised me. Ive never played a Zelda game before, nor an open-world game, nor any 3D games other than Portal. And yet I’ve sunk 200+ hours into it, defeated Ganon, and am still playing and enjoying it


See the review of Zelda above to see how great it is. To treat yourself to thousands of hours of entertainment.

The mentioned games are all single-player experiences, and whilst Zelda is best enjoyed docked on a TV Mario Odyssey is a fantastic handheld gaming experience, not having Wi-fi does not stop you from cuddling up and enjoying the Switch Lite in bed, all safe and snug!

Honestly, playing Switch games offline can sometimes be bad as Nintendo is notorious at having a lets just say ‘underwhelming’ online experience compared to Sony and Microsoft, I remember playing Super Smash online and the lag was so bad it was unplayable.

To see exactly why Nintendo Online is so bad check my post here.

You Can Just Use Public Wi-Fi!

The issue with not having internet is if you need to go online to download an update or access the Nintendo E-shop you will not be able to.. Wait! There is a solution.

Just use your phone as a mobile hotspot or better yet use public Wi-Fi in Starbucks or McDonalds, even single-player games get regular updates to improve performance so you wouldn’t want to miss out on these improvements just because you don’t have internet.

Honestly whilst my Switch is connected to the internet I never use the features, everything I do is offline so it will not hurt your Switch experience not having internet trust me.

Why You Need Internet For Your Switch Lite

I still think the Nintendo Switch is more of an offline gaming experience than the PS4 or Xbox One but this doesn’t mean not having internet will not somewhat hurt your experience.

Online Multiplayer Gaming

Even if you live with other people, as the Switch Lite cannot be docked to a TV so you cannot truly enjoy local co-op games like Super Mario Kart and Super Bros (see the other 11 best co-up games here). Playing online is the only real way to enjoy these games with other real humans.

Playing a real person that is fighting back is a richer gaming experience, and yes you could play these games in public Wi-fi but what if everywhere is closed or you cannot get a decent internet connection? That 24/7 McDonalds near you Wi-Fi could SUCK!

Or you cannot be bothered to travel and public Wi-Fi could be far from where you live, or you just cannot concentrate playing Mario Kart with 4 8 years olds screaming all around you in StarBucks, I know I couldn’t concentrate!

Games like Fortnite and OverWatch are multiplayer-only and require an active internet connection to play, whilst not super common for the Switch you still miss out on SOME gaming experiences not having internet.

You Will Not Have Instant E-Shop Access

The Nintendo E-Shop is Nintendos online shop that sells games and downloadable content, they often do sales especially during the festive season.

With internet the E-shop is just a click away, needing to travel to get public Wi-Fi or use your phone every time you want to buy a game is a bit of a pain, now you CAN offset this by doing all your E-Shop business whenever you have internet access but it’s nice having access all the time with internet.

Certain Games Require Internet Updates

Software updates for the Nintendo Switch fix problems in games or give improved performance, or include updates and features like in Animal Crossing, not having Wi-fi means you will miss out on these features until you have internet access.

Certain games like La Noire(Amazon) REQUIRE an online update before you can play them, this isn’t the case with 99/100 games but make sure you update La Noire before you take it on 5 hour plane journey!

Having Wi-fi gives your Switch games the best performance they can get as soon as possible but it all depends on how convenient getting Wi-Fi is for you

Can You Play Animal Crossing Without WI-FI?

Animal Crossing is complely playable without Wi-Fi however certain features like having someone visit or you going to someones elses island require an active Nintendo Online subscription and internet connection.

The only purpose of playing Animal Crossing online is going to other peoples islands, and trading fruit/turnips and it will take you longer to acquire certain items and money, see this reddit thread for more information.

Online doesn’t have a huge impact on items money or advancement for your Island unless you trying to absolutely maximize your items or doing item swaps.

To see if Nintendo online is worth it for Animal Crossing check my post here.

Read real reviews of the Nintendo Switch lite down below on Amazon

Nintendo Switch Lite – Blue