Setting a Static IP Address for Your Nintendo Switch
By: Hannah Fillmore-Patrick
When you connect to the internet, your network assigns a string of numbers called an Internet Protocol (IP) address to your Nintendo Switch. When you send an online request, like a request to join a lobby, your network stamps the request with this string of numbers, like the return address on a letter. The IP address tells your network where an online data packet is coming from and where it should go.
The Difference Between Dynamic and Static IP Addresses
To reduce the number of IP addresses in use, internet service providers pool addresses for their subscribers to share. When you connect to the internet on your Nintendo Switch, your network pulls an address from this pool. When you disconnect, your network returns that address to the pool so that someone else can use it. As a result, your console’s IP address changes every time you use it.
- A dynamic IP address changes with every internet session. The Domain Name System (DNS) entry constantly changes for networks with dynamic addresses.
Networks that want to be found by other networks use static IP addresses. When you type “google.com” in the address bar at the top of your browser, for example, your browser uses the DNS directory to match that URL with the static IP address for Google Search. It’s easy to find a network, like Google, with a permanent domain name and a static IP.
- A static IP address always stays the same. The DNS entry doesn’t change for networks like “google.com” with static addresses.
Should you Set a Static IP for Your Nintendo Switch?
Sometimes–if you’re hosting a game, for example–you want other people to be able to find your network. Unfortunately, that’s an impossible task when you’re using a static IP address and when your router uses the default “Network Address Translation” (NAT) security setting to mask that IP address behind another unrelated IP address.
While a strict NAT type increases the security of your network, it can cause your Nintendo Switch to lag, drop you from games, or prevent you from joining lobbies. By setting your NAT type to open, you can:
- Speed up the game
- Stop getting dropped from games
- Improve the sound quality of voice chat
- Play with friends
- Join lobbies
- Host games
A static address ensures that any changes you make to your router settings are permanent, even when you restart your console. To set your NAT type to open, then, you need to assign a static IP address to your Nintendo Switch first.
Set a Static IP Address for Your PC
To give your console a static IP address, you need to know your current IP address, your subnet mask (usually 255.255.255.0), and the DHCP range of your router. These numbers will help you choose a static IP address for your console that’s compatible with your router.
To find your current IP address and subnet mask:
- Open a PC that’s on the same network as your Nintendo Switch.
- Navigate to “Command Prompt” by using the search or by clicking on “Start” and typing “cmd.”
- Type “ipconfig” and click enter. Your current IP address is “IPv4 Address.” Your subnet mask is “Subnet Mask.”
To determine your router’s DHCP range:
- On your PC, navigate to your router’s setup page by entering your router’s default IP address into your browser’s address bar. Most routers have the default LAN IP address 192.168.0.1 or 192.168.1.1. See a full list of default IP addresses here.
- Login to access the setup page. The default password is usually “admin,” but here’s a full list of default router passwords.
- Look for “DHCP Scope” in the settings. Each router manufacturer arranges its setup page a little differently. If you can’t find “DHCP Scope,” you may want to contact your router manufacturer for assistance.
Now, choose a static IP address for your Nintendo Switch by using your current IP address and the DHCP range of your router:
- Start with your current IP address.
- The first three numbers in your IP address stay the same. For example, if your IP address is 192.168.1.143, keep 192.168.1.
- The last number can be any number that’s less than 254 and is outside the DHCP range of your current IP address. For example, if your current address is 192.168.1.143 and your DHCP range is 50-150, you might choose the static address 192.168.1.3.
Now, use the information you gathered to set a static IP address for your Nintendo Switch:
- Navigate to “Advanced Settings” > “IP Address Settings” > “Manual.”
- Select “IP Address” and hold down the B button to delete the current address. Then, enter that static IP address you selected.
- Select “Subnet Mask” and hold down the B button to delete the current mask. Then, enter the same subnet mask you use on your PC. Select “OK.”
- Select “Gateway” and hold down the B button to delete the current address if it differs from your router’s default IP address. In the default gateway field, enter your router’s default IP address. Select “OK.”
Now that you’ve assigned a static IP address to your Nintendo Switch, you’re ready to open your NAT type with port forwarding so that you can play online games with friends, join lobbies, or host games.