When Do Online Services End for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U?

Nintendo is ending online service support for the 3DS family, Wii U consoles, and the games fans can play on them.

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Image via Nintendo

The 3DS family of handheld consoles and Wii U have been around for years. Nintendo has moved on from both with the Switch, combining elements of each into a single hybrid console that’s possibly the best thing it’s ever produced.

While many people loved their 3DS and Wii U, all good things must come to an end. The Nintendo eShops for both were shut down a while ago, and Nintendo is doing the same with online support for the consoles and games, too.

Related: The 10 Best Nintendo 3DS Games

Nintendo 3DS & Wii U Online Services End Date

Online services for Nintendo 3Ds and Wii U consoles will end in early April 2024. The exact date will be announced closer to the time. In the meantime, Nintendo advises all fans to download the games they own for each console and prepare for the loss of interactive leaderboards and multiplayer while there’s still a chance to.

The eShops for these consoles were shut down in March 2023, so it’s hardly surprising that Nintendo is now taking down the rest of its online support. It will free up server space for whatever the company plans next, which may be Switch-related.

Nintendo fans have loads of questions about the shutting down of these online services. Nintendo has been clear on what will and won’t be possible once they push the button. We’ve answered the most critical questions below so all fans can be sure of what’s coming.

Can You Still Use StreetPass and Local Networks for Multiplayer on 3DS After Online Services End

Yes, it will be possible to continue using the fan-favorite feature StreetPass even after online services have been ended for the 3DS. Once online services have ended, it will also be possible to play games using local area networks on the 3DS consoles together.

These features will continue to work because they don’t rely on online communication. Instead, they use communications between 3DS consoles, a local network each console sets up and establishes.

Will You Still Be Able to Play Games on 3DS and Wii U After Online Services End

It will be possible to continue to play 3DS and Wii U games offline on these consoles even after online services end. All that’s happening is that Nintendo is shutting down all online support. It means that games like Splatoon and Mario Kart 7 just won’t allow players to enter online multiplayer matches.

All games that could be played offline before the services end will continue to be playable. We’d advise players to get as many multiplayer and online games in as possible before April 2024 so they can feel like they’ve taken advantage of the time they have left.

Can You Still Use Pokemon Bank After 3DS and Wii U Online Services End

Pokemon Bank will still be live and functional even after 3DS online services end. Nintendo has stated that this could change at some point in the future. For now, though, the plan is for Pokemon Bank to still be available for all fans to use, so they can continue to transfer all of their collections between games.

Can you Still Download Games You Own on 3DS and Wii U After Online Services End

Yes, according to Nintendo, it will still be possible to download games that have been purchased on the 3DS and Wii U eShops even after online services end for the consoles. However, the company has made it clear this won’t be permanently available, so players should download everything they have purchased in the past to ensure they don’t lose it.