The Wii’s wireless is junk

Whenever I can I’ve been playing Super Smash Bros. Brawl. This game has sucked me in more than I ever thought it would. In fact, I even once thought the game looked too chaotic, something that I wouldn’t like.

Well one of Brawl’s major components is online play and all to often I find myself playing with someone and there is a lot of lag. While I wanted to blame Nintendo completely at first I thought I should at least verify that the issue isn’t on my end first.

I set out doing this by getting my Wii connected to the internet through my usual wireless setup and thing sending a ping request to it from my Linux box. My wireless router is less than five feet from my console and yet I’d see at minimum a 2ms delay. 2ms doesn’t seem like much until you ping my laptop and get .600 ms over the same wireless connection.

I kept pinging the Wii while playing a round of Brawl online and I found that at times, the delay *just on my network* would go as high as 111ms! Now, the Wii might be doing packet prioritization but I doubt it. Anyway, 111ms is quite a bit higher than I would typically get to any other web site I usually visit. The round trip time to is around 64ms. If I’m seeing typical times to Nintendo’s servers and then I add in that my Wii’s wireless is contributing between 2-30ms (take out m y worse case) it’s easy to see why some Brawl games suffer from a lot of lag.

To combat this issue, I picked up a LAN adapter from Best Buy. When using the lan adapter the delay still isn’t great, but it is at least rock solid at 2-3ms no matter what is going on. This is a huge improvement in my eyes and if a person is at all serious about online play with the Wii, a lan adapter is key.


  1. Hmm, I’ve yet to monitor the Wii’s wireless. I’m a Guitar Hero junkie at the moment. It takes a while to get to people online, but the gameplay is just like local play once it does. Still, I’m sure this is apples to oranges compared to smash bros.

    So smash bros is really all that? I might look into that, though the new Mario Kart is wicked fun too.

  2. Smash requires a quick stream of updates whereas Mario Kart doesn’t. It is much easier to guess where the karts are going vs the mad action in a fighting game. I recommend both games.

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