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How to fix the Splatoon 2 ‘Connection is Unstable’ error messages

If you play Splatoon 2, then there may be times where you would get a “Connection is Unstable” error message when playing the online multiplayer modes of the shooter. If you need help with resolving these issues, you can check out are troubleshooting guide below.

About Error Message: Connection Is Unstable (Splatoon 2)

First, let’s talk about the meaning behind the error message. According to the Nintendo Support website, “Connection is Unstable” (Splatoon 2) happens when your network connection is unable to send and receive data in a consistent enough manner to play the online multiplayer modes.

Keep in mind that the error message could appear in some Nintendo Switch games but not others. This is because some titles use more bandwidth in your network connection to send and receive data when compared to others.

The Splatoon 2 “Connection is Unstable” error message occurs when your internet connection is either too slow, there is something hindering your Switch’s Wi-Fi signal, or your networking equipment is being unresponsive.

Potential Fix #1: Restarting the Nintendo Switch

The first solution that you should try in order to resolve the Splatoon 2 connection issues is by restarting the Nintendo Switch. You can do so by holding the power button on the handheld unit for three seconds. This will bring up a menu; from there, go to “Power Options” and then choose the “Restart” options to reboot the system. Afterwards, you can test out the online multiplayer mode to see if you are still experiencing any online problems.

Potential Fix #2: Power cycling the modem and/or router

If you are still suffering from issues, then you might want to consider doing a power cycle of your network hardware. You can do this by unplugging the power cable from the modem. If you are also using a router, you should also unplugged the power cable for that as well.

Wait for at least 30 seconds before re-plugging the power cable back into the modem. Afterwards, wait until all the light indicators are functioning. If you are using a router as well, you can then plug the power cord back into the router and wait until all of its light indicators are functioning.

Once you are done power cycling your network hardware, try testing the online multiplayer in Splatoon 2 to see if that fixes the hitches.

Potential Fix #3: Strengthening the Nintendo Switch Wi-Fi signal

The next step, if you are still experiencing the Splatoon 2 online connection error messages, is to try to strengthen your Nintendo Switch Wi-Fi signal.

Nintendo recommends that your Nintendo Switch should be within 10 to 15 feet of your wireless modem or router for an optimal signal. So, if possible, try to get your console as close to your networking hardware as possible.

Furthermore, your Wi-Fi signal could be hindered by metal objects and/or other electronics. So try to move these items away from the modem/router and Nintendo Switch.

Once you are done with that, test out the online functionality of the game to see if the error messages still appear.

Potential Fix #4: Switching wireless frequency bands

Another possible fix to the Splatoon 2 connection problems is by changing the frequency bands of your wireless router or modem. If your hardware supports both the 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz frequency bands, try switching to the band you weren’t previously using for Splatoon 2. The method to do so varies depending on your network hardware and operating system.

Once you are done changing the frequency bands of your wireless router or modem, you need to create a new internet connection on your Nintendo Switch. To do so, go to “System Settings” from the main menu and then select “Internet,” followed by “Internet Setting.”

The Switch will then automatically search for nearby Wi-Fi signals. Select your SSID and then enter your password. Afterwards, the system will perform a connection test. Once that passes, you can then test out the online modes of Splatoon 2.

Potential Fix #5: Getting an USB Ethernet LAN Network Adapter

If for some reason you are still experiencing the Splatoon 2 “Connection is Unstable” error messages, then you might want to consider getting a wired connection. Having an Ethernet connection is more stable and faster when compared to Wi-Fi, especially if your wireless signal is weak for one reason or another.

The Hori Switch Wired Internet LAN Adapter has been officially licensed by Nintendo. You can purchase the product with this link on Amazon.

There are also two cheaper adapters that work just as well as the officially licensed Hori product. You can check them out with the following links: Plugable USB 3.0 to 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet LAN Network Adapter and UGREEN Network Adapter USB 3.0 to Ethernet RJ45 LAN Gigabit Adapter.

Please note that the USB Ethernet LAN Network Adapters are only compatible with the Nintendo Switch while it is in docked mode. If you are planning to play Splatoon 2 online in portable mode, you will have to rely on Wi-Fi.

Hopefully, the potential fixes we mentioned above will help you resolve the Splatoon 2 “Connection is Unstable” error messages.