Just like the Wii, Nintendo decided not to include an Ethernet port with the Wii U. Therefore, most players have to rely on Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11b/g/n), which is not nearly as good as a direct wired connection. This is especially troublesome if you are playing an online games such as Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U. Fortunately, there is a solution where you can use LAN and Ethernet Adapters. The bad news is that Nintendo no longer sell their official adapters.
Fortunately, several third-party manufactures stepped in to fill the void. So what are the best Wii U LAN and Ethernet Adapters out there currently? Below are three products on Amazon we recommend using.
All three have the same functionalities (like USB 2.0 support) and are compatible with the Wii U along with other devices like the Wii. So there isn’t really any wrong choices.
Aesthetically, you may want to get either the grey-colored eForCity USB 10/100Mbps Ethernet Network Adapter or HDE Ethernet LAN Adapter for Nintendo Wii USB Port if you want to aesthetically match the white Wii U system. The UtechSmart USB 2.0 to 10/100 Fast Ethernet LAN Wired Network Adapter also matches up well in terms of color with the black Wii U console. With that said, the choice is ultimately up to you.
How to Install the Wii U LAN and Ethernet Adapters
Once you made your choice and have either of the three LAN and Ethernet Adapters in hand, you can begin the installation process, which is relatively simple. Make sure your Wii U is turned off before connecting the adapter to any of the four USB ports of the system. You will then need to connect the Ethernet cable from the adapter to either your modem or wired router.
From there, boot up your Wii U and then head to “System Settings” (the one with the wrench icon). The Internet Settings should be the first option, so press A and then A again to select the “Connect to the Internet Option.” In the “Internet-Connection Setup” screen press Y to get to the “Connection Type” menu and then select “Wired Connection.”
The eForCity USB 10/100Mbps Ethernet Network Adapter, HDE Ethernet LAN Adapter for Nintendo Wii USB Port or UtechSmart USB 2.0 to 10/100 Fast Ethernet LAN Wired Network Adapter should appear. Choose “OK” to test and “OK” again if the direct connection was successful (note: if you get an error code during the test, you can look it up with the Nintendo Support website to find possible solutions). Afterwards, the Wii U should asked you whether or not if you want the wired connection to be the default one when connecting online. Choose “Set” to complete the installation.
If you haven’t been connecting your Wii U online, you may also have to perform a system update. If you get the prompt, simply follow the on-screen instructions to get it done.
With either one of the three adapters installed, the online should be faster and smoother. You may notice a big difference while playing Super Smash Bros. for Wii U as the developer recommended a direct connection to get the best multiplayer play possible.