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Nintendo warns of server overload for Switch and Switch OLED — what to do

Animal crossing game popular Nintendo switch with joy controllers family friend activity playing together.
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The Nintendo Switch OLED, alongside the standard Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Switch Lite, are surely going to be popular gifts this Christmas. But Nintendo is warning users now to prepare as servers will be overloaded this holiday weekend.

In a tweet posted by Nintendo of Japan's customer service Twitter account, as noticed by IGN, it warns users that due to high server concentration creating new Nintendo accounts might be difficult. Specifically, upon setting one up, it may take some time for it to be fully created. Nintendo requests users, most likely parents who have bought a Switch for their children, to make an account now to ensure things go smoothly on Christmas day. 

How to prepare your Nintendo Switch for Christmas

Video game consoles running into server issues on Christmas day is not new. Whether it be PlayStation or Xbox, a mass influx of new users on a day when everyone is off from work and school will invariably cause problems. 

For anyone wanting to ensure that their new Nintendo Switch works perfectly on Christmas, we recommend everyone open their Switches now. Yes, that might sound antithetical to the gift-giving tradition, but trust us, getting account setups and updates out of the way before Christmas will prevent disappointment come Dec. 25. For anyone having trouble, check out our how to set up your Nintendo Switch guide for more information.

Upon opening the Switch, go through the setup procedure, logging into Wi-Fi and creating a Nintendo Account. After that, go into settings and check to see if there are any updates that need to be done. 

If you plan on buying any games digitally, do so now and download them all. If you're gifting physical games, then insert each game into the Nintendo Switch, press the + button on said game and choose "software update." Sometimes game updates can be very large, meaning that installing these now will prevent extremely slow download speeds on Christmas day. 

Also, Nintendo's servers are nowhere near as advanced as those of Sony and Microsoft, so speeds will be comparatively slow. We recommend using an Ethernet connection whenever possible. The Switch OLED has an Ethernet port built into the dock whereas the standard Switch does not. For the standard Switch, a separate Ethernet adapter is necessary. We recommend the Ugreen USB 2.0 Ethernet adapter

Imad Khan

Imad Khan is news editor at Tom’s Guide, helping direct the day’s breaking coverage. Prior to working at the site, Imad was a full-time freelancer, with bylines at the New York Times, the Washington Post and ESPN. Outside of work, you can find him sitting blankly in front of a Word document trying desperately to write the first pages of a new book.