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 yahoo.com 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.