Console GamingHandheld Gaming

How to play a shared digital copy of Mario Kart 8 on 2 consoles

I love my Nintendo Switch, and I recently bought a 2nd Switch for my son to use. My biggest gripe about the Switch is the tiny cartridges that it uses. They are very easy to lose and expensive to replace. This has made me decide to buy most of my games digitally.

Digital games have their downsides too, of course. If you are the type of person that loves to trade or sell games, you won’t be able to do that with a digital copy. It’s also frustrating that digital games don’t go on sale as often as physical games. There are many times that I’d see a game selling digitally for $59.99, while seeing a cartridge version go on sale for $19.99.

There is one often overlooked feature of digital games that can actually save you money though. Nintendo allows you to share your digital game library with one other console. If you link your Nintendo account with both consoles, you can play your games on both. The only limitation is that one of the consoles has to be connected to the internet at all times.

Since I already owned over a dozen digital games, that meant my son already had a nice collection of games to play on his console. He was able to play Mario Kart 8, Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Splatoon 2, and all of my other games while using his own account and saves. What’s even cooler is that we can play the same shared game at the same time, but there was one odd limitation I found with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.

I tried to see if we could play Mario Kart 8 together through the “Wireless Play” option, but we received an error message every time. The reason this happens is because the Switch changes to an ad-hoc mode in order to do wireless play. Since the two consoles are connecting directly to one another, it causes them to disconnect from the internet, which is what produces the error message that says “error code 2618-0006 .

I came across a workaround though! There is a hidden menu option in Mario Kart 8 that allows you to toggle between “Wireless Play” and “LAN Play”. LAN Play allows you to connect to one or more Switch consoles that are connected to the same router. When I set both games to connect through LAN Play, we were able to race together with no problems!

Here is how to enable LAN Play for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe:

While at the main menu, press the L shoulder button, R shoulder button, and click in on the left analog stick at the same time. If done correctly, the “Wireless Play” option will be replaced with a “LAN Play” option.

Make sure you set both consoles to connect through LAN Play or you won’t be able to connect. Nintendo’s support website mentions that LAN play works with wired connections and a LAN Adapter, but I was able to use this mode with a without a wired connection.

Another cool feature of LAN Play is that it supports a greater number of players, allowing up to 12 players to race in the same game. That would make for a fun LAN party!

Did this trick work for you or have you encountered issues with other shared games? Let me know in the comments!

Edward Hyman

Besides gaming, I'm really into technology in general.