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Netplay is a defining feature of Dolphin: it allows you to connect any GameCube or Wii game for internet play, without the problems or limitations of the Nintendo WiFi Connection or hassle of BBA. It is improving regularly, and while it is a bit finicky at the moment it is very playable and reliable with the right settings. This guide outlines what you need for reliable online play with Dolphin.


Setting Up Dolphin[edit]

4.0-6638 added the ability to detect desyncs. Watch the textbox for if it notices desyncs, as very often it will be able to tell the game has desynced before the players.

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General Configuration[edit]

Graphics Configuration[edit]

Controller Settings[edit]

Netplay Settings[edit]

How to set the Pad buffer[edit]

Because input on the GameCube and Wii are polled by non-frame intervals, buffer does not directly relate to frames and can even vary per game. Lower the buffer as much as possible without causing slowdown for an optimal experience, ideally in areas that insure there isn't computer related slowdown such as a menu. In most games, add 1 roughly pad buffer per 15ms of latency per client. Two players at 50ms latency would be roughly 3 - 4 buffer, where as three players at 50 and 65 ms would be roughly 7 buffer.

Setting a Spectator[edit]

A Spectator is a connected computer that has no controllers assigned to them. You can do this by configuring pads and making sure their name has no pads. This player will not impact lag or latency but can still watch the netplay session.

Mixing Local and Online Multiplayer[edit]

To set multiple players on one computer, simply hit the configure pads button, and add their name to another pad. The first time their name is used will default to pad/wiimote 1, then 2 and so on.


Q: The person I'm playing with seems to be moving around strangely but he says that I'm the one moving weirdly. What happened?
A: This is a desync. Basically what both of you are seeing are two different games. If it keeps happening, double check your settings, check the hashes on your ISOs, and keep at it. On latest builds, desync detection will warn users before they notice a desync.

Q: When I try to join the host, it says "Game not found."
A: You need to add the directory containing your ISOs into your Config.

Q: How do I host?
A: In order to host, the player need to ensure that all firewalls allow Dolphin to send and receive packets. On top of that, if a computer is on a router, a port must be forwarded. For more instructions on how to handle specific routers, try portforward.com.

Q: Can I connect to Nintendo WiFi Connection?
A: "Netplay" is Dolphin's own online multiplayer system and has no interaction with Nintendo's servers. But Dolphin can use the Nintendo WiFi Connection. See the Wii Network Guide.

Q: Is there like a master server list of all the Dolphin servers?
A: Dolphin operates on a Peer to Peer architecture, meaning that there is no master server. Instead you must manually setup and host games with people beforehand. This allows Dolphin's netplay to have the lowest possible latency.

Q: Why am I having desyncs?
A: Netplay has matured considerably in recent time, but still requires user competency and problem solving to get over some of the hurdles.

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