« Go back to the guides list

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]

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.

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, highlight the player that will have multiple controllers and hit "Configure Pads". Then put the controller you want them to control underneath the pad their controller is configured for. This can be done for multiple people connected to the server.


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.

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. You'll know it is set up properly if the game is in Dolphin's Game List. Also, when playing Wii games, this error may appear if Cache folders are not synced.

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. If you are having desyncs, it is most likely your fault. Check everything again. However, a small number of Wii games are weirdly unsupported no matter what, such as Super Smash Bros. Brawl.

Retrieved from "http://wiki.dolphin-emu.org/index.php?title=Netplay_Guide&oldid=74997"