Nintendo’s DS handheld is its best-selling console of all time, with over 154 million units sold. It introduced some revolutionary features that when utilized by inspired game developers, helped this console beat Sony’s PSP with its superior software library. One of those amazing features was online connectivity for multiplayer gaming and content sharing between friends.
Does the original DS have built-in WiFi? Yes, it supports the 802.11b standard and WEP security protocol thanks to an integrated wireless communication board. DS users could enjoy online multiplayer with Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection and browse webpages using a proprietary web browser for DS that was based on Opera.
Both the DS web browser and Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection were discontinued over a decade ago. So you can’t go online on a DS unless you use a private server. You’ll also need an access point that supports 802.11b and the now obsolete WEP security protocol.
Does The Original DS Have Built In WiFi?
Indeed, there is a wireless internet adapter board within the DS. And it supports 802.11b, which was very good back in 2004. You’ll have a hard time going online today with your old DS unless you connect to an access point with no security (because it only supports WEP).
With Nintendo’s WFC service, DS users could go online and play with/ against their friends in games such as Mario Kart DS. Harvest Moon DS, GTA China Wars, Heroes of Mana, and Madden NFL are some of the other popular games that supported WFC back in the day. Nintendo shut down WFC in 2014 because the company hosting these servers went bankrupt.
After WFC went offline, players were no longer able to access various online features on DS. Including things like matchmaking, leaderboards, tournaments, user-created levels, DLC, etc. That’s right- the DS had all these cool features way back in the 2000s.
How Do I Connect My Original DS To Wi-Fi?
Unless you have a very outdated router, it’s hard to go online because the Nintendo DS only supports WEP- an outdated security protocol. It also requires 802.11b, which nobody uses these days (routers can do it in legacy mode). And even if you managed to get an access point that supports the DS, there is no Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection anymore.
So you’ll have to connect with some private server. Right now, your best bet is to use this guide. An exploit in the DS SSL layer allows custom servers to generate certificates that make your DS games think they are connecting to WFC (using Wiimmfi proxies).
All you have to do is open your DS game that supports online play and scroll down to WFC settings. There, you can configure a new connection for whatever access point you’re using. Toggle “Auto-obtain DSN” off, and manually enter the DNS described in the guide I linked earlier.
Does The Nintendo DS Have Internet?
Yes, and you could do many wonderful things with it back when Nintendo’s official online servers were still functional. Online multiplayer, free DLC, and content sharing provided several hours of fun. You could also add friends with their unique ID, and share ghosts from your best laps in Mario Kart.
The DS even had a web browser, that Nintendo sold as a separate cartridge. This browser was described as “crippled” by IGN journalists who compared its speed to that of dial-up internet.
It also lacked basic features such as Flash (which was still relevant back then), Java, and video playback. No wonder Nintendo stopped selling this browser in 2007, just 3 years after the DS was released.
Why Won’t My DS Connect To My Wi-Fi?
It’s probably because you’re using a Wi-Fi router made in the last decade. Anything with WPA won’t work because the DS only supports WEP. DSi and 3DS can connect to modern Wi-Fi routers while playing DSi-enhanced/ 3DS games.
But the original DS requires a much older access point or one with no security at all. Your router must also be configured to run in 802.11b mode. Because that’s what the DS uses.
Does DS Download Play Need Wi-Fi?
No, your DS that’s the home console turns into an access point for the other DS. This also works with DSi and 3DS consoles, which are backward compatible with DS. You don’t need a separate Wi-Fi access point (router) for Download Play.
If you’re confused let me explain what Download Play does. It’s a cool feature that allows DS users to get free demos, multiplayer game modes, and exclusive content with no need for a game card. If your friend has a DS/ 3DS with the game cartridge, both of you can play together- provided it’s a Download Play compatible title.
The host console (the one with the cartridge) hosts a game session. On the other console, you go into the system menu and select Download Play to view all available hosts. Then, you simply connect.
Relevant parts of the game ROM from the host console are copied into the RAM of your DS. Once you power down your console, this content disappears (as it is in RAM).
What WiFi Does DS Use?
It uses an 802.11b module, the oldest kind (most modern devices use 802.11ac or 802.11ax). Security is WEP, also an outdated protocol. Hence, it’s nearly impossible to go online with a DS unless you have a really old router or one with no security whatsoever.
The only real workaround is hosting a mobile hotspot from your phone, and setting the security to “none”. It’s not ideal, but unless you have a router that’s over 15 years old this is the only reliable way to go online with a DS.
There’s also a USB Wi-Fi adapter that Nintendo sold back in the day, but used ones are being sold at exorbitant prices due to their rarity. Besides, I’ve seen reports that this USB adapter doesn’t play nice with any version of Windows above Vista.
I hope this article helped you understand more about the wireless connectivity features of Nintendo’s DS console. The original DS had 802.11n Wi-Fi (2.4 GHz only) in conjunction with the WEP security protocol. DSi and 3DS have more advanced Wi-Fi chips that can support the WPA protocol, allowing them to connect with modern access points.