The Nintendo Wii was a landmark console in video games, becoming one of the best-selling systems of all-time and releasing several titles that would be amongst the best video games ever made. It also allowed Nintendo fans to finally play their favorite games online with other players around the globe.
Being able to play Mario Kart Wii and Super Smash Bros. Brawl with players from every corner of the world was a surreal experience (even if the lag made the experience less than stellar.) But all good things must come to an end, and on May 20th, 2014, the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection servers were shut down, meaning those long-loved titles could only be enjoyed in an offline setting…right?
Fortunately for us, an ongoing project has prepared for this shut down, and you can still play those classic games online like the old days with just a few simple steps. Read on to learn about Wiimmfi, the fanmade, free-to-use online server for the Nintendo Wii.
What Is Wiimmfi?
The Wiimmfi Project (often just called “Wiimmfi” for short) is a fanmade server that launched on May 10th, 2014 by a Mario Kart Wii player called “Wiimm.” Even before Nintendo announced that the servers would be shut down, Wiimm had been putting in research to gather data on how these games worked on servers in case the official Nintendo servers were closed, as has happened with various Xbox and PS2 games in the past. Because of the work Wiimm had done in the years prior, he was able to get the Wiimmfi Project up and ready before the Nintendo servers shut off on May 20th, 2014.
Wiimmfi was originally focused solely on Mario Kart Wii, which continues to be the most popular game played on Wiimmfi by far, featuring hundreds of players at any given time of the day. Over the years, Wiimmfi added more and more games to its servers, including classics such as Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Mario Strikers Charged. Today, there are over 100 games that are playable using Wiimmfi, including Nintendo DS games such as Mario Kart DS and Diddy Kong Racing DS.
Are There Any Differences Between Nintendo Wi-Fi And Wiimmfi?
Gameplay wise, there are no differences between how any particular game played on Nintendo Wi-Fi versus how it plays on Wiimmfi, for better or for worse. A game that struggled with intense lag like Super Smash Bros. Brawl won’t play any better on Wiimmfi. On one hand, it adds to the authenticity of the experience, being able to play the games as they were. On the other hand, it means those frustrations from back in the day will still be there.
Some games will have certain modes that won’t work anymore or will behave differently, but all in all, things seem to have carried over well. A full list of available games as well as how the online works can be found here.
How Can I Start Playing On Wiimmfi?
To play on Wiimmfi, you’ll need to install Homebrew, the Wii Channel that allows you to heavily mod your Wii. There are many great tools you can use to customize your Wii experience using Homebrew, and since the online servers no longer work, you don’t have to worry about Nintendo catching on to your tricks.
You’ll also need an SD card with the Wiimmfi Patcher, which replaces the out-of-service Nintendo servers with the Wiimmfi ones. Once you load the patcher onto your SD card, insert it into the Wii and load up the patcher via the Homebrew channel. Load up whatever game you’d like to play and wait for the patch to complete, and you’re all set! (Note: more details can be found here.)
It’s worth mentioning that anyone who only wants to play Super Smash Bros. Brawl can do so without the Homebrew channel; simply load up an SD card with a hackless pack, load up the game, go to the Stage Builder, and the game will reset with functioning Wiimmfi. Again, this only works for Super Smash Bros. Brawl; you’ll need Homebrew to play any other games.
Where Do I Find People To Play Wiimmfi With?
Mario Kart Wii is very active, meaning it shouldn’t be hard to find a race at any given time. Other games are quite sparsely populated, and you’ll have to do some searching to find active communities. Discords for those particular games are a good start, as well as their respective Reddits, but your best bet is to try your luck with Mario Kart Wii, or get some friends to set up Wiimmfi so you can play any game of your choosing.
Wiimmfi is a wonderful case of when fans go the extra mile to make something special. Give it a shot and relive some of those classic Wii games as they always were.