Configuring pfSense for Wii U Online Play

Recently, I purchased Splatoon for my Wii U. The game is pretty fun for local battles and the single player campaign, but I really bought it for online play. However, I could not get a single online match to work. It would sit and search for a game to play and then pop up with error code 118-0516. Then I tried Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Brothers and realized I had the same issues with them as well (I never play them online, so I didn’t know.) A few minutes on Google brought up numerous results with people having the exact same issue. So after reading through Nintendo’s connection troubleshooting guide, I decided to start playing around with my router to see if I could get it to work. Here’s what I found to make it work:

  • Give your Wii U a static LAN IP address (Nintendo’s Guide)
  • pfSense needs to be configured to manual NAT mode. (Firewall -> NAT -> Outbound, select “Manual Outbound NAT rule generation”)
  • Add a new outbound NAT mapping with the following settings:

Wii U NAT MAP

  • Add a new NAT port forwarding rule (Firewall -> NAT -> Port Forwarding) with the following settings:

Wii U NAT Port Forwarding

  • Enable UPnP. (Services -> UPnP & NAT-PMP)

I’m not sure if UPnP is necessary, but I enabled it anyway because Nintendo recommended it. Once these settings are all configured, restart your game and the matchmaking should start working.

Hopefully this helps someone else in the future!

Read 18 comments

  1. Josh,

    I’m having the exact same problem (or rather my son is) with Splatoon on Wii U. I’m running pfsense 2.2.2. The exact same 118-0516 error keeps cropping up. I enabled the Outbound NAT setting and the UDP Port Forward exactly as you have them above and I already had UPnP turned on. We’re still getting the error message.

    The Wii U is connecting through one of several AP’s in the house that other devices have no issue with as the AP’s are all in pure bridge mode.

    Is there ANYTHING else you might/might not have setup that I don’t that you can think of?

  2. Josh, just got this working, thanks!

    One thing to mention is that I had to click the “hybrid” button in the Firewall -> NAT -> Port Forwarding page to enable the new mapping.

  3. Those adjustments worked like a champ! I am guessing that the Static IP is not necessary, but if the IP of the WiiU changes then the rules would need to be changed.

    Will have my kids try Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash later

  4. To get rid of 118-0516 I had to change
    System -> Advanced -> Firewall Optimization Options to “conservative”

    The “normal” mode did not work, even with the Wii U in a DMZ with all ports open

  5. Thanks man this worked for me also….but I was also getting error 118-0502 and 118-0516 and the outbound static nat solved that because i just had the port forwarding rule. I disabled UPnP and it still worked for me

  6. Thank you! I missed the part about the static port, but saw it later when reading the comments. Thanks to you, I finally got this working. It doesn’t seem UPNP or NAT-PMP is necessary.

  7. Thank you Josh! Kids just got Splatoon and I found your posting and it worked. I ended up removing all the IP setting from the Wii-U and redoing them in order to get the game working.

  8. I don’t actually run pfsense, but I’ve been experiencing the exact same problem with the TPLink ER6120 I am running.

    My finding so far from examining the firewall logs and running a wireshark trace:

    The WiiU does not use UPnP
    All traffic for online matches is UDP, it does not appear to failback to TCP

    The destination port ranges I see consistently are below:

    10000-10099
    33300-33399
    50000-50099
    50200-50299
    61300-61399
    64900-64999
    10100-10199

  9. Hey Josh, thank you very much for your instructions. Worked great for me. I tend to leave all my devices using DHCP (rather than assigning a static IP on the device itself) and then create a static mapping under Status > DHCP Leases.

    You saved me a great deal of research time and my son will be very happy tomorrow!

  10. the son had this error with Splatoon like many of you. We have a low end Belkin router so I found very few options that were changable, including even assigning a static IP! Guess we have an old model. ..

    I was able to get it working by simply adding the WiiU to the router’s DMZ using its current IP. I am uncomfortable with this, as it means the WiiU is not protected from the outside world attacks anymore.

    I am opting to put it in DMZ temporarily as the kids want to play, and will upgrade the router to a model that better works with the WiiU’s UDP based battle system.

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