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Nintendo may have officially sunsetted the Nintendo Network across the Wii U and 3DS, but that doesn’t mean you have to accept the lack of online play. Thanks to a fan effort titled the “Pretendo Network,” online functionality is now back on both Nintendo platforms… kind of. See, this ongoing fan campaign to bring back network support is in its infancy and doesn’t support much at the moment.

As highlighted by Modern Vintage Gamer on YouTube, Pretendo Network is a fan campaign to restore all online functionality to both the Wii U and 3DS. In its current iteration, Pretendo only supports 13 games and most of them are not at 100% compatibility. Something like Mario Kart 8, for instance, has basic matchmaking, friend rooms, and even host transfer, but it doesn’t allow you to create tournaments or utilize Mario Kart TV to upload clips on YouTube. That’s still better than the nothing you would get with a legitimate copy of the game right now.

One of the more exciting aspects of Pretendo Network is that a recreation/replacement for Miiverse is currently in the works. Spread across both the Wii U and 3DS, Miiverse was Nintendo’s way of implementing a social network for its fans across its different platforms. Sadly, it was shut down in 2017, but Pretendo might be able to resurrect the idea for the modern era. Right now, you can even make posts on your Wii U if you connect to the Pretendo Network.

To get this working on your consoles, you will need to have a hacked Wii U and/or 3DS. There is some effort to support Pretendo with a simple DNS server change, but that isn’t an option presently. Hacking isn’t so hard to accomplish and you can find everything you need at the 3DS Hacks and Wii U Hacks websites.

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Written by Peter Glagowski

Peter has been a freelance gaming and film critic for over seven years. His passion for Nintendo is only matched by the size of his collection.