The MAC address is an identifying marker that appears on any device that connects to the internet. If it connects to the internet in multiple ways—such as Wi-Fi and via an ethernet port, it will have a MAC address for both. As old as the Wii and Wii U systems are, they too have a MAC address.
Finding the MAC address on either system isn’t difficult. As with most computers or gaming consoles, that information falls under the “settings” umbrella—in this case, Wii System Settings and Wii U System Settings. Thankfully, gaming consoles aren’t nearly as complicated as laptop or desktop computers, and finding the information you need is usually just a few clicks away with the controller. Read on to learn more.
- On the Wii Remote, press the A button for the Main Menu.
- Select the Wii Logo on the screen.
- Select Wii Settings.
- Select Wii System Settings.
- Point your Wii Remote to the right of the screen to slide over to the second screen.
- Select Internet.
- Choose Console Information.
That seems like a lot, but with the Wii remote handy, it goes quicker than you’d think. Once you’ve selected Console Information, you will see the MAC address at the top of the screen. The MAC address is six groups of two digits each.
- On the main screen, select System Settings.
- Use the left stick to select internet.
- Select View Wireless MAC Address.
That’s it for the Wii U. Apparently, some software engineer at Nintendo decided that a three-step process was a whole lot better than navigating through six or seven windows on the Wii version, or maybe that’s wishful thinking on our part.
Identifying the MAC vs. IP Address
Note: When trying to locate your Wii or Wii U’s MAC address, be careful not to confuse the MAC with the IP address.
For those who aren’t well-versed in hardware and software architecture, you have to think of the MAC address in terms of vehicles. The MAC address is the VIN #, while the IP address is a car tag issued to you at the DMV. The MAC address, like the Vehicle Identification Number stuck to the car, inside the door panel, is permanent and doesn’t change—unless you know how to “spoof” it or your router uses MAC address cloning. The IP address can be changed as often the plates on your car.
The purpose of the MAC address is to identify the device on the network and to direct traffic to that device within your network. The IP address is assigned to your device through the router and may differ each time you log on.
The IP address is also an identifying marker, but unlike the MAC address, it identifies your system when you are online, outside of your own network.
Yes and no. The Wii and the Wii U do not connect to the internet through an ethernet cable. That means they only communicate with your router in one way, wirelessly. However, if you purchased the optional Wii LAN adapter, you would have a second MAC address.
To access the MAC address for the LAN adapter—which is compatible with either the Wii or the Wii U—You go through the exact same process listed above, and the second MAC address will be listed below the first.
All systems that connect via wireless and/or ethernet cable will have a MAC address for the wired hardware and the wireless hardware.
You can never truly change a MAC address. However, you can “spoof” your MAC address—throw up a fake MAC address that masks the real one. Or, you can simply go out and purchase a new wireless card for your Wii/Wii U.
There’s usually only one reason why you would want to change the MAC address on a Wii or Wii U, and that’s if you’ve been banned. Jump onto any online gaming platform and ask about changing your MAC address and prepare yourself for a full-out assault of accusations, vitriol, and all the exciting trolls that come with it. You’ll be accused of cheating, and that will usually be the end of your ability to have a normal conversation.
To truly change your MAC address, you have to change the hardware. You’ll have to purchase and DIY-install a new wireless card or simply purchase a new Wii or Wii U system.
Now that you know how to find the MAC address on both consoles, what they are, and how they function within your network, there’s really not much more use that you can make for a MAC address.
One day, we’ll probably get away from MAC addresses and shift to something different, but since there is something along the lines of 250 trillion different possible MAC configurations, it’ll probably be long after humanity even needs gaming consoles.