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Wii U 101: How to transfer games from your Wii to Wii U

Every week we get more and more questions in our inbox asking us how to perform basic tasks on the Wii U. As more people adopt the system and move from the Wii to the Wii U, we’ll continue to see a rise in these questions. These Wii U 101 posts are designed to help newcomers who are searching for help with various tasks related to their Wii U and to help them get comfortable with their new console.

Please be respectful in the comments, as many people are setting up Wii U consoles for their family or children and these guides and your comments if you have something to add could be super helpful.

Transferring games from the Wii to Wii U is an easy process that requires the following:

  • Your Wii and Wii U console (at least one Wii Remote or Wii Remote Plus is required to control the two consoles)
  • A SD or SDHC card with at least 512 MB of free space
  • A broadband Internet connection (both systems must be connected to the internet)
  • A television
  • The country settings on both consoles must match

Some settings from your Wii will not transfer to your Wii U once you initiate the process through the Wii Transfer Tool. You will need to download the Wii Transfer Tool on both the Wii and the Wii U in order to properly initiate the transfer. Watch the video above for more help on this.

Users should note that once data is transferred from the Wii to the Wii U, the data is permanently deleted from the Wii. This data cannot be transferred back to the Wii from the Wii U, so be sure you want to transfer it before you begin. Data cannot be transferred from the Wii U to the Wii either, so any virtual console purchases that you have on Wii U cannot be transferred to Wii.

Continue reading:




  • https://twitter.com/Zorpix_Fang Zorpix

    Just a note to further flesh out the last paragraph, when you transfer your data, your entire Wii account is transferred. That means your Wii will basically be reset to factory defaults. It will have no memory of your purchases, or anything else. It will all be on the Wii U. This means, if you like your smash bros save data, and your gamecube controllers, or have N64 games you like to use gamecube controllers with, you have a difficult decision. That’s what made me hesitate, but honestly, I went for the transfer, and it’s really nice not having to lug around two home consoles. The Wii U is the only next-gen console with full backwards compatibility. I say go for it and have fun! :) Please feel free to ask me any questions about my Wii U or your Wii U in replies to this comment :)

    • purduealum91

      Zorpix,
      Is there a way to transfer from WiiU to WiiU? Thanks in advance.

      • Fred

        There’s not, I already looked on nintendo’s website because I was considering buying the Wind Waker bundle. However. You can just use the Zelda GamePad with your old Wii U and sell the New Wii U and the Old Gamepad

      • https://twitter.com/Zorpix_Fang Zorpix

        I dont believe so. May I ask why you need to do this?

        • purduealum91

          I am thinking of trading in my white base Wii U for this new Zelda bundle. I downloaded all of the 30 cent games and Trine 2 and would like to transfer them over.

          • https://twitter.com/Zorpix_Fang Zorpix

            ah. No, I dont believe you can without sending it to Nintendo. If any kind of transfer was to happen, you would need another Wii U in house, and the only way to do that is probably by sending both systems to Nintendo and having them do it`

          • Mark

            You indeed can keep everything from the previous Wii U and put it on a new one. All you have to do is get an external hard drive and move everything to the hard drive.

          • https://twitter.com/Zorpix_Fang Zorpix

            DUH! Why didn’t I think of that! but will the titles and the ownership transfer as well?

          • Mark

            I Believe, but don’t take my word for it. I’ve tried a little bit, and it worked.

          • Mark

            Transfer all the save data and games to an external hard drive.

    • Arthur Jarret

      Except LostWinds, that will still be in your Wii memory. Saved games and all.

      • https://twitter.com/Zorpix_Fang Zorpix

        whyzat?

        • Arthur Jarret

          It’s incompatible with the wii U for some reason. A year ago, frontier said they were working on a patch – but it hasn’t been heard from since.

  • incoherent1

    Idea for a future post in this series: transferring Miis from your 3DS to a Wii U.

    • http://about.me/overlordror Ashley King

      Thank you, added to my list. :)

  • Ducked

    HOW COME I CAN’T TRANSFER MY WII GAMES TO MY NINTENDO 64!?!?!?

    • Clel

      NINTENDO IS LIVING IN THE PAST DUDE, THEY–UH, NINTENDO’S LIVING TOO MUCH IN THE FUTURE, THEY NEED TO SLOW DOWN!!

      • Ducked

        A 6 INCH SCREEN ON MY CONTROLLER?! WHAT IS THIS 2025?

    • Nintenjoe82

      y can’t metroid crawl?

      • Arthur Jarret

        Because they don’t have any legs, they can only float.

      • Ducked

        because samus can’t break dance on weekends

  • crocodileman94

    How do I make my Atari 2600 games work on my wiiU?

    • http://about.me/overlordror Ashley King

      Ask Nintendo to put them in the virtual console. :P

      • raindog469

        Or wait till there’s a jailbreak and install an Atari emulator such as StellaWii or Wii2600, or the inevitable Wii U native version of Stella.

        Many commercial 2600 games (and nearly all homebrew games) have been released by their developers for free distribution through atariage.com (yes, really — keep in mind that the code of a typical Atari game is smaller than most of the graphics on this page), so you have more games than you’ll ever have time to play without resorting to piracy, though no doubt Nintendo would like you to believe otherwise.

        • Arthur Jarret

          Put homebrew channel on the wiimode – install emulator, play pitfall?

          By which I mean, it’s already possible to crash the system in wiimode and use the same ‘old homebrew-installation exploit as the wii had.

          I only really used it to play my old PC adventure collection through ScummVM, though.

          • raindog469

            Yes, I didn’t know they had homebrew channel working in Wii mode. You can install either of the Wii ports of Stella and get your retro game on without pirating anything. (Pretty sure Activision is not one of the companies that’s freed their old games, though. Doesn’t matter to me since I own the cartridge, but it’s not a total free-for-all.)

  • Adrian Brown

    Good tips. Another suggestion: how to connect your console to the internet, wired or wireless. Some people have problems with that.

    • http://ejercitogeek.net/ Mercurio2054

      OMG.

    • Arthur Jarret

      This. Especially as the wii U is unable to auto-obtain DNS and IP from most wireless routers and has some strange IP-related bugs.

      Here are the trouble-shooting steps for your future article:

      1. Within the internet settings of your Wii U go into connection types, Hit “Manual Configuration”
      2. Input your SSID
      3. Input the security type used, if you put the wrong one, it will not work.
      4. Put your password in.
      5. For ip address, select the option “Do not auto obtain”.
      6. Start your computer, open up cmd (the dosprompt thingy) in your computer, type in ‘ipconfig’
      7. Now input that ip address in your wiiU configuration, but add +10 to the last number so “192.168.1.1” will be entered as “192.168.1.11”
      8. Enter the rest of your info inside such as subnet mask and default gateway exactly as you see it in the dosprompt of your PC after typing ipconfig
      9. Now push next, psuh ‘configure now’ for your DNS. When asked about DNS, select “Do not auto obtain”.
      10. For the first server put in 8.8.8.8
      11. For the second server put in 8.8.4.4
      12. Select ‘Next’, when asked about a proxy, select ‘no proxy’
      13. Leave mtu as the default

      Save, connect, be happy, check out my (Samael_Blackwing)’s awesome luigi’s mansion drawing from 6 months ago – back when I had time for pixel perfect drawing before Monster Hunter came out and shoot some mofos in the throat on AC3.

      Don’t beat my Rayman challenge scores, though… I need those golden trophies to feel relevant in this world.

  • Zuxs13

    What about the process of upgrading Wii VC games to the Wii U version once they have been transferred over. Is this available yet I haven’t done the switch over until i could buy the $1 upgraded versions.

    • incoherent1

      Someone can correct if me if I’m wrong, but: it is available everywhere (globally).

      Keep in mind you can only upgrade them if the same game is also offered for the Wii U VC. Many games haven’t been released yet, so those can’t be upgraded.

      • Zuxs13

        Right that is why I was waiting. I wanted to make sure they were all available before i transferred them over.

        • Fred

          That will depend on which games you have that you want to upgrade. Maybe they’re all there maybe none are there just depends.

          • Zuxs13

            Ill have to look again and see what I have on the Wii. Not sure there is anything i can switch to yet, already got the $.30 super metroid.

  • Rugmouse

    Am I the only one that thought the whole transferring from Wii to Wii U system was a great deal more cumbersome than it should have been? Although I will say most of my frustration stemmed from only having access to one Wii Mote (having to pair over and over again was tiresome to say the least).

    I’m not saying it was difficult to follow by any means…but I just wish it was a bit more streamlined without so much console hopping.

    Because of this, I actually see the value add for this type of article/video. Thanks for the effort!

    • Wayne Beck

      lol Yeah, it was more trouble than it should have been, but I will admit my arrogance was the only reason for that. I only used One controller and one set of AV cords to do it lol. I bet if I had two consoles fully set up on two tv it would have been smoooth sailing.

    • Andreas Sunde

      You get to watch Pikmin transport your data. I’d say that makes everything worth it.

      • Clel

        Wow, really? That’s awesome!

    • Agent721

      I had multiple wiimotes, so I thought it was surprisingly easy. The Pikmin animation was great… that’s the Nintendo touch.

  • Razo_E

    If you have homebrew on your Wii, you can back everything up, make the transfer, then reload everything and have double copies. I did this and couldn’t be happier.

    • Arthur Jarret

      Don’t visit the wii store on your original wii, though – that’ll revoke all your licenses and you won’t be able to start the software anymore.

  • Yousif Alromaithi

    If only they showed how to transfer files from Wii U to another Wii U then I will get the Wind Waker HD Bundle.

    • Fred

      Just link the new Gamepad to your old Wii U.
      Then link the old gamepad to your new Wii U.
      Sell the new Wii U combined with the old gamepad
      Now everything is solved

      • Yousif Alromaithi

        Could it be done. Really wow.

        • Fred

          Oh yea, it’s not hard at all. It’ll take 30 seconds.

          • Yousif Alromaithi

            Damn me I wish I had the money lol I will wait. Once I have my next payroll.

          • Fred

            I’m surprised there hasn’t been more people on here saying they’re going to do this

          • Yousif Alromaithi

            Because PS4 is coming so why buy another Wii U. I mean who does not have a Wii U would buy it eventually. I don’t have money because of PS4. My next payroll is soon.

          • Fred

            That’s just not a thought at all for me. I don’t have enough time to play all the Wii U games I want to play so I have no intentions of buying a PS4. I have a PS3 and played Wii way more. I learned my lesson I don’t play on buying a PS4

          • Yousif Alromaithi

            I know. If I bought PS4 maybe many games will be delayed. I think PS4 will sell good I think. Although I will have fun on Wii U more.

  • Kev

    For those who plan on keeping their Wii consoles: (please read)

    *Save your Miis to your Wii remotes before performing a system transfer.* (You can do this from the Mii channel on your Wii.) Once the transfer is complete, your Miis will be moved off the system and there is no way to send your Miis back to your original Wii console without this method. This is because the Mii Channel in your Wii U’s Wii-mode lacks the functionality to save Miis to a wiimote and you cannot currently receive Miis from a 3DS.

  • Mr. Berzerk

    I installed the homebrew channel. Did a complete memory copy. Uninstalled the homebrew, and did the transfer. I than copied the memory back to the Wii. Worked just like it used, the only thing is, if you goto the Wii store again, it creates a new ‘reference’, and none of you previously downloaded games will work.

  • Nintendofreak

    why u need instructions? when the pikmin do all the work!

  • Nintenjoe82

    I turned off my Wii while the SD card was in the final stage of copying data from SD to Wii U. The Pikmin stopped and an error code came up. Pretty scary but after 2hrs of trial and error with a wiped Wii and an empty Wii U-Wii Channel, the transfer app figured out what had happened and I got my precious VC games.

  • The_Last_Metroid

    I love the pikmin animation!

  • Johny

    what about online wii games which saves cannot be copied or moved on sd ? can those transfer ? like SSBB, Monster hunter 3 tri (which is no longer relevant much, since servers are down.. but still),…

  • Blugrave

    I have a Wii U question. On my Gamepad is says theres a Power Save Function. On or Off. I always had it off. I finally put it on and nothing happened. What exaclty is it saving? I thought maybe like when I watch Netflix it’ll turn off when not used but no it doesnt. Maybe when playing COD with the Classic Controller the Gamepad could turn off but no. So what exactly is the Power Save Function?

    • ICHI

      Power save is when it’s out of use it goes into power save. While using a program (even if it’s not really used) it doesn’t work.

    • Uncle Ben

      The power save does what Ichi says, but if you want to actually save power when you’re on a program (like virtual console) and you want to use the TV and not the gamepad, you can also go the the controller settings and select “display off”.

  • MetroidZero

    I wish I never did transfer. One of my brothers plays Brawl everyday. I just ordered ZombiU and RE:R (one coming Friday and the other tomorrow [respectively]), and I won’t be able to play while he’s Brawling. Should’ve left the data on the Wii so he can use the TV while I play RE:R on the Gamepad. *sigh*

  • QuizmasterBos

    Nice video, but it was WAAAAY too short ans simple for me. I require a 336 page long book detailing exactly how all this works, like this book:
    http://www.amazon.com/Wii-For-Dummies-ebook/dp/B002AWX60C

    (In case you are wondering, I am kidding. The book however, is not.)

  • Arthur Jarret

    If you own Lost Winds: This game will NOT be transfered.

    You will not lose the game, it will simply remain on the Wii due to incompatibility issues with the Wii U.

    Furthermore: If you plan to keep using your wii to play wii-discs: Ensure you have all your saved games backed up (copied to an SD-card)! The system transfer will transfer all your save games as well.

    Wiiware and Wii virtual console games will be available within a seperate wii menu, you cannot place them on the main menu of your Wii U screen. No matter how much that would make sense if you also own a 3DS with DSi games… >_<

    As stated within the tutorial, you will lose all your data and games on the wii in this process (except lost winds) – so it will not be copied.

    There are some… less than legitimate… means to back-up your entire wii system memory before, and restore it afterwards.

    Connecting to the Wiiware store will cancel this restoration, though – so it's less than an ideal method and I don't think the WiiUdaily staff will appreciate if I go in any further detail about it either.

  • JVAN63

    What about all my points on the Wii eShop? I’d rather have those in the WiiU shop. Is there any plans of allowing people to link those accounts and/or transfer the points to Wii U?

  • JVAN63

    Believe it or not, people are still currently buying Wii U consoles, so this is new to them.

  • JVAN63

    The Douchbag comments again.

  • JVAN63

    A sensitive one at that.