The new Pokémon games are causing a bizarre error that crashes Roku devices — here’s how to fix it

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Roku/Nintendo
  • Dozens of people who were playing “Pokémon Sword” and “Pokémon Shield” over the weekend took to social media to report that their Roku devices weren’t working correctly.
  • Both Pokémon games are played on the Nintendo Switch, so it wasn’t immediately clear how the video game console could be causing issues for Roku’s video-streaming devices.
  • It turns out that a networking issue between Roku devices and the Nintendo Switch forced Roku devices into a boot loop, rendering them unusable while people were playing “Pokémon” with the same internet connection.
  • Roku has identified the issue and released a firmware update to fix the problem. However, you’ll have to take your Switch offline while it installs.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Some unlucky Pokémon fans encountered a bizarre issue over the weekend – the newly released “Pokémon Sword” and “Pokémon Shield” video games have been causing Roku streaming devices and TVs to crash due to a networking error.

The new Pokémon games are played on the Nintendo Switch, a portable video game console, so when players encountered issues with their Roku devices, it wasn’t immediately obvious that the two were related. Eventually frustrated Roku owners on Reddit discovered that people were encountering errors while playing Pokémon on the same online network.

Reddit users eventually figured out that “Pokémon Sword” and “Pokémon Shield” constantly send out a network discovery packet to find other people playing the game nearby, and it just so happens that the signal uses the same network port as Roku’s update service. The packet being sent from the Nintendo Switch triggered a false update for Roku devices causing them to restart over and over. This was later confirmed by a Roku employee on r/Roku.

How to fix your Roku if it’s crashing due to “Pokémon Sword” and “Pokémon Shield.”

Roku has identified the networking issue with the Nintendo Switch and released a firmware update to stop Roku devices from crashing.

If your Roku device is still stuck in a boot loop, it’s probably because you’re still playing Pokémon. So, you should either turn off your Switch, or if you absolutely can’t turn off the game for even a moment – you can put your Switch into airplane mode. Either way, once you Switch is disconnected from the internet, your Roku should boot up normally.

Once you have access to the menu, you should be able to find the firmware update in the settings menu, under the system category. Roku TVs will update to 9.1.0 build 4501 or 9.2.0 build 4601 and Roku streaming devices will update to 9.2.0 build 4701.