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I have a Wii and two controllers. In the last few months the controllers lose the connection to the Wii rather often. It's bad enough that we cannot play Mario Kart any more (because one player gets disconnected every few seconds). If I play Super Mario All Stars on my own, it disconnects less often, but when it does, it's always in a jump (which then ends, catastrophically for poor Mario).

I tried replacing the battery sets, thinking that maybe the rechargeable battery sets had issues. But that didn't work.

Nothing in the setup or the room has changed. Connectivity was perfect before this started with rarely a disconnection happening.

I checked for bluetooth devices in the vicinity but bluetooth is switched off in all computers around.

Any ideas?

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  • I have this same problem and I will tell you this is not a battery or signal problem! As the wiimote is turned slightly it returns to the game. I believe its the wires in the connector going to the wiimote. I'm going to test this by soldering the wires to the wiimote board. I'll post the results back.
    – pfo1980
    Sep 13, 2018 at 0:56

8 Answers 8

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I had the same problem when ALL the other problems (batteries, distance, disturbance) was all ruled out. The magic which fixed the problem:

COLD REBOOT!

Beside turning off, also take out the power cable from the Wii-console, wait some 15-20 seconds to make sure all condensators are discharged. Then add power cable back - and voila! Everything is working again!

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  • this didnt work for me. maybe some more information about why you think it works would be useful
    – FistOfFury
    Oct 15, 2017 at 19:39
  • Sorry for follow up more than 4 years later - and even double sorry for telling that I don't have these devices more to retest or doing more research on this topic. :-#
    – Kjell Arne
    Jan 7, 2022 at 11:02
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It is highly likely that this issue is not the result of interference. Interference is often indicated by erratic or inconsistent behavior rather than disconnection.

It is possible that your battery terminals have become damaged or bent out of position. The act of performing in-game motion controls may be temporarily unseating your batteries, causing the disruption. Rechargeable batteries can sometimes be the cause of this issue due to the fact that some brands differ slightly in size than traditional batteries. Jamming in slightly oversized batteries can bend or push contacts out of alignment. This can result in the oversized batteries working perfectly while any differing brands or types of batteries do not.

My suggestion is to try to use the same batteries or a replacement using the same brand and type to see if this rectifies the problem. It is also possible however that the wii-motes are permanently damaged.

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  • why does the problem in battery terminals can affect the synchronization? If the bluetooth is fine and the electricity can pass the terminals, then it supposes to work fine, doesn't it? The remote doesn't shut down suddenly, it just loses the connections suddenly
    – Ooker
    Jul 16, 2017 at 10:11
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This sounds like a wireless or console issue. If it was a wiimote issue it would not have started with both at the same time.

In order to totally rule out wireless connection issues I recommend that you move the Wii away from where it is and closer toward where you are when you play. I've seen strange wireless issues like this before and they've always been solved by just moving things away from each other or the devices that are trying to communicate closer to each other. This will do both of these with little effort.

It's worth noting that the interference may not just be from other Bluetooth devices. If moving the console works try to move the console back and move any other wireless device away from it one at a time.

Do you live in an apartment? It's possible a device your neighbor has is causing a problem. It would explain why this was so sudden.

Many people are mentioning battery issues. Here are some things to check to rule this out. It's been my experience that the Wiimote battery compartment is very tight. Is this the case for you? Are there any signs of corrosion?

Lastly, If you can, have a friend bring over their Wii and Wiimotes. Check that your Wiimotes work with their Wii and your Wii works with their Wiimotes. You should be able to single out if the problem is your Wii, your Wiimotes, or your house form this test.

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The reason your Wiimote drops out (yes even if it's brand spanking new) it has an issue with the bluetooth transmitter. This is all too common.

Symptoms: wiimote starts blinking during gaming; Lights go on but immediately off while attempting to turn on the wiimote. Homebrew refuses to register the wiimote, (just stubborn as hell attempting 2 player on homebrew snes emulators etc). It works on Console, but tends to drop out on PC emulators of the Wii (dolphin).

Nintendo doesn't use the same hardware in all their wiimotes. Many use intel based bluetooth and others use toshiba bluetooth. Each wiimote will be random. It's hit and miss. You may have to buy a new wiimote because sometimes they ship with issues.

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  • 1
    This might still be relevant, but you haven't answered on how to fix it.
    – Frank
    May 8, 2015 at 21:28
  • @Frank because there's no way to fix it?
    – Ooker
    Jul 16, 2017 at 10:00
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I had the same problem. When I wanted to change my batteries to see if that would solve the problem, I noticed a tiny piece of cloth in the battery case. I removed it with some pliers and it started working good again. So maybe you should check your battery case to see if anything is blocking contact with the wiimote.

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I highly doubt that interference is the problem. Is your connection between Wii and Wii-mote permanent? In other words, does your wii immediately recognizes your Wii-motes when you turn it on? If not so, you might want to change the connection to permanent.

Because you are saying that your batteryset has been replaced, my best bet would be that the BT receiver in your console is broken, or the battery contacts in your Wii Mote. You should consult your retailer, and if they cannot fix it, Nintendo can.

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  • It's two Wiimotes. And yes, the Wii immediately recognises the first Wiimote. Isn't the BT receiver the thing on the screen? Can I simply buy a new one? Oct 7, 2011 at 16:09
  • @Andrew, by "BT" Wimpey means BlueTooth, as that is what the Wiimotes and Wii use to communicate. The thing above/below your screen used for pointing is the Sensor Bar, which uses emits infra-red that the Wiimotes "look" for using the receiver in the pointing end.
    – DMA57361
    Oct 7, 2011 at 16:17
  • What DMA says is true. But the problem is not the Sensor Bar (you don't need the Sensor Bar with Super Mario All Stars as far as I know). Some other things you can try (if you have not done it yet) is remove and re-enter the battery pack and sync the Wii mote (red button that's somewhere near the batteries). Also try to unplug the console, and then plug everything back in.
    – Wimpey
    Oct 7, 2011 at 16:22
  • I know that BT is bluetooth. I just thought the sensor bar also did the bluetooth part. Wimpey: I said I replaced the battery pack. I have synced the Wiimote every time this happened to get it to work again. Oct 7, 2011 at 16:31
  • But did you also unplugged the console?
    – Wimpey
    Oct 7, 2011 at 16:33
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You should also check if there are any reflecting objects (e.g. mirrors) close to the sensor bar which could redirect the signals from the wiimote and cause the sensor bar not to notice the signals

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I think it would be helpful to know if the controller was simply disconnecting from the Wii or if the controller was completely losing power. I say this because these are likely two completely separate problems.

If the controller is simply losing its connection to the Wii, then I think that's already been well covered by other answers here.

However, in my case I've had issues with controllers completely losing power.

I've documented this for my own purposes here but I thought it might be worth sharing:

Symptoms

Wii remote will randomly power off when in use.

Cause

This is most often caused by a bad connection between the batteries and the contacts, which is frequently due to corrosion from current or past battery leakage. This is fairly common with standard non-rechargeable alkaline batteries.

Prevention

Use rechargeable batteries, which seem to have little to no leakage.

Troubleshooting

Try each of these steps one at a time, only moving to the next step if the issue isn't resolved:

  1. Remove the battery cover and check for leaking batteries. Always dispose leaking batteries and don't reuse them.

  2. Check the battery contacts to see if they're corroded due battery leakage (past or present). If this is the case, remove the corrosion with vinegar then clean with 99% isopropyl alcohol.

    ⓘ The chemical that leaks from alkaline batteries is a base, and vinegar contains acetic acid which will dissolve it

    ⚠️ Use only enough vinegar to clean the contacts and don't let it leak inside the device; vinegar contains mostly water which can damage electronics

  3. Power the remote on, take the battery cover off and spin the batteries in place. If the remote loses power, it may be a bad connection with one or more of the contacts.

    ⓘ This is the same test you'll use after each of the following steps to check whether the issue persists

    💡 If you're not near a Wii for testing, you can also press the Sync button in the battery compartment (or press the 1 and 2 buttons together) and this will cause the four bottom lights to flash for about 20 seconds while you test for power loss

  4. Try replacing the batteries to see if that fixes the issue

  5. Remove the batteries and then remove the top contact by applying pressure to it in the direction of the batteries (e.g. with a small screwdriver). Soak it in vinegar and let it fully dry.

    1. Before replacing the top contact, you can also bend it slightly so that both sides apply more pressure on the batteries.
  6. Try cleaning the battery contacts with baking soda, which is abrasive. Then clean with 99% isopropyl alcohol.

  7. If the connection is still bad, you could try lightly sanding all four battery contacts, then clean with 99% isopropyl alcohol.

    ⚠️ This should only be used as a last resort, as the battery contacts seem to be coated with a corrosion-resistant metal. Sanding them may remove this coating, which won't prevent the contacts from working but may make them more prone to corrosion and possibly even rust. This could also cause the surface of the contact to be uneven, making the connection to the battery even worse.

  8. If none of the above worked:

    1. Disassemble the remote (https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Nintendo+Wii+Remote+Disassembly+and+Corrosion+Cleaning/141908)

    2. Two of the battery contacts are directly attached to the board. Make sure the battery contact solder joints are intact.

    3. Ignoring the contact with the spring, find the spot where the other contact (the flatter one) goes inside the plastic remote housing. You'll want to fold a small piece of paper in there (I folded it so it was four layers thick) so it goes in between the contact and the plastic, forcing the contact slightly toward the battery for a better connection.

      ⓘ This will only be helpful if the battery isn't touching the contact or is only barely touching it. Making sure the contacts are properly cleaned by following the previous steps will have a much better impact. This could also potentially put undesired pressure on the contact and damage the solder joint, although I don't think this is likely.

    4. Reassemble

  9. Finally, you can purchase replacement contacts and replace them, but this will require soldering the new contacts.

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