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Roku devices crashing due to Pokémon Sword and Shield: Here’s a temporary fix

Update 11/18: Roku has released a fix for the Pokémon Sword and Shield issue.

Pokémon Sword and Shield, which launched for the Nintendo Switch on November 15, is causing trouble in some players’ homes as the game is reportedly causing Roku devices to crash.

The issue was raised by a Redditor who goes by the name MazInger-Z, who started a thread on the official sub-Reddit. He said that the Roku device in their house started acting up, and upon looking through social media, found many others who were suddenly experiencing the problem. The theory was that the errors, which primarily affected Roku sticks, were caused by an update.

The true cause, however, was not the latest update to the Roku devices, but rather Pokémon Sword and Shield on the Nintendo Switch. When his wife started playing the new Pokémon game, his Roku device crashed. He then tried a solution that he found online, which was to place the Nintendo Switch in Airplane Mode while playing the game.

The solution apparently worked. His Roku device booted up right away and remained stable throughout the day. Fortunately, he and his wife had backgrounds in software development, so they were able to dig into the issue a bit deeper.

An analysis run by MazInger-Z’s wife through Wireshark, an open-source tool used for network troubleshooting, revealed that the console keeps repeating attempts to look for other Nintendo Switch units playing Pokémon Sword and Shield. At that point, the Roku device crashes and enters a boot loop, as it tries to read the packet that the Nintendo Switch is sending out.

Roku is apparently already aware of the issue, as it has responded to a similar post on its official sub-Reddit. The problem is affecting a limited number of Roku devices, and the company confirmed that setting the Nintendo Switch to Airplane Mode, or turning it off completely, is a temporary solution until it rolls out a permanent fix.

Causing Roku devices to crash appears to be a random issue for a video game. It just so happens to be linked to Pokémon Sword and Shield, which has drawn immense controversy for various reasons, including developer Game Freak’s decision to not allow all Pokémon to be imported into the new titles. In response to the negativity, fans recently banded together to express their gratitude, with #ThankYouGameFreak going viral.

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