Pokemon Sword and Shield is making Roku devices crash, here's what to do

Gotta crash 'em all. But the company says it's fixing the issue with a software update.

The new Pokemon game is sending strange signals to Roku devices.
The Pokemon Company

Pokemon Sword and Shield isn't playing nice with Roku. The Nintendo Switch ($299 at Amazon) game, which came out Nov. 15, is making Roku devices on the same network crash and get stuck in a boot loop, the company confirmed on Reddit.

"We are aware of an issue when using Nintendo Switch and the latest Pokémon game impacting a limited number of Roku devices," it said in an email to CNET. "We are rolling out a software update to resolve it and impacted users can check for the update by going into Settings > System > Software Update."

While waiting for the update, Roku suggested that people experiencing the issue set their console to airplane mode (which cuts it off from the network). Roku Sticks and TVs have been impacted, Reddit users reported.

The problem is caused by the games' Y-Comm service, which constantly searches for other Pokemon players on the same wireless network and online, according to one Reddit user. Roku devices apparently mistake Pokemon's data for its own data packets, and crash because they can't read it.

The Pokemon Company didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Roku added instructions on Tuesday outlining what to do if your device restarts when you're playing the new Switch game.

"We are rolling out a software update to users affected by the issue, or you can manually have your Roku device check for an update if it is not currently restarting," it says on the support page.

To check for a manual update, you need to:

  1. Press the Home button on the Roku remote
  2. Scroll until you find Settings
  3. Select System
  4. Select System update.

The Roku device will then check for a software update and install it, after which the company said it will return to normal functionality. The software update is called 9.2.0 build 4701 on Roku players ($220 at Amazon) and Roku Streaming Sticks, and 9.1.0 build 4501 or 9.2.0 build 4601 on Roku TVs.

If your Roku device keeps restarting, you need to turn off the Nintendo Switch or put it in airplane mode; unplug and then reconnect the power cable from the Roku device so it restarts; and then follow the steps above.

Originally published Nov. 18.
Update, Nov. 19: Adds instructions from Roku.