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Beginners Guide To WiiWare

Hello and welcome to our explanation of WiiWare. Here, we touch upon many subjects and we hope that we can answer your question. If we can't, e-mail your question to us and we will add it to our page (with a reply) shortly after.

What is WiiWare?

WiiWare is an online service for the Nintendo Wii which allows you to download new games straight to your console.

What kind of games are available?

There is a variety of games available, from arcade style games and action titles to family quizzes and multiplayer hits. If you want to search for a particular genre, there is an option on the Wii Shop Channel to do so.

How do I control the games then?

All WiiWare games are controlled differently. All of them at present are controllable with a Wii remote or Wii remote and Nunchuck, though some games can be controlled with the GameCube or Classic controller. Some games may use motion control, but some of them may stick to button presses. As stated above, it all depends on the game.

How do I know which controllers work with different games?

When you are about to buy a game, a notice will appear on the screen telling you how many of and which of the control methods can be used.

What do I need to buy a game?

You'll need a Wii with a compatible internet connection so that you can access the Wii Shop Channel (where games are bought), as well as a credit card or Wii Points Card.

What are Wii Points?

Wii Points are what you use to buy games from the Wii Shop Channel. You can buy them on a 2000 Points Card in stores for about £15 (UK) or $20 (US), or if you have a compatible credit card then you can buy them directly from the Wii Shop Channel for £7.00/$10 for every 1000 points. To add Wii Points to your console (via a Points Card or Credit Card), click on the icon at the bottom of the screen which reads "0 Points" (if you already have some points on your system, then you can view how many are left on this icon).

How many points do I need to purchase a game?

Different games cost different amounts of points. Most games are available for about 1000, although some games can be as cheap as 500, and so can be as pricey as 1500. Some games also utilize Nintendo's Pay & Play option, meaning that you can download extra features for certain titles with as little as 100 points. Pay & Play titles available so far include Mega Man 9 and Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles My Life As A King. You will be able to see if a game uses these options in the operations manual or on their Wii Shop Channel page. Remember, Pay & Play games do not require you to spend extra points, though you will gain some extra features if you do.

How do I choose a game?

First of all, open the Wii Shop Channel from your Wii Menu. When it opens, select "Start Shopping" and click on the WiiWare icon. From here, you can choose which games you would like to browse by choosing whether you want to view the games by the most popular titles, the most recent titles or the genre of game you are looking for. Click on the arrows to view more titles and when you see one you like the look of, click it to view more information or to purchase it.

Can Wii Points be transferred or exchanged?

Once on your system, Wii Points cannot be refunded, sent to another system or exchanged for cash. You can, however, send a game to another person's system. All you need to do is make sure you have a friend in your address book and make sure that they have an internet connection.

How do I send gifts to other people?

To send a gift to a Wii friend, you must pay for it out of your own points. Simply choose the game you wish to send and click on the "gift" icon. Once you have sent a gift to a friend, they can then accept or reject the game. If they reject the game, they cannot download it and the points will be refunded to the sender.

How many blocks on my Wii system memory do WiiWare games use?

Different games use different amounts of storage space on your Wii system. There is a limit of 40mb, and games do not tend to exceed more than 330 blocks. If you do not have enough space, a message will appear before you purchase the game, telling you so. Game files and progress are saved in a seperate file, which often tend to use one or two blocks, although these can once again vary.

I have no room left on my Wii system, what do I do?

If you have no more disk space (blocks) on your Wii, then you can free some of them up by going to the options menu and selecting Wii Channels under the Data Management section. Here, you can copy games to a memory card (SD cards only - not a GameCube memory card) and then erase the original from your system, or you can just delete the original and download it again later from the Wii Shop Channel at no extra cost. If you copy a game to a memory card, you can then copy it back onto your console at any point. You cannot, however, copy the game to another console, or play the game straight from the memory card. Game saves and records will be saved on your Wii for you to continue playing where you left off before removing the original.

Anything else special about WiiWare downloads?

Yes. Certain WiiWare games take use of the message board or online features in different ways. In some games, you will be able to contact Wii friends and send them your records, whereas in others, you can take on the world via Nintendo Wi-fi Connection.

How do I save my progress in WiiWare games?

As with disc releases, game progress will be saved onto your Wii's system memory. Many games save automatically, though we recommend you check this in the operations guide beforehand. Always leave several blocks on your memory spare in case game saves grow without your prior knowledge.

Can I view instructions for WiiWare games?

Yes you can. If you need any help, all you have to do is press the Home button on your controller whilst playing the game. From the menu that will appear, select the "Operations Guide" key with the A button and you can view basic instructions for things such as simple controls. Click on the link featured and you can view the full operations guide on the Wii Shop Channel (requires an internet connection). You can also view instructions for a WiiWare game before purchasing, by clicking on the "More Info" icon on the game's Wii Shop Channel page, and then clicking "View Operations Guide" in the bottom right corner of the screen.

How often are WiiWare games released?

In the US, WiiWare games are released on a Monday at 9am Pacific Time. Games are usually released on a weekly basis (along with Virtual Console releases).
In the UK and Europe, WiiWare games are released on a Friday morning at 0:00 GMT. Games are now usually released on a fortnightly basis, with Virtual Console games being released every other week.

View our complete games index, with WiiWare titles, to see which games are for you.