Why Pokémon Sword & Shield Could Smash Your Roku
As far as technical errors are concerned, this is rather strange. The new Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield games are causing some Roku set-top boxes and TVs to crash. Pokémon Sword and Shield is played exclusively on Nintendo Switch and shouldn’t have any reason to interact with Roku devices. (The power of Pokémon is seemingly limitless.)
According to Roku Reddit user MazInger-Z , who did some network testing to fix the issue, the issue appears to be due to the fact that Pokémon Sword and Shield is constantly sending a wireless signal while trying to connect to other Nintendo Switches playing games. Roku devices try to interpret these signals, but cannot, which causes them to fail. The answers to this and other threads confirm that the issue is occurring on a variety of devices, including Rokus, Roku Sticks, and TCL’s Roku TVs.
Roku has already released a patch to address this issue: version 9.2.0 build 4701 for Roku boxes, and version 9.1.0 build 4501, or 9.2.0 build 4601 for Roku TVs. To check if your Roku is updated, press the Home button, then select the Settings menu. From there go to System, then Update. If you don’t have the software you want, you can update it from this menu. (Do not play Pokémon while updating your Roku.)
If you are still having problems with your Roku after the update, Roku recommends the easiest way to work around this problem is to put the Switch in airplane mode while playing Pokémon Sword or Pokémon Shield so that it doesn’t send signals.
To set the Switch to airplane mode, go to the System Settings menu – the gear in the bottom row of icons on the Home screen – then select the Airplane Mode submenu and turn the setting on. Turning the Switch off when you’re done playing should also fix any Roku issues you have if you want a more extreme option.
Update: Nov 18 @ 12:58 pm – Updated to include Roku software patch information for the Pokémon bug.