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All we know about Nintendo Switch modchip, homebrew and emulator

Nintendo Switch hacking scene is developed so fast beyond our imagine, only within some months, we get a lot of progress on Nintendo Switch modchips, homebrews and emulators. In this article, we will show you the latest update on each Nintendo Switch hacking.

Nintendo Switch Firmware Status

hack nintendo switch v4.1

Now the latest system version for Nintendo Switch is V4.1.0, currently, you can’t use any mod chip, emulator or homebrew on the console with the newest firmware. Why?

  • Modchips for Nintendo Switch isn’t released, maybe some time in 2018 from Xecuter Team, the flashcard should support Switch V4.1.0, cause the official site says it’s supporting any firmware version of a Nintendo Switch.
  • To homebrew a Nintendo Switch, for the time being, your Switch game machine should stay on firmware v3.0.0 to lower ones. The exploits for higher Switch firmware are not released out for now.
  • If you want to install an emulator on Nintendo Switch, you should either homebrew it or install a Custom Firmware to run it, but now, each method is not working on the V4.1.0.

Nintendo Switch Modchips

nintendo switch modchip

The famous Xecuter team, which is a hacking group with a long history of defeating console security dating back to the PlayStation One, has announced that they are working on a mod chip to hack Nintendo Switch to install custom firmware some days ago.

By now, it’s the only company that’s preparing to produce a flashcard for Nintendo Switch. Though it can’t pirate Switch games directly on the console like a 3ds flashcard or an R4 for 3DS, its future Nintendo Switch modchips will support installing CFW on any firmware version, something which is likely to herald both homebrew code and mass piracy.

Since then the team have been quiet, no one knows what the device will look like, how it will work, or when they can get their hands on one – but GBAtemp can exclusively reveal today that there will be BOTH a solder AND solderless option of team Xecuter’s Nintendo Switch modchip.

Currently, the team isn’t releasing any more details on the modchips, but from online infor and GBAtemp, we have 2 news about the Nintendo Switch modchip from Team Xecuter.

  • Releasing time: Spring 2018 or there around.
  • Switch Modchip: There is a solder and solderless version.

Homebrews Nintendo Switch

homebrew nintendo switch 2018

Just before the world celebrated the arrival of 2018, it was revealed the Nintendo’s Switch handheld had been hacked. Using an exploit built into NVIDIA’s Tegra chip, a team in Germany was able to bypass the Switch’s security and begin the process of executing unsigned code(Homebrew).

The NVIDIA Tegra chip contained in the Switch is responsible for the CPU and graphics workloads that power all of the games on Switch. Apparently, the team in Germany used some of NVIDIA’s own documentation on the Tegra to bypass security controls.

For now, the hack is only known to work on System Firmware 3.0. Users wishing to make use of this exploit for homebrew purposes should avoid upgrading the system software. As of the time we write this post, there are also some updates about it.

  • Switch homebrew launcher releasing time delayed to around the 15th of Feb, 2018.
  • Many retro games can be played on the latest Nintendo Switch after you homebrewing the console to install emulator apps, including NES, SNES, GB, GBC, GBA, Virtual Jaguar and so on.

Nintendo Switch Emulators

Here we will talk about the emulators used on an Nintendo Switch and the Nintendo Switch emulator for PC-Yuzu.

Homebrew the Nintendo Switch means users can download and run many third-party free homebrew apps, tools and games on the gaming device. Till to now, a hot of homebrew emulators have appearedb for Nintendo Switch,covering platforms such as the NES, SNES and even the Atari Jaguar. All are shown working within RetroArch, a popular emulator package which pulls together different apps under a unified interface with a focus on accurate performance.

At the moment, RetroArch is compatible with this hacked Nintendo Switch, but that doesn’t mean that everything works perfectly. Far from it, in fact. Also, Cheats are working for the RetroArch cores available as of January 14th, 2018.

Plus, you can also play the classic DOOM on the console without any issues. The console’s technological capabilities are being utilized very well here and further consoles will follow as well.

Emulators available on the Switch:

  • Snes9x 2010 (SNES)
  • Snes9x (SNES)
  • Virtual Jaguar (Jaguar)
  • VBA Next (GB, GBC, GBA)
  • Picodrive (Genesis, MegaDrive, Master System, 32x, Sega CD)
  • Handy (Atari Lynx)
  • Yabause (Saturn) [Slow]
  • FBA Alpha [Slow]
  • Desmume (DS) [Slow]

Nintendo Yuzu emulator

Yuzu, a Nintendo Switch emulator for Windows, Mac and Linux. In January of 2018, the yuzu team was formed out of several Citra developers, and the decision was made to release the project publicly. As an emulator, yuzu is in its infancy, and is only currently useful for Switch reverse-engineering and homebrew development.

Yuzu’s official website calls it an “experimental” open-source emulator, and has builds ready and maintained for PC, Mac, and Linux. The project is “in its infancy” for now, but has some pretty big goals on the horizon.

Also, we have another Switch Emulator that was released on GitHub by /Ryujinx, thanks for the tip TheheroGAC.

Release notes:

“Experimental Switch emulator is written in C#

Don’t expect much from this. Some homebrew apps works and Tetris shows the intro logos (sometimes) but that’s about it for now. Contributions are always welcome.


To run this emulator, you need the .NET Core 2.0 (or higher) SDK. Run dotnet run -c Release — game.nro inside the Ryujinx solution folder.”


However, they’re still a long way off being complete – they can’t even play actual Switch games as of yet and are only useful if you’re into messing around with homebrew code or want to do some research into how the hardware works.

nintendo switch amiibo emulator

N2 Elite, an Amiibo emulator for Nintendo Switch. Amiiqo/N2 Elite is an NFC toy emulator working on Nintendo Switch, WIIU and NEW3DS/2DSXL. It has the capacity to store up 200 Amiibo characters. You can copy all your Amiibo data to one device via any NFC-compatible Android phone or the exclusive N2 NFC USB Reader. Having the ability to hold up to 200 figures data on the disc means that you can store all your figures in the one device without buying any one of them. It has tthe following features.

  1. Allows copying dematerialized amiibo figurines
  2. 200 figurines storage capacity
  3. Selection of figurines by pressing a button
  4. Android smartphones equipped with an NFC chip
  5. Upgradable firmware
  6. Compatible with Android smartphones equipped with an NFC chip
  7. Compatible with N2 Elite USB Reader / Writer NFC module PC)
  8. Support all versions of Nintendo 2DS™, 3DS/3DS™ XL via Nintendo® Amiibo reader (sold separately)
  9. Support all versions of Nintendo New 3DS/3DS™ XL consoles
  10. Support all versions of Nintendo Wii™ U console and Switch

FAQ on jailbreak the Switch in 2018

Q: Why we should have a Nintendo Switch with firmware 3.0.0 or lower version?
A: Firmware 3.0.0 introduced a specific bug that allowed for userland code execution, but the same bug was patched immediately after on the next firmware update. This created the perfect starting point for publicly disclosing this vulnerability and laying down the foundations of homebrew.

Q: Can the latest Nintendo Switch V4.1.0 be hacked?
A: Yes: ALL current firmware versions are exploitable up to the point of running your own code. This includes firmware 1.0.0 all the way up to 4.1.0.

Q: So, can I just update my Switch?
A: Yes and no. This is a question many have been asking and conflicting answers are causing a great deal of confusion among people.

The basic principle is the following: if you have no reason to upgrade from your current firmware version (regardless of what it is), then simply don’t upgrade.

However, the real answer is quite more nuanced. Increasing firmware versions obviously include additional patches for a myriad of vulnerabilities, therefore, the lowest firmware version (1.0.0) is the most vulnerable. Obviously, for a number of reasons, not everybody will be able to get their hands on a launch day system, so there’s always interest in exploiting new updates.

In an effort to clear the air and promote a less toxic environment, here comes the current state of affairs regarding Switch hacks:

- Firmware 1.0.0:
-> Contains critical system flaws that allow code execution up to the TrustZone level;
-> Most of what was showcased during 34c3 originally targeted this firmware version;
-> Allows for afull blown emuNAND/CFW setup.

- Firmware 2.0.0-2.3.0:
-> Contains system flaws that allow code execution up to the kernel level;
-> Can be exploited to run homebrew using private methods (e.g.:nvhax).

- Firmware 3.0.0:
-> Contains system flaws that allow code execution on the userland level;
-> Can be exploited to run homebrew using private methods (e.g.:nvhax);
-> Can be exploited to run homebrew using public methods (e.g.:rohan).

- Firmware 3.0.1-4.1.0:
-> Contains system flaws that allow code execution on the userland level;
-> Can be exploited to run homebrew using private methods (e.g.:nvhax).

As you can see, the higher the firmware version, the less options you have. However, code execution for homebrew is still assured across all firmware versions.

Q: What is that nvhax thing?
A: This is currently a private method that I originally discovered and exploited. Joined by SciresM and
plutoo, we have successfully used it to exploit pretty much all firmware versions to the point where running homebrew is possible.

Q: Will nvhax be released? When?
A: Yes, but there are no plans to release it
any time soon. Having code execution on the latest firmware version available is a privilege that ought to be maintained for as long as possible. That said, when it stops being useful it will be released as an alternative for people on firmware versions above 3.0.0 to enjoy homebrew.

Q: Ok, so, I’m a developer with a strong passion for homebrew and would love to start right away. What do you suggest?
A: Update your Switch to firmware version 3.0.0, read about rohan and get to work!

Q: Now, I’m just a regular user that loves homebrew, but has no intent or knowledge to develop my own. I also want to play the latest games on my Switch and don’t really mind waiting. What do you suggest?
A: Update to the latest firmware version and wait.

Q: What if I’m an avid hacker/developer who wants to explore the system as much as possible?
A: Find a 1.0.0 unit and stay there.

Q: And what if I just want to pirate games?
A: You should wait for the releleasing of Switch modchip from Xecuter Team.

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