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Nintendo switch custom firmware

Nintendo switch custom firmware

As you may be aware, it is now possible to run arbitrary code on the Nintendo Switch console. What does this mean for the end user? What is a Nintendo switch custom firmware? How can I install a custom firmware?

What is a firmware, to better understand Nintendo switch custom firmware

A firmware is the codes that run on your Nintendo Switch. It is the entire system, including the user interface, the drivers, and everything needed for your Switch to run properly.

Nintendo developed the firmware if your Nintendo Switch with a variety of features, including:

  • Ability to launch your games
  • Modification to the system settings
  • Taking screenshots
  • Reading news about the Switch console
  • Visiting the Nintendo eShop
  • Looking trough your albums
  • Setting up your controllers and calibrating them
  • Changing the luminosity
  • Switching profiles
  • .. and many more features.

The default firmware for the Nintendo switch is really intuitive, as you can see in the screenshot bellow:

The user interface on a regular firmware for the Nintendo switch

User interface

While the original firmware is already complex, there is many features that gamers want but can’t get out of it.

What is a Nintendo switch custom firmware?

A custom firmware is, in essence, the same thing as a regular firmware, because it is built from the code of an official firmware. However, it have many features and advantage that are not present in a regular firmware.

It is usual to see custom firmware include features such as: (And not limited to)

  • Fully functional web browser
  • Ability to run Homebrew, usually via a “Homebrew Enabler
  • Play game that require a different firmware version
  • Ability to bypass the protections of the system (Piracy, running ISO or backups, ..)
  • Addition of music/videos players
  • More parameters to change in the console settings
  • Custom wallpaper
  • Custom screensaver
  • And many more!

Why should I use a custom firmware?

There is various reason why one would consider to use a custom firmware on their Nintendo Switch video game console. The most obvious one being piracy, but there is many legitimate reason.

Many hackers fancy the ability to run their own codes on the console, like homebrews application or web browser.

In fact, piracy usually come as the last reason why peoples switch to custom firmware.

What are the risk?

If you have been following the custom firmware scene, you might be aware that there is risk usually involved in flashing a custom firmware on your gaming console. There is many things that could go wrong in the process, potentially bricking your console (Rendering it unusable).

Fortunately, there is now many option to un-brick the console, or simply prevent bricking it by making backup of your NanD memory.
When installing a Nintendo Switch CFW (Custom firmware) it is always important to take the time to read the instructions properly. Failure to do so might bring unwanted issues.

Always make sure your console is fully charged, and make sure to generate a backup every time you have an opportunity to make one.

Where can I get a custom firmware for my Nintendo switch?

At the time of writing this article, the closest thing to a custom firmware that you can get for your Nintendo switch is Atmosphere (Click here to read the article about Atmosphere).

Here is what Atmosphere-nx cFW look like at the time of writing the article:

Atmosphère, the first Nintendo switch custom firmware, running on an actual nintendo Switch

Atmosphère, the first Nintendo switch custom firmware

Can I participate in the creation of a custom firmware?

If you are a developer and would like to participate in the creation of a Nintendo switch custom firmware, you might be interested to know that the Atmosphere-nx custom firmware is actually open source. You can contribute to the Github anytime. The more developers work on it, the fastest it will grow into a real, usable custom firmware!

Conclusion

The Nintendo Switch is now widely cracked open, and we can expect many more custom firmware in the upcoming future. Within a few weeks, we should be starting to see a wide variety of cfw for the nintendo switch.

Information about the latest Nintendo switch Custom firmware can be found here.

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