Emulators on Switch

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Since the Switch was hacked early in its launch, there has been a lot of interest for emulators due to the Switch's portability. These emulators will only work on Switches with CFW on them, i.e. Switch consoles susceptible to the Tegra hardware exploit. For more information and guides on how to homebrew your Switch, or if you even can, visit r/SwitchHacks.


RetroArch - The following cores have shown to work well on the Switch and should be included:

Amstrad Cores

  • Caprice32
  • CrocoDS

Atari Cores

Commodore Cores

Game Cores

  • 2048
  • Dinothawr
  • MrBoom (Bomberman)
  • NXEngine (Cave Story)
  • OpenBOR
  • PrBoom (Doom)
  • Reminiscence (Flashback)
  • GW (Game & Watch)
  • Cannonball (OutRun)
  • TyrQuake (Quake 1)
  • XRick (Rick Dangerous)
  • OpenLara (Tomb Raider)

Arcade Cores

Misc Cores

Nintendo Cores

NEC Cores

Sega Cores

Sony Cores


Nintendo Entertainment System[edit]


pNES - based off of Nestopia


NES - Nintendo Switch Online - Nintendo's official service for NES games. Requires a paid subscription and is limited to the number of games provided. Supports online multiplayer.

Super Nintendo Entertainment System[edit]

pSNES - a port of Snes9x

SNES - Nintendo Switch Online - Nintendo's offical service for SNES games. Same idea as the previously mentioned NES service.



Gameboy Advance[edit]


VBA-Next - No longer active

gdkGBA - No longer active

Nintendo DS[edit]

DeSmuME-NX - there has been several attempts at porting DeSmuME to the Switch, all of which have been abandoned (including this one).

melonDS - a fork of melonDS for the Switch, still a work-in-progress. Currently maintained by Generic aka RSDuck.

NooDS - a work-in-progress DS emulator


Atari 130 / 800 / 5200[edit]

Atari800-switch - a port of Atari800



Yaba Sanshiro




Playstation 1[edit]

PCSX-ReARMed - It's based on the PCSX-ReArmed libretro port but is considered a standalone emulator.

Playstation Portable[edit]

PPSSPP for Nintendo Switch - A very work in progress emulator. It is based on PPSSPP libretro port but considered as a standalone emulator.


MAME-NX - based on MAME 0.72]

pFBA - a port of FinalBurn Neo




Neo Geo Pocket/Color[edit]


Intel CPUs[edit]



Not Really Emulators[edit]

  • LineageOS 15.1 for Nintendo Switch - not technically an "emulator", it allows your Switch to function as an Android tablet. It's based off the Nvidia Shield TV build of LineageOS, since they both use the same system-on-chip, and runs Android 8.1 Oreo. Its most notable feature is the ability to work both in handheld and docked mode and using the Joycons as a Bluetooth controller (though not all apps may detect them correctly).
  • L4T Ubuntu - like LineageOS, this is not technically an "emulator". Instead, it runs a version of Ubuntu on the switch.
  • OpenMW - an unofficial port of Morrowind to the Switch

With these, it is possible to run a lot of emulators on these systems. Play! has had some success with playing PS2 games on L4T Ubuntu, albeit at around 10 FPS. On Android, some notable emulators are DraStic, Dolphin, and Citra.