Emulators on Switch

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Nintendo Switch
Nintendo-switch.png
Switchdocked.png
The Switch in its two forms, portable (above) and docked (below).
Developer Nintendo
Type Hybrid video game console
Generation Eighth generation
Release date 2017
Predecessor Wii U
Emulated
For software that emulates the Switch, see Nintendo Switch emulators.

Since the Nintendo 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.

Alternative Operating Systems

Name Version FLOSS Active Recommended
Lakka 5.0
Switchroot Android 17.1
Switchroot Linux Various

Switchroot Android

A build of Android 10 "Q" for the Switch, based on Lineage OS 17.1. Since it shares the same Nvidia Tegra X1 system-on-chip, the build is based off the Nvidia Shield TV build of LineageOS. 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). There is also another build that lets the Switch function as an Android TV box. Many emulators and Android software can run, including DraStic, Dolphin, and Citra.

Switchroot Linux

Many GNU/Linux distributions are available, including Ubuntu Bionic and Focal, Fedora, and Gentoo. With these, it is possible to run many emulators and software for GNU/Linux on these systems. Play! has had some success with playing PS2 games on Ubuntu, albeit at around 10 FPS.

Emulators (Multi-Systems)

Arcade

Name Version FLOSS Active Accuracy Recommended
MAME-NX (based on MAME 0.72) git ~ Mid ~
pFBN (based on FinalBurn Neo) git Mid
SuperModel-NX
(for L4T ubuntu)
2021 ~ Mid ~

RetroArch

Stable

Nightly

GitHub

Switch RetroArch Cores

RetroArch BIOS/ROMs

Available cores (as of Retroarch 1.17.0 stable)
Cores Game/System list Recommended Working?
2048 2048 TBD
CrocoDS Amstrad - CPC
Caprice32 Amstrad - CPC/GX4000
FB Alpha 2012 Arcade
FB Alpha 2012 CPS-1 TBD
FB Alpha 2012 CPS-2 TBD
FB Alpha 2012 Neo Geo TBD
FinalBurn Neo TBD
MAME 2000
MAME 2003
MAME 2003-Plus
Arduous Arduboy TBD
Stella Atari - 2600
Stella 2014 TBD
a5200 Atari - 5200 TBD
Atari800 TBD
ProSystem Atari - 7800
Virtual Jaguar Atari - Jaguar
Beetle Lynx Atari - Lynx TBD
Handy
Beetle Cygne Bandai - WonderSwan/Color
Cannonball Cannonball
NXEngine Cave Story
ChaiLove ChaiLove TBD
JAXE CHIP-8/S-CHIP/XO-CHIP TBD
Gearcoleco Coleco - ColecoVision TBD
PUAE Commodore - Amiga
PUAE 2021 TBD
VICE x128 Commodore - C128 TBD
Frodo Commodore - C64 TBD
VICE x64, fast
VICE x64sc, accurate TBD
VICE xscpu64 Commodore - C64 SuperCPU TBD
VICE xcbm5x0 Commodore - CBM-II 5x0 TBD
VICE xcbm2 Commodore - CBM-II 6x0/7x0 TBD
VICE xpet Commodore - PET TBD
VICE xplus4 Commodore - PLUS/4 TBD
VICE xvic Commodore - VIC-20 TBD
Dinothawr Dinothawr TBD
PrBoom Doom
boom3 Doom 3
boom 3 xp Doom 3: Resurrection of Evil TBD
DOSBox-Pure DOS
DOSBox-SVN TBD
bk Elektronika - BK-0010/BK-0011(M) TBD
FreeChaF Fairchild ChannelF TBD
REminiscence Flashback
Game Music Emu Game Music Emu TBD
vecx GCE - Vectrex
Gong Gong TBD
GW Handheld Electronic
SquirrelJME Java ME TBD
Jump 'n Bump Jump 'n Bump TBD
LowRes NX LowRes NX TBD
Lutro Lua Engine TBD
minivmac Mac II TBD
O2EM Magnavox - Odyssey2 / Philips Videopac+
FreeIntv Mattel - Intellivision
SameDuck Mega Duck / Cougar Boy TBD
fMSX Microsoft - MSX
Bomberman Mr.Boom TBD
blueMSX MSX/SVI/ColecoVision/SG-1000 TBD
Beetle PCE FAST NEC - PC Engine / CD
Beetle PCE NEC - PC Engine / SuperGrafx / CD TBD
Beetle SuperGrafx NEC - PC Engine SuperGrafx
QUASI88 NEC - PC-8000 / PC-8800 series TBD
Neko Project II Kai NEC - PC-98
Beetle PC-FX NEC - PC-FX
DeSmuME Nintendo - DS ~
melonDS ~
DoubleCherryGB Nintendo - Game Boy / Color TBD
Gambatte
Gearboy
SameBoy TBD
TGB Dual
mGBA Nintendo - Game Boy Advance
VBA Next
VBA-M TBD
FCEUmm Nintendo - NES / Famicom
Mesen
Nestopia UE
QuickNES
Mupen64Plus-Next Nintendo - Nintendo 64
PokeMini Nintendo - Pokemon Mini
bsnes Nintendo - SNES / SFC
bsnes-hd beta TBD
Snes9x TBD
Snes9x 2010
Mesen-S Nintendo - SNES / SFC / Game Boy / Color
Beetle VB Nintendo - Virtual Boy
Mu Palm OS TBD
Retro8 Pico-8 TBD
PocketCDG PocketCDG TBD
TyrQuake Quake
vitaQuake 2 [Rogue] Quake II - Ground Zero TBD
vitaQuake 2 [Xatrix] Quake II - The Reckoning TBD
vitaQuake 2 [Zaero] Quake II - Zaero TBD
vitaQuake 2 Quake II TBD
vitaQuake 3 Quake III: Arena TBD
XRick Rick Dangerous
EasyRPG RPG Maker 2000/2003
ScummVM ScummVM
Flycast Sega - Dreamcast/Naomi
SMS Plus GX Sega - MS/GG TBD
Genesis Plus GX Sega - MS/GG/MD/CD
Genesis Plus GX Wide
PicoDrive Sega - MS/GG/MD/CD/32X
Gearsystem Sega - MS/GG/SG-1000
Yabause Sega - Saturn
PX68k Sharp - X68000
X Millennium Sharp X1 TBD
EightyOne Sinclair - ZX 81
Fuse Sinclair - ZX Spectrum
NeoCD SNK - Neo Geo CD
Beetle NeoPop SNK - Neo Geo Pocket / Color
RACE TBD
PCSX ReARMed Sony - PlayStation
PPSSPP Sony - PlayStation Portable
Super Bros War Super Bros War TBD
Numero Texas Instruments TI-83 TBD
Opera The 3DO Company - 3DO
Theodore Thomson - MO/TO
TIC-80 TIC-80 TBD
Uzem Uzebox TBD
VaporSpec VaporSpec TBD
WASM-4 WASM-4 TBD
Potator Watara - Supervision TBD
ECWolf Wolfenstein 3D TBD

Emulators (Single system)

Atari

Atari 130 / 800 / 5200

Name Version FLOSS Active Accuracy Recommended
Atari800-switch git Mid

This atari800 port disappeared around 2021 without leaving any trace.

Commodore

Amiga

Name Version FLOSS Active Accuracy Recommended
UAE4All2 git Mid

Microsoft

DOS

Name Version FLOSS Active Accuracy Recommended
DOSBox-switch git Mid ~

Nintendo

Nintendo 64

Name Version FLOSS Active Accuracy Recommended
GlideN64 (old RetroArch core) 3.0 Mid
Nintendo 64 - Nintendo Switch Online N/A Low ~
rokuyon rolling Low (WIP, slow)

Nintendo DS

Name Version FLOSS Active DSi Accuracy Recommended
DeSmuME-NX 0.0.3 Low
DeSmuME-NX
(with jit)
2019 Low
melonDS (fork of melonDS) R6fix1 ~ ~ Mid ~
NooDS rolling Mid (WIP)

melonDS standalone includes a JIT compiler so it's generally faster than its retroarch counterpart

Nintendo 3DS

Name Version FLOSS Active Accuracy Recommended
Citra POC ~

Nintendo Game Boy / Color

Name Version FLOSS Active Accuracy Recommended
Game Boy - Nintendo Switch Online N/A Low
GameLadNX 1 Low
khedgb Update 7 Low
mGBA 0.10.3git Mid
PlutoBoy git Mid

Nintendo Game Boy Advance

Name Version FLOSS Active Accuracy Recommended
44VBA
(forked from libretro vba-next)
v20220417 ~ Mid ~
Game Boy Advance - Nintendo Switch Online N/A High
gdkGBA git Low
mGBA 0.10.3git Mid
NooDS
(Loads gba games from the emulated nds slot-2)
rolling Low-Mid ~ (WIP)
Switch-gba 1.0.2 Low
VBA-M NX git Low
VBA-Next 0.7 Mid

Nintendo Game & Watch

Name Version FLOSS Active Accuracy Recommended
MADrigal Switch
(includes RetroArch 1.8.5, the gw-libretro core version 1.6.3 and all 59 games)
10-05-2020 ~ Mid ~

Any recent RetroaArch release includes direct G&W support through the handheld-electronic core which should be a better choice. You can even download the games with the online updater on retroarch itself.

Nintendo NES Nintendo Entertainment System / Family Computer Disk System

Name Version FLOSS Active Accuracy Recommended
LaiNES git Mid
NESalizer 2018 Mid
NESwitch git Mid
Nintendo Entertainment System - Nintendo Switch Online 2.3.0 Mid
NoiES git Mid
pNES (based on Nestopia) git Mid

Nintendo SNES Super Nintendo Entertainment System

Name Version FLOSS Active Accuracy Recommended
pSNES (based on snes9x) git Mid
snesnx2005 0.0.1-alpha1 Mid ~
Super Nintendo Entertainment System - Nintendo Switch Online 3.4.0 Mid

SEGA

Dreamcast

Name Version FLOSS Active Accuracy Recommended
Flycast CI Buildsgit Mid
reicast Alpha Low-Mid

Genesis / Mega Drive

Name Version FLOSS Active Accuracy Recommended
pGEN (based on Genesis Plus GX) git Mid
SEGA Genesis - Nintendo Switch Online N/A High

Saturn

Name Version FLOSS Active Accuracy Recommended
Yaba Sanshiro (Yaba三四郎)
(based on Lakka)
2.2.0 ~ Mid ~

Sony

Playstation

Name Version FLOSS Active Accuracy Recommended
DuckStation git Mid
PCSX-ReARMed v0.0.2 Low

PlayStation 2

Name Version FLOSS Active Accuracy Recommended
Play! git ~ Low-Mid

PlayStation Portable

Name Version FLOSS Active Accuracy Recommended
PPSSPP 1.9.3+ ~ Mid-High

PlayStation Vita

Name Version FLOSS Active Accuracy Recommended
Vita2hos git Low-Mid

SNK

Neo Geo Pocket / Color

Name Version FLOSS Active Accuracy Recommended
Neopop-SDL v0.2 Mid

x86 CPUs

Name Latest Version 8086*¹ 286 386*² 486*³ Pentium*⁴ Pentium II*⁵ Celeron*⁶ Pentium III*⁷ Pentium 4*⁸ FLOSS Active Recommended
switch-bochs git ? ? ? ? ~
UniPCemu itch.io ?

*¹8086 emulation includes the 8088 CPU. *²386 emulation includes the SX and SL. *³486 emulation includes variants. *⁴Pentium emulation includes variants. *⁵Pentium II emulation includes variants. *⁶Celeron emulation includes variants. *⁷Pentium III emulation includes variants. *⁸Pentium 4 emulation includes variants.

Fantasy computers

Chip-8

Name Version FLOSS Active Accuracy Recommended
AXChip8 1.0 Mid
Chip8-NX 0.3 Mid
Swip8 1.0.0 Mid

Pico-8

Name Version FLOSS Active Accuracy Recommended
Fake-08 v0.0.2.20 High

Source ports

Multi game engine

Name Version FLOSS Libretro Active Recommended Supported game(s)
Commander Genius 2.6.3.1 Commander Keen in Invasion of the Vorticons, Commander Keen in Keen Dreams, Commander Keen in Goodbye Galaxy, Commander Keen in Aliens Ate My Babysitter
CPyMO v1.1.9 ? PyMO Visual Novel / AVG Game Engine
EasyRPG 0.8 RPG Maker 2000/2003 games
LÖVE Potion 3.0.1 Love2D LUA engine
MegaZeux 2.93 Caverns of Megazeux and multiple ZZT style ascii games
OpenBOR git Pak mods
ResidualVM 0.4.0 Grim Fandango, Escape from Monkey Island, Myst III, The Longest Journey. Recently merged into the main scummvm project.
ScummVM 2.8.1 Adventure games and RPGs (LucasArts, Sierra, Activision, Humongous & more. Over 250 games.)

Single game engine

Name Version FLOSS Libretro Active Recommended Supported game(s)
Action-adventure
Ship of Harkinian 8.0.4
Nighty build
git
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time (any PAL version)[N 1]
Zelda3 git The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
Pinball
SpaceCadetPinball git ? 3D Pinball for Windows – Space Cadet
Platformer
Cave Story Engine 2 Website
git[N 2]
[N 2] ? Cave Story
NXEngine-evo git ? ? Cave Story
RVM Sonic CD git ? ? Sonic the Hedgehog CD (2011)[N 3]
Sonic 1 and 2 (2013) git ? ? Sonic the Hedgehog 1 (2013)[N 3], Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (2013)[N 3]
Sonic 3 A.I.R. (Angel Island Revisited) Website ? ? Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles
Sonic CD (2011) git ? ? Sonic the Hedgehog CD (2011)[N 3]
Sonic Robo Blast 2 v2.2.11 Sonic Robo Blast 2
smw git Super Mario World
Racing
SRB2Kart git ? ? ? Sonic Robo Blast 2 Kart
RPG
DevilutionX git Diablo
OpenMW (unofficial) git ~ The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
Sim - City-building
Julius
Augustus (gameplay changes)
git
git
Caesar III
TBS
Fheroes2 git ~ Heroes of Might and Magic II
Visual Novel
ONScripter-jh git Visual Novel
  1. As of v8.0.0, Ship of Harkinian supports any PAL ROM of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time for Nintendo 64 or GameCube (SoH Compatibility Checker to check if your ROM is supported). Launch the PC version and locate the ROM to generate an oot.otr file and place it in the soh Switch app folder. Additionally and optionally, you can load the PAL version of the Master Quest version in the PC version to create an oot-mq.otr to add another game mode.
  2. 2.0 2.1 There is also an official Nintendo Switch remake called Cave Story+ with 3D graphics and the most features out of any other existing version (making it the "definitive version") that may be more recommendable depending on the user's preference. Cave Story Engine 2, or CSE2 for short, is a source port of the classic Cave Story by Daisuke "Pixel" Amaya. CSE2 came with a portable version and an enhanced version of the original freeware but in November 2020, the CSE2 source port has received a DMCA cease and desist notice from Nicalis, the current IP owner of Cave Story, and the unofficial Switch port received a DMCA cease and desist as well.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Sega Forever classics version on Android or iOS can also be used.

Streaming

Name Version FLOSS Active Accuracy Recommended
Moonlight-NX 1.2.0 ~ Mid ~