Can You Play DS Games On Switch?
Have you ever found yourself torn between using your new Switch but also wanting to play some good old Nintendo DS games at the same time? You’re not alone. So, let’s get to the bottom of this question. Maybe you’ve even wondered whether it was possible to play DS games on your Switch.
Can you play DS games on a Switch? In some cases, it is possible to play DS games on a Switch. However, it’s not always a straightforward process. DS game cards don’t fit into a Switch, so in order to play them you’ll need to modify your Switch.
Let’s dig deeper to learn how you might be able to play some of your favorite DS games on Switch.
How to Play DS Games on Switch
Whether or not you’ll be able to play DS games on your Switch depends on which model of Switch you have. If yours is a model that is patched, you won’t be able to modify it. If it is not patched, however, you can modify it to accept DS games as we’ll show you below.
We’ll disclose some of the dangers of attempting this process in a moment, but first, keep in mind that Nintendo doesn’t want users to make this change. So when the vulnerability that allowed this kind of modification was disclosed to Nintendo, they “patched” all the products from then on to prevent users from modifying the Switch. That’s why it’s only possible with a few models.
Your Switch Model
To find out whether your Switch is modifiable, you’ll need to determine the model. This isn’t just based on the generation of Switch that you have. You’ll need to take a look at the serial number. There are two ways to find your serial number. The fastest is to flip your device over and take a look at the barcode sticker. The serial number is printed on the sticker.
If that sticker isn’t there, then you can turn on your device and go into System Settings. Then tap System and the Serial Information.
Once you’ve found the number, compare it to the following:
For Serial Numbers beginning in XAW1:
- Serials between XAW10000000000 to XAW10074000000 are unpatched and moddable.
- Serials between XAW10074000000 to XAW10120000000 may or may not be patched, so you can still consider giving it a try.
- Serials from XAW10120000000 and up are patched and unmoddable.
For Serial Numbers beginning in XAW4
- Serials between XAW40000000000 to XAW40011000000 are unpatched and moddable.
- Serials between XAW40011000000 to XAW40012000000 may or may not be patched, so you can still consider giving it a try.
- Serials from XAW40012000000 and up are already patched and can’t be modified.
For Serial Numbers beginning in XAW7
- Serials between XAW70000000000 to XAW70017800000 are unpatched and moddable.
- Serials between XAW70017800000 to XAW70030000000 may or may not be patched, so you can still consider giving it a try.
- Serials from XAW70030000000 and up are patched and can’t be modified.
For Serial Numbers beginning in XAJ1
- Serials between XAJ10000000000 to XAJ10020000000 are unpatched and thus moddable.
- Serials between XAJ10020000000 to XAJ10030000000 may or may not be patched, so you can still consider giving it a try.
- Serials from XAJ10030000000 and up are patched and unmoddable.
For Serial Numbers beginning in XAJ4
- Serials between XAJ40000000000 to XAJ40046000000 are unpatched and can be modified.
- Serials between XAJ40046000000 to XAJ40060000000 may or may not be patched, so you can still consider giving it a try.
- Serials from XAJ40060000000 and up have been patched and are unmoddable.
For Serial Numbers beginning in XAJ7
- Serials between XAJ70000000000 to XAJ70040000000 are unpatched and moddable.
- Serials between XAJ70040000000 to XAJ70050000000 may or may not be patched, so you can still consider giving it a try.
- Serials from XAJ70050000000 and up are patched and can’t be modified.
For serials beginning in XKW1, XKJ1, XJW1, and XWW1 all of the consoles released with these numbers are patched and can’t be modified.
Your Device Firmware
If you’ve determined that based on the serial number, your Switch model is modifiable or at least potentially modifiable, you can proceed with the modification. Ultimately, you’ll need to install a DS emulator on your Switch in order to play DS games on it. But the next step is to install custom software and firmware.
Homebrew is a custom software that will work for your purposes here. After reading this article, read more on how to set this up on your Switch. Then you’ll need a custom firmware, which you can read more about after reading this article.
Be sure to read and reread the instructions for installing this software very carefully, as a misstep during the process could harm your Nintendo Switch.
The Dangers of Modifying Your Switch
While modifying your Switch could open up a lot of other gaming opportunities for you, you should also be aware of the dangers of doing so. The modification process is a difficult one for a reason. Namely, that Nintendo doesn’t want users doing it.
When these modifications happen, users are able to pirate games and even meddle in game code to give themselves unfair advantages over gamers who play by the rules. Understandably, this is an undesirable event for Nintendo.
In order to prevent this from happening on future devices, they made the patch that sealed up the vulnerability that allowed the modification on older devices. In order to discourage users who have modifiable devices, Nintendo does watch for people trying to modify their switch, and they will penalize people for getting caught.
Nintendo can either apply an account-level ban or a hardware-level ban if they catch you misusing their equipment this way.
A hardware ban means that your Switch will never be able to access the internet again, which means you won’t be able to update games or play any multiplayer games anymore from that device. If they apply an account-level ban, you’ll lose your account. This means even your legitimately-purchased games in your library will be gone. As well as all the in-game purchases you’ve made and all the stats you’ve achieved in those games. You would be able to start over on that device with a new account though if you so choose.
If you have a second Switch that you don’t mind sacrificing if necessary, you should be sure to factory reset it and scrub all account information associated with you so that if you do get caught and banned, you won’t lose your ability to access your account on other devices.
Is It Legal to Play DS Games on Switch?
Obviously, Nintendo goes to great lengths to prevent users from modifying or jailbreaking their devices, since that usually results in loss of income for them. However, making a modification to a device you own is not technically illegal.
While there are certainly risks in attempting modifications, such as losing your account, having your device banned, or forfeiting your device’s warranty, you won’t be fined or imprisoned by the government for doing so.
That said, multiple offenses along these lines could cause Nintendo to take harsher action against you, especially if you’re trying to make a business out of this rather than simply altering one device for your own use.