Play DS Games On Nintendo Switch

Nintendo has been introducing great consoles and handheld gaming systems for quite a long time. We have seen the mighty Nintendo DS, introduced by Nintendo, successfully managed to gain a higher acceptance rate among gamers. Now that Nintendo has introduced Nintendo Switch, a new powerful console based on the latest technology, and is available worldwide, you might be wondering if you can play DS games on Nintendo Switch?

You might be desiring such compatibility because you loved Nintendo DS games and wish to play them on Switch as well. Well, if you have looked at the game cartridges of both gaming units, you might have noticed that the game cartridge of the Nintendo DS is square in shape, while the shape is more like a rectangle for Switch cartridges. This observation clearly crushes your dream of playing Nintendo DS games on Switch.

Another thing to mention here is that the DS comes with dual screens, hence named DS, but that is not the case with Switch. However, the good news is that you can play DS games on Nintendo Switch. Although Nintendo itself does not support it, some people have been able to create some software to achieve the said goal successfully.

Backward compatibility of Nintendo Switch

Before the release of the Nintendo Switch, people had high hopes that the Switch would be backward compatible. There is a reason for having such hopes. The previous models of Nintendo were backward compatible, and you were able to play old games on newer models.

With the news being spread that Nintendo Switch is based on the latest technology, is more comfortable in hands, can load games quicker than previous models, and is more powerful than its predecessors, it is quite natural to have this question in mind “Can you play DS games on Nintendo Switch?“.

Unfortunately, the official response would be no. Nintendo Switch is not backward compatible like previous models. This means you can’t play your favorite adventure games built on DS on your Switch. Another visually observable difference is the number of screens. The DS comes with a dual-screen, while Nintendo Switch doesn’t.

The game cartridges for both systems are different, and you cannot just use the cartridges exchangeably. It might be possible that Nintendo wants you to spend extra money purchasing a separate gaming system for your old Ds games. But luckily, there is a way you can hack into your Nintendo Switch and force it to run DS games.

Should you buy a Nintendo Switch?

To be able to answer this question, you need to be aware of what is different in the Nintendo Switch compared to previous models.

Loading time

The Nintendo Switch, no doubt, is more powerful than the previous versions. With a pretty impressive CPU, your games will load quicker.

Battery time

Whether the battery time is acceptable or not entirely depends on how you intend to use your Nintendo Switch. The battery has the power to last for three and a half hours and would need recharging after that. If you play games during a trip or flight, battery time may frustrate you. But the battery is not an issue if you are playing in your home.


Nintendo Switch is small and can easily fit in your pants pocket. You can adjust it anywhere if you are planning to go on a trip or are traveling somewhere.

Comfortable grip

The grip on Nintendo Switch seems to be a little different than the previous models. Holding Switch in hands for a prolonged time is relatively easy and won’t cause fatigue.

Screen glare

This is where Nintendo Switch is going to have some negative points. If you tend to play games inside the building, the glare of Switch is not a problem. But if you enjoy playing games outside, you will have trouble playing the game as Switch does not have a good glare when used outside.


You can use Nintendo Switch as a portable gaming system and a home console. If you do not want to spend extra bucks on having two systems and want these two features on one device, then go for the Nintendo Switch. What is impressive is the fact that you will remain at the same spot in your game when you transform from one feature to another.

With other gaming systems, when you transform from one console to the other, your location or spot in the game changes. But, this is not the case with the Switch.

How to play DS games on Nintendo Switch?

To be able to play DS games on Nintendo Switch, you would need to install Homebrew and an emulator. Homebrew is a piece of software developed by “some people” to hack into the Nintendo Switch and force it to do the things you want, which is playing a DS game in our case. Homebrew is completely free to use and is an open-source program.

Besides Homebrew, you would need to have a DS emulator. Remember that if you do not follow the steps correctly, an error might occur, which would turn your expensive Nintendo Switch into a piece of useless plastic. So be extremely careful with the process. You cannot claim a warranty either because Nintendo can easily find out what you did and what you did is against their policy. You can install Homebrew with this installation guide.

You might also get a lifetime ban from Nintendo if such a fatal error occurs. Nintendo also has the authority to ban your account, meaning all your legitimate purchases will be gone, and you will be left with a feeling of being stabbed right into your heart. As for the emulator, the following are some famous DS emulators you can choose from to play DS games on a Switch.

  • NeonDS
  • RetroArch
  • DeSumMe
  • MelonDS
  • No$GBA

Things you need to make the process smooth

Well, if you have made up your mind to go for the process of integrating Homebrew, make sure you have the following to carry out the process smoothly.

A microSD card

Although a 4GB microSD would be enough for the process, higher storage space is recommended. Going with a 64GB microSD would be safe.

Nintendo Switch that is unpatched

If we were to make some changes in the Switch, we need to find vulnerabilities to take advantage of them. If the Switch you got is unpatched, you can smoothly exploit it. To exploit your Switch, the famous and known method is by using fusee-gelee.

Fusee-gelee is a cold boot launcher and is required to install custom firmware (CFWs) on your Nintendo Switch. Note that if your Switch is patched, it will not allow fusee-gelee to work correctly, and you won’t be able to play DS games. Do not waste your time on a patched Switch.


You need to attach your Nintendo Switch to your Android smartphone or computer. Ensure you have a USB-C or USB-A cable with you.

How to know whether your Nintendo Switch is patched or not

The very first step in hacking your Nintendo Switch is to find out whether your little gaming console is patched or not. Your Switch must be vulnerable so that you can use fusee-gelee. Luckily, homebrew developers have made a list of possible vulnerable serial numbers.

If your Switch is patched, it is not vulnerable to fusee-gelee, and there is nothing you can do.

If your Switch is unpatched, you are good to go with the hacking process.

If your Switch is potentially unpatched, then you need to decide whether to go for the process or not. You must remember what is at stake if the Switch comes out to be patched.

Drawbacks of using Homebrew and emulator

Before you have a go at modding your Nintendo Switch, you must know that there are some drawbacks to the process.

If a fatal error occurs during the process, your expensive gaming system will be nothing more than a piece of a useless plastic box.

You might face issues like having the option of playing some games in portrait mode only and some in landscape mode only, but not both. This might deteriorate the picture quality for some games.

Your account might get banned by Nintendo, and all your legitimate purchases will be gone.

Some homebrew and emulators products are not very well protected. This indicates that there are chances of getting a malicious virus to corrupt your gaming system.


Compared to previous Nintendo models, the Nintendo Switch is without any doubt a more powerful, comfortable, portable, and flexible gaming unit. It offers pretty impressive features and loads games quicker than other models.

Besides these improvements, one question keeps bothering people who enjoy playing old adventure games on DS and this is, “Can you play DS games on Nintendo Switch?“. Officially the answer is no if you follow Nintendo’s advice, but there are unofficial ways to play DS games on a Switch.

The way is to use Homebrew and DS emulators. Homebrew is just a piece of software designed to remove restrictions from the Switch. Now that you know that although it is possible to play DS games on Nintendo Switch after a little process, you have to decide whether or not you want to go for it.

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