Switch EmuNAND Setup - Use CFW and Stock OS without Ban Risk

This guide will show you how to setup EmuNAND on your hacked Nintendo Switch. This means using a portion of your SD card as the internal storage (NAND) for your Switch while its running custom firmware. This will be undetectable from the Switch's stock firmware and will essentially keep your stock and custom firmware environments physically separated.

If your goal is to play your legit games online with the clean SysNAND and enjoy custom firmware with the EmuNAND, this guide will help you set that up.

Required Downloads:

Unpatched Nintendo Switch

  • Not all Nintendo Switch consoles can be hacked; your Switch must be an earlier model (determined by the serial number) that is vulnerable to the fusee-gelee exploit
  • Visit ismyswitchpatched.com  and enter your Switch's serial number (found on the white strip next to the USB port) to  check if your Switch is hackable
  • The serial number can also be found from the Nintendo Switch Home menu in [System Settings] -> [Settings] -> [Serial Information]

RCM Jigicon-amazon

  • A RCM Jig is required to enter your Switch into RCM mode (Recovery Mode)
  • They are relatively cheap and easy to acquire online

USB-C to USB-A Cableicon-amazon

  • A USB-C to USB-A cable is required to connect your Nintendo Switch to your PC
  • USB-C to USB-C cable can also be used if your computer features a USB-C port

MicroSD Card (128GB or Larger Recommended)icon-amazon

  • An SD card (and reader) is required to install and launch homebrew on your Nintendo Switch
  • Your SD card must be formatted as FAT32 if your Switch does not have the ExFAT driver installed
  • If you are unsure, use FAT32 to avoid errors.
  • The ExFAT driver can be installed manually without updating firmware after successfully hacking the console
  • 128GB or more is recommended for storing games
  • 64GB or larger is required to store a full copy your Switch NAND so it is highly recommended as a minimum

Enter RCM and Create EmuNAND Partition

You will now enter Recovery Mode (RCM) and create the EmuMMC partition with TegraExplorer

  1. Insert your SD card into your PC
  2. Backup all of the files on your SD card to a safe place
  3. Install TegraRcmGUI and the APX driver when promptedtegrarcmgui install apx driver
  4. Connect your Switch to your PC via USB and ensure it is powered off
  5. Enter RCM on your Nintendo Switch
    1. Insert your RCM Jig into the Right Joycon slot, sliding it all the way down
    2. Hold down the [Vol+] button and press the [Power] button, the Switch will now enter Recovery Mode (RCM) but the screen will stay offswitch rcm mode jig volume power button
  6. The icon in TegraRcmGUI should now read [RCM O.K.]tegrarcmgui rcm ok
  7. Select TegraExplorer.bin as the payload and click [Inject payload], your Nintendo Switch will boot into TegraExplorertegra rcm gui push payload tegraexplorer emunand emummc
  8. From the TegraExplorer main menu, select [SD format]tegra explorer bin payload sd format emummc emunand main menu
  9. Select [Format for EMUMMC (FAT32 / RAW)]tegra explorer bin payload sd format emummc emunand
  10. Wait 10 seconds and press [A] to begintegra explorer bin payload sd format emummc emunand start
  11. Once complete, return to the main menu and select [Exit] -> [Reboot to RCM]tegra explorer bin payload sd format emummc emunand complete
  12. Remove your SD card and insert it into your PC
  13. Cancel any errors or prompts to format the disk drive, do not formatswitch emunand disk management partition windows sd do not format cancel
  14. Your partition will now appear as a working SD card drive in Windowsswitch emunand disk management minitool partition working partition

Boot into hekate

  1. Copy your backed up files back to your Switch SD card
  2. Copy the bootloader folder from the hekate .zip to the root of your SD cardswitch hekate bootloader sd folder
  3. Extract the Atmosphere .zip file
  4. Go to the /atmosphere/ folder from the extracted .zipswitch emunand hekate atmosphere fusee secondary bin
  5. Copy fusee-secondary.bin to the /bootloader/payloads/ folder on your SD cardswitch emunand bootloader payloads atmosphere fusee secondary bin
  6. Go to the /bootloader/ folder on your SD cardswitch emunand bootloader hekate_ipl ini atmosphere fusee secondary bin
  7. Open hekate_ipl.ini in Notepad and add the following lines to the file then save
    [Stock (SYSNAND)]
    fss0=bootloader/payloads/fusee-secondary.bin
    stock=1
    emummc_force_disable=1
    icon=bootloader/res/icon_switch.bmp

    switch emunand hekate_ipl ini atmosphere fusee secondary bin

  8. Create a folder called payloads on your PC
  9. Copy hekate_ctcaer.bin to the /payloads/ folder on your PCswitch hekate payload tegrarcmgui
  10. Insert your SD card into your Switch
  11. Launch TegraRcmGUI and connect your Switch to your PC via USB
  12. Select the hekate_ctcaer.bin file from the /payloads/ folder on your PC and click [Inject payload], your Nintendo Switch should now boot into Hekatehekate tegrarcmgui payload send

Congratulations on successfully entering RCM and booting into hekate. If you're new to Switch hacking, consider enabling Auto-RCM to avoid needing the RCM jig in the future.

Setting Up EmuNAND

This method is for creating the EmuNAND from your current SysNAND (Switch Internal Storage). Follow these steps if you wish to create the EmuNAND from a previously made NAND backup.

  1. From the hekate main menu, select [emuMMC]switch emunand hekate emummc
  2. Select [Create emuMMC]switch emunand hekate create emummc
  3. Select [SD Partition]switch emunand hekate create emummc sd partition
  4. Select [Continue] if an applicable partition is foundswitch emunand hekate create emummc continue
  5. Once complete, select [Close]switch emunand hekate create emummc finished
  6. Select [Change emuMMC]switch emunand hekate change emummc
  7. Select the [SD RAW1] partitionswitch emunand hekate change emummc raw1
  8. Your EmuNAND is now [Enabled!]switch emunand hekate emummc enabled

Boot into EmuNAND CFW

Simply push your custom firmware payload such as Atmosphere's fusee-primary.bin with TegraRcmGUI to boot into EmuNAND running CFW.atmosphere neutos tegrarcmgui switch tinfoil payload bin rcm inject

Follow this guide on installing Atmosphere CFW and Tinfoil / HBG Shop if this is your first time hacking the Nintendo Switch.

The Switch will always boot into the EmuNAND CFW as long the emunand.ini file is present in the /emuMMC/ folder on your SD card.emunand emummc ini folder

Your EmuNAND will use the /emuMMC/ folder as the location for your CFW's Nintendo folder. This means content normally stored in the /Nintendo/ folder such as installed game backups and Album images will be accessed from /emuMMC/RAW1/Nintendo/ folder while running the EmuNAND.emunand emummc nintendo folder

The Stock SysNAND will use the /Nintendo/ folder on the root of your SD card as normal, this keeps them separated.

If this is your first time hacking your Nintendo Switch and wish to finally set up your custom firmware, follow this guide on installing Atmosphere + Tinfoil / HBG Shop so you can install games directly to your Switch without a PC.

Boot into Stock SysNAND OFW

To boot into the Switch's stock official firmware, you must use the hekate payload with TegraRcmGUI.switch hekate launch stock

Select [Launch] -> [Stock (SYSNAND)] from the main menu to boot into your console's stock firmware without any hacks.switch hekate launch stock sysnand

If you are converting your SysNAND CFW to EmuNAND CFW and wish to clean your SysNAND to run completely stock, follow this guide on cleaning your NAND of custom firmware files and restoring it to stock Horizon (Switch) OS.

If your Switch's internal storage (NAND) is completely clean, you an “safely” go online, browse the eShop and update your firmware normally*. Your EmuNAND will be unaffected by the changes, you can update your EmuNAND's firmware with the ChoidujourNX homebrew if you ever wish to do so.

Congratulations on setting up EmuNAND on your Nintendo Switch, you will now be able to use the Stock SysNAND and CFW EmuNAND concurrently. In short, you'll now be able to play online on the Stock SysNAND with far less risk of being banned while still having access to the custom firmware benefits with EmuNAND such as game backups and homebrew.

You may wish to change one of your EmuNAND / SysNAND themes in [System Settings] to help you distinguish the two and prevent confusion.switch emunand sysnand dark theme

Switch Homebrew and Games

Credits