Nintendo Switch ban possibility if ONLY using Homebrew?

iOS, PSVR, XBone, Nintendo Switch, computer games, or even board games
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Mr. T
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Nintendo Switch ban possibility if ONLY using Homebrew?

Post by Mr. T »

It turns out my switch is one of the unpatched versions.

My plan is to run homebrew software ONLY. I have ZERO interest in installing pirated or ripped copies of games (NSPs, I think?). I mainly want to run emulators and if it's safe enough, possibly run Linux with a web browser. Also, if possible, I think it would be cool to stream games off my PC and play them remotely, even if its limited to my local network (if that's a thing).

But I've been reading up, and some sources seem to indicate that this is safe, while other say any sort of jailbreaking will eventually end up with a ban. I'm confused, and now I'm starting to panic.

So, a few questions:
(1): Is it possible to run homebrew-ONLY without getting banned? What if I ONLY run emulators, and ONLY do so offline?

(2): Can I use the Same SD card, or should I get a separate one?

(3): So far, I've managed to successfully send the hekate payload and associated files which I copied to the root of the SD, after which which I was brought to a screen resembling the one below. I've since panicked and deleted everything but the Nintendo folder from the SD card, and rebooted into the official firmware. Also worth noting that I disconnected from WiFi before I started this process. Is everything at this point still in a "clean" state? Can I safely connect to WiFi using the official firmware? Or is it too late? Is there anything else I need to do before I can safely re-enable Wi-Fi?

My general understanding is (and this is all new to me) that I can pretty much do whatever I want as long as I avoid writing to the System NAND. I think this is only possible if I'm trying to run NSPs, right? As long as I avoid that, I should be good? Do I need to bother with 90DNS in this case?

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Mr. T
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Re: Nintendo Switch ban possibility if ONLY using Homebrew?

Post by Mr. T »

To answer my own question, it looks like this is what I really want to do:
Turning the Nintendo Switch into Android’s best gaming hardware

Ars Technica wrote:The one quirk with this "Switchroot" build of Android is that we aren't going to touch the internal storage of the Nintendo Switch. Switchroot's build is provided as an image file that you write to a MicroSD card, and this SD card will stand in as the primary storage for the Android system—instead of the Android partitions being on the Switch's internal storage, everything runs from the SD card. This means none of this Android stuff can hurt your Switch or get it banned from Nintendo's servers. Provided you only launch the Hekate bootloader and then launch Android (without touching ANY other buttons), you aren't modifying the Switch's internal storage at all. That way, Nintendo's Horizon OS and servers are not aware you are doing anything unapproved with your hardware.


It further appears that what I've done so far with hekate also is cool beans according to the same. So, I've reconnected to WiFi, and as expected, I have not gotten banned. Looking forward to SwitchRoot.

Lastly, I think I can use moonlight to stream games from my PC.

So, this answers questions #1 and #3.
Not yet sure about (#2) whether I need separate SD card or not. Will Nintendo care if I put a Linux partition on my current one? I'll have to read more...
Hack Pro: 4.6GHz i7 980X, RTX 3080, 24GB RAM, 2x 2TB HDD, 8TB SMR, 0.25/1TB SSDs, ZR30w, HTC Vive
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Post by Mr. T »

Another update on this: I've been running switchroot for a few weeks off a separate SD card that is A1 rated. Load times are horrible, but that improves substantially the more you interact with it. And thankfully, that uplift persists across reboots, so I guess Android is doing some caching behind the scenes.

For my purpose, I've just been running Moonlight game streaming off my local network, and that's been nearly flawless. The joycons currently don't support analog input, but they do a good job of masking that by making the acceleration proportional to the duration of hold. In practice, this works much better than it sounds. I didn't really notice until several minutes into a Halo session.

For me, the bigger issue is that the joycons only work in bluetooth mode due a lack of native interface drivers. I didn't notice any significant input lag, but I do often encounter sync issues, especially when I reboot into Switch OS and back into Android. When problems crop up, resetting the bluetooth settings fixes things, but that process requires a painfully slow reboot and re-discovering the joycons. The devs have pledged support for native drivers to address both these issues.

That's all I've got so far. I've essentially turned my Switch into an NVIDIA Shield, and despite these issues, I'm extremely happy with the results. Next step is to load up some emulators --And get the fastest SD card I can find....
Hack Pro: 4.6GHz i7 980X, RTX 3080, 24GB RAM, 2x 2TB HDD, 8TB SMR, 0.25/1TB SSDs, ZR30w, HTC Vive
MacBook 12" 1.2GHz Core M, 512GB Flash, 8GB RAM
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