Can You Play Nintendo Switch Games on PC?
The Nintendo Switch is still considered to be a solid option for portable gaming as it reaches its 6th year of being the dominant handheld console, competing with the Steam Deck and the newly released Asus ROG Ally. Nintendo Switch has some impressive first-party titles among the likes of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Super Mario Odyssey, and more, selling millions of copies worldwide. If you want to get the full experience of these games, it is easy to find a used Nintendo Switch on the market these days, considering the Switch is now half a decade old. However, If you are a PC gamer looking to experiment with emulators and ROMs for the Nintendo Switch, you have definitely stumbled upon the right article.
Warning: AFK Gaming does not condone piracy and you can legally emulate games only if you own an original copy of a title you are trying to play on PC.
What do you need to play Nintendo Switch games on PC
Before attempting to run any emulators on your PC, you must note that attempting to emulate Nintendo Switch games requires you to have a PC with powerful single-core performance and at least 8 GB RAM. Here are some of the best emulators available for the Switch:
Yuzu: Yuzu is the first emulator that went into development for the Nintendo Switch. It is open-source software which means you can get your hands on it completely for free. It was developed by Citra, which is a popular name among 3D emulators. Yuzu is capable of running some really good first-party games like Super Mario Odyssey, Zelda: BOTW, Super Mario 8 etc. They also provide a compatibility list to check the stability of the game on the emulator. Yuzu can be a little tricky to use for beginners but there are several videos and tutorials online that can help you to set it up. Yuzu is compatible to run on Windows, Linux, and Android.
Ryujinx: Ryujinx is another open-source emulator that is available completely for free just like Yuzu. This emulator was written using C# which gives you the option to fine-tune your games. Unlike Yuzu, Ryujinx is pretty intuitive to use. Although it does support most of the Switch games, you might run into compatibility issues when trying to run graphically intensive Switch games. Ryujinx also has a compatibility list on its website that you can check before testing a game. One added feature is that it also supports macOS along with Windows and Linux. So if you are a Mac user, Ryujinx is the way to go.
Strato: Strato is another popular Switch Emulator made specifically for Android. It is made by the same devs who created Skyline, the notorious emulator that got a cease-and-desist from Nintendo. With Strato, they aim to correct their ways and still provide a compelling emulator experience on Android. Strato does not run complete emulation unlike the other two emulators mentioned above. Considering the hardware limitations of Android, expect this emulator to run some simple Nintendo Switch games.
Warning: If you want to use these emulators legally, you need to own a copy of the games. There are ROM websites available online but you still need to have access to an original copy of the games you emulate whether in physical or digital format. Emulation is also meant to be used for personal use only and trying to commercialize it in any way can lead to legal trouble.