I’ve been trying to create my tutorials in an order that makes sense for someone who’s just getting started with Switch hacking. As a result, I have spent a lot of time making videos on how to do the very basics of installing your CFW (Custom Firmware) and what’s different from OFW (Original Firmware).
This time, I get to start digging a little deeper into the cool new things you can do with CFW and talk about some of the most useful software that 3rd party developers have released to help you get the most out of your Switch.
As a quick reminder, in order to install most Homebrew, you’ll simply need to copy the .nro file or a folder into the switch folder on the root of your SD card. If you need help doing that, check out this article. I’ll be listing these alphabetically, and if the name is a link, it will take you to a detailed article about that specific software. This post is just a quick overview.
Checkpoint – Download
Checkpoint is one of several save manager for the Switch, but it’s my favorite because of how simple it is. You can easily backup save games for multiple users, restore them to a different user than they were backed up from, even do some minor modifications to your saved data.
ChoiDujourNX is an absolute must-have for anyone who wants to stay offline to prevent a ban, or anyone who has already been banned. It allows you to apply a firmware update to the Switch without going online, and without burning any e-fuses. This means you can update to play the latest games even on a banned system, and still restore a NAND backup of an older firmware if a better exploit is ever discovered on a previous version.
FTPD – Download
If you’re running SXOS you won’t need this one, but I’ve included it here for all the Atmosphere and other CFW users. This is just a simple application that turns the Switch into an FTP server when you run it. Simply open Filezilla or your FTP client of choice, put in the IP address and port, and get to transferring your files over your wireless network. Yes, you could always install an FTP sysmodule, but it’s way more complex, less stable in my experience, and honestly, do you really need the ftp server running in the background?
Homebrew App Store – Download
If you only click on one download link from this post, make it this one. Because you’ll find most of the other tools on this list and can download them directly to your switch using this application. It has sections for tools, utilities, themes, games, emulators and an advanced section where you can download plugins and sys-modules, just don’t expect them to work on SXOS just yet.
NXDumpTool – Download
If you’re looking for a tool to copy your games from cartridge to SD card, or from sysnand to emunand, look no further. You supply the keys, and it does everything else. You can even use it to rip updates or dlc packages. A must have to transfer your eshop games to an offline emunand.
This is probably my most used homebrew. While making my videos, I do a lot of testing and that means a lot of transferring and often times, a lot of deleting or moving stuff around. The quickest and easiest way to do this is to just plug the switch into my computer and run this app. It pops up as a media device, and I can browse the SD Card, but also the user and system partitions. If you are working with cheats or layeredfs mods, you need to get this tool
NX-Shell – Download
If you just need to move or delete something on the switch, you can do it easily without having to use a computer with NX-Shell. It’s a fully featured file manager that runs on the Switch itself. I use it to disable layeredfs mods and sys-modules quickly, and re-enable them later.
NXTheme Installer – Download
Finally, NXTheme Installer is a homebrew that allows you to preview and apply themes to your Switch. Nobody ever accused Nintendo of being a copycat. They’ve always just done their own thing and not worried about anyone else. In some ways that’s a good thing, or we wouldn’t have the Switch at all. In other ways, it leaves them really far behind. That’s one reason I’m so glad the Switch has been cracked open. It allows homebrew developers to do the things Nintendo should have, like adding custom themes. The things these theme designers are able to do are nothing short of incredible. Which means Nintendo could do even more, but all we get is a dark theme and a light theme.
This list is a very small portion of what is out there, and is in no way a comprehensive list, but I hope it will be the first of many lists that will help you to get the most out of your consoles.