Nintendo Switch Emulation (How to play Switch games on Android)

Nintendo Switch emulation aims to emulate the Nintendo Switch, a handheld/hybrid console from video game giants, Nintendo.

The Nintendo Switch was released worldwide in 2017 and has gone on to sell almost 130 million units worldwide. This is very impressive because the Switch has sold more units than stellar names like PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 1, Xbox 360, Gameboy Advance, Color, etc. There is no question that this console is very popular. It is currently the 3rd best-selling console of all time.

The Nintendo Switch is very popular and a very good reason for this is the game titles that you can play on the Switch. These include names like:

  • Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  • Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom
  • Mario Kart 8 Deluxe
  • Super Mario Odyssey
  • Super Smash Bros Ultimate
  • Animal Crossing: New Horizons
  • Pokemon Scarlet and Violet
  • Pokemon Sword and Shield
  • The Elder Scrolls
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
  • Dark Souls
  • Devil May Cry
  • Overwatch
  • Doom
  • Grand Theft Auto
  • Assassin’s Creed
  •  EA FIFA Legacy
  • NBA 2K etc.

Why you should consider Nintendo Switch emulation

This is easy. The Nintendo Switch has a very impressive games library with stellar names. These games are not only stellar but a lot of them are very well made with console-level graphics. These games have better and more modern visuals than many native Android games as well as possibly PS2 games.

The Nintendo Switch is also still supported by its parent company. As a result, there are a lot of new games that are being made for it at the moment. This means that you can be able to play a lot of the newer games around.

The Switch is rather expensive. However, if you have a rather capable smartphone, you can play the latest Switch games on your phone with very little fuss.

Key Specifications

To carry out Nintendo Switch emulation, you need to understand its hardware.

The Switch uses an Nvidia Tegra X1 SoC. This is a quad-core SoC with 4 ARM Cortex A57 (1.02GHz) with a Tegra X1 Maxwell GPU.

A lot of industry insiders have made fun of the Nintendo Switch because it seems to have very weak specs and indeed it does. The CPU cores on the Switch are similar to those of an entry-level Android smartphone. However, most games on the Switch are more GPU (than CPU) reliant.

The Tegra X1 Maxwell is a decently powerful GPU and can rival the likes of the:

  • Adreno 650 (SD865, SD865+, SD870)
  • Adreno 640 (SD855, SD855+, SD860)
  • Mali G77 MP11 (Exynos 990)
  • Mali G77 MC9 (Dimensity 1000+, 1100, 1200, 8050, 1300)

Check my list of the top 100 mobile GPUs to see where the Maxwell ranks

This means that to emulate the Switch, you will need a phone with any of the above SoCs or even better.

As usual, phones with a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor are better optimized than their MediaTek and Samsung Exynos counterparts. Thus they will play games better.


If you have a phone that matches the above-stated requirements, with around 8 to 12GB RAM, the next thing to do would be to find an emulator. The two best candidates that I can recommend at this point are:


The Nintendo Switch is a console with a decently powerful GPU and thus requires a phone with powerful hardware as well to run well. It is also important to note that Nintendo Switch emulation of smartphones is still in its infancy and it can be hit or miss on some days. However, it will get better over time.

If you use a lower midrange phone (anything from the Dimensity 700 and below), please note that your phone would not be supported. Instead consider using:

Thank you for reading to the end. As always, ensure to check out our links for more information and…

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