2019 Switch Emunand: How to create Emunand on Nintendo Switch to play free games?

switch emunand guide 2019

Your Nintendo Switch is hacked and here is the guide for you to install Emunand on it to play free games and enjoy the online feature at the same time.

The Nintendo switch latest system version is 8.1.0, so as the time of writing you can apply this Tutorial to all Switch 8.1.0 and lower firmware hackable consoles, by doing this, you just need  a SX OS license code or a SX Pro modkit.

What is the Nintendo Switch Emunand?

Emunand is short for Emulation NAND, it’s explained as a copy of the original NAND and basically you could think of it as having a second operating system for your console stored on an SD card.

Once you have an Emunand setup on your system, you have a choice of which version of your system you want to boot into. Either the default stock internal NAND inside your Switch (Sysnand), or the emunand side of the device which is usually located on your microSD card.

The concept of emuNAND was invented to limit the risks inherent in hacking when using a CFW. The principle is simple: it is to virtualize (or emulate) a NAND that will be dedicated to the operating system of the custom firmware (CFW). That is, Say you can play newer and online games with less risk of ban.

Use of Emunand

  • System settings and installed data are separate from Sysnand
  • Can have two different versions of the system firmware
  • Play games online from your clean Sysnand
  • Reduce the risk of Banning from Nintendo

Which supports Emunand on Switch 8.1.0 and lower firmware?

install Emunand on Switch via SX PRO/SX OS

Currently, in 2019 to 2020, your recommended way to launch a Emunand on the Switch is to have the SX OS CFW installed.

SX OS CFW is developed by Team Xecuter, it aims to let users to play Free Games and enjoy Free Homebrews on the Switch, the company not only releases the best Switch CFW-SX OS, it also creates 2 ways to boot up the OS CFW on the Nintendo Switch. The easier method is called SX Pro modkit, the cheaper way is named SX OS license.

The SX Pro is a USB-C dongle that is a plug and play solution to injecting the necessary RCM payload to boot into custom firmware. It comes loaded with an SX OS license that is tied to your console and stored on your microSD card. 

The SX OS License is simply just the custom firmware itself. In order to get full access of SX OS functions, it needs to be activated with a license that is checked against Team Executor’s servers. The activation process can be done online via your Switch or offline with a PC. If SX OS is not activated, it can only be used to play Switch homebrew.

Either have SX OS License or Xecuter SX Pro, you can get SX OS run on Nintendo Switch console to install Emunand to play games with online feature as well. You can get any of them from the Mod3dscard store, with Fast Shipping from US&EU.

xecuter sx pro ships from USA and France

SX OS Emunand on Switch

The Switch SX OS is the Best Custom Firmware supporting Emunand feature. The latest SX OS V2.5 supports a Real-Meaning Switch Emunand. Here you can know all details about SX OS Switch Emunand. 

The EmuNAND TX creates a shadow copy of this storage from which you can run SX OS. The benefits from doing this are that you keep your SX OS “world” separated from your original firmware. This also means you can keep your switch on an older firmware, while running the latest and greatest firmware inside of your EmuNAND. As we all know, older is better.. when it comes to defeating system security at least. And newer is better when it comes to enjoying the latest content!

Another upside of consolidating your SX OS usage from your original firmware usage is vastly reducing the risk of a network ban. You can run SX OS in EmuNAND, of course with our Stealth Mode enabled, and anything that is littered on the EmuNAND’s filesystem is not visible to the switch in Original Firmware mode.

TX’s initial release of EmuNAND used a storage mechanism that wasn’t what a lot of people were looking for. In their last release they decided to switch to using the microSD for EmuNAND storage, which in turn made some users that *did* like the old method of storing EmuNAND on the system NAND unhappy. They have reintroduced the support for EmuNAND-on-system-NAND as well as introduced a third storage method for your EmuNAND partition. You can now also opt to use a separate partition (as opposed to files in the regular (ex)FAT filesystem) as a storage backend for your EmuNAND. With three flavors of EmuNAND storage supported now, all of you can rejoice!

To recap, you now have three way of settings up Switch EmuNAND now:

  • EmuNAND on system NAND: repurpose part of your Switch internal storage for EmuNAND
  • EmuNAND on microSD as partition: repartitions your microSD card with a separate EmuNAND partition
  • EmuNAND on microSD as files: EmuNAND is stored on microSD as files instead of repartitioning

The ‘Emutendo’ folder
In addition to the new microSD emuNAND system TX also introduces the ‘Emutendo’ folder on your microSD card. As you’ve probably noticed, the Switch saves various data to a ‘Nintendo’ folder on your microSD card. To completely decouple this data between your Original Firmware and your EmuNAND enabled firmware we have made EmuNAND enabled systems use this differently named folder. If you want keep using your old SD card data with your emuNAND, simply copy/rename the ‘Nintendo’ folder to ‘Emutendo’.

WARNING: Setting up your EmuNAND as partition on your microSD card will format your microSD card. After setup nothing but the boot.dat and license.dat will remain.

No Ban on Switch SX OS Emunand?

Even you have Emunand on Switch, it’s not meaning your console is 100% unbanned. Since it’s highly possible that Nintendo is able to start scanning everyone’s microSD storage for certain folder names like ‘sxos’ – ‘atmosphere’ – ’emutendo’ – ‘switch’. These are common folders used by people who run CFW and homebrew on their devices. Therefore, it would be a somewhat effective way of catching these types of users and banning them.

But, the good news is that, Xecuter has released the “Hidden partition on microSD card” option of installing emunand. Users who choose to set up their emunand in this way should be helping keep their homebrew folders hidden from Nintendo when connected to the network. This is definitely a recommended way of setting up emunand for people wanting to remain unbanned on Switch.

Still, the most effective way of staying unbanned is if you made a backup on your Nintendo Switch NAND storage BEFORE  you ever began running homebrew or installing .nsp content onto your switch. Restoring from a clean NAND backup is a surefire way to roll back all of the telemetry kept on the Switch. 

You should absolutely already have made at least one NAND backup of your system and have it stored in several locations on your computer / cloud storage. Keeping a NAND backup of your device is extremely important before doing advanced things like emunand to your device.

This way if something goes wrong and you somehow soft brick your device, you’ll be able to restore from your NAND backup to get your console booting again. Seriously don’t ignore this warning, make sure you have made a NAND backup using either Hekate or the SX OS bootloader before getting started with emunand.

Switch 2019 Guide: How to creat Emunand on Switch to play free games?

Step A: Run the SX OS on your Nintendo Switch.

switch sd card with games

Firstly, buy yourself a genuine SX Pro dongle(with pre-install SD Card) or a SX OS License code from Mod3dscard; secondly, setup them on your Switch with the official guide, if you get the SX Pro, user guide is here, if you get the SX OS Code, user manual is here.

Step B: Install Emunand on SX OS CFW of your Switch

You will need to make sure you have 32gb of free space available on your microSD card, and also be sure to charge your system to 100% battery before you begin the process, as it can take up to an hour to complete.

Power your Nintendo Switch on into the Tegra RCM state, and then start the SX payload either from your computer / phone, or with a USB payload injection dongle such as the SX Pro. Make sure you hold the volume + button on your switch so that you are greeted by the Xecuter boot loader options.

On this screen, touch the options icon.
On the new screen, tap the emunand option on the left hand side, and then choose create emunand.

You will then be given 3 options about which type of emunand you wish to create.

  1. Hidden partition on microSD card
  2. Files on microSD card
  3. Files on system storage

Note: The first partition option is the most safe and difficult for Nintendo to be able to detect from your system NAND. Personally I am going to be choosing the second “files on my microSD card” option, since I don’t want my SD card to be reformatted.

After that, choose continue to begin the emunand creation process. This process is quite slow, so make sure your battery is full, or connect it to the power cable while it’s working.

After emunand has been created, you can press the back button to return to the main Xecuter bootloader menu.

On the main screen now you’ll notice an orange “EmuNAND enabled” button above the “Boot custom FW” option. You can toggle this on and off, depending on if you want to start your custom firmware on system NAND or within the new emunand state. Obviously it’s recommended to leave this on, as from now on you’ll be running all of your homebrew and custom firmware within emunand.

Transfer content (Emutendo folder)

Now if you’re like me and you had plenty of .NSP content installed on your switch that required signature patches and custom firmware to be able to launch successfully (game back ups installed) then you’ll want to transfer all of this content so that it’s able to be recognized by your emunand.

This process is very simple, simply browse to your switch SD card, and then move everything from the sd:/Nintendo/ folder, into the folder sd:/Emutendo/
The Emutendo folder is where all content you install on emunand will be. It exists to help keep things separate between your sysnand and your emunand. Once you have moved all your data into this folder, you will be able to see it and launch it after booting from your new emunand.So that’s it for creating emunand on your Switch, next let’s take a look at how to prepare your sysnand for safe online gameplay.

So that’s it for creating emunand on your Switch, next let’s take a look at how to prepare your sysnand for safe online gameplay.

Step C: Play online on Nintendo Switch SX OS Emunand

Preparing your Sysnand for safe online gameplay

Now that we have a working emunand, it’s time to prepare the internal NAND on our Nintendo Switch to make it as safe as possible to play games online without being banned.

If you’re like me and you had been running plenty of custom firmware & homebrew on your device before you set up emunand, we will first want to restore our system to as clean of a slate as possible in order to wipe out all of Nintendo’s log files and telemetry.

Hopefully you learned early on the importance of creating a clean NAND backup before you got started with homebrew, as this will give you the best starting point with the lowest chance of being banned. If you don’t have a clean NAND backup from before you started hacking on your switch, skip ahead to the next section instead.

For those of you who do have a clean NAND backup, let’s go ahead and restore it on our Switch now.

You can use either the Hekate payload, or the Xecuter bootloader to restore a NAND backup to your devices internal memory.

Restoring a NAND backup with Xecuters Bootloader

Make sure you have placed your clean rawnand.bin file in your sd:\sxos\backup folder.
You should also place your boot0.bin and boot1.bin files here too if you’ll be restoring to a different version of the firmware than the one you have currently installed.

Power your Nintendo Switch on into the tegra RCM state, and then start the SX payload either from your computer \ phone, or with a USB payload injection dongle. Make sure you hold the volume + button on your switch so that you are greeted by the Xecuter boot loader options.

Touch the options menu again, and this time we will be choosing the NAND option down the left hand side. From here, select the ‘Restore NAND’ button.

The on the next screen, choose continue. This will begin the process of restoring your internal NAND.

With that process complete, you may want to enable AutoRCM mode on your device again if you are maintaining an eFuse count. Or you can keep AutoRCM mode disabled to perhaps slightly reduce the risk of being banned. Then you can go ahead and power off your switch or boot into stock firmware. Check and make sure the NAND restoration was completed successfully.

Restoring a NAND backup with Hekate

You will need to make sure you have your rawnand.bin file in the sd:\backup\lettersnumbers\restore\ folder. You should also place your boot0.bin and boot1.bin files here too if you’ll be restoring to a different version of the firmware than the one you have currently installed.

Boot your Switch into the tegra RCM state, and go ahead and start the latest version of the Hekate payload. When Hekate has started, press the volume – button twice to select ‘Tools’ then press the power button to continue.

Next press the – button to highlight ‘Restore’ then press the power button to continue again.

Next choose ‘Restore eMMC RAW GPP’ and press the power button again.

You’ll see a warning screen letting you know this is a dangerous procedure, after 10 seconds you can press power to begin the process of verifying and restoring your NAND backup. This takes a long time to complete, so again make sure your battery doesn’t run out before completion.

Optionally when this is complete, if you have restored a different version of the firmware than you had previously installed, you may also need to restore your Boot0 & Boot1 files.
You can do this by choosing ‘Restore eMMC BOOT0/1’ on the earlier screen.

With that process complete, you may want to enable AutoRCM mode on your device again if you are maintaining an eFuse count. Or you can keep AutoRCM mode disabled to perhaps slightly reduce the risk of being banned. Then you can go ahead and power off your switch or boot into stock firmware. Check and make sure the NAND restoration was completed successfully.

Step D: Enjoy your online gaming on Switch

After you have restored your clean NAND backup to the internal sysNAND and have created your emunand on your microSD card, you’ll now be able to enjoy the best of both worlds on your device.
Just be sure to keep your emunand permanently blocking Nintendo’s servers (or totally offline) Then you can run all the .nsp & homebrew content you like without needing to worry about detection.
On your sysNAND side of the system, feel free to link your NNID and start using Nintendo’s online services to play your games online. Check out the lower section of this guide for some notes on keeping your chances of being banned as low as possible.