Nintendo Switch Emulation Steps Up a Gear with Yuzu & Ryujinx


With Nintendo’s latest offering of the Switch being out on the market for a number of months now many PC gamers are asking the question; is there a Nintendo Switch Emulator for PC? Software developers have started making good progress in bringing Nintendo Switch emulation to the Windows PC, Mac & Linux. In this post we will look at the Yuzu & Ryujinx Nintendo switch emulators which are the first to be able to launch commercial games and two that show great promise. The Nintendo Switch games emulator solutions are here but what can they do and what should we expect from them?

Top Controllers for Emulators

Try some of these top game controllers with your favourite software emulators.

XBOX 360 Wireless
XBOX 360 Wireless Controller
2.4GHz wireless technology with 30-foot range. Use four controllers simultaneously. Adjustable vibration. Integrated headset port. Requires 2 AA Batteries.
XBOX 360 Wireless Gaming Receiver
XBOX 360 Wireless Gaming Receiver
Use up to four Wireless Controllers and four Wireless Headsets simultaneously. Plugs into PC USB port & has a six foot cable.
Valve Steam Controller
Valve Steam Controller
Control any PC game including those not designed for gamepad. Dual trackpads, HD haptic feedback, dual-stage triggers, back grip buttons, and customizable control schemes.
Nintendo Wii Remote
Nintendo Wii Remote
Classic controller from the Nintendo Wii games console. The perfect choice for games console emulators such as Dolphin. Requires Bluetooth & configuration. Available in multiple colours.
PS4 Dual Shock
PS4 Dual Shock Controller
Precision controller from Sony. Multiple buttons, analogue sticks & triggers. Features built-in speaker & stereo headset jack. Required Sony adapter for PC use. Great for Arcade emulators!
Mayflash Arcade Stick
Mayflash Arcade Stick
The full arcade experience! Compatible with PS4, PS3, XBOX ONE, XBOX360 & PC, Android, Switch. Supports both XINPUT & DINPUT.

Nintendo Switch Emulation Steps Up a Gear with Yuzu & Ryujinx

Before we take a look at the Yuzu & Ryujinx emulators you must understand that Nintendo Switch emulation on PC is in its infancy. The two emulators featured in this post are the first to be able to boot any form of Nintendo Switch software but are some way off playable states. These are two emulators to follow and will likely bring playable Switch titles to your desktop computer over the coming months/years. [Read: Top 5 Emulator Frontends for your HTPC Media Center]

It is remarkable how quickly Nintendo Switch emulation has progressed. The console itself is less than a year old and already a number of commercial games are showing something. This means that the Nintendo Switch is likely to be one of those consoles that if successfully emulated to a playable state before its end of life in the mainstream market. Compare this with the current PS3 & XBOX 360 emulation scenes which are progressing well but are still some way off completion and the two consoles have ceased sales for a number of years. There are currently two real Nintendo Switch emulators on the internet both of which are at similar stages of development. [Read: Best PC Game Controllers for HTPC – Emulators & Steam

Yuzu Nintendo Switch Emulator

The first Nintendo Switch games emulator to talk about is Yuzu. The Yuzu switch emulator is an open-source project by the creators of the popular 3DS emulator Citra. Yuzu is the more user friendly of the two packages we are looking at. It has a clean looking easy to use GUI with the common menu functions available in most of todays top emulators. It also has a dedicated website where you can see the latest developments of the project or pickup nightly executable builds of the software. If you are interested in keeping up to date with Yuze then bookmark their homepage which can be found here. [Read: RPCS3 – The Working Playstation 3 (PS3) Emulator]

Is there a nintendo Switch Emulator
Yuzu Nintendo Switch Emulator

The Yuzu team are working to deliver their software to multiple operating systems and to date they are providing builds for Windows, Linux & Mac. But the big question is what can Yuzu do. Currently the Yuzu Nintendo Switch emulator shows at least something with the following titles; Puyo Puyo Tetris, Cave Story, The Binding of Isaac Afterbirth and most recently 1-2-Switch now starts. This may not sound a great deal but this is astounding for the length of time the emulator has been in production. To use Yuzu you will need to pickup their latest Nintendo Switch emulator download package and an image of a switch game that you own. [Read: Top 5 Handheld Games Consoles]

You can see the Yuzu Switch emulator in action below:

Ryujinx Nintendo Switch Emulator for PC

The second Nintendo Switch games emulator available is Ryujinx. Ryujinx is at roughly the same stage in its development as Yuzu and runs a similar list of titles to the same level. Ryujinx is yet to feature a GUI and Nintendo Switch games are started using the command line or by dragging the Switch ISO file onto the Ryujinx executable. [Read: Xenia Project – The Working XBOX 360 Emulator for PC]

Nintendo Switch Games Emulator
Ryujinx Nintendo Switch Emulator

The Ryujinx Nintendo Switch emulator will also start the three titles of Puyo Puyo Tetris, Cave Story and The Binding of Isaac. It seems that these titles are not too complex and use little of the Switch’s hardware instructions. A GUI will undoubtedly follow at some point for the Ryujinx emulator. Ryunjinx has had an emulation focus rather than the user interface and rightly so at such an early stage. [Read: Dolphin – The Nintendo Gamecube / Wii Emulator

Which of the Nintendo Switch Emulators for PC leads the way is up for debate and is open for you to decide. Different titles will run better on one than the other. If you are interested in Nintendo Switch emulation then I suggest you follow both projects and see how each progresses. [Read: How to Play Games on Kodi]

Nintendo Switch Games Emulator Final Thoughts

So in answer to the question; is there a Nintendo Switch Emulator? Yes there is and and there is plenty of development going on! The Nintendo Switch emulator for PC has burst onto the scene and there are two already capable of starting commercial titles. Commercial titles so early on will probably result in Nintendo Switch games fully playable on desktop computers whilst the console is still available to buy in shops. Also a little competition between projects is a good thing. This can often drive development teams to really bring out the best in their software solutions. Both Yuzu & Ryujinx are great applications but Nintendo Switch emulation is still very much at the beginning. It will be sometime before titles are comparable to the real thing. Watch this space! [Read: LaunchBox & Big Box Emulator Frontend Review]