Tutorial To Install Android OS on the Nintendo Switch

Installing a full-fledged Android Operating System is now possible on the Nintendo Switch. You can access the Play Store, installing games and even you can root it. And in this article, I will show you how to do it. So let’s get started.

The most important thing is, you need a hackable Nintendo Switch. So get it if you want to get some fun.

Next, you need an RCM jig to get you into RCM mode.

Then a payload injector of your choice, you can use your phone, your computer or a dongle.

You also need an a micro SD card to install the Android OS.

Download the latest version of Balena Etcher. It is for writing the Android OS image to the micro SD card

Download the Android OS image of your choice. It depends on your micro SD card capacity, so choose from 16gb up to 128gb

And download the shieldifier.zip archive if you want to spoof your Switch to be an Nvidia Shield TV so you can download Nvidia exclusive games.

Click the extras and download the fix-joycon.zip archive to enable L3/R3 button and report the sticks as analog.

If you want to install Google apps, then download the open-source Gapps archive. Make sure you download for the ARM64 platform, Android 8.1 , and choose any variant you like. I selected the stock version.

Then press the red button to download the archive

The next one is optional, but if you want to root your Android OS, then download the latest stable version of Magisk in zip format

Download the latest version of TegraRCMGUI if you are using a Windows PC to inject the payload.

Choose either the installer version or the portable version

And if you are using a cellphone or a dongle, then download the latest version of Hekate payload

And you might need to download Winrar to extract the downloaded archive

Turn off your console and remove the micro SD card from it.

So you need to have another micro SD card to install the Android OS. Don’t use the one that you used on the console as everything will get erased.

This is the micro SD card for installing the Android OS. Mine is 32GB

Now install Balena Etcher

Press Select Image, then select the Android OS image that we have downloaded earlier

Since I am using a 32GB micro sd card, so I have downloaded a 32GB image for it.

Then make sure you have correctly select the micro sd card to flash the image

And if everything is OK, you can press the Flash button

It will take some time to finish so you take a break for a while

At this point, Do not press the Format Disk button. Close the pop-up window and open the file explorer

Open the micro sd card. Then drag all the downloaded zip file into the root of the sd card.

Now we are ready to setup the Android OS to our Nintendo Switch

Insert the micro sd card into the console

Place the RCM jig into the right joy-con rail

Press and hold the Volume Up button, then press the Power button

If you are planning to use a Windows PC to inject the payload, then install TegraRCMGUI

Then run it

Connect the console to the computer using a USB type C cable

If this is your first time connecting the console to the computer while on RCM mode, then you will see a new device notification at the bottom right of the screen.

Click the Settings tab then press Install Driver

And you will see that the RCM status turns green. Click the Payload tab, select the Hekate payload and click it twice to send the payload to the console.

And when everything worked well, then you should boot into the Hekate menu

You can remove the USB cable or the dongle at this stage

Select More Configs

You will see the Android icon inside this menu. If you don’t see it then you didn’t flash the micro sd card correctly.

Now you need to press and hold the Volume Up button, then press the Android icon

Keep pressing the Volume Up button and do not let go until you see the TWRP screen.

Swipe right to see the menu

Press the Mount button

Enable the System partition

Press Select Storage and choose Micro SD card

Press OK

Press the Home button to get back to the main menu

Press the Install button

First you need to select the open gapps zip archive.

Then swipe right to install the image

Then press the Wipe cache/dalvik button

And Swipe right to confirm

Now Press the back button to go to the previous screen

And install the rest of the zip files

Beginning with the fix-joycon archive

Again, you can wipe the cache

Next, we will install Shieldifier archive

Again, you may wipe the cache if you want

FInally, you can install Magisk to root the device. Remember, this step is optional

Now wipe the cache

And then press Reboot System

And swipe right to install TWRP app

Again you must press and hold the Volume Up button and press the Power button to get into the RCM mode

Connect the USB cable and send the Hekate payload from the computer

You can remove the USB cable for now

Press More Configs and rerun the Android OS. But this time, you don’t need to press and hold the Volume Up button

Now wait 30 seconds to see if the console boot into the Android OS.

If it doesn’t then press the power button for about 15 seconds, resend the payload and try rerun the Android OS one more time

When you see this boot animation, then you are good to go, let’s see if you can reach the setup screen

If you cannot reach this screen, then you must turn off your console, resend the payload and retry to boot the Android OS

And you might see this error pop-up. And I understand that this OS is not stable yet.

Now follow the on-screen instruction to setup the OS

Then wait for a while. Hopefully, you can pass this screen. But if you think that it is looping forever, then you can double-press the Power button to give a wake-up kick.

Then wait for a while. Hopefully, you can pass this screen. But if you think that it is looping forever, then you can double-press the Power

button to give a wake-up kick.

At this screen, You can choose between Copy the data from other device or set up as a new device

I chose Setup as a new device

Input your Google Account at this screen

The Nintendo Switch has no built-in microphone, so you must disable the Google Assistant

At this step, you have successfully installed and run the Android OS on your Nintendo Switch.

For those who opted to root the device, now you need to open the web browser to download Magisk Manager

Go to the Magisk Github page and download the latest version of Magisk Manager

Click the apk file and save it to the tablet

Now Open the apk file and select Settings

Enable to Install unknown apps

Then press the back button

And press Install

Now open Magisk Manager

Click the Safety Check option

Then press Yes

You can see that the ctsProfile is in false state. To fix this, you need to press the top left button then select Download

Now search “safety”

You need to download and install these two apps to fix the ctsProfile

Select the first one, then press Install

Now go back and select the second one that is SafetyPatch

Press the Reboot button

Again you must enter the RCM mode and send in the Hekate payload using your computer or dongle

Then rerun the Android OS

Now you will see this harmless error message upon booting up the Nintendo Switch Android tablet. Ignore it for now

Re run the Magisk Manager and tap the Safetynet check

Now you have completely rooted the Nintendo Switch Android tablet

You can use your Joy-Con while you are on the Android mode, but it only works wirelessly via Bluetooth connection, so before we use it, we

need to sync both joy-cons.

Swipe the top screen down and choose the gear icon

Select Connected devices

Select Bluetooth

Then select Pair new device

Get your joy-con and press the sync button

Then press the Joy-Con device

Do the same for the other joy-con

Now you can control your Nintendo Switch Android tablet with your Joy-Con

Now let’s try downloading a game from the Play Store

For example PUBG Mobile Lite

The game runs normally, but we cannot use the joy-con to move the character. We can only use the right joy-con to change the camera view

Since we have installed the Shieldifier, then we can access the Nvidia Games app.

Make sure you have login with your Nvidia account.

We will try to download a racing game

Now we can use both joy-cons to control the game

Now let’s try to run Nvidia GameStream game

These games are installed on my computer. GameStream means playing your computer game using your tablet. I will try GTA V

It is cool isn’t it? Playing your computer game using your Nintendo Switch Android Tablet with the Joy-con

And the game runs smoothly

If you are not comfortable with the joy-con, you can add any bluetooth controller such as the Xbox One Controller

So again, go to the settings, and sync the Xbox One wireless controller to the Nintendo Switch Android tablet

So now you can have alternatives to control the tablet beside using the joy-con. Its super awesome.

If somehow you want to get back to the Nintendo Switch Horizon OS, then turn off the console.

You can remove the RCM jig

Remove the micro sd card

then replace it with the one that you use for the Nintendo Switch

and turn it on.

And if someday you want to get back to the Android OS, then reverse this process, enter the RCM mode and inject the payload and Piece

load the Android OS. Piece of cake.

So there you go, I have told you everything I know about installing the Android OS to the Nintendo Switch. It is still buggy, but it has enormous potential. I hope it will get better and better in future releases. Thank you for reading this article.

Tutorial by sthetix

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