The Nintendo Switch is a great system with a strong lineup of exclusive titles, but sometimes you want more. Modding your console lets you run games and apps you may not otherwise be able to. However, not every model is moddable, thanks to an old Nintendo patch, so you have to ask yourself, “Is my Switch patched?”
Why Should You Check if Your Switch Is Patched?
If you want to modify or hack your Switch, you need to use a specific exploit called Fusee Gelee. Modders discovered this vulnerability fairly quickly after the Switch launched, and it didn’t take long for Nintendo to catch wind of it, either. Nintendo patched the Switch to block this exploit sometime around 2018, so no Switch Lites or OLEDs are hackable.
If you have an older Switch model, you can still take advantage of Fusee Gelee, even after recent software updates. That will let you mod your console to run all sorts of software most Switches can’t.
The most common reason to mod your Switch is to install emulators. These programs let you play digital copies of games from other systems, whether that means running old GameCube titles or playing a new game that never got a Switch release. Modding your Switch could also boost your performance by overclocking its processor or similar adjustments.
Risks of Modding Your Switch
Before you search if your Switch has the patch, keep in mind that modding your console comes with some big risks. As fun as emulators and overclocking are, they could do more harm than good if you’re not careful.
If you mod your Switch, you’ll void its warranty. That means you won’t be able to use Nintendo’s free Joy-Con drift repair offer or any other kind of free service. Even outside of warranty-covered services, Nintendo can refuse to repair your console under any circumstance if you’ve tampered with it.
Modders also report that Nintendo has banned modded consoles from all online services. That means no online multiplayer, no apps like YouTube and Hulu and, ironically, no access to Nintendo’s official emulators for their older titles.
Hacking your Switch also runs the risk of bricking your system. If something goes wrong in the modding process, it could render your console unusable. If you don’t want to stake the couple hundred dollars you spent on a Switch on your technical skills, it’s best to avoid modding.
How to Tell if Your Switch Is Patched
If you’re okay with accepting these risks, you need to check if your Switch has the patch before modding it. You can do that in a couple of different ways.
Use the “Is My Switch Patched?” Website
The easiest way to check is to use the Is My Switch Patched website. This free online tool will compare your Switch’s serial number to the list of confirmed unpatched and patched serials.
Start by selecting the four-digit prefix to your serial number. Is My Switch Patched has eight prefixes in a drop-down menu, making it easy to enter your code. After selecting the prefix, type in the rest of the characters in your serial number and hit “Enter.”
The website will give you one of three answers in the form of a colored box around your serial number. If the box is green, it means your Switch doesn’t have the patch and is moddable. A red box means you have a patched Switch and won’t be able to mod it.
If you see a yellow box, your Switch might have the patch but might not. That uncertainty comes from the fact that no one knows the exact time when Nintendo started rolling out patched Switches. Users have confirmed that some models within some serial number ranges have the fix, while others in the same range still have the Fusee Gelee vulnerability.
Check the Serial Number Yourself
If you don’t want to give away your Switch’s serial number to a third party, you can also check it yourself. You can find your serial number on a sticker at the bottom-left of your Switch near the charging port. If the sticker is unreadable, you can find the number in your Switch’s system settings under “Serial Numbers” in the “System” submenu.
All serial numbers that begin with XJW1, XKJ1, XKW1 or XWW1 have the patch. All other serial number ranges depend on the numbers after the prefix.
For serial numbers starting with XAW1:
- Anything above XAW10120000000 has the patch.
- Numbers between XAW10000000000 and XAW10074000000 are moddable.
- Numbers between XAW10074000000 and XAW10120000000 are uncertain.
For serials starting with XAW4:
- Anything above XAW40012000000 has the patch.
- Numbers between XAW40000000000 and XAW40011000000 are moddable.
- Numbers between XAW40011000000 and XAW40012000000 are uncertain.
If your serial number starts with XAW7:
- Anything above XAW70030000000 has the patch.
- Numbers between XAW70000000000 and XAW70017800000 are moddable.
- Numbers between XAW70017800000 and XAW70030000000 are uncertain.
If it starts with XAJ1:
- Anything above XAJ10030000000 has the patch.
- Numbers between XAJ10000000000 and XAJ10020000000 are moddable.
- Numbers between XAJ10020000000 and XAJ10030000000 are uncertain.
For serial numbers starting with XAJ4:
- Anything above XAJ40060000000 has the patch.
- Numbers between XAJ40000000000 and XAJ40046000000 are moddable.
- Numbers between XAJ40046000000 and XAJ40060000000 are uncertain.
Finally, if your number begins with XAJ7:
- Anything above XAJ70050000000 is patched.
- Numbers between XAJ70000000000 and XAJ70040000000 are moddable.
- Numbers between XAJ70040000000 and XAJ70050000000 are uncertain.
Hacking Alternatives If Your Switch Is Patched
If your Switch has the patch or you don’t want to risk modding it, you can try some alternatives to hacking. Because the biggest reason to mod your Switch is to run emulators on it, try a different emulator instead.
You can emulate some Switch games on Android, giving you the portability of the Switch, but you’ll likely see a performance drop. For something closer to what you’ll get on a console, look for a Windows or MacOS emulator. Depending on your computer’s hardware, these emulators could run games even better than a real Switch.
Check If Your Switch Is Patched Today
Tools like Is My Switch Patched and free emulators make it easy to play games the way you want to. However, given the risks that modding can introduce, it’s best to learn about these options before trying them.
If your Switch doesn’t have the patch, you can mod it however you want, but remember that it’s a risky process. If you’re not confident in your technical abilities or don’t want to lose your warranty or online service, it’s best to avoid modding.
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