*This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.
We are all probably aware of the popularity of gaming consoles. The Switch the title refers to here is the Nintendo Switch – the popular gaming console produced by Nintendo.
Homebrew is a method of jailbreaking the Switch which then allows you to use the console however you like and install whatever games and software you would like on the device as well.
Jailbreaking is a popular thing to do to consoles for the user but it isn’t very popular with the console maker, in this case Nintendo.
So, is there anyway to use Homebrew and jailbreak your console without getting your Switch banned?
As of right now there is no way to use Homebrew on your Nintendo Switch without risking being banned. Some people have reported that if they don’t use their Switch online then it won’t be banned but if you aren’t using your Switch online then even if it was banned it wouldn’t matter as the console ban only keeps you from going online anyway.
If you use Homebrew on your Switch it is only a matter of time until you get caught and banned by Nintendo so there really isn’t a safe way to do it without risking a ban.
As mentioned above, if you don’t go online with your Switch you can likely use Homebrew without getting banned (but you still might get caught) however, if you don’t go online then you might as well be banned anyway!
A ban doesn’t make your console worthless it just means you can’t go online and play via Nintendo Switch Online or access the E-Shop. You can still use the Switch to play locally with friends or by yourself using normal Switch cartridges.
If you want to see some of our favorite Nintendo Switch accessories you can find them by clicking here.
If you want to learn more about the Switch and homebrew but prefer to not have to read the rest of the article you can also watch the video below.
Before we dive into learning more about Homebrew and exactly what it does we need to understand a term – jailbreaking. You might have come across the term but don’t know what it means.
What is jailbreaking? Is it a legal thing to do? Here’s a quick introduction to what jailbreaking is.
What Is Jailbreaking?
Jailbreaking is a term used in connection with locked-down devices. For the sake of safety, your iPhone, Nintendo Switch, or other devices may not allow you to install apps, games, or software from unknown sources.
Jailbreaking refers to installing software that will allow the user to take the risk and install unapproved apps on these “locked” devices.
You can also customize the apps and use them in ways it was not intended by the developers.
The term jailbreak describes the act of disabling the restrictions on usage of the software installed on a device. Is it legal? Will it get you in any trouble? Why would you want to jailbreak the software on your device?
The answer is jailbreaking gives you control. You have more control in the sense that you get the rights of an administrator. You can customize the software according to your likes and use it for purposes that it wasn’t originally intended for. You can tweak certain parts of the interface as well.
Overall, some users find it fun to jailbreak and take complete control of their devices. They like to explore the infinite possibilities that lie ahead.
Although jailbreaking isn’t illegal, it is not recommended due to the risks that it carries.
- Jailbreaking cancels the warranty on your device. Thus, if something goes wrong, you cannot expect a replacement from Nintendo.
- Also, by jailbreaking you are going against the terms and conditions of Nintendo. Thus, a jailbroken device will normally be banned from using the Nintendo network since you violated their terms and conditions.
- A quick physical inspection of the software will normally give away the fact that the device was jailbroken.
- The biggest risk is that there is no guarantee that it will work. The success of the process varies from device to device and once your device is jailbroken it is more susceptible to hackers and getting viruses and malware if you make a mistake and download some bad software.
Now that we know what jailbreaking is, let us move on to Homebrew.
What is Homebrew?
Homebrew Launcher is the most frequently used method to jailbreak a Nintendo Switch. A group of hackers released the Homebrew Launcher in 2017 at the Chaos Communication Congress that was held in Germany.
So, if you have read all the risks and still want to try it we would recommend you not try jailbreaking on your regular Nintendo Switch. There is a variety of inexpensive dedicated Homebrew Switches available for this purpose.
You can purchase one of those and try jailbreaking them.
Now, to use Homebrew you only need 3 things – the Nintendo Switch, a laptop, and a MicroSD Card.
To install Homebrew go through the steps listed below.
- The latest version of nx-hbmenu should be downloaded from Github.
- Copy hbmenu.nro and paste it in the root menu of the SD card
- Insert the MicroSD card into Switch.
- Go to the connection settings. The DNS server has to be manually configured. You will receive a prompt. Enter the DNS – 126.96.36.199
- Perform a connection test
- Install Homebrew
- Restart the switch. Run a connection test again. Click on RUN
If your screen displays ‘2000-1337’, you have successfully installed Homebrew Launcher. You can now access the Homebrew games and applications from the Album icon on the Home menu.
To learn how to install Homebrew on your Nintendo Switch be sure and watch the video below
Installing Homebrew games and applications
The jailbreaking scene for the Nintendo is quite recent compared to iOS on Apple. Therefore, currently, you may find just a handful of Homebrew apps and games available for download.
To browse the collection of Homebrew apps and games, visit the Switchbrew website.
To install these games, download the game files, transfer them to the MicroSD card in the switch/directory. Now, pop it to the Switch again.
Some apps allow you to stream games from your PC to the jailbroken Switch. Sometimes, the console may become unresponsive while Homebrew games and apps are used. This can usually be resolved by force restarting your Nintendo Switch.
It is important to remember that if you are downloading real games that you did not pay for then that is piracy and it is not legal. Jailbreaking your console is not illegal but if you download games that you have not purchased that are not free games then that is considered piracy.
To see a step by step guide on how to use Homebrew on your Switch be sure and watch the video below.
Will Nintendo impose a ban on jailbroken devices?
Since 2018, Nintendo has banned devices that were found to be hacking the Switch. Jailbreaking compromises the security of the device and gives way to pirated copies of games. Although you may not be involved in piracy, if Nintendo can detect a hacked Switch at all, it will most likely impose a ban on that console.
Therefore, if you are playing using a Homebrew Switch, it is wise to not go online. The possibilities you have with a Homebrew Switch are much more than what the online mode offers. Thus, stay safe from bans and focus on remaining undetected.
Of course a ban will just keep you from going online anyway so if you don’t go online with your Homebrew Switch there won’t be much difference between that and being banned anyway.
How to use switch homebrew without being banned
Why did Nintendo suspend my account?
While Nintendo has come out with some new gaming consoles recently and improved the ways to play games with each other, some people are still not happy with them.
The biggest reason people do not like Nintendo is simply because they are more strict on their bans and suspension than Xbox and PlayStation. If you have been banned before while playing your Nintendo you may be feeling the same way.
After all, you have never done anything against the rules and the one time you mess up, they suspend your account? Is this really fair when there are tons of people out there who do it all the time and are not banned?
Nintendo will suspend your account if you have repeated violations of the Nintendo user agreement. Not only would this suspension mean that you cannot play online, but all of your previously downloaded games will no longer be available for you to play.
Nintendo uses a very simple method to suspend peoples accounts. If you do not break the rules, your account will not be banned. If you do break the rules, Nintendo can ban you, but will not always ban you right away.
Most of the time if you are suspended by Nintendo, it is not for some giant rule that you broke. People will just break small little rules, and when they are not in trouble immediately they think they can do them all the time and not have any consequences.
There are always consequences when you break the rules, it is just a matter of time before you get caught or are punished for it.
What is Nintendo’s number?
If you play on one of the many Nintendo gaming systems, there has probably been a time or two where you wanted to contact Nintendo. You can contact Nintendo many different ways, but the fastest is by calling them.
Not everyone will call Nintendo as some people do not like talking on the phone to people. Some people would actually rather email Nintendo and wait for a response just so they do not have to talk with a person.
The phone number to call Nintendo is 1 (800) 255-3700. You can use this number to get answers to any questions you have about your device or online account.
While you may not be having any questions about your device or account right now, there may come a time when you need to contact Nintendo. Having the number will help you if you ever need any help with your account or gaming system.
Can you play games on a banned Switch?
When you play games on your Switch, there may have been a time or two that you got excited and cursed while you were playing the games. While you will not get banned immediately, you can be banned for cursing.
Most of the time, Nintendo will not ban your console for cursing. If your console has been banned, you were probably hacking the system or cheating while playing a game.
If your Switch has been banned, you probably want to know if you can still play games on it, or what exactly you can do on a banned Switch.
You can play games on a banned Switch, but you cannot play online. This also includes any games that you have downloaded from the online store cannot be played when the Switch is banned.
You can play games that you own the disc for, but you will not be able to play online. This is because when Nintendo bans your account, they take away your access to the Nintendo online system.
This includes online access to the Eshop and any other online access while playing games. Nintendo does not ban your account unless you are breaking the rules a lot or try to cheat or hack their system.
Nintendo knows if you try to hack their system, and will ban you for breaking the rules. They are extremely strict if you break the rules, and try to hack their systems.
While they cannot tell if your system has been hacked if you are playing offline, there is no point in hacking your system if you are just going to play offline. This is where many people end up getting banned.
They try to play online with a hacked system to get free stuff and Nintendo can see that the software for the Switch has been hacked. Once they see the Switch has been hacked, they will ban the Switch as it violates the Nintendo rules.
Because no one wants to have their Switch banned, you should never try to hack your Switch or any other Nintendo device. Hacking your system is the easiest way to get your account banned.
Does Nintendo delete inactive accounts?
Your Nintendo account is something that you originally created in order to play games online and have access to the Eshop. If you no longer have a Nintendo though you probably want to know what happens to your account.
Will Nintendo Just delete your account because you are no longer using it, or will it stay inactive for a certain amount of time?
Nintendo does not delete an account just because it is inactive. If you delete your account, Nintendo will save it as inactive for 30 days and then permanently delete it.
This means that if you delete your account from Nintendo you will still have 30 days to reactivate it if you ever change your mind. This is very useful if you accidentally delete your entire Nintendo account or change your mind about leaving the Nintendo world.
All you would need to do is to simply sign back into your Nintendo account and you will be able to reactivate it. While you should not lose any of your information, Nintendo does not guarantee that you will get all of your saved data back
This is why if your account is ever deleted, it is best to log into your account immediately in order to reactivate it. The longer it is deleted and turned inactive, the more of a chance there is that you lose some of your account information.
Using Homebrew may not necessarily lead to a ban on your Switch. However, it carries several risks. Since it involves non-compliance with the agreed terms and conditions, you lose all rights to get your device serviced, should anything go wrong.
Also, you compromise on the security of your device.
Thus, experts advise using two Switches – one legit Switch and another dedicated Homebrew Switch. It is also a good idea to never go online using your Homebrew Switch as this will minimize the risk of you facing a ban.
Nintendo is actively banning people who hack or jailbreak their Switches so if you are caught it is a good bet that you will end up with a banned Switch. Once your Switch is banned you will not be able to use it to access online content, multiplayer, etc.
Basically you will have to decide if you want to have Homebrew on your Nintendo Switch or if you prefer to access the online content and games. If you prefer the online things then don’t install Homebrew as you will likely be banned. If you prefer the benefits of jailbreaking and don’t do anything online anyway then
Homebrew should be fine for you to install as long as you are careful to not download or install something that allows your console to be hacked or don’t do anything illegal such as piracy.