Can You Play DS Games On Switch? Here is What You Should Know in 2021!

When the Nintendo Switch hit the market, everyone had high expectations about Nintendo’s latest and most advanced handheld console. 

But behind all those expectations, the Nintendo DS lovers and owners have big expectations for backward compatibility. 

That is why the questions of “Can you play DS Games on switch” surface quite a lot of time. 

Is it possible to play Nintendo DS games with the brand new console with a different concept? 

While Nintendo’s official response says no, some wise people (uhm.. hackers) somehow managed to solve the puzzle. 

Thus, the answer is yes; you can play DS Games on your Nintendo Switch. 

All thanks to emulators and the custom homebrew you can install on your Nintendo Switch. 

But before you tinker with your Nintendo Switch, here is what you should know beforehand. 

Nintendo Switch Backwards Compatibility

Since its massive hit, many people hoped that Switch comes with high backward compatibility like any other Nintendo devices. 

Indeed, the Switch is phenomenal, but the massive backward compatibility capability is still in question. 

In this case, playing older games from a Wii or 3DS handheld is still unanswered, especially when talking about the complicated Switch backward compatibility. 

On the previous console, you can play older games with the newer console. 

It is because most of the data come in the form of digital. 

So, Can You Play DS Games on Switch? 

How about DS or 3DS that use game cartridges? 

You can’t put it inside the Switch cartridge. 

It is also impossible due to the lack of a virtual console in Switch. 

Another critical point is the nonexistence of vertically-stacked dual screens you get from a Nintendo DS and 3DS. 

But, with some hack and editing here and there, you can play the game. 

The answer comes from homebrew that allows you to hack your Nintendo System. 

You can install an emulator with custom homebrew and run your old Nintendo 3DS games in your Nintendo Switch.

Also read: Can You Play GameCube Games On Wii U? Everything You Need To Know In 2020!

Playing DS and 3DS Games On Switch With Custom Homebrew

Before we go far with custom Homebrew, let’s dig deeper into the term. 

Homebrew is a term used to describe unauthorized software by Nintendo. 

What is it for? In this case, the term includes all the tools, applications, games, firmware, and the 3DS emulator that you can install in the Switch system.

If you want to play DS and 3DS games, you will need to install the DS and 3DS emulator into your Switch. 

It is the answer to your “Can You Play DS Games on Switch?” question.

This will allow you to play DS and 3DS games and older games from Nintendo System as well, such as GameCube, Wii, and many more.

But before you can install your desired emulator, you should first install custom homebrew to your Nintendo Switch. 

Check out this neat guide from Switch. about The Ultimate Noob Guide for Hacking your Nintendo Switch.

Once you have installed your custom homebrew and custom firmware, you can now install an emulator for your DS and 3DS games.

So, Can You Play DS Games on Switch with this application? Yes, you can!

Important note, installing custom homebrew and firmware have its own risk that can lead to Nintendo to ban your console.

You might want to read this link carefully to take all the necessary steps to prevent this from happening.

Also read: How to use Laptop Monitor for Switch?

Can The Nintendo Switch Play 3DS Games? 

Another thing that makes people question the application is the need for dual-screen displays from the Nintendo 3DS. 

Can Nintendo Switch cope with that need? 

Some of the emulators installed through custom homebrew allow you to play 3DS games smoothly. 

At some games, it can even run at full speed on a Nintendo Switch.  

There are plenty of emulators out there that you can try. 

One of them is Lakka, an all-in-one emulator that allows you to experience games from PSP, PS1, Dreamcast, DS, etc. 

This particular emulator works better in Switch. 

With Lakka, now your Nintendo Switch can play older games as well.

Most of the DS games run smoothly without lag, and you can get high FPS. 

It is no wonder since Switch has a better engine and more powerful than the DS or even Wii. 

Along with it, Switch also has a touch screen display. 

It allows you to play the 3DS and DS games as usual. 

But unfortunately, you have to play it in landscape mode, which will make your DS and 3DS games look smaller. 

Can You Play DS Games on Switch with portrait display and get a bigger screen? 

Yes, you can. 

The answer goes with different custom homebrew applications. 

In this case, you should choose the MelonDS homebrew. 

Take a look at how to install MelonDS to your switch in this video below.

This application is not new or has groundbreaking innovation, but it allows you to play the game in portrait mode. 

You can get a bigger display and also better gameplay. 

MelonDS has a touchscreen menu, which means you should navigate and choose the setting, games, and other options with your finger. 

It is not the best one, but it is work. 

After that, consider using Flipgrip, an accessory that allows you to play Switch in portrait mode. 

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One drawback of using the Flipgrip is you can’t adjust the volume and charge the handheld. 

With the accessory, you can stick the main part of the Switch in portrait orientation and then snap the left and right joysticks on the sides. 


So, Can You Play DS Games on Switch? 

Yes, you can. 

Since you do it using homebrew or emulator, you should understand the possibilities of lag and low FPS. 

Still, it can work.

Admit it that, the cool looking Nintendo Switch brings a lot of gameplay possibilities. 

Particularly with many games that it has. 

But unfortunately, the backward compatibility of this console is unacceptable. 

It is because you are unable to play older games that use cartridges. 

At the same, it also lacks dual screens.

But, the Homebrew application and emulator bring a great solution. 

By using custom homebrew, installing a 3DS emulator, or using melonDS, now it is not impossible to run your beloved 3DS Mario Karts in your Nintendo Switch. 

About the Author
Hi, I'm Steve. I'm a proud gamer. I have been active within the gaming sphere for 30+ years. As gaming is something I enjoy very much, I want other people to enjoy it also. That is exactly why I started this blog.

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