Can You Play DS Games On Switch? (Everything To Know)


When new video game units come out, it can be hard to find something that works with your old games.

With all the money that is spent on games, you may get a bit bothered by the fact that the new console you just bought does not work with your old games.

Therefore, it is important to make sure that you are not stuck purchasing brand new games and being left with nothing to use on your new Nintendo Switch.

If you had the DS and are curious about using your old games on the Switch, we have all the info you need.

The answer may not be quite as straightforward as you would like, but it is certainly something worth investigating if you have a lot of DS games that you still want to be able to use.

Can You Play DS Games On Switch?

Yes, you can play DS games on Switch, but it will take a bit of work to be able to do this.

The DS games are not going to naturally integrate into the Switch system.

Therefore, you will have to use a combination of homebrew and an emulator.

The homebrew system refers to something that is going to be outside of the Nintendo brand.

In other situations, it may be called a knockoff or a part that is not OEM.

This essentially means that the part is not made by Nintendo, but some smart people have been able to put it together to help people who have spent a lot of money on the Nintendo programs through the years.

Once you have the homebrew setup, the emulator is needed to help the Switch recognize the DS games that you have.

Essentially, this process is going to take some work and some money that you will have to spend to get the games to work.

With the cost of these games and the replacement, you would have to pay to get it replaced for the Switch setting up the homebrew, and the emulator will be well worth it.

What Are The Downsides Of Using An Emulator Or Homebrew Setup On Your Switch?

Like anything else, there are some negatives to using a homebrew system with your Switch.

This, of course, is just like any other technological update that you may find with your systems.

Nintendo puts this type of system in place so that you will have to purchase new games.

The fact that there are some systems out there that are essentially bypassing Nintendo’s desire to have you pay more for the games will certainly not be something that Nintendo is pleased by.

Therefore, you may notice some issues with functionality.

One of the issues is that you can only play some games in landscape or portrait mode and not both.

This can make the images on the game look quite a bit smaller, and therefore, the idea of this could be enough to make you not use the Nintendo Switch.

Another issue that you may have is getting updates and the proper gameplay when you go back to the Switch.

There are certainly some functionality issues, and unless you are really great with the Nintendo systems, you may not want to attempt these issues.

The easiest thing to do is to purchase a new system and get the matching games that go along with it.

However, with the added costs, this may not be feasible for all people.

In addition, not all games are available on the Switch, so if you have favorites that were on the DS, you may have a hard time finding a replacement.

Another thing to be careful about is the fact that there are some homebrew or emulator products that are not protected and could cause viruses or other issues on your Switch.

If you try to deal with any Nintendo warranty or repair, they are likely to tell you that because of the applications you tried to install, you are no longer covered.

These are big risks to take unless you know what you are doing and can roll back any changes that you have made.

Is the Switch Backwards Compatible?

You may hear people asking if the Switch is backward compatible.

As you have seen with each new Nintendo release through the years, the compatibility of one system to the next is not always all that clear.

When you move up in consoles, there is a good chance that your previous games are not going to work on the new system.

This is exactly the case with the Nintendo switch.

The Switch is not backward compatible, so you will not be able to use games from previous models.

Although this is disappointing, this is why people start using the emulator or homebrew option to try and help get the most use out of their unit.

For those who like the functionality of the Switch, it can be a hard decision as to whether or not the console is worth it.

Since the pricing is a bit high and it has no compatibility with previous games, the overall cost of going to the Switch is going to be quite high.

Why Is The Nintendo Switch Not Backwards Compatible?

As you may have guessed, there are a number of reasons that the Nintendo Switch is not backward compatible.

The main reason, however, is the physical makeup of the unit.

Nintendo Switch is made to only fit physical media that is meant specifically for it.

In other words, none of the previous games will actually fit it into the system’s slots.

For some other models like Nintendo handhelds, you could have placed a DS or 3DS cartridge into the system.

With the Switch, there is nowhere to do this, and you won’t be able to fit anything from the Wii or the GameCube either.

Essentially, you are stuck with having to use only the games that are compatible with Switch.

The reason behind this has to do with the technology that is offered in the Nintendo, but it really also has some business principles behind it.

For Nintendo, the need for an upgrade in their functionality and performance was necessary.

In order to get this functionality and performance with the old system, it was not necessarily possible.

Therefore, the upgrade had to come, but it had a downside with losing some of the compatibility that was available in the previous systems.

If you want the latest and the greatest, it is, unfortunately, going to come at a cost.

Is The Nintendo Switch Worth It?

Knowing what you now know about Nintendo Switch and its functionality, you may be wondering whether or not this is worth it.

There are some pros and cons about the Nintendo Switch that are worth understanding and considering.

Here are a few that you should keep in mind.

1. Flexibility

The Nintendo Switch will work as a home console or as a portable gaming system.

If you want to ensure that you have the compatibility that you need, but you don’t want to buy two systems, then you may like the switch.

It is very easy to set up, and you will be able to transform its use in a matter of minutes.

Another great benefit of this is that you will be at the same point in your game where you left off.

Sometimes when moving from one console to another, you lose your place in your game, but this is not the case with the Switch.

2. Battery Power

The battery power of the Switch is not the best.

You are going to get about three and a half hours of battery time before the console needs to be plugged in.

For some people, this will be plenty of time, but for others, on a long flight or a car trip, the battery power is really not that great.

The speed of the games and the images are part of the issue with the battery.

If you are never all that far from a power source, you won’t see this as too much of a downside.

3. Comfortable To Use

The Nintendo Switch is comfortable to use.

Many people find that holding it in your hand is relatively easy, even if you have to do it for long periods of time.

For those who are used to previous Nintendo releases, it may take a few minutes to get comfortable holding the Switch, but after a while, it will feel fine in your hands.

Another thing to remember is that once you get used to it, the joystick controllers feel quite natural when you get used to them.

Although there will be an initial adjustment, most serious users are finding that they have less trouble with the unit and less fatigue long term.

4. Glare

Even though the Nintendo is very easy to use and comfortable, you will find that there are some issues with glare.

The glare makes the unit very difficult to see when you are outside.

If you plan on being outdoors a lot and using your Switch, you may have a hard time seeing what you are doing.

The glare on the screen makes it nearly impossible to follow along with the game, and you may get quite frustrated by the functionality of the Switch.

5. Quick Loading Games

The Nintendo Switch will load games very quickly.

If you are used to bigger and bulkier systems, you will be happy with the way that the Switch is able to quickly load and let you play the games you want to play.

Nintendo Switch is not a frustrating system to use, and you will quickly get the functionality you need with its features.

6. Small Use Of Space

Another great benefit of the Nintendo Switch is the fact that it is small and easy to use.

If you have a cabinet filled with game systems, you will have no issues fitting the Switch in and incorporating it.

In addition, when you travel, it is a perfect option to keep along with you.

Most people will find that the purchase of the Nintendo Switch is worth the price that you will pay.

If you are a fan of Nintendo products, the Switch will be a must-have.


Hopefully, you now understand a bit more of the functionality of a Nintendo Switch.

Although you can get your Switch system to work using a homebrew system or emulator, some people find it is not worth the risk.

Instead, you may want to purchase the games that are intended to be used on the Switch.

If you do this, you will find that there are no issues and that you will end up with full functionality and speed.

In addition, there is less of a chance of coming across an error while using your Switch.


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