The Nintendo Switch isn’t a device that we would usually associate with Android development, however, thanks to the hard work by XDA Senior Member langer hans and XDA Junior Member bylaws, any hackable Nintendo Switch (typically devices sold before July 2018) can now boot LineageOS 15.1, directly from the SD card. I wrote a hands-on article a few weeks back, where you can read about my experience. I also made a video for the XDA YouTube channel, which is embedded below.
switchroot LineageOS 15.1
LineageOS 15.1 on the Nintendo Switch has basically everything you’ve come to expect from LineageOS. You get all of your basic Android features, support for Google services, and even support for native Nvidia Shield applications. That means you can play Half-Life and Portal on the go, and even make use of GeForce Now if you’re a part of the beta. The Joycons and Nintendo Pro Controller work without a hitch, keyboard and mouse works when docked… pretty much anything that can work will work. It’s a spectacular port of Android, and one that’s well worth setting up if you have a spare SD card.
- LineageOS 15.1 – Android 8.1 Oreo
- Based on the Nvidia Shield TV trees
- TWRP pre-installed
- CPU and GPU performance profiles
- Works in handheld and docked mode
- Audio is supported
- Joycons connect via Bluetooth, also in handheld mode
That is another thing, though. Installing Android on the Nintendo Switch can prove to be a little bit difficult, as you will need to write an image to your SD card that matches its size. That image also wipes all of the data stored on it in the process. There are some things that don’t work either, the list of which is below.
- Deep sleep, so battery life is not great
- Auto rotation
- Screen off in dock
- Charging is not detected, but console still charges
- Some apps don’t handle joycon inputs correctly
- The touchscreen sometimes detects touches even when your finger is just floating over the screen
Installing Android on your Nintendo Switch does not touch the main OS installed on it, so you don’t need to worry about breaking anything. If you want to get started, check out the switchroot LineageOS 15.1 thread below!
Want more posts like this delivered to your inbox? Enter your email to be subscribed to our newsletter.