SD Preparation

We will now place the required files for the Atmosphere custom firmware and some additional homebrew files on the SD card.

Atmosphere has its own bootloader, called fusee (primary). For the purposes of this guide we will be using Hekate instead, so that we can back up the system's NAND (internal storage) and take advantage of other advanced features in the future.


FAT32 vs exFAT

Your SD card will need to be formatted as either FAT32 or exFAT. FAT32 is recommended as it is more stable and will work out of the box with the Switch's operating system, but has a file size limit of 4GB. If you plan on using exFAT, you will need to install the exFAT update for your Switch, which is downloaded when you insert an exFAT formatted SD card in to your Switch. Note that this will update your console and requires an internet connection. I recommend FAT32 because I read about too many data loss from the CFW users. There are two ways to format your sd card as fat32, use guiformat or follow this guide for formatting sd card as fat32

File name extensions

If you use Windows, you should enable file name extensions before continuing. See this link for a guide on how to do this.


What you need

  • The latest release of Hekate (Download the hekate_ctcaer_(version).zip release of hekate)
  • The hekate config file: hekate_ipl.ini
  • The 90dns DNS redirection config: sysmmc.txt (Optional) (Best to use this, if you do not want to play online in CFW) (It will block normal online play)
  • The latest release of Atmosphere. Download the atmosphere-(version)-master-(version)+hbl-(version)+hbmenu-(version).zip release of Atmosphere. Do not download the atmosphere-(version)-master-(version)-WITHOUT_MESOSPHERE+hbl-(version)+hbmenu-(version).zip release.
  • The latest release of fusee.bin payload for launching Atmosphere (Download the fusee.bin payload of Atmosphere.)
  • The latest release of Lockpick_RCM (Download the Lockpick_RCM.bin release of Lockpick)
  • The latest release of JKSV (Download the JKSV.nro release of JKSV)
  • The latest release of FTPD (Download the ftpd.nro release of FTPD)
  • The latest release of NXThemeInstaller (Download the NxThemesInstaller.nro release of NxThemeInstaller)
  • The latest release of NX-Shell (Download the NX-Shell.nro release of nx-shell)
  • The latest release of the hbappstore (Download the appstore.nro release of hbappstore)


  1. Insert your Switch's SD card into your PC
  2. if you are on windows, format your sd card as fat32 with guiformat from here (make sure you know which drive letter that your sd card is on. Close all explorer windows before open guiformat app) alternatively, use tegraexplorer payload to format sd card as fat32. the guide is here
  3. Copy the contents of the Atmosphere .zip file to the root of your SD card
  4. Copy the bootloader folder from the Hekate .zip file to the root of your SD card
  5. Copy hekate_ipl.ini to the bootloader folder on your SD card
  6. Copy Lockpick_RCM.bin and fusee.bin to the /bootloader/payloads folder on your SD card
  7. Create a folder named hosts inside the atmosphere folder on your SD card, and put sysmmc.txt in it. (Optional) (Best to use this, if you do not want to play online in CFW) (It will block normal online play)
  8. Create a folder named appstore inside the switch folder on your SD card, and put appstore.nro in it
  9. Copy JKSV.nro, ftpd.nro, NX-Shell.nro and NxThemesInstaller.nro to the switch folder on your SD card
  1. Reinsert your SD card back into your Switch

    Your SD card should look similar to this. The Nintendo folder will not be present if your switch has not already booted with the microSD card inserted. sdfilesimg


Continue to Entering RCM