Running Yuzu on Switch Gives You Better Performance Than Native Gaming!?

This may be pretty common knowledge in the hardware and software modding scenes for the Nintendo Switch, but when I saw it, it kind of blew my mind that this is even possible. But suppose you have a modded Nintendo Switch, running Linux, but then also running the YUZU emulator. In that case, it’s capable of running games with higher settings and performance than they would if they were running on the hardware natively.

Nintendo Switch Emulation

Now, there are some tricky legal issues here, largely because Nintendo have super-powered ninja lawyers that will strike you dead… or something to that effect. However, it’s also because this information came to me via a video that likely has Nintendo in a fit of rage right now, the MIG-Switch.

The MIG-Switch is like the old R4 Carts that allows you to boot ROMs, either legitimate backups or, ya know, non-legitimate copies, on unmodified Nintendo hardware. This is also backed up by a device called the MIG Switch Dumper, which allows you to effectively backup your official Nintendo Switch Games, or even play them from an external storage device using the console’s USB-C port.

As you can see in the video, the MIG Dumper is being tested on a software-modded Nintendo Switch. While they test the console running Minecraft natively on an OLED Switch, you can see the performance is a bit choppy, and can suffer performance dips in more demanding rendering areas or heavy loading scenarios.

There’s a load of pop-in on the stock OS gameplay.

However, when they run the game again on the YUZU emulator, which is running on their Switch, the game’s performance is higher, draw distance and chunk loading is significantly improved. So what the hell is going on here!?

The video is below, but you can skip ahead to the relevant time stamp here.

Emulating the Switch on the Switch

The Switch is capable of running the game better, as we’ve seen in the video. Still, I suspect it has a lot to do with either the emulation being less accurate, or there being less overheads from the modified OS vs the stock OS. Either way, it’s pretty wild to think a system can emulate itself “better” than it can do natively, and for those diving deeper into the growing world of Switch modifications as the system reaches the end of its life cycle, it opens some pretty bizarre opportunities on how its best to play these games.

Peter Donnell

As a child still in my 30's (but not for long), I spend my day combining my love of music and movies with a life-long passion for gaming, from arcade classics and retro consoles to the latest high-end PC and console games. So it's no wonder I write about tech and test the latest hardware while I enjoy my hobbies!

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