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.



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.

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 bootlogo zip folder:
  • The latest release of Atmosphere (Download the atmosphere-(version).zip release of Atmosphere.)
  • The latest release of Lockpick_RCM (Download the Lockpick_RCM.bin release of Lockpick)
  • The latest release of Checkpoint (Download the Checkpoint.nro release of Checkpoint)
  • 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. Copy the contents of the Atmosphere .zip file to the root of your SD card
  3. Copy the bootloader folder from the Hekate .zip file to the root of your SD card
  4. Copy the bootloader folder from the file to the root of your SD card
  5. Copy Hekate's .bin file from the Hekate .zip file to the atmosphere folder on your SD card
  6. Delete reboot_payload.bin in the atmosphere folder on your SD card
  7. Rename Hekate's .bin file to reboot_payload.bin
  8. Copy hekate_ipl.ini to the bootloader folder on your SD card
  9. Copy Lockpick_RCM.bin to the /bootloader/payloads folder on your SD card
  10. Create a folder named appstore inside the switch folder on your SD card, and put appstore.nro in it
  11. Copy ftpd.nro , Checkpoint.nro , NX-Shell.nro and NxThemesInstaller.nro to the switch folder on your SD card
  12. Reinsert your SD card back into your Switch


Restoring your existing Nintendo folder

If you were already using your microSD card as a storage device for your games and backed it up before partitioning your microSD card, it is now safe to restore it. Place it back on the root of your microSD card.


Continue to Entering RCM