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. 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, but FAT32 is recommended as it is more stable and will work out of the box with the Switch's operating system. Using exFAT on the Switch should be avoided due to the filesystem being prone to corruption, and sometimes preventing custom firmware from booting. You will also 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)-master-(version)+hbl-(version)+hbmenu-(version).zip release of Atmosphere.
  • 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. 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
    • If you're asked to merge the bootloader folders, do so.
  5. Copy hekate_ipl.ini to the bootloader folder on your SD card
  6. Create a folder named appstore inside the switch folder on your SD card, and put appstore.nro in it
  7. Copy JKSV.nro, ftpd.nro, NX-Shell.nro and NxThemesInstaller.nro to the switch folder on your SD card
  8. 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