Opinion: LayeredFS Piracy on Switch – What the actual Fuck

To begin this: Yes this is gonna be a rant and this is my personal opinion. Feel free to disagree and do CONSTRUCTIVE critic but if you keep reading it’s not my problem if you get butthurt.

A lot has happened in the last 24 hours in Switch hacking. From being able to boot newer firmwares without burning any eFuses to someone loading backups through something called LayeredFS (which is supposed to allow for Game Modding without replacing Game files) to naehrwert leaving the Consolehacking Scene.

We all know about it. Homebrew capability on a device will result in piracy at some point. It’s nothing new and has happened to every device so far from the PSP to the PSVita, from the Wii to WiiU, to the DS and 3DS and so on. But the means through which this has been achieved now on the Switch is simply wrong in every way possible.

Let me sum up how Backup Loading on Switch currently works. You need at least one Game on your Switch (doesn’t matter if its a cartridge or a free eShop Game like Pokemon Quest, a CFW (in this case Hekate modded with atmosphere’s LayeredFS_MITM Patch) and a dumped game. All you gotta do to play such a game backup is to decrypt the Games .xci, edit the title id of the Game to one of the Games you have on your Switch (like Pokemon Quest), put the Game Files on the SD in the atmosphere folder to make it work with layeredFS, launch hekate and then just launch the game whose title ID you used (In this case Pokemon Quest). Pokemon Quest will now boot the backup Game. Hey well isn’t that cool? Well no. Why the fuck would it be. Yes, it works. Somehow. Barely. As mentioned before LayeredFS was made to be used to MOD Games. It was meant to be used to for example change the Horse Texture in Zelda Breath of the Wild to Thomas the Tank Engine. That’s what it was meant to do. It was never meant to load another Game on top of the original Game. That’s also why this method has so many shortcomings. First of all, you can’t even play every Game with it. Many just refuse to simply work. If you get a Game to work you can’t even save the Game since that’s also broken. You can’t use any of the Games Updates. And you also can’t play your original Game anymore as long as you use CFW (Well not like anyone would care that much with Pokemon Quest as base game).

If you ask anyone about why they do this Method all you simply get back is a “Muhhh free games”. I don’t give an actual fuck if people wanna pirate. People will always pirate and people will always find a way. But why misuse LayeredFS for a backup loader that is nearly completely broken and you won’t be able to enjoy your Games at all. I mean if you have fun playing the Tutorial over and over again. Go for it but I don’t.

We have Team Xecuters SX OS announced which should be dropping pretty soon which will allow you to properly load every Game Cartridge, Update your Game, SAVE your Game and hell you can even use the DLC for said game if you buy it from the eShop. And don’t come whining at me about how “expensive” their solution is. Yes I get it for some countries it is but if you REALLY wanna pirate how freaking much is 30$ or whatever the SX OS costs compared to the Games you never intended to buy anyway.

Next to SX OS we also have Atmosphere. Duhhh “Oh no the Devs of it don’t like piracy so they must be bad”. Jesus how hard can it be for people to understand that some people just DON’T want to be associated with being the first people to allow piracy on the Switch (Hell I wouldn’t wanna be that guy either). How does it sound to you if you would want to get accepted at a corporation and when they search your name they find out you enabled piracy on Devices. It would suck big time since probably no company wants someone like that. But even with Atmosphere being “Piracy-Unfriendly” do you REALLY think nobody is working on a Backup Loader like the one from TX which loads .xci files or just a simple Title Installer like the one showcased by Reisykaku? I bet my money that soonish after Atmosphere drops there will be some anonymous source (or maybe not) that will drop a Backup Loader or Title Installer. There’s not much stopping that. Even less since Atmosphere is open-source and everyone can just add functions to the CFW.

We’ve waited this long now to get CFW for our Switch. Is it that hard to ask to just be patient and lean back until it drops? If you can’t wait for Atmosphere just get SX OS. If you are set to not pay anything. Wait for atmosphere. If you wanna play some Games now just update your Switch and buy them. If you are hesitant to update your Switch to not miss out on coldboothax: either use RCM to update your Firmware to the latest version without burning fuses or simply put it away for some more time and play on something else entirely.

TL:DR: The gist of all this is as simple as that. Be patient and give it time. For those of you who started with a 3DS before RXTools with Signature Patches were a thing: Getting a free CFW solution on the 3DS took far longer than what is currently happening on the Switch. We only got a coldboot solution very late in its lifetime and Gateway was the go-to solution for Game backups for a long time until a free CFW was able to surpass it. The Switch already has an unpatchable coldboot hack in its first year and CFW creation is on its best way to completion which makes Team Xecuters SX OS pretty much unnecessary to get just for the sake of using a CFW. So why should you use something completely broken now when you can just wait a little while longer to enjoy “Game Backups” in all their functional glory. Also at least try to understand the Devs reason for not enabling “Game Backups” from the get-go. As always the Devs do all of this work for free. They are neither obliged to work on a CFW not to listen to any of your requests. They do this because they have fun doing this. They could also just keep all of their progress private and leave the scene so that it will never or most probably take longer to flourish.

If you have any other opinion that you want to mention you’re welcome to in the comments. Just keep it somewhat civil (Not worse language than my opinion :P).

About Darthsternie

Interested in everything Technical. Loves self-repairing Tech. Collector of Firmwares. Enthusiast Gamer and Anime Fan ^^


  1. Your opinion is okay for me.

    You said,just wait…that is also what iàm doing,WAIT !

    ps : my first comment on hackinformer from a regular/sometimes visitor which enjoys everything !

  2. I understand your point.
    But I think all this hacking on switch is a big pain in the back to do so. You need to have some brain.

    Not so wealthy milk cows would rather buy good games, when they are not 59 EUR, many games on switch are not worth the price and there are a few that are really worth it.

    So it makes sense, that when someone wants to try out a game for free with that backup loading, why not?
    First place they wouldnt have bought some games anyway.
    Fact is most games will be tried out and deleted or never started again and just fill free memory space.

    The next thing is modding this is fun, cant deny it and it explains itself.
    There is no point in complaining about that layeredfs was missued as it is still the normal way of life of a console, which was a matter of time and the companies are expected that.

    Wealthy people will always buy good games or bad games, caz buying a game is better and feels better and you dont have to worry about errors, bricks, bans or internet capping. To have a game physically feels just awsome. So therefore therefore pirates will never completly enjoy a physical copy of a game with all the benefits that comes within.

    I think the sale of switches will rise. Because more ppl will get aware of homebrew and stuff. There are even more ppl who has two switches to have modding and homebrew features and one which is untouched with original games.

    Not so wealthy ppl will try out free pirated games keep them or are going to delete them after a few hours.
    Or they just have fun modding or hacking stuff. I can understand that. This is not actually playing and enjoying a game, it is fun in changing and modding games.

    My opinion is every medal has two side like everything in life.
    I understand that some things arent good for the company, but i wouldnt prohibit it.
    It has to be in balance.

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