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Nintendo Switch NRO to NSP Forwarder.

Project description


Build status PyPI version Python versions License (GPLv3)

NTON is a Nintendo Switch NRO to NSP Forwarder for firmware 12.0.0 and newer.

A forwarder lets you open a Homebrew NRO file from your SD card through the Nintendo Switch Home Screen instead of the Homebrew Launcher.

Preview of 4x Forwarders
Preview of 4x Forwarders made with NTON.


  • 🛡️ Safety-first approach; System/Game Title IDs cannot be used and NRO files are validated
  • 🕹️ Boot right into an Emulated Game with Direct RetroArch Game Forwarding
  • 🖼️ Supports any Image file of any resolution or format for the NSP Icon
  • 🤖 The Title Name, Publisher, Icon, and more are automatically extracted from the NRO
  • 🎥 Supports Video Capture and Screenshots
  • ⚙ Currently Supports Firmware 12.0.0 and up
  • 🧩 Plug-and-play installation via PIP/PyPI
  • ❤️ Forever FOSS!


Note: Requires Python 3.7.0 or newer with PIP installed.

$ pip install nton

You now have the nton package installed and a nton executable is now available. Check it out with nton --help - Voilà 🎉!

If you see any warnings about a path not being in your PATH environment variable, add it, or nton won't run.


The following is a list of programs required to be installed manually.
I recommend installing these with winget or chocolatey where possible as it automatically adds them to your PATH environment variable and will be easier to update in the future.

  • hacBrewPack for packing the NSP.
  • ImageMagick for Icon conversion and preparation.
  • nstool for NRO extraction and verification.
  • hptnacp for creating new NACP partitions if the NRO did not have one.

For portable downloads, make sure you put them in your current working directory, in the installation directory, or put the directory path in your PATH environment variable. If you do not do this then NTON will not be able to find any of the binaries.


NTON requires the use of proprietary key data for use in various ways.

Place your prod.keys file at C:\Users\<User>\.switch\prod.keys or in your current working directory for NTON to be able to find and use your keys.

Make sure your prod.keys file is up-to-date for the firmware version your Nintendo Switch is on. It can be extracted from your Nintendo Switch with Lockpick_RCM.

From Source Code

The following steps are instructions on downloading, preparing, and running the code under a Poetry environment. You can skip steps 3-5 with a simple pip install . call instead, but you miss out on a wide array of benefits.

  1. git clone
  2. cd nton
  3. (optional) poetry config true
  4. poetry install
  5. poetry run nton --help

As seen in Step 5, running the nton executable is somewhat different to a normal PIP installation. See Poetry's Docs on various ways of making calls under the virtual-environment.


Take a look at nton --help, specifically nton build --help.
If you simply want to take an NRO and get an NSP forwarder, simply run nton build "<nro path>".

Note that the NRO path MUST be on your Switch microSD card. Do not provide a path in your C:/ Drive or such. Two different kinds of paths are used based on the initial file path, therefore it must be from your Switch microSD card.

E.g., to make a forwarder for the Homebrew Menu that's on your Switch's microSD at D:\hbmenu.nro, simply run nton build "D:/hbmenu.nro"

Take a look at nton build --help for advanced usage like changing the Icon, Title Name, and so on.

Direct RetroArch Game forwarding

Use a RetroArch Game Core as the NRO path and provide the path to the ROM on your Switch's microSD card with --rom.
This will then load the Core directly under RetroArch and provide the path to the ROM as a startup argument to the RetroArch Core.


  • You must use a path to a RetroArch Game Core NRO, not the path to the RetroArch NRO itself.
  • Do not move, delete, or rename the ROM or the Core NRO files that are on your microSD card, or it will break.


Before continuing try running the homebrew from the Homebrew Launcher and see if it works through there. If it does not work through the Homebrew launcher either, then it was never the forwarder's fault and you should check on your NRO or application installation.

Please note that using Forwarders others have created has a good chance of not working on your system. The location of the NRO on their system may differ from the location on your system, hence the NSP won't be able to load the homebrew.

The forwarder does not launch, "The software was closed because an error occurred."

You're sigpatches that allow non-signed software to launch is outdated or not set up correctly. The prod.keys you used to create the NSP may also be outdated. Get new ones with [Lockpick_RCM] and make sure you choose to get keys from whichever SysNAND or EmuNAND is actually on the latest firmware.

The forwarder starts loading but then crashes

If it gets to the black loading screen with the Nintendo Switch logo, but then crashes, you may be setting the NRO path wrong when making the NSP. Make sure it starts with / and is an absolute path to an existing NRO file on your Switch's microSD card. The path you built for must be where the NRO file lies in your Switch's microSD card, not your PC.

The forwarder's icon is a '?'

The icon_AmericanEnglish.dat is not to the spec that Nintendo likes in some way. This is usually caused by the format of the image not being a JPEG, or it has EXIF data or an embedded color space.

I recommend stripping all EXIF metadata and saving without an Embed Color Space. You can do this quickly with ImageMagick, magick mogrify -format jpg -resize 256x256 -strip "C:\Users\John\Downloads\icon.png".

The forwarder randomly stopped working after a while, I changed nothing!

You most likely updated your Switch's Firmware and need to update your sigpatches. If not, you may have deleted the NRO from your Switch's microSD card or moved the NRO somewhere else. It cannot be moved as the built NSP loads the NRO at the specified path when you ran build.

It's also possible the firmware update has broken the forwarder ROM that is used and needs to be fixed. Firmware 9.0.0 and 12.0.0 are times the firmware has broken different forwarder ROMs in the past.



GNU General Public License, Version 3.0

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