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  • Legal information

    Circumvention Devices

    Circumvention devices are products including game copiers, USB piracy sticks and mod chips that bypass Nintendo’s security enabling a consumer to play unauthorised game files (called “ROMs”) that have previously been downloaded from the Internet or copied from the original disc or cartridge.

    Are they illegal?

    It is illegal to import, market, sell or distribute circumvention devices (such as game copiers, USB piracy sticks and mod chips). Nintendo has obtained many decisions from criminal and civil courts across the world that confirms this. It is also unlawful to use these devices when playing unauthorised copies of Nintendo games.

    Exclusion of warranty

    We would advise against the use of unauthorized devices that circumvent the security features of a Nintendo product, as any damage caused by the use of such products will not be covered by Nintendo’s warranty.

    Reduced functionality

    The use of an unauthorized device may also mean that consumers are unable to enjoy the full functionality and experiences that an authentic console provides. For example, you may not be able to play Nintendo Switch games online against other players. Online play is key to the enjoyment of the latest video games. There is also a risk, where an unauthorized device has been used, that a console may no longer work following network updates. We want consumers to be aware of these potential downsides in the event that they are considering purchasing Nintendo Switch circumvention devices.

    Nintendo Switch Circumvention Devices

    Circumvention devices for the Nintendo Switch usually take the form of a USB piracy stick which works together with software to enable the original firmware on the Nintendo Switch to be customized. These devices have been designed to circumvent Nintendo security measures deployed on the Nintendo Switch system to allow the playing of pirate games (i.e. unauthorized copies of games).

    These devices are produced in China and often sold via websites that may appear to be operated locally but in fact are managed from Asia. The products are then shipped to consumers via express couriers.

    There are a number of different versions of Nintendo Switch circumvention devices but they essentially work in the same way to circumvent the security in the Nintendo Switch system.

    Mod Chips

    Mod chips are circumvention devices used to bypass the security measures embedded within Nintendo’s console systems, including Nintendo Switch. Mod chips are soldered to the internal motherboard of the console, voiding the console warranty.

    There are many different types of mod chips, manufactured primarily in China.

    Game Copiers

    Game copiers are circumvention devices used to bypass the security on the Nintendo DS family of handheld systems.

    There are many different versions of game copiers, but they all essentially work in the same way to bypass security in the Nintendo DS family of handheld systems.