Team Xecutor stunned the Nintendo Switch community back in January with the announcement of their solderless and future-proof method of installing custom firmware onto the Nintendo Switch. A little under six months later the team delivered with the SX Pro dongle and SX OS.
Glacier Gaming does not condone piracy. The review of this product is for backup and informational purposes only
The SX Pro is an all-in-one kit for modifying your Nintendo Switch with custom firmware which allows users to easily access a number of homebrew apps as well as loading backups of their legally purchased games onto the systems MicroSD card. The kit comes with everything you need to get going and is really quite simple to use.
The packaging is small and unobtrusive. A simple cardboard sleeve with the SX logo emblazoned on the front with a slide out drawer. Inside the small package, you’ll find the SX Pro dongle, the RCM Jig and a short charging cable (for those very rare times the dongle needs charging). The firmware files themselves can be downloaded from the Team Xecuter website and are placed on your Switch’s memory card and at the time of writing the currently available revision is 1.4.
In order to boot into the custom firmware, you’re first required to place the required files on your memory card and then boot the console into a special recovery mode called RCM. This is done by shorting a couple of pins on the JoyCon rail using the dongle while holding the volume up key and pressing the power button. At this point you plug the dongle into the bottom of the switch – this will transfer the payload and boot the console into SX OS.
Once in you’re able to perform a few actions before either continuing into SX OS or booting into Horizon; the Switches native firmware. Team Xecuter has added the ability to autoboot into RCM mode removing the need for the small jig as well as allowing users to chain book other payloads. It’s a nice addition and when more readily available firmware is available it means you won’t need to keep switching memory cards to give them a go.
The modification to the Switches base software is fairly minimal. The most notable settings – and the major selling point for most users – is the ability to load back up game files. By saving the image of one of your cartridges to the memory card root in .XCI format the SX OS firmware is able to mount it as if it were a physical cart. This is done by opening the image folder from the home menu and navigating Team Xecuter’s customer loader. Select a game image and the software loads it as if it were a real game card.
By hitting the L button in the same menu users are able to install backed up eShop titles in NSP format as well as launch homebrew; all from the same menu. It’s an elegant solution as works well. For the purists out there, holding the L button while launching the Gallery app will boot you into the real Home Brew Launcher, so you don’t lose that option.
Having used the SX Pro Dongle and SX OS for the last four weeks or so I can honestly say that it’s easy to use and reliable. I’ve not encountered any issues and the dongle is well built. It doesn’t feel like it will fall apart and should last for some time into the future. One minor issue I do have with the dongle is related to its size and how easily it can be lost., It would have been nice if Team Xecuter had designed it with a keyring anchor point; simply to reduce the likelihood of losing it while out and about. Other than this, I’ve yet to encounter any problems with my backups and no major freezing issues – which is a testament to Team Xecuter considering this is such an early release.
One downfall, but something that is understandable is that you cannot play your backups online. This will result in a ban from Nintendo. Playing offline hasn’t – at least for me – resulted in a ban and updating the backups using the official Horizon firmware seems to work just fine. My advice would be to stay in aeroplane mode while loaded into SX OS; better safe than sorry.
In conclusion, both the dongle and the OS are very solid products. If you’re like me and you have a large collection of games that you don’t really want to take everywhere for risk of losing them it’s a fantastic solution. With that being said I have loaded this onto a spare Switch as I’m not keen on the idea of losing access to all of my legitimately purchased eShop games. As a method of backing up your own games and playing them on the go this is perfect; but if you’re trying to share your games with your friends beware, you will get banned.
The SX Pro Dongle and SX OS License used for testing in this review were kindly provided by R4iB9S.com and is currently sold for £46.90 (SX Pro & SX OS) / £29.00 (SX OS). Links to the products can be found below.
SX Pro and SX OS