Barely 12 hours after the shutdown of major Nintendo Switch emulator Yuzu, replacements began surfacing online

Super Mario Odyssey - Mario underwater
(Image credit: Nintendo)

Directly on the back of Nintendo taking legal action against the Nintendo Switch emulation software Yuzu, alternatives have already started appearing online. 

Yuzu allowed users to play Nintendo Switch games on PC, and last week, it was revealed that Nintendo had filed a lawsuit against Tropic Haze, the company behind it. At the time, Nintendo alleged that the emulator "provides any Internet user in the world with the means to unlawfully decrypt and play virtually any Nintendo Switch game – including Nintendo’s current generation and most popular games – without ever paying a dime for a Nintendo console or for that game." It added that "there is no lawful way to use Yuzu to play Nintendo Switch games", partially because it must decrypt games' encryption in order to function. 

Yesterday, March 4, it was confirmed that Tropic Haze will pay a $2.4 million settlement to Nintendo, and in a statement, the emulation company stated the team has "always been against piracy" and "we have been deeply disappointed when users have used our software to leak game content prior to its release". It hopes that pulling the software offline "will be a small step toward ending piracy of all creators' works."

However, this hasn't stopped an influx of new emulation software surfacing across social media and beyond in an attempt to take Yuzu's place, some of which were seemingly uploaded mere hours after the announcement of Yuzu's shutdown. Tropic Haze hasn't publicly commented on this at the time of writing. 

Although many emulators advertise themselves as being for legal use, it's worth noting that Nintendo's official stance is firmly against emulation of any kind. On its Intellectual Property and Piracy frequently asked questions page, the company states: "While we recognize the passion that players have for classic games, supporting emulation also supports the illegal piracy of our products. Wherever possible, Nintendo and its licensees attempt to find ways to bring legitimate classics to current systems (via Virtual Console titles, for example)."

Furthermore, it adds that you're not meant to be making backups of games you own, either, so the problem extends beyond people being able to access games that they've not paid for. "There is some misinformation on the Internet regarding this backup/archival exception. This is a very narrow limitation that extends to computer software. Video games are comprised of numerous types of copyrighted works and should not be categorised as software only," Nintendo explains. 

"Therefore, provisions that pertain to backup copies would not apply to copyrighted video game works and specifically ROM downloads, that are typically unauthorised and infringing."

With that in mind, it seems likely that Nintendo may end up taking legal action against these new emulators as well, although it remains to be seen how long this will take. 

If you're looking for some new games to play on Nintendo's current-gen console, you can check out our list of the best Nintendo Switch games.

Catherine Lewis
News Writer

I'm one of GamesRadar+'s news writers, who works alongside the rest of the news team to deliver cool gaming stories that we love. After spending more hours than I can count filling The University of Sheffield's student newspaper with Pokemon and indie game content, and picking up a degree in Journalism Studies, I started my career at GAMINGbible where I worked as a journalist for over a year and a half. I then became TechRadar Gaming's news writer, where I sourced stories and wrote about all sorts of intriguing topics. In my spare time, you're sure to find me on my Nintendo Switch or PS5 playing through story-driven RPGs like Xenoblade Chronicles and Persona 5 Royal, nuzlocking old Pokemon games, or going for a Victory Royale in Fortnite.