Nintendo Switch Game Engines

Edit on Github | Updated: 5th September 2020

When reverse engineering games, one of the first things to find out is which engine the game is based on, this will save a considerable amount of time if it is based on a standard engine that is well documented.

This page will list only the confirmed engines for each game along with proof that the game3 was built with that engine, so the list won’t contain every game, but any game on the list you can be confident it was based on the engine listed.

Unity3d

Unity3d has supported the Nintendo Switch right from launch and the dev tools are distributed by Nintendo themselves rather than by Unity. Developers need to have signed up for a Nintendo Developer account to be granted access to download the Unity plugin to allow exporting to Switch 1.

Reverse Engineering & Modding

Unity3D games are compiled from .net byte code down to C++ when generating a Nintendo Switch version. This makes it harder than standard Unity reverse engineering as the generated native code is harder to decompile than .net byte code.

There are tools than support dumping the data from Unity NRO games such as the Il2CppDumper: https://github.com/Perfare/Il2CppDumper

You should always backup Managed/Metadata/global-metadata.dat as it contains debug symbols for the game.

Games built with Unity

The best way to check if a switch game is using the Unity engine is to look in the RomFs filesystem for a file called Managed/Metadata/global-metadata.dat, this contains debug symbols, the larger the file size the more symbols are included.

Game Name Proof of engine
Aces of the luftwaffe Squadron global-metadata.dat (4.33 MB)
Ash of Gods: Redemption global-metadata.dat
Avicii Invector global-metadata.dat (7.72 MB)
Black Future 88 global-metadata.dat
Cat Quest global-metadata.dat (6.97 MB)
Children of Morta contains file unity_builtin_extra
Fitness Boxing global-metadata.dat (5.77 MB)
Harvest Moon Light of Hope contains file unity_builtin_extra
Horizon Chase global-metadata.dat (5.30 MB)
Human Fall Flat contains file unity_builtin_extra
Into the Dead 2 global-metadata.dat (5.66 MB)
John Wicks Hex global-metadata.dat (8.98 MB)
Mountain Rescue Simulator global-metadata.dat (8.09 MB)
Riot Civil Unrest global-metadata.dat
RPG Maker MV contains file unity_builtin_extra
Saturday morning RPG contains file unity_builtin_extra
Snow Moto Racing Freedom global-metadata.dat
Songbird Symphony global-metadata.dat
Stranded Sails: Explorers of the cursed Islands global-metadata.dat
Super Epic: The Entertainment War global-metadata.dat (8.07 MB)
Super Monkey Ball Banana Blitz HD contains file: data.unity3d
Truck & Logistics Simulator global-metadata.dat (9.54 MB)
The Dark Crystal Age of Resistance Tactics global-metadata.dat (13.4 MB)
The World Ends with You global-metadata.dat
Two Point Hospital global-metadata.dat (16.7 MB)

Clickteam Fusion

Clickteam Fusion is a game creation tool created by Clickteam mainly for 2D games. Clickteam also provide a paid-for-service to convert games made in their engine to consoles including the Nintendo Switch 2.

Games

Game Name | Proof of engine —|— Aggelos | executable contains E:\_Clickteam\Proffesional Services\Aggelo Odallus | executable contains E:\_Clickteam\Proffesional Services\Degerati Projects\Odallu Oniken | executable contains E:\_Clickteam\Proffesional Services\Degerati Projects\Oniken


Game Maker

Game Maker is an easy to use 2D game creation software created by Mark Overmars and bought by YoYo games. In October 2018 they released an export module for GameMaker Studio 2 to allow direct export into a Nintendo Switch executable.

Games

Game Name | Proof of engine —|— Undertale | string in main executable: SDK MW+YoYoGames+GameMaker_Studio_2-11.1.2.132-Release


Haxe (Heaps.io)

There is only one Switch game so far that uses the Haxe engine and it is the excellent Dead Cells, well worth a purchase whenever it is on sale!

Games

Game Name | Proof of engine —|— Dead Cells | contains string C:/Projects/haxeTools/lib/hashlink/src/alloc.c


MonoGame (XNA)

It is relatively rare to find a Switch game created with MonoGame but they do exist and you can find a few in the table below.

Games

Game Name | Proof of engine —|— Timespinner | contains string: D:/Projects/Switch/MonoGame.


Unreal Engine 4

The Unreal Engine was developed by Epic Games initially for their game Unreal but later evolved to become a product in itself with many 3rd party games studios taking advantage of its power.

Games

You can detect Unreal Engine games on the Nintendo switch very easily by looking at the root of the ROMFS section and if it contains a file called UE4CommandLine.txt then it is likely to be an UnrealEngine 4 game.

Game Name Proof of engine
9 Monkeys of Shaolin UE4CommandLine.txt
Bioshock remastered engine.u
Gigantosaurus The Game UE4CommandLine.txt
GRIP Combat racing UE4CommandLine.txt
Hello Neighbour Hide and Seek UE4CommandLine.txt
Jumanji UE4CommandLine.txt
Monster JAM Crush it UE4CommandLine.txt
Narcos Rise Of the Cartels UE4CommandLine.txt
Remothered Tormented Fathers UE4CommandLine.txt
Skully UE4CommandLine.txt
Trials of Mana UE4CommandLine.txt

Havok

Havok is a popular physics engines that has been ported to the Nintendo switch.

Games

Game Name Notes
Dark Souls  

MT Framework (in-house Capcom engine)

MT Framework - Wikipedia

Game Name Details
Mega Man 11 contains *.arc files for compressed assets
Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers contains *.arc files

Other Engines

The table below has other engines used for individual games, most are internal and not available to the public.

Game Name Details
ARMS Possibly using parts of the Mario Kart engine?
Payday 2 Diesel 2.0
Rayman Legends UbiArt
Retro City Rampage Vblank Engine
Skyrim Creation Engine (GameBryo)
Streets of rage 4 in-house Guard Crush Engine
Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus id Tech 6

Unknown (Custom?) Engines

Game Name Details
Azure striker Gunvolt pack contains *.irarc files
Borderlands contains *.xxx (WillowGame?)
Metro 2033 redux contains *.vfs0 files
Shantae and the Pirates Curse contains *.vol files
The Binding of Isaac Custom?
VRally 4 contains *.paclog files

References