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Skyline is an in-development Nintendo Switch emulator that actually works

Skyline Feature Image

You can do a lot with an Android smartphone, and the number of emulators you can get for modern and retro systems is amazing. From age-old systems like the NES to the Nintendo 3DS, you can play them all from the comfort of your phone. Emulating newer systems, such as the Nintendo Switch, is a bit more difficult. However, after a concept launch of the Nintendo Switch emulator, and then a shady emulator requiring a particular gamepad, Skyline is the first Nintendo Switch emulator that actually works, and you can already test it.

Going back a bit, Skyline has been in development for over a year now, and it’s only recently some the games become playable. As one of the developers told me, Skyline is extremely specific to only Android Devices and was built from the ground up following this philosophy – while using community projects to help with its development. For example, Ryujinx is used as a reference throughout the project thanks to its precision, and the shader compiler used in Skyline is a fork of yuzu. The teams behind Ryujinx and yuzu provided development assistance for Skyline, with the Skyline team also enjoying a license exemption with respect to yuzu.

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At the moment, developers tend to focus on running one game at a time. The first was Sonic Maniathe second was Celestialand now the third which is currently under construction is Super Mario Odyssey. This is because when one game works almost perfectly, other games will start to work as well.

The Skyline app

The Skyline app itself is quite simple, although it has all the features you need. You can set a theme, layout, performance stats, change how logs are saved, username, language, etc. There’s also controller support with support for more than one, so you can play multiplayer with friends. All you need is to make sure you have your production keys and title keys with your games, and you can get them by depositing your keys with Lockpick RCM on your Nintendo Switch.

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Game compatibility is random

Currently, Skyline isn’t in a fully playable state right now – in fact, far from it. A ground games don’t work, and the playable section of the compatibility list is rather short. That being said, we tested both Super Mario Odyssey and Celestial to give you an idea of ​​what to expect, and that’s pretty impressive, to say the least. We also tried to play Animal Crossing: New Horizons but it didn’t work. Note that even though the sound in the recording below is out of sync, the sound was not out of sync when playing.

Celestial

Celestial is a fun platform game available on many platforms, but not on Android. It runs between 40 and 60 FPS on my OnePlus 10 Pro with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, which makes it perfectly playable. It’s a lot of fun, although the touch controls are a bit dodgy, although that’s because the game requires fairly precise input.

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Super Mario Odyssey

Super Mario Odyssey is a game that is the latest goal of the Skyline team’s efforts. Currently it can somehow show the menu, but the world itself is not loading on my OnePlus 10 Pro. 3D games are harder to emulate than 2D games, so it may take some time for this one to work properly on a device.

Download and install Skyline

If you want to give Skyline a try, be sure to join the team’s Discord to see the latest APKs available for download and also read the rules before talking on the server. You will need a GitHub account, and typing “.rl ftx1” in the bot’s commands channel will give you a link to download the latest APK for your device. Alternatively, you can build the app yourself from its source code on GitHub by following the team’s build instructions.

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