how to install sigpatches

How to Install Sigpatches

If you are an avid user of custom firmware on your Nintendo Switch, you might have heard of sigpatches. These patches are necessary to run homebrew applications, game backups, and other cool stuff on your console. In this article, we will explain what sigpatches are, how to install them, and answer some frequently asked questions about the process.

What are Sigpatches?

Sigpatches are small modifications to the operating system of your Nintendo Switch that allow unsigned code to run on it. When you install custom firmware like Atmosphere, Kosmos, or SX OS, your console is still partially protected against piracy and unauthorized modifications. Sigpatches override these protections and allow you to use applications and games that would not run otherwise.

In particular, sigpatches are necessary to run homebrew software, game backups (also known as “piracy”), and some other mods and tools. Without sigpatches, you will get an error message when trying to launch these programs. Some custom firmware bundles like Kosmos already include sigpatches, but if you are using a different firmware or version, you might need to install them separately.

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How to Install Sigpatches

Installing sigpatches is a fairly simple process, but there are some prerequisites and variations depending on your firmware and setup. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to install sigpatches on your Nintendo Switch:

Step 1: Make sure your firmware is compatible

Sigpatches are specific to each version of the Switch firmware, so you need to check which version you are running before downloading and installing them. You can find your firmware version in the System Settings menu of your Switch, under “System” -> “System Update”. Write down the exact version number (e.g., 12.0.0) and make sure it matches the sigpatches you are going to use.

Note that some firmware versions might not be compatible with certain custom firmware or sigpatches, so do your research before attempting to install them. You can check online forums and websites for guides and recommendations.

Step 2: Download the sigpatches

Once you have determined your firmware version, you need to download the corresponding sigpatches. There are several websites and repositories that offer sigpatches for different firmware versions and custom firmware bundles. Some popular sources are:

  • Joonie86’s Github
  • ITotalJustice’s Github
  • GBAtemp forum thread
  • Darthsternie’s website

Choose the source that matches your firmware version and custom firmware, and download the sigpatches as a zip file. Make sure you trust the source and verify that the file is clean and unmodified.

Step 3: Extract the sigpatches to your SD card

After downloading the sigpatches, you need to extract them to the right place on your SD card. If you are using Atmosphere or Kosmos, the sigpatches should go in the “atmosphere” folder in the root of your SD card. If you are using SX OS, the sigpatches should go in the “sxos” folder in the same location.

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To extract the sigpatches, you can either use your operating system’s built-in unzip utility or a third-party program like 7zip or WinRAR. Make sure you extract the files to the correct folder and overwrite any existing files if prompted.

Step 4: Reboot your console

Once the sigpatches have been extracted to your SD card, you need to reboot your console for them to take effect. Turn off your Switch, insert the SD card, and turn it on again while holding the Volume Up button. This should launch your custom firmware’s bootloader (e.g., hekate) and allow you to select the custom firmware and launch it.

If you already had your custom firmware installed and working, you might not need to reboot your console, as some custom firwmare allow you to reload the patches from the console’s home menu.

Step 5: Test your applications and games

After installing the sigpatches and rebooting your console, you should be able to launch homebrew applications, game backups, and other mods and tools without getting an error message. Test some of your favorite programs and games to make sure they work as intended. If you still encounter issues, check your setup and firmware versions, and try different sources for sigpatches and custom firmware.

FAQs about Sigpatches

Here are some frequently asked questions about sigpatches and their installation:

What is the difference between Atmosphere and Kosmos?

Atmosphere and Kosmos are both custom firmware bundles for the Nintendo Switch that include various homebrew tools, patches, and features. Atmosphere is the base firmware, while Kosmos adds some extra tweaks and programs to make the setup easier and more user-friendly. Kosmos includes sigpatches by default, while Atmosphere requires them to be installed separately.

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Can I use sigpatches with SX OS?

Yes, sigpatches can be used with SX OS, which is another popular custom firmware for the Switch. However, you need to use the sigpatches specific to SX OS, and not the ones for Atmosphere or Kosmos.

Do I need to install sigpatches every time I turn on my console?

No, you only need to install sigpatches once, and they will remain active until you change your firmware or firmware version. However, some custom firmware bundles allow you to reload the patches from the console’s home menu if needed.

Are sigpatches legal?

Sigpatches themselves are not illegal, as they are modifications to your own device’s firmware, and do not enable or promote piracy or other illegal activities. However, using sigpatches to run unauthorized copies of games and software is illegal and can result in penalties and bans.

Where can I find more information about sigpatches and custom firmware?

There are many online resources, forums, and communities dedicated to Nintendo Switch homebrew and custom firmware. Some popular websites are GBAtemp, Reddit, and Discord, where you can find guides, tutorials, and support from other users.


Installing sigpatches is a crucial step in using custom firmware on your Nintendo Switch, as they allow you to run homebrew applications, game backups, and other mods and tools. By following the steps outlined in this article, you should be able to install sigpatches and enjoy your custom firmware to the fullest. Remember to be cautious and do your research, and have fun exploring the vast world of Switch homebrew!

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