Nintendo Switch Get A Virus? (Checked out)

Viruses are one of the greatest challenges with modern devices; they have devastating effects and can lead to malfunctions and massive losses. As an avid gamer, you wouldn’t want that to happen to your console.

So, can a Nintendo Switch get a virus? As with computers and other consoles, the Nintendo Switch can also get viruses given that users use it to access the internet. However, it isn’t as frequent as PCs, especially if you rarely log onto the internet. It primarily happens if you had modded your console and used it to download suspect content on the internet.

Attacks can also occur if you give sensitive personal details to strangers online or hackers disguised as online sellers. Fortunately, console viruses are tasking to create and are less profitable than PC attacks, making them rare.

If you are worried about the safety of your Nintendo Switch online, this is the guide for you. I have highlighted some of the ways your console can get a virus, how you can keep it safe, and whether PC malware can affect the pro controllers and your Switch. Read on to find out more.

Most modern gaming consoles allow users to access the internet when browsing or playing online with friends. These gadgets function as efficiently as computers making you question whether they are also susceptible to viruses.

Like any other console, a Nintendo Switch can also get viruses, but it is very rare. It can mostly happen when you alter it through modding, which exposes it to viruses and ruin your chances of warranty claims.

The console also logs onto the internet, meaning that it can also bump into malware. However, the options are slim if you rarely browse or play on the live mode. Most importantly, you will notice that console viruses are not the same as those that attack computers.

As long you can use a gadget when browsing the internet, you make it vulnerable to attacks. The modern Nintendo consoles can log onto the internet to connect with peripheral devices and enable live mode. Therefore, there are still avenues that attackers can exploit to send viruses to the system; but the good news is that it is very rare. Before a virus enters a device, it must use codes compatible with the Nintendo Switch operating system.

Given the hassle to create codes for different consoles, attackers would rather shift their focus to computers. However, the chances are significantly increased if you tampered with your device to function beyond its capabilities. In most cases, you must enable certain unauthorized apps on your console.

Not only does this modding risk your chances of warranty, but it also opens up your console to viruses. It is also the main cause of “bricking”, meaning that the Switch becomes redundant, unable to play any games, and there are no chances of recovery.

Are Nintendo Switch Viruses Common?

Viruses can compromise your gaming experience through lags or other exploits that may interfere with your graphics. The hackers are very specific and driven to profit from the vulnerabilities on your console. Therefore, I will first address whether they are as prevalent as computer viruses.

Fortunately, the Nintendo Switch viruses are very rare. It’s not common for your console to get infected as easily as it is for a PC. The unscrupulous individuals find it unprofitable to develop a special virus for the video gaming device instead of focusing on avenues like computers.

Being profit-driven, the hackers mainly target the gadgets with more users; therefore, most incline to smartphones and computers. Besides the traffic, the gaming console doesn’t carry a lot of sensitive data like your computer. Additionally, the gaming device doesn’t share viruses across platforms as the PC does.

Scammers create viruses intending to profit from them. Therefore, they have more chances of gaining more profits by targeting devices with a lot of users. For instance, unsuspecting computer and smartphone users who download the malware make their vital records available to the hackers. Afterward, the attackers can ask for ransom or drain the accounts.

On the contrary, people who use consoles like the Nintendo Switch are relatively less than those using computers. Also, there are slim chances that you would save sensitive data that scammers can use on the gaming device besides information regarding the Nintendo account you use for game purchases.

Furthermore, gaming console viruses are rare because they are difficult to code. One virus cannot work across the board; therefore, the hackers will spend a lot of time and invest heavily to create console-specific malware.

It explains why there are few virus attacks on the Nintendo Switch unless they are certain to gain handsomely from hacking a particular account user. Unfortunately, malware meant for the computers cannot work on gaming gadgets; thus, you won’t transfer the viruses even if you connect your Switch to a compromised device.

Effects of Viruses on the Nintendo Switch

Although it is rare for your console to acquire viruses, such malware is still a cause of concern, especially if you are an avid gamer or are playing competitively. Therefore, what happens when your console gets a virus attack?

Viruses usually attach to downloaded content like illegal games and links. They may also be in-game components like equipment. In the least, this malware can slow down your console, causing your titles to lag, which may be devastating in fast-paced games like shooters. In some cases, the console may freeze or shut down.

The virus could also steal valuable information from your account and lead to huge losses if in the hands of cybercriminals. Since they directly affect your console, you may have to obtain expensive services to function again.

Nintendo always insists on obtaining legal paid games. It may not only be about their revenue margins but also for your safety. They also advocate for not modding your console because it interferes with the laid down security measures.

For instance, if you alter your console and enable it to download games directly, you will also be making it easier for viruses to enter. The most convenient passage for attacks is through downloaded content; therefore, I always recommend users be keen before clicking on links.

As soon as you enable these codes to run in your system, your gameplay and console will be at risk. You may have to deal with slow games, hanging, screen freeze or shutting down, which may be recurrent.

In worst cases, you may brick your console, and if you modded it, your warranty would be null and void. Therefore, your investment in your console will go down the drain, and you may have to make another purchase if you are an avid gamer.

How Can You Keep Your Nintendo Switch Safe from Viruses?

You are now aware that your console can get viruses and affect your gaming. Giant companies heavily invest in keeping their systems safe, but it all starts with you. The following are some handy tips to avoid malware on your Nintendo Switch.

To protect your Nintendo Switch from viruses, you should strive to keep your account private by not giving out the details to strangers or even your friends. It means not sharing your account with others and not telling people any information they can use to access it. Some attackers come in the form of online sellers claiming to sell rewards then use the details to rob you.

To avoid enabling viruses straight to your Switch, keeping off suspicious links and friend requests is also crucial. Most of them are phishing links or fake accounts tricking you into allowing viruses into your system. Lastly, it is best to frequently update your systems to get the latest security measures from Nintendo.

Tech firms usually invest millions to ensure that they keep their data safe. They know that they can run huge losses if they don’t secure their systems or maintain their clients’ privacy. It explains why Nintendo is also very keen on updating its systems to lock out any malware attacks on their devices.

Therefore, it helps to regularly check-in for any updates and act accordingly. However, the company cannot keep every user secure because it is primarily the user’s mandate.

It is advisable to keep your data safe from strangers and even your friends. Therefore, don’t share your log-in details or any other crucial information to make it easy for someone to access your account. It is an elaborate trick, especially by online sellers who allege to be selling rewards. Also, avoid clicking on suspicious links and friend requests because they may be disguised phishing avenues.

Can Switch Pro Controllers Transfer Viruses from a PC To Switch?

The Nintendo Switch has a smaller display; hence, limiting multiplayer mode. However, you can connect it to a PC and enjoy gameplay with your friends. However, one concern is whether you will put your Switch controllers and console at risk of viruses if your PC is infected.

The Switch Pro controller cannot carry viruses from a computer or infect the console in the process. It doesn’t have an elaborate storage space to hold onto viruses before getting to the Switch gaming device. Even if the pad had a small hidden memory inside, the computer and the Switch have different operating systems.

As a result, it is impossible to launch the malware on the console’s motherboard since the virus’s development coincides with a device’s OS. There are also reliable anti-viruses that will scan and ensure that your controller is safe.

It’s a long process for viruses to move from a PC to the controller and into your gaming device. First, an attacker will have to plant a controller-compatible virus on the PC using its vulnerabilities.

Hence, if the computer has maximum protection, it will be challenging to target the controllers and succeed. In the slim chance that it introduces the virus into the PC, you’ll need to configure a payload such that the gaming pad can carry it and drop the virus into the Switch console.

Consequently, the target device must have a vulnerability that you can tailor to accept the malware that the controller is transferring. The Switch and the controller should use the same PC since any changes would interfere with the process.

Generally, the only reason why console viruses are so rare is that no dedicated hackers are creating the codes. Still, the case would be different if it were a profitable venture.

Can You Tell Whether Your Nintendo Switch Has a Virus?

Although it is rare, the Nintendo Switch can also get viruses. It is easier to detect it in gadgets like computers, but it is also best to know the sign earlier to act accordingly and avoid it in the future. The following are some common signs you need to know.

Malware in your Nintendo Switch will manifest by slowing down your gaming; hence, you will see frequent and prolonged lagging. Secondly, while playing online, you may encounter certain pop-ups that interfere with your navigation.

A virus on your Nintendo Switch can also brick your device. However, whenever you notice your console behaving abnormally, a simple booting will reset it. Although it rarely happens, some viruses can cost you your console, especially if you had previously modded it. Therefore, it is essential to take the necessary precautions to avoid such issues.

The typical virus manifestations from Windows are not the same signs you will find in infected consoles. Some malware can log you off your Nintendo Online account, leaving it vulnerable in the hands of anonymous individuals who want to misuse the account.

Certain attacks will cripple your smooth gaming experience and cause irreparable lags on your device. Furthermore, the scammers can brick your system and render it inactive. These attacks can happen, but, fortunately, they are costly and have lower returns, making them rather rare.

Cybercriminals find the vulnerabilities too unprofitable to exploit. Therefore, there aren’t many reported virus attack cases on the console. However, it is still best to be careful in your online activities, particularly when accepting a strange friend request, downloading illegal games, or clicking suspicious links. Secondly, avoid playing in a group of strangers, use stronger passcodes for your accounts, and always keep the device updated.


Fortunately, it is not easy for a Nintendo Switch console to get a virus attack. However, there are still cases where you may experience game lagging, screen freezes or shutdowns due to malware. It is even worse if you had previously modded your Nintendo Switch. You leave your device vulnerable to viruses if you download illegal content like games or accept suspicious links.

If you are a target, you can enable viruses by giving out personal details to malicious users who want to exploit you through your account. Also, note that your Switch Pro controllers cannot acquire viruses through an affected PC. Similarly, console viruses are rare because they are not very lucrative to hackers since the code designing process is too tasking.

Bal Kang

Bal Kang is a technology expert based in the UK, with experience across a number of technology areas from phones, tablets, computers to gaming.

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