Cyberpunk 2077 is playable on Nintendo Switch — but there’s a catch

cyberpunk 2077
(Image credit: CD Projekt Red)

As poorly as it runs on older consoles, Cyberpunk 2077 is still technically playable on the original PS4 and Xbox One. Nintendo Switch, which has never been the most powerful console, was left out. But what if we told you there’s a way you can play CD Projekt Red’s controversial new title on your handheld?

It’s technically possible, but it does involve hacking the system to run Google Stadia — the cloud gaming service that lets you play games without an expensive console or PC setup.

The fact Cyberpunk has performed so poorly on consoles has turned into a marketing opportunity by Stadia, because of the whole "cloud gaming" thing. After all, if Google has huge server farms doing all the processing work, you don’t have to worry about what hardware you have, just as long as it can access Stadia.

That's why YouTuber Nintendrew decided to get Stadia and Cyberpunk 2077 running on a Switch. He just had to hack the system and install Android first. Because, you know, Stadia isn’t actually available on Switch.

As mentioned in the video, Nintendrew would only consider his work a success if he could get Cyberpunk 2077 playing steadily, hopefully looking better than the PS4 and Xbox One versions, and working with both the Joy Con and Switch Pro controllers. 

It also had to be affordable, and in his first attempt, Nintendrew found that streaming the game from his PC didn’t do the job. It was clunky, and required an expensive top-of-the-range gaming PC to work, which is why he opted to install Android for access to Stadia.

Nintendrew notes that the hard part is actually installing Android if you haven’t done it before. Once Android is there, it’s easy enough to install any sort of app you like from Google Play -- including Stadia.

It’s worth mentioning that hacking your Switch may not be such a good idea if you don’t know what you’re doing. You always have the chance of breaking the console, and if Nintendo detects your Switch is hacked, you will get banned from using Nintendo's online services.

But the process was a success, and Nintendrew noted how well the game performed on the Switch in both handheld and docked modes. Because it’s all on the cloud, the Switch doesn’t really need to do any work. Stadia's design means you can access Google’s library of next-gen titles without buying a next-gen console.

So, if you really must play Cyberpunk on the go, and don’t want to do it on your phone with the Stadia mobile app, this is one option for you to try out. Just be careful.

Tom Pritchard
UK Phones Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.