How to Play Metroid Dread on Your PC
It’s been only a few days since Metroid Dread was released on the Nintendo Switch and it’s already being emulated on PC. It seems to be running quite well to boot, churning out a cool 60 frames per second on mid-tier and better systems.
The emulator of choice for performance seems to be yuzu, though it is ostensibly harder to set up compared to Ryujinx. The procedure does take a fair bit of time and effort regardless of the solution you choose. And yes, it’s all legal, provided you can temporarily borrow a Nintendo Switch and own a legitimate copy of the game. Given that, at the time of writing, Yuzu seems to offer the best performance in general and for Metroid Dread in particular, we’d suggest choosing it over Ryujinx.
Thankfully, there’s a very detailed step-by-step setup guide for yuzu over at the emulator’s official website. It covers everything from dumping prod.keys, title.keys, firmware files, and game images to organizing these files in a format that can be read by yuzu.
To get yuzu up and running, you’ll need to dump the prod.keys and title.keys files from your Nintendo Switch so the emulator may decrypt your game files. Some games also require the console’s firmware files to run properly. And of course, you’ll need to dump the game itself. The procedure for that will differ based on whether you purchased a digital copy of the game through the eShop or own a cartridge.
All this requires a Nintendo Switch that is vulnerable to the fusée gelée RCM exploit, which was patched with the revised 2019 Switch and the Nintendo Switch Lite. You can check whether or not your Switch is vulnerable to said exploit by entering its serial number into the online Switch Serial Number Checker over at damota.me/ssnc/checker.
As for the PC that’ll be running the emulator, a mid-tier or better dedicated GPU should help consistently churn out a high framerate, though CPU decoding does seem to be comparable provided your system is being powered by a high-end CPU. A look through the web as well as our own experience with the emulator would suggest that the emulator doesn’t struggle to maintain decent FPS on Metroid Dread, even on fairly dated hardware.
The setup is laid out in detail in yuzu’s official quickstart guide. The author of the guide estimates the length of the process at 60 to 90 minutes.
Once you’ve completed all the steps in the guide, launch the emulator, select Emulation > Configure from the menu above and set up your input from the Controls section. If you have a gamepad connected to your PC, you can switch to it from under Input Device.
You may also want to play around with the settings under Graphics to get the best results for your system. If you have a dedicated GPU, you may want to switch NVDEC emulation to GPU Decoding and Shader Backend to GLASM, provided it is an NVIDIA card.