How to patch XCIs or NSPs for lower firmware (and how to add update files or DLCs to them)

Doing it manually with NSC_Builder (for example for mounting XCIs in SXOS)

How to patch XCIs or NSPs for a lower firmware:
  1. Download latest master release of NSCB from https://github.com/julesontheroad/NSC_BUILDER (click the green Code button and then Download ZIP. Executable and the rest are located inside the py folder).
    Since this is the Python version, you should first get the latest version from https://www.python.org/downloads/ and then run install-dependencies.bat after unpacking NSCB.
  2. After that's all done, get yourself prod.keys by dumping them with Lockpick_RCM from https://github.com/shchmue/Lockpick_RCM/releases (or get it directly from https://drive.google.com/file/d/1c-LlpSAGZb3BA2yA8rem6HzsjCU9VJZO/view?usp=sharing) and rename it to keys.txt, place the file in the ztools folder of NSCB.
  3. Open NSCB.exe, first type in 0 and press Return, followed by 4 and Return afterwards. Let it update. After that go back to the main menu with entering 1, then e.
  4. Enter 1 again. Drag your desired XCI or regular NSPs onto the window, press Return followed by entering 1 again.
  5. Enter either 1 or 2 to initiate the process with either a NSP file or with a XCI file as result, then 1 to enable patching. Afterwards, choose your desired keygeneration (it is recommended to enter 11 for SXOS users or others running firmware 11.0.1 or lower).
  6. After the process is (successfully) completed, either enter 1 or press the X button to close the window (or go back to main menu with 0) and you will find the patched XCI or NSP inside the "NSCB_output" folder, located inside the unpacked NSC_Builder folder.
  7. (Extra step: if the program outputs a .xc0 instead of a .xci file, go back to main menu, enter 0, then 2, then 9 and finally 1. After that repeat the process from step 4.)
How to add update or DLC files to a (patched) XCI or NSP file:
  1. Complete above steps until you completed step 3. Instead of 1 you enter 2 now (given you are back the main menu).
  2. Besides the base XCI or NSP (or the patched XCI or NSP (containing updates already)), also drag the latest update NSP or DLCs onto the window and press Return. Enter 1 afterwards.
  3. Enter either 1 or 2 to initiate the process with either a NSP file or with a XCI file as result (it's best to choose the same format as the source of your base), then 1 to enable patching. Afterwards, choose your desired keygeneration but it is recommended to enter 11 (for SXOS users) and then enter 1 to merge everything into one file when it asks you to decide.
  4. After the process is (successfully) completed, either enter 1 or press the X button to close the window (or go back to main menu with 0) and you will find the patched multi-content XCI or NSP inside the "NSCB_output" folder, located inside the unpacked NSC_Builder folder.

Letting installers patch the games for you (not suitable for mounting)

All you need to do for that, is to use any installer besides Awoo (outdated) or SX Installer (outdated aswell and does not work on Atmosphere).
Inside the installer settings, find an option called "Bypass minimum firmware required by titles" or something similar and enable it.
However, most if not all installers have it enabled by default already. DBI for example does and got no option for it anyway. Nevertheless this may not work everytime, for example not for running 11.0 and wanting to play most 13.0+ games, but for running 13.0.0 and wanting to play games that require 13.2.1 (or even higher) it should work. A prominent counter-example is TMNT: Shredder's Revenge, where the base game works below firmware 14.0.0, but the update requires it as minimum to start. Generally speaking more and more games require 14.0.0+.

Edit
Pub: 27 Aug 2021 12:59 UTC
Edit: 26 Jun 2022 15:03 UTC
Views: 1154