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Can I play Paper Mario: Color Splash on switch?

Paper Mario: Color Splash is a popular Mario role-playing video game that was originally released for the Wii U console in 2016. With the recent popularity of the Nintendo Switch, many fans of the Paper Mario series have been wondering if there is a way to play Color Splash on Nintendo’s newer hybrid console.

In this article, we’ll take a look at whether or not it’s possible to play Paper Mario: Color Splash on the Nintendo Switch, some alternative options for playing the game, and provide a comparison of the gameplay experience across platforms.

Is Paper Mario: Color Splash Available on Switch?

Unfortunately, Paper Mario: Color Splash has not been officially ported or remastered for the Nintendo Switch as of September 2023. The game remains exclusive to the Wii U console it launched on over 7 years ago.

Nintendo has not announced any plans to bring Color Splash to the Switch through the Nintendo eShop or as part of the Switch Online service. This means there is currently no official way to download or play Paper Mario: Color Splash directly on the Switch.

Workarounds to Play on Switch

While you can’t directly download Color Splash to your Switch, there are some unofficial ways to access the game through the console:

  • Modding/hacking your Switch to add the files from a Wii U copy of the game.
  • Using a Wii U emulator on a modded Switch to run the game ROM files.
  • Streaming the game to your Switch screen using remote play from a Wii U console.

However, these options require modifying your Switch hardware/software which brings risks of bricking or banning your console from online services. We cannot recommend these unofficial methods, but they do exist for advanced users comfortable with modding.

Alternative Options to Play

Without being able to officially play Color Splash directly on a Switch, here are some alternative options for experiencing the Paper Mario game:

  • Play on the Wii U – The original console the game was developed for. Wii U systems and copies of the game are still available through used resale markets.
  • Emulation – Use a computer or other device to emulate the Wii U hardware and run game files. Can give enhanced graphics and performance.
  • Watch gameplay – View full game walkthroughs and videos on streaming sites like YouTube to see the game.

While not the same as playing yourself, these options allow you to still experience the unique Paper Mario: Color Splash adventure and gameplay without a Switch.

Gameplay and Experience Comparison

Let’s compare the gameplay experience and performance of Paper Mario: Color Splash across different platforms:

Platform Resolution/Graphics Performance Gameplay
Wii U (Official) 720p Smooth 30 FPS As designed with Gamepad
Switch (Unofficial) Up to 1080p docked Stable with mods Pro Controller supported
Emulation Up to 4K Smooth 60 FPS Fully customizable controls

As the table shows, the Wii U provides the original experience as intended by developers. Hacked Switch options or emulation allow for higher resolution graphics and smoother performance when your hardware can support it. However, unofficial Switch ports may have issues and lack optimizations.

Will Color Splash Ever Release on Switch?

There is still hope that Nintendo may eventually officially port or remaster Paper Mario: Color Splash for the Switch. The company has brought several Wii U titles like Mario Kart 8, Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze, and Hyrule Warriors to the Switch.

However, a new Paper Mario game called Origami King was released on Switch in 2020. This may reduce the chances of also porting the previous Color Splash to the platform. But fan demand could potentially convince Nintendo to bring back the acclaimed title.

We may see news on a re-release during a future Nintendo Direct presentation. But Nintendo has given no official indications so far about Paper Mario: Color Splash ever coming to Switch.


While Paper Mario: Color Splash is not currently available on Nintendo Switch, you have a few different options to access the classic Wii U game. Playing on original hardware, unofficial mods, and emulation provide avenues for experiencing Color Splash’s unique blend of adventure and RPG gameplay.

We hope this overview helps explain the status of Color Splash on Switch. Let us know if you have any other questions about playing this Paper Mario entry without an official port!