DragonInjector review

DragonInjector store promotional artwork

Note: DragonInjector promo art used under fair use.

So, yours truly got himself an early copy of the DragonInjector.

In exchange for this, I have been asked to give feedback of my copy, and because I like flexing my writing muscle, I have decided to write a full-on review.

What is the DragonInjector?

The DragonInjector is essentially an all-in-one gadget for Switch hacking. It combines an M0 trinket with a jig and it fits in the gamecard slot. It's a device I've been looking forward to for over a year now, and I'm super curious to see what the actual product looks like. It came in with the mail today, so let's give it a look!

Casing

Image of the case front

My copy of the DragonInjector shipped with a case that makes it look like a Nintendo Switch game. There's not much to speak off for the front, but it gives the entire project a sense of legitimacy I never really got from my DS flashcard, which shipped in a shoddy silver box.

Image of the case back

The back however is where the fun for me begins. I love the little attentions to details here, it really feels like a real back blurb for a switch game and reminds me of some recoatings for the game “Cubic Ninja” that advertised the Homebrew Launcher, and it really just helps give a bigger sense of legitimacy to the product.

The casing also came with a small transparent sticker to prevent the case from falling open. Small, but again, loving the attention to detail.

Image of case inside

Inside the case, the aforementioned love for details just keeps continuing. Bundled exclusively in my copy is a smaller version of the case art, with the inside being signed by the creator (benefits of being an early adopter \^–^).

In addition, the inside version of the case art features a beatiful instruction set on the left, rendered as an SSH client. It features a list of features and explains what each of the included tools are for.

On the right, an infographic detailing how the DragonInjector's battery can be replaced and an infographic detailing how to access the injector and the jig from the gamecard is visible. The build number is written in silver pen.

Also bundled are a USB key to change the DragonInjectors firmware, the injector itself (it'd be trash without one!) and a screwdriver that can be used to replace the battery.

All in all, this case just shows the passion behind this project.

The Injector itself

Okay, so let's talk about the actual thing, the reason I spend money on it to begin with.

Build quality

Picture of the front

The DI is a 3d printed object, but if you'd ask me, that really doesn't serve as a degradation of it's quality, but rather as an attest to how far the quality of 3D printing has come.

Picture of the back

Whilst my copy is not stickered (and instead, I've been given stickers so I can choose the color of my injector), I've been told that future injectors will ship with a sticker on the front that will show the build number.

Injector in the switch

The injector fits very well in the gamecard slot, with considerably little effort being needed to make it fit well. There's a little bit of jankiness in fitting it in the Switch, but honestly, it's negliglibe and should be seen as more this being a casing in the shape of a gamecard slot than an actual gamecard. I've had more issues with a Nintendo DS flaschard in my 3DS.

All in all, solid build quality.

Let's talk about the components.

Picture of jig and payload launcher

Jig

A part of the Injector is the Jig. To access the Jig, you have to slide off the top of the injector, then slide out the jig itself. The first time I did this, the jig actually was a bit hindered and I hade to use my nail to get it loose, but I'm pretty sure this is something that will just be worn to something useful over time.

Picture of jig loose

To test the jig, I put my Switch out of AutoRCM for the first time in 1.5 years and booted it normally.

To use the jig, you just slide it down the right joycon rail at a 45 degree angle, then boot the switch while holding Volume Up. The one thing I do wish had been clearer was the fact that I had to turn the transistor facing away from the switch, not towards the switch (one can argue this is a me moment, but hey).

Injector

Picture of injector

The injector is the bottom half after you slide off the top and is easily the highlight for me. To use it, simply put the USB-C end in your Switch and plug it in your Switch.

This takes me to the booter firmware: DragonBoot. One issue I noticed almost immediately was that I got FatFS error 5. Further investigation, this seemed to have occurred because I was missing a payload for DragonBoot to boot from.

One quick trip to Hekate's download page later, and I now have the latest version of Hekate on /dragonboot/ on my SD card and it worked perfectly.

For a future firmware update to DragonBoot, it would be nice if it would be possible for this to show something nicer than a FatFS error.

Other minor stuff

I tested the dongle. It works... kinda fine? I had some issues with connecting it to my computer, but that was ironed out pretty fast.

I didn't test the scewdriver or the battery yet, but it looks super easy and the fact the screwdriver is bundled means I'm unlikely to risk losing it.

Conclusion

The DragonInjector is an absolute must-have for any Switch hacker. There's some minor prerelease issues with DragonBoot that I'm sure will be sorted out by the actual release and I'm super happy with it.

So... yeah, go pick one up. The actual released injectors can eventually be bought here, so keep an eye out for that.

Disclosure: Product was purchased early. Actual product might have minor differences from this review.