The GameCube can launch homebrew software and original games from flash media, via a few different methods. I strongly recommend that regardless of launch method, you first boot to the amazing Swiss software, then launch your games from there.
Here’s the different methods available, starting with the easiest:
Boot Disc (No Mod Required):
If you purchase any later revision Action Replay disc for your GameCube region (NTSC or PAL), you can use any cheap SD memory card adapter to launch homebrew (or buy the more expensive official ‘kits’ from Datel). With a boot disc and SD reader, you can simply add your homebrew to an SD card that’s 2GB or less and boot from there. My suggestion is to place the latest version of Swiss on the root of the card and rename it to “autoexec.dol” – This will result in the GC auto-booting to Swiss and letting you go from there.
The one disadvantage of using an Action Replay to boot, is it’s 2GB SD card limitation. You can easily switch SD cards after booting, however using the SD2SP2 as a secondary memory card is the easiest; Simply format any MicroSD card FAT32, load all your software on it, then after booting to Swiss, change the directory to the other SD card and boot your games!
The main advantage of using a boot disc is there are zero modifications needed to your GameCube – Just plug and play…and you can still pay original discs, with or without the help of Swiss.
Optical Drive Emulator:
If you’re a GameCube power user, you can get an Optical Drive Emulator that replaces the CD drive in your GC. This allows for more advanced features and much faster loading: https://shop.dansprojects.com/gc-loader.html
With the other options above, mod chips have become less popular for the GC. The Swiss software offers almost all the same features as a mod chip, except the ability to boot from a DVDr. This would allow homebrew to be launched from both disc and flash media, which might make devices like the SD2SP2 (linked above) easier to use: Simply load your games on the MicroSD, boot to Swiss via the burned disc and launch your games. More complicated mod chips can even load Swiss without the need for a disc!
If you’re interested in a mod chip, I suggest researching installation, price and availability. Depending on your situation and modding skills, this could end up being a cost-effective method of launching homebrew.
If you’re done, please click here to go back to the main GameCube Page. If you’d like info on mods for other systems, head to the Getting RGB From Each System page or check out the main page for more retro-awesomeness.