The Post-Apocalyptic World of the Nintendo 3DS

With the Nintendo eShop set to close permanently on March 27, 2023, the digital versions of these games will no longer be available to the public through traditional means. With Nintendo unwilling to support this part of our gaming history, gamers have limited options if they want to acquire new 3DS games. Going forward, your options to add to your 3DS gaming library are buying used game cartridges (this can be a high-priced solution), emulation, modding your 3DS, and flash carts. The most cost-effective solution to play your games on original hardware is modding your 3DS and flash carts.

Modding your Nintendo 3DS is a process that involves installing custom firmware onto your device. By doing so, you can bypass the system’s security measures and play games from various sources, including ROMs downloaded from the internet. However, it is important to note that modding your device may even result in bricking your device if done incorrectly. Considering the 3DS is no longer in production, voiding the warranty is no longer a concern.

Before you start, you will need a few things, including a compatible Nintendo 3DS model, an SD card, a computer, and a reliable guide to follow. There are several guides available online that provide detailed instructions on how to mod your 3DS, but we recommend using the one provided by, as it is regularly updated and easy to follow.

Once you have successfully modded your 3DS, you can start playing your favorite ROMs. For legal purposes, it is important to keep in mind that downloading ROMs of games you do not own is illegal and may result in legal consequences. Make sure to only download ROMs of games that you own and have a physical copy of. That being stated, a little creative “Googling” will help you find the 3DS ROM you are looking for.

Another way to play ROMs on your Nintendo 3DS is by using a flash cart. Flash carts are cartridges that allow you to store and play ROMs on your 3DS. They work by emulating the game cartridge and tricking your 3DS into thinking it is playing a legitimate game.

There are several flash carts available on the market, but we recommend the Sky3DS+ and the R4i Gold 3DS Plus. The Sky3DS+ is a high-quality flash cart that supports all 3DS games and is easy to use, while the R4i Gold 3DS Plus is a budget-friendly option that offers similar functionality. R4iDS also produces flash carts that let you play original DS games on your 3DS.

To set up your flash cart, you will need to download the necessary software and place it on your SD card. Each flash cart comes with its own software, so make sure to follow the instructions provided. Once the software is installed, you can start loading ROMs onto your flash cart and playing them on your 3DS.

In terms of comparing and contrasting modding your 3DS and using a flash cart, both methods have their pros and cons. Modding your 3DS allows for greater flexibility and customization, as you can install custom firmware and use various homebrew applications. However, it is a more complicated process that requires technical knowledge and may result in damaging your device if done incorrectly.

On the other hand, using a flash cart is a more straightforward process and does not require any technical knowledge. It also allows you to play ROMs without risking the security of your device. However, flash carts may not be as reliable as modding your 3DS and may not work with all games.

In conclusion, if you want a cost-effective solution to play ROMs on your Nintendo 3DS, you have two options: modding your device or using a flash cart. While both methods have their pros and cons, it ultimately comes down to personal preference and the level of technical knowledge you possess. Whichever method you choose, make sure to do your research and follow the instructions carefully to avoid damaging your device.