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Picture of Ultimate Nintendo DS Lite
I was really surprised that there isn't a comprehensive Nintendo DS hacking Instructable here, so I thought it was my calling. I have been researching the NDS hacking scene for quite some time now, and this instructable is the dedicated outcome of all my findings.

As with my other instructables, I have written this one is such a way that it will save you the time of doing the research for yourself. Now you have more free time to explore instructables and come up with other amazing inventions! I thank everyone on this site for doing the same for me!

That said this very comprehensive instructable will seem a little bit verbose, or even selfindulgent at times, so please forgive me for that. My objective is to concatenate about a year's research and thought into this self contained guide to undertanding the NDS hacking scene and from there on making your own hardware and software choices.

These are the subjects I will be instructing on:

1. General information about hacking the DS
2. Product reviews and suggestions
3. Gaming and Homebrew application reviews
4. Emulators for SNES, Genesis and GBA games that run on the NDS
5. Accessories and Instructables associated with the DS.

I will be updating this instructable, whenever I come across some new tips and tricks related to the DS. I am sure this will end up being a pretty long instructable. I decided against splitting it, so hope you guys and girls appreciate having everything in one place.

Disclaimer Type Statement: You will not find direct links to DS game roms on this instructable, for obvious reasons. These are very easy to find on your own if you choose to do so. You can only download DS roms if you own the orinignal game and want to keep it safe from hard. The NDS can be modified freely to enhance its abilties through homebrew applications and games. Some are so amazing you will not believe it when you see them!

In the next step you will find some general information about the NDS >>
 
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Step 1: The Need to Hack the Nintendo DS Lite

Picture of The Need to Hack the Nintendo DS Lite
I recently took the plunge and tried out mobile gaming and my life will never be the same.

I chose the NDS Lite over the PSP as my initial purchase simply because I wanted to explore the features available through the touch-screen. This adds greatly to the gaming experience, which is in balance with the more & mature titles that the PSP enjoys, such as FFVII and Gods of War.

After some research I discovered a wide range of custom applications that can be run on the Nintendo DS ranging from homebrew PDA like applications, video, audio, image viewers and even an online browser and a very very fascinating wifi applications.

Last but not least, you can collect all of your games on one memory card and play your game backups without the need to switch out cartridges! You will have to own the original cartridge of course, which you can leave safely in its original case, on your shelf. It took me breaking 2 and loosing 3 of my game cartridges, to realise that I need another way of storing my games.

So what you'll find here are tutorials and reviews of the NDS homebrew scene, NDS hardware and peripherals and of course instructables on other things you can do with or to the NDS.

In the next step you will find information on flashcarts - your portal to unlocking the NDS >>

Step 2: DS Flashcarts - Introduction

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What's a FlashCart?

The essential ingredient for transforming your NDS into an Ultimate piece of technology is a Flashcart. A Flashcart fits into the Slot 1 of your DS and bypasses the DS operating system, which essentially opens up all sorts of possibilities for you and your DS. You will be able to load your backup roms and homebrew applications that will transform your Nintendo DS into a full blown multimedia center!

The FlashCart that started it all was the R4/M3 DS Simply. This Flashcart will do the job nicely and there is a lot of support for it, but it is now considered outdated and you should explore other options.

Contrary to what many people think, use of a flashcart is not illegal. You may use your device freely and enhanse its operation in any way you see fit, with the understanding that you will void the warranty with any permanent modification.

Fantastic thing about flashcarts, is that absolutely no permanent modifications are made to your system. When you remove the flashcart and insert any normal NDS game, the operation of the NDS is fully restored. I warn of course at this stage, that I have no responsibility over what you do with your own device.

Me and my DS

You must do a bit of reading to find out what you want out of your DS and your FlashCart. To help yourself focus on what you really need you should first ask yourself what class of user you are:

Power User/Hacker: I want to play games, listen to music, watch movies, browse the internet, install snes, commodore64 and other emulators. I even heard a rumor that I can turn my NDS into a telephone and I'm definitely gonna try it.

Multimedia Junkie: I want to play games and run homebrew applications that allow me to browse through images, listen to music and play videos. I want to watch Naruto and Scrubs in the train on the way to work.

Compulsive Gamer: I just want to play [my] game backup roms. All this other stuff you mention here will just take time away from me paying games. I like to play games!

Make sure you google "flashcart review" and do some reading of your own, after you have read through my guide. I will however offer you all of the core information needed to make your decision. In my humble opinion, you should not need to look further as I am again describing the decisions I have made for myself and my own system.

In the next step, I have assembled all of the background information you need to get the most out of your hacked DS >>

Step 3: DS Flashcarts - Picking a Flashcart Made Easy

Picture of DS Flashcarts - Picking a Flashcart Made Easy
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When I started looking into FlashCarts I made sure I read as many respectable reviews I could until I found infomation repeating. The dust took some time to settle but I emerged with some enlightening realizations that I'd like to share with you:

Tip #1: FlashCart manufacturing is at such a sophisticated level that most support 100% of game roms and homebrew applications. The difference between them only come into play when you consider secondary uses such as GBA rom support, the speed of the FlashCart interface, CheatCode support and other silly things such as SaveStates, SlowDown and SoftReset.

Tip #2: FlashCarts are cheap so don't stress over this too much. The price range for a Slot-1 FlashCart is $25-$60 max. In terms of usefulness these things are a steal. So rest assured that youre absolutely definately going to be getting your money's worth.

Tip #3: FlashCarts need a microSD memory card to work. This is where you will be storing the firmware that runs the cart, your games, homebrew apps, videos, music and whatever else - so you definitely need one. Picking one can be tricky so again, this is what I found:

(Also see recent Toms Hardware SDHC review article for additional insight)

Tip #3.1: microSD cards have a maximum capacity of 2GB. There are new microSDHC cards that are now becoming available at 4GB, 8GB, 16GB and 32GB.. Soon even larger versions will be released. You definitely want to get a FlashCart that explicitly supports microSDHC cards.

Tip #3.2: Many FlashCart and ModChip retailers and the likes will try to bundle a microSD card with your FlashCart. This will seem like a good idea, since youll be thinking that you want maximum compatibility, but thats exactly what they are thinking too. Do not buy your microHD memory card from them. Go to Newegg and buy the best price/size card you can find, with the most golden eggs you can see. You will save yourself $20-25 easy.

Tip #3.3: If you did as I suggested earlier and went out to read all you can about FlashCards and microSD memories you would have undoubtedly come across accounts that suggest you use Japanese made 1GB chips because they are 'faster' or 'better'. This is all complete rubbish. Maybe back in the day when the DS hacking scene was new and they had to use 128MB first generation microSD cards to load homebrew there were some issues with the speed of these devices. These days the industry has matured, all microSDs are very fast and the prices are dropping very quickly. I myself bought the cheapest 4GB microSDHC card I could find at Newegg at the time and have no problems.

Tip #3.4: You will also see much critisism on the microSD ejection mechanism on various FlashCarts. Some will offer spring loaded ejection and others will offer none at all. In my experience if you are careful inserting and ejecting your memory card then you will have absolutely no problems with the ejection choice. Dont let that sway your decision.

Tip #4: Rumble packs are offered with various FlashCarts or are at least mentioned quite a bit. They are Slot-2 devices that contain a tiny circuit and motor that reads collision data from some games and adds a feedback effect. I haven't tried one myself but i already find the NDS Lite's form factor small-ish for my hands and certainly dont want it to rumble around on me. That said, they cost only $5-$8 bucks so it could be fun to have around for the games that do have support and if youre into them. I opted out, myself.

Tip #5: DLDI is a development package that was required to let ROMS run on various FlashCart firmware cross-platform, or should I say cross-cart. Back in the day, you had to patch a game with the appropriate DLDI for your FlashCart before you could play it. However, as of like& June 2007 the latest firmware revisions of all leading FlashCarts have automatic DLDI (which means that as soon as you turn on the DS the card patches all of the roms on the memory stick) so you dont have to worry about this every again! Just for sanitys sake make sure that automatic DLDI is explicitly supported by the one you pick!

Tip #6: If you are interested in the DS Opera browser then you will need a Ram pack. This is a Slot-2 device with some extra memory that the browser uses to cache stuff. You can buy it separately from any FlashCart you decide on, as they are largely compatible with eachother, or go for a combo package. In the next section I will be suggesting what I think are the best NDS FlashCarts with optional compatible Ram packs.

Having gained all of this knowledge, we move on to selecting a flashcart >>

Step 4: Slot-1 Flashcarts

Here are the best FlashCarts on the market today. They all have almost 100% game compatibility, automatic DLDI (they patch your applications to the native hardware), download play, support for microSDHC and media applications. The choice depends on what kind of user you are (*see step 2) and what you want to pay for one of these.

CycloDS Evolution: (Type: Hacker)
A very feature rich cart with perhapse the most active and responsive development team in the scene: TeamCyclops. Considered the Ultimate flashcart. ($50.00)

M3 DS Real: (Type: Hacker/Multimedia Junkie)
Full featured successor to the M3 DS Simply, that is bundled with a Slot-2 Ram Pack for use with a browser. Order without the memory expansion (more on this in the next step). This was my choice. Excellent compatibility, reliable and good and frequent firmware. ($36.00)

Acekard 2i: (Multimedia Junkie/Gamer)
Very user friendly and streamlined interface with several very nice features. ($36.00)

Supercard DS One: (Type: Multimedia Junkie/Gamer)
The new generation of the legendary GBA cart. One of the oldest flashcarts around. Excellent compatibility, with a brand new version of the cart just out, this is a very good choice for anyone, new or experienced. ($32.00)

EZ Flash V: (Type: Multimedia Junkie/Gamer)
Reliable and full featured flashcart. Coupled with the EZ 3-in-1 slot-2 this is a great flashcart. ($37.00)

EDGE: (Multimedia Junkie/Gamer)
EDGE is a top-quality, easy to use cart with good support and frequent updates. ($33.00)

DS TT: (Type: Gamer)
A simple, cheap but full featured gaming cart. A very good selection for someone not interested in homebrew or browsers. ($20.00)

R4 Revolution: (Type : Gamer)
The strong fan following to this father of all flashcarts, keeps the firmware and compatibility fresh for this cart. ($16.00)

You can buy these from any number of retailers - see the last step for links. However, I have been using RealHotStuff for a couple of years now, for my hacking and console modding needs, and I consider them the NewEgg of hacking, because they are quick to deliver, have very good prices and well stocked up. But please have a look around, and let me know if you find a good source and I'll add it here.

The links are to homepages for reference. The firmware can be downloaded from the appropriate download pages, or other sources. The prices are $USD, from RealHotStuff, as a reference and at the time of writing (I'm not affiliated in anyway. Other online stores that have a good reputation is Electrobee: An exclusive NDS Flashcart online store with worldwide delivery and Divineo: Canadian and China based mod chip and gaming electronics store with worldwide shipping.

If you find a cheaper place, then post and I'll update with the latest link to the best deal on the net! However, there are a lot of knockoffs, so you have to be careful, e.g. I have seen the DSTT sold for $9, but I just cant bring myself around to believing it will be worry free.

Please help me update and maintain this reference page.

In the next step we will look at some Slot-2 (the GBA slot) flashcarts >>

Step 5: Slot-2 Flashcarts

Picture of Slot-2 Flashcarts
If you are interested in running GBA games, the DSOpera browser, LinuxDS, PCEngine emulators or anything memory intensive, then you want to get yourself a Slot-2 Memory extension card. And I got just the one for you!

The EZ3in1 Rumble Ram ($23.50)

Look no further. If you are eyeballing the M3 DS Real + Rumble Ram pack, then dont. I had it. It had errors a-sunder! Sent it back 4 times. Yes 4! Came back with errors again. You can read my rant on all that mess here. Got an EZ 3in1 and now all my troubles are gone.

There are some things I can add here however, but I will try to do so swiftly. As soon as DSOpera came out I jumped on that, for the thrill of being online with my DS. The cartridge includes a 8MB GBA RAM card. Although this sounds fine, and since DSOpera doesnt cache anything it should of been fine. The memory I got was failty though and the browser froze continuously. I replaced it and at CircuitCity and the same thing happened. I replaced it again and again it was a mess. I then looked into and purchsed the M3DS Real and the 32MB Rumble Ram Pack and got into the even bigger mess I described above. So I have had 7 faulty Slot-2 RAM expansion packs in 1 year! That is why I suggest you get the 16 MB EZ 3-in-1 Slot 2 expansion card, and now my DS only freezes when I put it in the freezer after playing some really hot games!

In the next step we collect the firmware, roms and homebrew applications that we may want to install on our flashcart >>

Step 6: DS Firmware and Other Essentials

Picture of DS Firmware and Other Essentials
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1. First and foremost, go to the homepage of your flashcart and download the latest firmware. It will be in the form of a zip file (.zip, .rar. .7z). There is no executable or setup program. You will just place it in the memory card when the time comes. Keep it somewhere safe for now.

If you choose the M3DS Real, there is a new version of the firmware called M3Sakura, that is loaded onto your microSD, after installing the program onto your PC. This is the only exception I know of. I have added images of the process for those that want to see what the M3DS Real + M3Sakura is like.

2. Familiarize yourself with the DS hacking and modding scene by visiting some popular hang outs. These sites are loaded with apps, skins, homebrew, roms, chats, hacks, hats, cats, you name it. Search and aquire what you need. I'll be making some suggestions later.

GBA-Temp
DS-Scene
Dev-Scene
NDS Homebrew
DS-News | DCEmu UK
ISO-420
TehSkeen
Nintendo DS Zone
http://www.linfoxdomain.com/nintendo/ds/ LinFox DS]

Give me some more links to add here, guys...

3. Then browse around for some DS Roms and download the roms from the games that you own the original and/or you are trying the game out for 24 hours before purchase. There are very many direct download, rapidshare and torrent sources that you may want to explore. I leave this part up to you, since ROMS are not that hard to find on the net.

4. Finally go get yourself the latest most comprehensive cheat code file avaialble on the net, over at GBA-temp. Thanks to the guys over there, this file is constantly updated and maintained. Thanks Nerin for all your hard work over the years! Pokemon is what got me started with modding the DS in the first place because I HAD TO GET EM ALL!!!! :) The cheat file helped.

Comprehensive Cheat Code File

Next we grab some specific homebrew applications. You can skip this step if you dont want any >>

Step 7: DS Homebrew Games

Picture of DS Homebrew Games
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Homebrew applications are those writtten by the DS community and are free for distribution and use. You can find anything from games, graphical editors, emulators, multimedia applications and even compiliers for programming on the go.

A DS with its nifty touchscreen, loaded with some clever homebrew can be an amazingly versatile tool, not to metion the coolest jukebox ever. There is a very large homebrew community, that is constantly updating its material. You only need to google "DS homebrew" to get a flavor of what we're talking about here. Below, I have some instructable worthy games for you guys.

Video Game Hero: (2008-08-26)

Very professional looking guitar hero adaptation for the DS. Completely free. Very nice.

Warcraft: Tower Defence: (2008-02-25)

A DS adaptation of the popular Warcraft III bonus stage, this strategic rts puts you in charge of defending your camp by placing defencive walls and turrets. Very nice homebrew.

AmplituDS v 4.0: (2008-08-09)"

Inspired by the PS2 game with the same title, this 'musical shooter' is great fun for all.

... more to come...

Also look at this instructable on running homebrew on your DS for another good opinion.

To save us all some time, I have added all of these to a ZIP file that can be found at the end of this step :)

Now you have some games. Lets have a look at some of the great homebrew applications that have been developed for the NBS, in the next step >>

Step 8: DS Homebrew Applications

Picture of DS Homebrew Applications
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Let me get something off my chest first. Most homebrew applications out there you will have no use for. There's a lot of tech demos from people playing with the compiler and there are also some very nice and intricate programs that you just wont use with any given frequency to justify keeping them on your DS. So I have compliled a list of Homebrew applications that you will most probably use or like to have on your DS here. If you have specific needs or interests please look through some review sites for stuff you like.

The sites listed in the previous steps have comprehensive collections of homebrew applications. In this section, I will list some that I have used and I think are worth having/trying out. Again, if you have a favorite then post a comment or send me a message and I'll add it here.

DSOrganize 3.2:

Very comprehensive file manager, organiser, sketchbook, alarm clock, note taker, buggy browser :) and more. This app feels like an operating system in itself. Get it.

Moonshell 2.0 beta 5:

Infamous multimedia system: Image viewer, audio/music jukebox, movie player and essential to all NDS installations. Apparently no longer being developed, but a must have.

DSMaps 0.2.1a :

An application that pulls Google map tiles off of their central server. Works kinda like a guided GPS. No longer under development and searching for people to pick it up. I like this app and use it a fair bit. Found my way around Austin with it once. True story.

DSWeather 0.4: (2007-08-04)

(homepage translated from french by google) DSWeather is a homebrew app for the DS, that gives you weather reports over WiFi. You can look up your city code by going to the weather channel and looking up the weather at your hometown. Then check the url and pick out your city code, that will look like:

USCA0840: Pasadena, CA
CAXX0126: Edmonton, CA

(see what I did there? :) A quick and dirty way to confirm is to go to this random weather site and change the city code you got from the weather channel.

NDSMail 0.60 :

Its ... mail for the DS. With POP servers and ... stuff lilke that. I dont know. I havent used it, cuz I have DSOpera and use gmail.

DSLinux :

Because they can! Kinda fun to try to debug. Are you better than those guys that made it in the first place? If you get it working what you gonna do with it? Some report running browsers through DSLinux. I havent tried recently, but its on here for the hardcore.

DSFTP 2.6 :

The most useful homebrew app I have on my DS. And the most useful you will have on yours. Noodle93 (LOL) has already beat me to this instructable, although I think I'll post my own trouble shooting for this app soon.

Emulators are a big part of homebrew applications, which I will dedicate a seperate step for, since it can get complicated.

Next up, a look at the homebrew emulators that can be used on your NDS >>

Step 9: DS Emulators

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Emulators are software that allow you to play games and run software on different platforms. For instance the very popular MAME is a program that allows you to run old (and some new) arcade games on a personal computer.

This kind of emulation seems to be limited only by processing power and the creativity of the open source programmers out there. In this step we will look at DS emulators for personal computers, as well as emultors for other consoles that run on the NDS itself. With the help of this guide and some trial and error you will be able to get several older console games running on the NDS, making it a versatile central gaming platform

NDS on the PC

The NDS has a 67 MHz ARM9 processor (and a 33 MHz ARM7 subprocessor and floating point instruction unit) that can be emulated and run on any personal computer that is still running today. They allow you to run NDS roms (that you have acquired and legally posess), on your computer so that you can try them out before purchasing, or before placing on your NDS memory card/flashcart.

These are in a constant state of revision and some work better than others. Here I list the ones that work the best, and mention others that are still under development for completion. Remember that these are developped by gifted individuals on their spare time so, results vary.

iDeaS 1.0.2.9 (Win, Linux) 2009-02-04
NeonDS 0.2.1 (Win) 2008-07-13
No$GBA 2.6a (Win) 2008-01-23
DualiS 20.4 (Win) 2007-06-02
DeSmuME 0.4.0 (Win, Linux, Mac) 2006-07-11
DSEmu 0.4.10 (Windows, Linux) 2006-01-17

For your convenience, I have added all of these to an archive file that you can find at the end of this step. You can use the free 7-zip to extract it.

Try these out by running the DSEmu Ruby video test file (~14MB) (shown in the images below) on each of these, to see which one you like. Ruby is the ATi 3D hottie, if you didnt spot her already, btw :)

Emulators on the NDS

As I mentioned earlier, there are a lot of emulators that you can place on your DS for playing games from other consoles. For many of the 30+ here this is a nostalgic and fun, to be able to revisit some of the games that we love the most. Emulation is not perfect, but roms are quite easily obtained with some googling, since many of the rights are not enforced for games, where their consoles are no longer in production.

This is great for those who love Nintendo and the work that they have done with the DS and that do not want to break any copywrite laws, but still want to hack up their portable. Again, none of these are perfect, they will need some tweaking and figuring, but now you have a place to start.

GBA
SNES
C64
AMIGA
NES
AMSTRAD CPC
PCEngine

(Please help me keep this list updated, to save us all some time)

Next up, a detailed description on how to put everything together and get your hacked, multifunction DS up and running >>de

Step 10: Video on the DS

DSM

DPG

Video-DS

MPG?

AVI?

Step 11: Putting Everything Together

Now that you have everything, its time to put them together. Dont worry. If anything gets messed up, you can always delete all of the files on the microSD and start over. You can also add and delete things as you go along. Here goes:

1. Place the microSD inside the USB adaptor and plug it into your computer.

2. The format of the microSD card should be FAT32, with the standard cluster allocation unit size of 4,096 bytes per allocation unit. Chances are you will not have any other options, so ... FAT32 ... WILL do fine ... *jedi mind trick

If you're picky, choose a small cluster size, since all of the files you will be placing on there are small. This will save some overall space. DS roms themselves are 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128 MB. Game save files are 512K. If you have a couple of GB microSD, you dont have to give it too much thought.'

3. Extract the firmware file to the root directory of the flashcart, .i.e. F:/

The drive letter for your USB flash memory will obviously vary here...

4. Make sure you have read the manual or firmware release notes that go with your flashcart. Each one is a little bit different, so make sure you have what you need and that it is in the right place! Forums are a great resource, if you have questions, or post them here.

5. Make a directory called

F:/nds/

Your NDS roms will go in there. The firmware from most (*all?) flashcarts is designed to look in that folder for your roms. If you have an large microSD, like 6GB+ then make sure you do not place more than 128 roms in each folder. Instead make another one called F:/nds1/ and navigate there using the flashcart's file browser to launch those roms. Check with your flashcart manual to see if this 100 rom limit applies to you. You will know if your /nds/ folder shows 0 files."

"If it does you are a very very greedy person and should meditate on your shame.

6. The NDS Roms are usually distributed as zip files. Extract them to a directory on your computer and copy over ONLY the ***.nds files to your microSD's F:/nds/.

If they have weird names, you can rename them at this stage.

7. Copy over your homebrew and other applications, to a specific homebrew folder.

I keep them seperate in a

F:/hbrw/

folder but you can call it whatever you want. Some early release homebrew apps need to be installed directly to the root directory, because directory paths - especially deep ones confuse their fragile .config files.

I always try to see if they will run out of F:/hbrw/ first, and if it doesnt I delete it to be perfectly honest LOL, cuz I dont like files all over the place on my NDS!! A bit of obsessive compulsive behavior is good for the soul!

8. Also create the following folders, for the future (call them whatever you want):

F:/images/ for images
F:/music/ for music
F:/video/ for videos
F:/hentai/ for funny

You should place some images and music in there for testing purposes. You will have to tweak your system and read up on some guides to get the images, music and especially the videos to work properly. I will attach a guide to this instructable about optimising multilmedia in the future.

Make sure you leave some free space for Game Saves and Temporary Files. Game save files are 4-512k depending on the game. So for 100 games(!) you need 50 MB at least. Dont be greedy. Let the DS have some room to breath.

9. Stick your microSDHC card into your Flashcart and insert it into yous DS. When you turn on your DS you will be see the Flashcart's Operating System (OS). From here onwards, things will vary. It should be pretty much self-explanatory at this stage however, since all you have to do is to go to the appropriate directory and click to launch your game or application.

10. To launch homebrew games and applications (see the DS Homebrew link for more on that), you will have to use the Folder Navigation icon to find the app you want. For the sake of organisation, I suggest keeping your homebrew and games seperate, as several homebrew applications will drop configuration and cache files that will clutter your beatiful filespace structure. You will want to select the NDS SLOT-1 to run homebrew. The GBA SLOT-2 is used for GBA roms and homebrew (now mostly outdated, since DS versions exist for most of them).

Next we look at some accessories for the DS, that are commercially available. I have dedicated a seperate step to instructables on tricking out your DS >>

Step 12: DS Accessories

Like everything in life, even the DS has to accessorized

Some of the pages here refer to necessary items, such as replacement screens and screen protectors and others are here just for fun. Some are aesthetic and there to feed our vanity and leech off our wallets and some are there to help us maintain our sanity when something goes terribly wrong with the NDS.

A great way to get started, if you just want to see what kind of things are available is to look through some YouTube videos of people demonstrating their kits. If you find any cool stuff that fit in this category, then please feel free to post a comment.

What is a Screen Protector and Why you NEED One

A set of screen protectors is the first thing you should buy for your Nintendo DS Lite. The wonderful thing about this handheld console is the touchscreen. Given that all DS games use it in one way or another and given that the DS will be around for a very long time, you need to invest in a very high quality screen protector.

You should apply both the top and bottom screen protectors as soon as you can. You never know when your stylus or nail will have a micro-scratch that will scar your screen forever. Actually screen protectors may help hide the scratch from site if its not very deep.

The best screen protector is:

Hori: Nintendo has made this their officially licensed screen protector. Its also the most popular screen protector, or at least the most discussed, it is often referred to as the best available on the market, as long as you purchase the japanese model. You will want to make sure of that fact as there are a lot of Hori knock-offs (as should be expected from any officially licensed product).
The Good: It uses a silicon edge as adhesive that does allow multiple applications / reapplications, is extremely durable, scratch free after heavy use and perfectly sized.
The Bad: It is very difficult to remove lint and fingerprints from the sticky side, so you have to be very careful when applying.

Where to buy:

DecalGirl
Amazon

GameStop, Pelican and BoxWave make some also. I used the GameStop variety for a while, when I first got my DS. It was ok, no scratches, but it never stuck to the screen properly around the edges - very annoying.

Worse Case Scenario

Well, if you didnt heed my warning and have destroyed your TouchScreen, you can always replace it for about $20. Installation isnt that bad (I havent done it myself, but have seen had a look at the DS Lite schematics. You can always have an expert of handy friend help you if you dont know what you're doing. So dont worry if you bust up your screen! There is always a way to Game-ON!

Carrying Cases

There are several very nice leather carrying cases available for the DS. The best solution I have found however is to get a soft carrying pouch for sunglasses from Walmart. I walked into a Walmart's optics store and asked for one rally nicely and I received a very nice, tough and soft case that I would not change for anything. You should too!

Battle Stylus

This thing looks really cool. Its metal, heavy, has a sorta glow in the dark tip and it looks hardcore. Not too pricey, and I think it makes a great gift for someone.

Next we look at some wonderful instructables on tricking out your DS >>

Step 14: Long Story Short

This is a long instructable, and if you are interested in hacking your DS you should explore it thoroughly. If you just want an idea of what or how you hack the NDS for educational purposes, I decided to write a summary of the process here:

(1) Buy a NDS flashcart. Any will do. Google is friendly.
(2) Buy a microSD memory card for the flashcart. Make sure you have a microSD USB reader.
(3) Download the flashcart firmware from the flashcart homepage.
(4) Download some NDS roms (that you own). Google is your friend.
(5) Stick the microSD into the USB reader and into your computer.
(6) Format it as FAT32, if its not already.
(7) Extract/unzip the flashcart firmware to the root directory of your NDS.
(8) Put the roms in a /NDS/ directory on the microSD card.
(9) Unmount the microSD by powering down the USB reader from your computer.
(X) Stick the microSD into your flashcart. Flashcart into your NDS and turn it on.

Please do your own research so that you may understand that hacking the DS for use with Homebrew applications is not illegal in any shape or form. You may legally posess game roms if you own the orignial cartridges.

If you try a game then please purchase it, because the Nintendo is doing a fantastic job with all of the development it has put into the NDS and we, as consumers can show our appreciation by simply purchasing their games. You can even keep them in the orininal packaging (like I do) and sell them for X4 their price 10 years down the line on ebay!

Please help me maintain this instructable as a central NDS hacking resource.

Thank you very much for reading. All comments welcome.
just so you know dude they are not called flashcarts, they are called flashcards. just had to say since every time you say the word flashcarts a red line show up under it. But you must not have seen it all the times it showed up. just wanted to let you know.

recklesskiba, the term "flashcart or flash-cart" dates back decades. It originates from cartridges that were "flashable" where they could be erased and loaded with a new ROM. The technology has gone from carts that can hold one game, to carts that can accept removable media that holds many games.

blakeredfield (author)  recklesskiba4 years ago
The two terms are interchangable. The term "Flash-Cart" was left over from GBA accessories which accepted a game CART you would FLASH and hack.

Interesting you get red lines under main text in a webpage... thought those only come up in editors.

Thanks for commenting. Anything to contribute to the DS scene? I've been out of the game for a few months,
I kind of just assumed that cart was short for cartridge, and this whole time I thought the term flashcart was right. lol


on a more serious note, thank you so much for this walkthrough! you rock man
_-_Reid_-_2 months ago
The link for The EZ3in1 Rumble Ram is dead could you please provide another one in which we can buy it from off of a legit website

You can find it here: http://www.3dscardshop.com/ez-3in1-extension-kit-s...

I can say from experience 3dscardshop is a legit site. It used to be dsflashcards.net, which is where I got my Acekard 2i from.

twilightfox9 months ago

AHHHHH OVERWHELMED WITH HACKING!!!!! Oh just wondering does this do anything to the nds?

patbking11 months ago

ummm, I have a sd card adapter and i would like to know if i would work instead of a usb adapter

patbking patbking11 months ago

micro sd adapter that looks like a sd card but it can use a micro sd in the top slot that i can read on my computer

patbking patbking11 months ago

its a crucial micro sd adapter

patbking patbking11 months ago

Sould i get an iEdge or Edge i have a ds lite and a dsi

conarrrgh1 year ago

would this work on a DSi instead of a DS lite?

catshark11 year ago
ds scene is dead.....
Great instructable!!! Keep using it for reference.
toogers4 years ago
four words on emulators;
DO
A
BARREL
ROLL!
Emulation is completely legal. You just gotta own legit copies of the games.
zachery9804 years ago
try zhuzhuchina.com way cheeper than yours and free shipping
Crumble4 years ago
Do you know where i can get an acekard 2i in the uk, my r4 broke so im looking @ getting a new slot 1 flash cart

I don't particulary want to buy from america/china/japan

thx if you can help
how do you get a internet browser?
dombeef4 years ago
Can i colaborate? i have some more infomation for the stuff
toogers4 years ago
sweet, i'm an r4 guy myself, i like the built in cheats and the preinstalled moonshell.
dark sponge4 years ago
Great Instructable! If you want to make your homebrew apps more powerful, consider overclocking your DS.
AndyGadget5 years ago
Epic Instructable - 5 stars!
We have a DSLite with CycloDS but it's a while since I checked out what's available on the homebrew scene.  I see things have moved on.
toygreen5 years ago
Godd posting.  thank you. I got r4i flash cart from gamehouse88.com. I Think this artice is good for me.
nk975 years ago
Nice 'ible. Thx for sharing. Now I have some new games for my DS. I had already bought the R4 Revolution card like, 4 months ago.  Thx again.