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A kinda borderline question about the 3DS Gateway or Sky3DS devices, would someone know of it ?

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Hey guys :)

I’m thinking of offering a Gateway 3DS loader cartridge to my nephew, his parents are broke (lost jobs, life can suck) and the kid’s sad without new games for his 3DS XL in a long time. With a Gateway 3DS, the kid could play whatever game he likes, provided his parent download for him ROMs over the internet (and any torrent site has those ROMs.)

My own kids have a 3DS XL with a DStwo cartrige, it is capable of playing the ROMs of DS games, but not of 3DS games. It works well.

I imagined the the Gateway 3DS, made to allow playing 3DS ROMs, would be equally simple, but just in case, you know, I searched a bit on how to setup the thingy, after all, if I am to offer it, I know I’ll be also the one who’ll have to install it on the console.

Tutorials were read. Youtube videos were watched.
Jebus, what the hell ?!?
Two cartridges, blue, red, copy files, here, copy files there, move folders, but not those ones, watch out for which firmware you got, sometimes in some videos there’s the console’s web browser and the need to activate a wifi connexion…
I am TOTALLY lost O_o

Say, please, if this is not asking too much, would you know of a Gateway 3DS installation guide made for TOTAL MORONS as far as 3DS hacking is concerned ? The console is running a 4.4 firmware, a useful precision.
(Or, possibly, could you write it in the comments ? ^^)

The best I found was this French tutorial (I’d have been totally cool with an English tuto, mind you), but even then, that was too complex for me T__T
Thank you VERY MUCH if you can help a poor newb not screw up his christmas presents ^^

— UPDATE: I was recommended Sky3DS instead, if that REALLY is more simple and works without complications, then I’d indeed rather go for that other one… Somebody to confirm it really is super duper simple, you plug the cartrige in the console, you plug its microsd chip into the PC to copy roms onto it, you take out the microsd from the PC and plug it into the Sky3DS cartrige, and voilĂ , we’re good, it’s ready to play ?

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Perso quand j'ai du choisir un linker, j'ai opté pour la sky3ds pour sa simplicité comparé à la gateway : une seule cartouche et un petit logiciel tout simple pour installer les jeux sur la cartesd. Suivre un tuto sky3ds est très facile. Le defaut du bouton a pousser pour changer de jeu est néanmoins un peu chiant.
Mais pour l'instant ,ca marche nickel et le firmware 3ds n'est (toujours pour l'instant) pas un probleme grace aux mises à jour logicielles fréquentes de la part de la team sky3ds. En bref, j'utilise et recommande.
(Ps : loin de moi l'idée de vouloir faire de la pub mais j'ai lu qu'une nouvelle version etait imminente.)

Oliver AKA The Admin

Ah ?

Je ne connaissais pas.

Si c'est plus facile, alors, oui, ça aurait ma préférence. Surtout que je veux bien l'offrir et faire l'install, mais je ne peux pas non plus fournir le SAV à chaque fois qu'il faut mettre de nouveaux ROMS et tout… Donc, si Sky3DS marche beaucoup plus facilement, clairement oui ça serait le meilleur choix…

Tu confirmes, on met la cartouche Sky3DS, sa microSD on la branche sur PC et on met dedans les ROMs qu'on veut, on met la microSD dans la cartouche Sky3DS, et c'est bon, la 3DS XL veut bien jouer les jeux ?


Gori~ recommended Sky3DS instead, saying it was much easier to use, and I went with "really ? Then, it would be my choice, and that I don't have to provide extended support for future game installs is a huge plus"
And I added a query, to ask for a confirmation that we just plug the sky3DS cartrige, plug the microsd chip in our PC and put roms in there, and then plug that same microsd into the Sky3DS cartrige, and are we done ?


I also think it's easier with the sky3ds, be careful when you buy it, there has been 2 versions of it, button red v1 and the blue v2, the v2 is way better/easier to use.
I often look on logic sunrise, french website about hack on consoles and they have a store, they always pick original linkers, never clones, even if you buy your card somewhere else look on this webpage to know how to set your card, the explanation is in french.


Je confirme.
Suit bien le tuto pour la 1er utilisation et ça devrait rouler (Il me semble qu'il y a une simple petite manip à faire lors de la premiere utilisation). Le logiciel dikwriter et le template ainsi que des tutos sont dispos sur le site offficiel. Il faut bien penser à format la sd avec dikwriter et toujours executer ce logiciel en tant qu'admin. Cela marche avec des images des jeux c'est à dire les .3DS et non pas les .cia .
Moi j'utilise la v2 (bouton bleu) et pour l'instant tous les jeux testé ont fonctionné.
Le defaut, si l'on peut dire, de la sky 3ds est qu'il faut changer de jeu avec un bouton physique qui les fait defiler un par un comme si tu changeais de cartouche dans l'orde où tu les a mises dans la carte sd. Cela prend donc du temps de selectionner le jeu désiré. Quand tu n'en a que 2 ou 3 tu ne t'en rend meme pas compte, à partir de la dizaine ça devient assez pénible de les faire tous defiler.

Sorry for english reading people but i'm a bit too lazy to translate. To sum up I think sky3ds rules.


Un article de test sur la bete qui en parle mieux que moi :

Jai également appris que la nouvelle version sky3ds + est sortie hier. Plus chere que la v2, elle permet de faire defiler les jeux dans les deux sens (avant et arriere), grace à deux boutons. Apparemment elle va quand meme chercher dans les 85 euros.

Les images des jeux EU sont parfois un peu plus compliquées à trouver qu'une rom snes ou gba mais ça se fait. Bien sur et comme toujours, il faut posseder l'original, sinon pas bien.


J'ai oublié de mentionner que ce ne sont pas des roms qu'il faut utiliser, mais des images des jeux. Le logiciel diskwriter (très facile à utiliser) sert à installer ces images ou à les enlever de la microsd. C'est donc un tout petit peu moins simple qu'avec une supercard pour les jeux ds ou il suffit de copier coller.


Oliver, check out for help with this.
also, NEVER EVER use a non-gateway card with a gateway 3ds, it will brick due to the way gateway treats "copycat" cards

Oliver AKA The Admin

"NEVER EVER use a non-gateway card with a gateway 3ds,"

… what ?!? ^^;;
(will check wololo later today, here I quickly browse comments, although I'm now more inclined towards Sky3DS if it really is much simpler, see the comments above yours)


Not really anything helpful to contribute here, but a question of my own –
The roms your kids play – is it limited to DS games, or can it handle NES, SNES, Sega Genesis, old school Game Boy?

I ask because I've been playing roms of those types on my tablet, witha controller, and it's pretty damn cool. But I kinda would like to have a dedicated rom device – like a 3DS for example.

At any rate, hope you pull off the 3DS Gateway thing. Sounds like a great idea and a very kind gesture from their favorite uncle (if you're not already, you will be).


If you want a dedicated portable console (ie. not a smart phone) for emulation I'd recommend using a psp, almost all roms run near perfect to perfect on it. pretty much the only thing that runs roms better is a computer.

If you need any help setting up the emulators I can share my copies with you, as well as a lot of roms.


I already have (via torrent) roms of every game ever made commercially and some home brewed for the game systems I listed, but I do appreciate your offer. As far as emulators go, I've found that the Johns Emulators (available through Google play, probably other places too) are reliable, support bluetooth game controllers, and cheap ($3 for the apps, separate app for each console).

I'm looking for a portable emulator machine, with real physical buttons. The on-screen buttons just weren't doing it for me – I kept losing the buttons with my thumb.

Oliver AKA The Admin

MY kids, or my nephew ?

My nephew plays Super Mario 3DS, and another game I forgot. Commercial games, real games, I think that's all he has.

My kids, on the DSTwo, play lots of DS games (not 3DS), and I also added to the DSTwo a Snes emulator, they like some of the old games, they're real fond of the Kirby games for instance. Be wary, there are two emulators available on the DSTwo, one of which will produce choppy games with wrong speed, and there are occasional (rare, but existing) slowdown times.


I used guides at
There are 2 cards:
red for DS/NDS games and installing 3DSGateway mode
blue for 3DS games.

You have option to downgrade console firmware to 4.5. The main reason to do this is ability to install 3DSgateway mode on console, ant you won't need internet in order to enter to this mode after power-off. This is good option because you should switch off internet to prevent accidental update of 3DS (because GateWay may not support new firmwares).

For me main problem was to downgrade, because i updated firmware thru game – this is bad because some files were missing and downgrade was imposiible (there was error displayed during downgrade). But there is solution how to write all files mannualy (not sure but i think in again). It is a bit tedious task, and of course a bit risky.

Everything else is quite easy. If you play only 3DS games – you just need to up enter to DSprofile and boot to Gateway mode. I created emulated nand, but as i understand this isn't required because most games works perfect on 4.5.
If you want switch 3DS and DS/NDS games – then it will be more steps. You allways need to run and install gateway from red card, after you played DS/NDS games.

p.s. you should do nand backup first. there are no easy way do write this backup back – you need hardware modifications for this. but if there are no backup you can't restore working state even with those modifications. Those modifications aren't very hard, but you need to have soldering skills.


If you want to play only 3ds games – you need only blue card (or sky3ds).
Red card is needed only in order to play NDS games. While Sky3DS do not support NDS games at all.

There were couple of issues with Sky3DS: games limit per card, region locked games, and i don't like the way how games are switched. As far as i know game limit isn't a problem anymore.

And of course Sky3DS is much easier to use – there are no need to modify console's firmware at all.


my first suggestion is to get the sky3ds cart it seems to be he easier of the 2 to use also note that these 3ds game carts only play 3ds game roms not the older ds roms, for that you will need a separate cart like the dstwo cart.

also if you need any information and help with the usage of these carts go to this website forum there is a whole section on flash cards for the nds consoles


Hello. As I live in a foreign country, and cartriges run $75 each PLUS a month to get here, I purchased a SKY3DS- got it 3 weeks ago.
As I was just on the SKY3ds website to get the new template, I see that a new one was just released that is MUCH simpler than even the bluebutton version (which was also pretty simple).

As a user, a few pointers for you (though gbatemp is what I used to set up, kudos to Mr. Clue).
-If your (his) console is USA, there are loads of roms out. If he has a PAL, you have VERY limited options. The 3DS will only recognize ROMS from the same region as the console, and there is much less EU roms than USA roms on the net.
-The only ROMS that will run on the SKY3DS are those in the template, which they add games to every few days and do not have nearly everything. It will only run ROMS from real cards, not files from the online store (CIA files, luckily the ROM sites are pretty well labeled).
These points aside, and especially if you have a USA console, I recommend it.


You could also try to install a CFW on his 3DS Xl provided its firmware is 9.2 or below. Same goes for Gateway. Your 3DS has to be on Firmware 9.2 or below to work with Gateway or CFW. Sky3DS works up to the latest Firmware but not every game works on it anymore duo to some anti piracy patches made by nintendo to the roms.


Oliver, just for your information, the people behind the Sky3DS came up with a newer and improved version of their flash card a few days ago, the new card being called the Sky3ds+. Currently, little is known about the flash card besides what little information the website is providing us, and the actual flash card doesn't seem to be sold in any of their reselling stores so user reviews don't exist.

If you are planning to get the flash card for your nephew as a festive gift, then I suppose your best choice would be the Sky3DS, but if you are going to get him something as a general gift, you can wait till more information is out on the Sky3DS+ before making a decision.

Anonymous Helper
Anonymous Helper

I wouldn't hold your breath on the sky3ds+ coming out in time for the holidays, flash carts like that are notorious for being hard to get when they first release and it could be a while before it does. Besides, the Sky3ds will play everything other than games released the few months with the anti piracy check in place. If he's still running firmware that old then it's not likely to be a problem not having access to a handful of titles when you've got the majority still available for use.

Anonymous Helper
Anonymous Helper

A Sky3ds works very well. There's a new anti piracy check that was implemented recently, but that only prevents games that came out within the last couple months from working. I couldn't more highly recommend Sky3ds, but I wouldn't hold your breath on the new orange card. What you want is the blue one currently out on the market. It'll work for 99% of the games out there with no risk to your 3ds, perfect compatibility and it's extremely easy to use.

Once you have your .3ds file (you can't use it for .cia or .3dsx files, just the pure roms) you use their DiskWriter tool (an executable and a text file list you get from their site) to format and write the games to a MicroSD card. The program is very easy to use and once you've written onto it, the hard part is over with. From there when you want to play, just pop the sky3ds cartridge in (with the microSD card) and push the physical blue button on the cartridge to cycle between games. Easy peasy, don't have to worry about anything on the 3ds and it's perfectly compatible (aside from the absoutely newest games that I talked about earlier!).

While you're at it, spend an extra $12 and pick up a R4i Gold card and a second micro SD card =) That'll expand his options to include not only 99% of the 3ds titles out there but every nintendo DS title as well. A 32 or 64gb SD card works well (I'd recommend a class 10 samsung EVO) will do well for the sky3ds. The nds roms are much smaller so an 8gb SD card for the R4i will hold all the 3ds titles you could want (maybe 16gb if you wanna go crazy).

For both a sky3ds and an R4i, you'll need to make sure they have a USB micro SD card reader. You can find those cheap though for about $5, it's just one of those little details you can't forget or else you'll have no way of getting the games on the system. For the R4i, it's as simple as unzipping a folder onto the SD card and dragging whatever rom files you want on there too.


any ideas if the Sky3DS will run modded games files such as undubbed versions of games and what not or do they only run straight dumps of originals?

Anonymous Helper
Anonymous Helper

It does not run modded games. For that you need custom firmware or something like a gateway/gateway clones. It also has region locking, but it's usually not hard finding a .3ds file for the proper region.


does that mean that as long as its a .3ds file, the sky3ds should be able to run it?


Bonsoir Olivier,

Tout d'abord mon site de référence pour les infos et les tutos pour les linkers 3DS :
Quant au choix du linker, comme mentionné plus haut le linker Sky3DS v2 me parait le plus opportun. Simple à utiliser dans la console, aucune modif ou de programme à installer au préalable, elle fonctionne d'origine avec toutes les 3DS, dernier firmware inclus.
Seul bémol, la copie des roms. Il faut en effet passer par un programme dédié (dispo sous Windows, OsX et Linux) qui installera les jeux sur ta microSd. Une fois cela fait, y a juste à insérer la microSd dans le linker, le linker dans la 3DS. Les jeux installés dans la microSd apparaitront directement dans le menu 3DS. Pour changer de jeu, il suffit d'appuyer sur le bouton bleu du linker, tu les feras défiler un par un.

Une nouvelle version vient en effet de sortir, le Sky3DS+. Parmi les nouveautés :
-Un deuxième pour faire défiler les jeux en arrière,
-Plus besoin d'utiliser le programme dédié, il suffit de copier-coller les roms directement sur la microSd, comme n'importe quel linker DS.

Tous les détails sur le site fourni plus tôt.


There will be a new sky3ds coming out soon that supposed to solve the latest antipiracy checks.

What firmware is the 3ds showing? Is it old 3ds or new 3ds? old 3ds is easy. New 3ds needs you to have orig ocarina of time cart or cubic ninja.

Check this link if on old 3ds with required firmware and you dont want to buy flashcard .
Gateway is very easy to do. Follow ALL this steps for gateway.


Here is my thought between the 2:
Gateway 3DS requires a certain firmware on your 3DS.
– Adding games seems to be as easy as drag and drop.
– Being that it works on a certain old firmware, more homebrews are available before the whole block from a certain patch.
– I believe all the games are listed for your selection after launching the gateway program.

Sky 3DS seems to be very up to date with the firmware.
– Adding games get pretty technical with a certain program.
– Anything higher than a certain firmware makes this harder to run some of the old homebrews.
– Press and wait for switching game (go to their website to get more answers)

In the end, it all depends on what your current firmware is. I hope this helps you.


Custom Firmware / Emunand would be the way to go, tbh. You basically just install the game directly to the SD card (you'll need at least a 32GB SD card) and it runs fun. It's essentially free if you have the SD card already.


First off Gateway is software emulation whereas the Sky3ds is a hardware hack.
Secondly you actually don't even need to buy the Gateway card anymore you can use the Ninjahack to run the Gateway mode through Nand emulation.
If you are above firmware 9.2 then you will need to use Sky3ds since it is the only cart that goes above it
Also you can't dump original games with Sky3ds and you can only run cartridge roms so you can't run eshop games
Also be careful of online play since Nintendo has been banning people
So I would save your money and not even bother with either and just soft mod the console I'll put a link here that shows how to do it and you can also find a guide for the regular gateway installation for the cartridge here as well