This is my attempt to explain the 3DS hacking ELI5. Currently all 2/3DS models can be hacked. You can put homebrew or CFW on it. What's O3DS? Old/Original 3DS. It includes the original small 3DS, the later released, bigger 3DS XL/LL, and 2DS. What's N3DS? New Nintendo 3DS. It's the newer, faster 3DS with built in NFC reader and more buttons. It includes the new Nintendo 3DS, new Nintendo 3DS XL/LL, and new Nintendo 2DS XL/LL. What is homebrew? It's basically a setup to run apps and game modifications not sanctioned by Nintendo. You can also backup/hack your game save. https://gbatemp.net/threads/helpful-3ds-homebrew-threads-links-always-updating.400950/ What is CFW? CFW is Custom FirmWare. It allows you to run homebrew and so much more like emulators, Linux, etc. Current recommended CFW is Luma3DS. What's RedNAND/EmuNAND/SysNAND? NAND is a chip that lives on your 2/3DS motherboard. It contains the operating system that makes the 2/3DS work. SysNAND refers to that NAND chip. It's the same thing. RedNAND is Redirected NAND. Instead of accessing SysNAND, a copy of it is made on your (micro)SD card and it is accessed instead. EmuNAND is ass backwards version of RedNAND. The beginning part is moved to the end so everything is shifted a little bit. Like moving a pencil tip to the other end on a stacking pencil. RedNAND is only really useful for experimentation and region changing. EmuNAND is only really useful for using Gateway. More NAND? What about TWL-NAND, AGB-NAND and CTR-NAND? These NANDs are just portions of the NAND chip. Think of them as partitions on a hard drive on your PC or as different USB flash drives. TWL is for DS, AGB is for GBA, and CTR is for 3DS. It's part of what allows you to play 3DS, DS and GBA (VC) games on your 2/3DS. What is an entrypoint? Things like arm9loaderhax, SigHax/Boot9Strap, MenuHax, etc. that allows you to run homebrew or CFW. What's MenuHax? It's an OLD entrypoint. Not very good. Move along. What is arm9loaderhax? It's a method of using the security flaw in Nintendo's added security to take over the 2/3DS and make it do what you want. It's outdated now. What is SigHax/Boot9Strap (B9S)? It's a method of using the security flaw in bootrom of 2/3DS to take over the 2/3DS and make it do what you want. What is difference between primary and secondary entrypoint? Primary entrypoints are things like SoundHax, FreakyHax, and NinjaHax where all you need is some files and the game or app that allows you to launch those files to run homebrew. Secondary entrypoints are things that needs some way to hack a game or app to make it work. OoTHax, BaseHax, etc. where you need a PowerSave or another hacked console to load a modified save file into the game cartridge. OFW vs CFW? Original FirmWare is what the 2/3DS has before it's hacked. CFW is what it has after following the Guide and lets you do things to your 2/3DS Nintendo never intended. Can I get banned using homebrew or CFW? Yes, there are precautions you can take, but we're not 100% sure what causes the ban. You can disable information sharing and SpotPass in all games and apps. Disable game recommendation in eShop. Disable SpotPass in Friend List. Disable SpotPass in System Settings -> Internet Settings -> SpotPass. What are regions? There are 5 regions for 2/3DS. USA, Europe including Australia and New Zealand (EUR), Japan (JPN), Korea (KOR), Taiwan (TWN), and China (CHN). You can only play games from the same region as your console. CFW allows you to play games from other regions. What's region change? It allows you to switch the region of your console. For example, JPN -> USA. You'll most likely lose your eShop access, but YMMV. What system versions can have homebrew? N3DS up to and including 11.4.0-37X, where X is whatever region you have. O3DS up to and including 11.3.0-36X. The last two number might be different depending on your region. What system versions can have CFW? All models up to and including 11.4.0-37X. If you are on 11.3.0-36X or lower, you can put CFW on your console fairly easily. If you are on 11.4.0-37X, you'll need to use DSiWareHax, hardmod, or NTRBootHax. https://3ds.guide What is hardmod? It's a way to access your NAND by soldering wires to your 2/3DS motherboard. DO NOT TRY THIS! unless you know how to solder well and know what you're doing. https://gbatemp.net/threads/tutorial-noob-friendly-nand-dumping-2ds-3ds-3ds-xl-n3ds-n3ds-xl.414498/ https://gbatemp.net/threads/list-of-hardmod-installers-by-region.414224/ What is DSiWareHax? You use a specific hacked DSiWare game to hack your console by doing a system transfer from a hacked console with the hacked game to an unhacked console. You need to buy a specific game from eShop. This is part of the Guide. What is NTRBootHax? It uses a the same method to fix/hack 2/3DS that Nintendo uses to service them using a DS flashcard and a magnet (sometimes). It is not released yet. http://gbatemp.net/threads/3ds-unbricked-with-magnet-ds-flashcard.472585/ What's Gateway/Brickway/Gatewait and Sky3DS? They are 3DS flashcards that allows you to play 3ds ROM files. Gateway is also called Gatewait because they never keep to their announced schedule and make people wait. They bricked some consoles in the past so it's sometimes called Brickway. Gateway works on consoles up to 11.2.0-35X. Sky3DS should just work. What about NES/SNES/GBA games? You can use Virtual Console games, VC injects, or emulators. Things might be slow or unavailable on O3DS. What about DS games? You can play those using DS flashcards like Acekard 2i, SuperCard DSTwo, R4, etc. Weren't DS flashcards blocked? Yes, but Nintendo stopped caring around system firmware version 6 or 7. CFW will allow you to use most of them without issue. You can also use others by using a slot-1 launcher on CFW. Did I brick? (also see next question) Maybe. Depends on what you did. If the blue light turns on then the console turns off, then you didn't brick. You're missing some file. What file depends on your setup. If you're still on a9lh, you need Luma3DS 7.0.5. It's the last version to support a9lh. I updated to B9S. Did I brick? Doubt it. If you're on B9S 1.0 (maybe 1.1 too), you need Luma3DS 7.1. If you're on B9S 1.2, you need Luma3DS 8.0. Going forward Luma3DS needs B9S 1.2. It may change in the future. How do I know what version of B9S I have. Try different version of Luma3DS. (see question above) Why isn't Luma alone? It's got Rosalina. What's Rosalina? It's the new way of launching homebrew (3dsx) and allows for screen capture (slow af right now) and much more. We hope it'll be NTR replacement in the future. https://github.com/AuroraWright/Luma3DS/releases/tag/v8.0 What's NTR? It's sort of mini CFW that runs on top of CFW. It allows for screenshots, cheats in games, streaming your game play to PC, and more. What's LayeredFS? It's a file system that allows for modding of games. You can load game translations or other types of mods. It allows for quicker game translation/mods since you don't have to rebuild the game file every time you make changes. It also means you can just replace some files if the translation or mod gets updated instead of having to download a new ROM or install a new CIA. What's CIA? Spies? It stands for CTR Importable Archive. It's like a setup.exe or dmg file on your PC/Mac. You install games/apps to your 2/3DS using FBI. FBI? More feds? It's the homebrew app that lets you install/uninstall CIA, import seed, etc. It's the homebrew version of DevMenu (Nintendo app for installing CIA). What are "Legit" CIA? Did the CIA & FBI okay them? They're dumps of games that came preinstalled on some systems. Those will work on any system as long as you can install them. They have been blessed by Nintendo to work on any system. Saves them money to put them on the consoles. Can I backup my save? Move it from my digital game to my cart? To another system? Yes. Use JKSM. There are few new games like Megami Meguri (めがみめぐり) that uses new encryption that hasn't been reverse engineered yet. Who is *****? smea = God of 3DS hax Aurora Wright = Goddess of CFW Hedgeberg = Greg's mom SciresM = B9S' father astronautlevel2 = Keeper of Luma3DS nightly d0k3 = God of payloads Ned = Soundhax guy Tux = God of CFW derrek = SigHax guy Normmatt = AKAIO/magnet Wizard Sorry to anyone I forgot. You can ask questions you have at NOOB PARADISE. Feel free to comment with suggestions, improvements, corrections, additions, etc.