.3ds vs .cia

Discussion in '3DS - Flashcards & Custom Firmwares' started by Puppy_Washer, Dec 1, 2014.

  1. Puppy_Washer
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    Puppy_Washer GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Here's a summary of all the information presented in this thread, for your convenience. All credit is given to the awesome users that responded.

    Can .CIA be converted back to .3DS?
    If the .CIA file is not encrypted, yes.

    If a .3DS game is run (and saves), will a .CIA version detect and use that save?
    No, unless the game is a card2 game (for example, Pokemon or AC:NL), in which the save file can be extracted with SaveDataFiler and re-injected.

    Can a .CIA file be run directly off a Gateway card, or must it always be installed to internal SD?
    No. .CIA files are entirely made for being installed to the NAND of the 3DS (or the emuNAND).

    Aside from avoiding using the Gateway game browser, what advantages does .CIA have over .3DS?
    Certain homebrew can be used with installed .CIA titles. Also convenience, such as having your favorite games easily accessed on the 3DS home screen.


    Current Questions:
    - Are there certain games that cannot be run in .cia format, but can be run in .3ds format?
    - Are there any performance differences?
    - I've heard of certain games freezing and locking up. Is this any less or more likely with a .cia format?
    - Is it particularly difficult to convert a .3ds file to .cia? Can any game be converted?
    - Is there actually a 32gb internal storage cap for the 3DS as Orcastraw stated?

    And a major question:
    - In your opinion, with the upcoming Gateway 3DS update, is installing .cia files recommended (given that these will not be installed using an emuNAND, but rather to the actual 3DS console itself)? Couldn't Nintendo cross-check the installed games versus the actual purchased e-ship titles?
     
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  2. Rizzorules

    Rizzorules "What are you doing?" "Something unexpected."

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    I just use cia files because i have two cards of 32 gb and i dont like switching them thats why i installed half of my games on my 3ds sd card and the other half in my gateway sd card
     
  3. poopypantz

    poopypantz Member

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    One is a handheld video game system sold by Nintendo and the other is an American governmental intelligence agency.
     
  4. Nurio

    Nurio That Kirby fan

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    - Yes, I believe so
    - No, but in some cases you can transfer the save.
    - No
    - Not being dependent on the red card (though you'd still need it to boot into EmuNAND)
    - If you want a .cia and it's a proper one, I don't see a reason for downloading the .3ds and converting that instead
     
  5. Vappy

    Vappy GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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  6. sailor_moon

    sailor_moon Let Me Sing You A Tune ♫

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    - Can .cia be converted back to .3DS?
    - If a .3DS game is run (and saves), will a .cia version detect and use that save?
    - Can a .cia file be run directly off a Gateway card, or must it always be installed to internal SD?
    - Aside from avoiding using the Gateway game browser, what advantages does .cia have over .3DS?
    - When downloading games, do you recommend downloading the .cia version, or downloading the .3DS version (and converting it manually)?

    I'm answering these on behalf of what I myself have done. So don't take it as all-around factual for everyone.

    1. I never tried this.

    2. You can use the "SaveDataFiler" or the GameSaveTransfer program(free on the eShoppe).

    3. .cia files are like.. installers I would think. I've never ran one directly from Gateway cause the file didn't show up in the card menu.

    4. For me the only "advantage" is having the game right on my homescreen for quick & easy selection and it saves me a bit of room to put games on the Gateway MicroSD. In other words only my permanent played games make it to the 3DS HomeScreen while the temporary ones get play tested and removed.

    5. As I have not got into the whole ".cia" conversion thing. I download everything in .3DS format, If it something I own, I download the .cia.
    If you're just downloading a game to play test it. I HIGHLY recommend you get the .3DS version cause installing the .cia takes a bit of time. (think of it like downloading games off the eShoppe. it feels almost the exact same when installing .cia games. So if its a game you end up not liking thats a lot of time wasted installing and uninstalling.)

    Hope this was 'decently' helpful :D
     
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  7. quantumboy

    quantumboy Casual Hacker, Avid Dreamer

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    YOu can use savedatafiler on 3ds and 3dz files on gateway too via ctr cart option
     
  8. adragon123

    adragon123 GBAtemp Regular

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    personally i use 3ds files except for for savedatafiler. cia files are useful if you have two 3ds systems so u can use cia on and 3ds on the other assuming you only have one gateway card
     
  9. Rediska

    Rediska Member

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    3ds is fatest method to write and play Also all favorite titles i'd like to have as CIA installed on my console.
     
  10. RachelB

    RachelB GBAtemp Regular

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    If you accidentally pop the cart out, you won't lose all your progress!
     
  11. Orcastraw

    Orcastraw Advanced Member

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    Also keep in mind .cia games are limited by the SD card's size, the 3DS limits SD cards to 32 gigs, a gateway can hold much more games due to that limit not being present.
     
  12. Smash Br0

    Smash Br0 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Could a 3DS firmware update delete installed .cia files? I figure the .3ds files on a MicroSD are safe, but I wonder about .Cia files.
     
  13. the MCDO

    the MCDO Member

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    I have 128 gb sd card in my 3ds xl with 90% of my games installed so size is not a problem
     
  14. thorasgar

    thorasgar Checkout my evil Soon-in-ator™

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    Great questions, I was not clear on the Why of cia as well.

    3ds and via game saves are put on the internal SD card as well except for card2 games, correct?
     
  15. Puppy_Washer
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    Puppy_Washer GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Thanks for all the responses everybody, I really appreciate it!

    A few more questions:
    - Are there certain games that cannot be run in .cia format, but can be run in .3ds format?
    - Are there any performance differences?
    - I've heard of certain games freezing and locking up. Is this any less or more likely with a .cia format?
    - Is it particularly difficult to convert a .3ds file to .cia? Can any game be converted?
    - Is there actually a 32gb internal storage cap for the 3DS as Orcastraw stated?

    And a major question:
    - In your opinion, with the upcoming Gateway 3DS update, is installing .cia files recommended (given that these will not be installed using an emuNAND, but rather to the actual 3DS console itself)? Couldn't Nintendo cross-check the installed games versus the actual purchased e-ship titles?
     
  16. Smash Br0

    Smash Br0 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    ^ Good questions.

    Here's a *bump* for some answers. :)
     
  17. quantumboy

    quantumboy Casual Hacker, Avid Dreamer

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    1. Possibly but I have not heard of any poping up, although cia in cfw has plenty that can not or don't run perfectly due to firmware spoofing limitations.

    2. Yes, gateway is a but faster (than gateway emunand with cia) IF YOUR big sd(in the system) is class 4. If you are using a class 4 sd card and running emunand off of it along with the installed cia you may notice some very minor lag/pauses in some games (like pokemon)

    3. You should not experience freezing or locking up at all on either as long as you are doing things right and the rom is supported (which at the time of posting all are)

    4. Not difficult to do if you follow the guide here, although setting this up the first time may take you some time and effort:
    http://gbatemp.net/threads/tutorial-converting-3ds-to-cia-for-dummies.373722/

    5. Not sure, I have a 32gb sd in my gateway and 16 sd in my system. If I had a larger than 32gb sd I would test this for you but I don't
     
  18. driverdis

    driverdis I am Justice

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    this is not true. the 3DS will accept SD Cards larger than 32GB as long as they are formatted as FAT32 rather than exFAT.
     
  19. Smash Br0

    Smash Br0 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    That's what worries me. I guess we won't know unless we see reports of a future firmware update that actually deletes unauthorized data on the SD card? Back up your save data just in case. :)

    On a different note, I heard that it's possible to edit your .cia game saves, but not your .3ds saves. If that's true, is that the only advantage .cia has over .3ds? Is there any way to edit .3ds saves?
     
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  20. wiibomb

    wiibomb GBAtemp Regular

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    I have a quick question, can a save of a .cia game can be backed up like the .sav files? Can we use them.in multiple 3DS'?