Best GBA emulator for 3ds WITHOUT CFW

Discussion in '3DS - Homebrew Development and Emulators' started by Aquasp, Oct 15, 2018.

  1. Aquasp
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    Aquasp Newbie

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    Oct 15, 2018
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    I've been trying to look all over the place for a good GBA emulator for 3ds (New 3ds XL specifically), but every good emulator, including injecting games onto your system, all require custom firmware. I would get CFW on my 3ds by now, but all of the methods I've seen are ether outdated, requires you to buy something like a flashcart, or DSI game, or they require hardmodding. So I'm asking if there is a GBA emulator for 3ds that's able to run games at full speed without CFW. If not, is there a free way to install CFW? Also I only have homebrew on my 3ds, nothing else.
     
  2. Namesnipe

    Namesnipe GBAtemp Regular

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    Frogminer is free.
     
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  3. Fusion Luigi

    Fusion Luigi Pun Master/Loser

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    Nintendo didn't do anything GBA after the Ambassador thing for when the N3DSXL came out. Which means the only way to get the GBA is to homebrew.
     
  4. bi388

    bi388 GBAtemp Maniac

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    Yes but theres gba emulators that dont require cfw. I think mgba is the best, although last i knew emulators ran better in cfw than ofw.
     
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  5. Fusion Luigi

    Fusion Luigi Pun Master/Loser

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    I didn't say cfw. I said "homebrew"
     
  6. SCOTT0852

    SCOTT0852 Kid now, squid now

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    There's mgba, but tbh it's trash. Just use Frogminer for free cfw.
     
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  7. ThoD

    ThoD GBATemp Addict (apparently), but more like "bored"

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    Nothing can beat injected games in accuracy and performance since, unlike emulators, they run natively. As the others suggested, use Frogminer which is completely free and fairly easy to do, then I suggest you just use NSUI to make CIAs of the games you want and inject them. Only thing you may get from an emulator that could be any sort of worth is save states, although with the decrease in performance, I highly suggest just avoiding emulators for GBA, unless you are playing something where save states are a MUST (and ONLY game I can think of that has that kind of thing is Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire Pinball since there's no saving in-game, only when you lose, making it impossible to play through all the way to the end without save states)!
     
  8. Rahkeesh

    Rahkeesh GBAtemp Fan

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    Eh the latter plus stages of Mario vs. Donkey Kong start to get pretty annoying. Frameskip in mGBA is more bearble in some genres than others, like that more puzzley game. Also its not too hard to export/import GBA inject saves to emulators and back so you aren't committed, and can even load up an emulator just for the hard parts.
     
    Last edited by Rahkeesh, Oct 16, 2018
  9. wormdood

    wormdood pirate booty inspector

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    behind a parental advisory sticker
    Frogminer Guide
     
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  10. Aquasp
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    Aquasp Newbie

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    Well I went with what everyone said, so I installed Frogminer, and injected GBA games, and they work perfectly. I wish there was an option to be pixel perfect, but what there is now is good enough.
     
    Last edited by Aquasp, Oct 16, 2018
  11. KleinesSinchen

    KleinesSinchen The backup reminder

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    Hold Select while starting a GBA game UNTIL the game starts. This IS pixel perfect, but small. Works for other Virtual Console and for normal DS games too.
     
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  12. Aquasp
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    Aquasp Newbie

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    Thanks. I knew there was a pixel perfect option for DS games, but I just didn't know how to activate it, although I do have another question if you know anything. It seems at though I can download CIAs for basically any game, VC or not, so if I happened to download a full 3DS game, like SSB4 for example, is there a chance that my system could get banned if Nintendo could read what's pirated or not?
     
  13. KleinesSinchen

    KleinesSinchen The backup reminder

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    Sorry. I’m not an expert for that. I never played a single game online with any console/computer in my life and only use games I paid for. I do not even know if I was banned for installing CFW. But I can repeat (like a talking parrot) what I read countless times here on GBAtemp:

    Do not do anything stupid like cheating online or playing pirated games BEFORE they are officially released. Scroll down to the big red box on this page:
    https://3ds.hacks.guide/get-started
    and set the options as told. You should be fine then. Once installed Nintendo can’t tell if the game is a legit version on the 3DS.
     
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  14. Mike_IronFist

    Mike_IronFist Member

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    Oct 13, 2018
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    mGBA is an amazing emulator but the 3DS - even the new 3DS - is a little underpowered and there's a lot of optimization that needs to be done on the dev side to make mGBA run better. As a Game Boy/Game Boy Color emulator though it's amazing. Kirby Tilt n' Tumble and Game Boy Camera work out of the box with the current 0.7 beta. If you want the best performance and overall highest-quality GBA experience you can get on 3DS, though, CFW is honestly your best bet.
     
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  15. Clydefrosch

    Clydefrosch GBAtemp Psycho!

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    retroarchs gpsp core ran full speed for every game years ago. if only it was open source so someone could get rid of that system crashing bug in it's dynamic recompiler...
    what I'm saying here is, mgba could easily be fullspeed 100% of the time with room to spare for fast forwarding on n3ds. but not as long as the priority is on accurate emulation.

    technically, they recently changed their content server (eshop) to be able to detect wether or not a game installed on your system should be in your possession. but I'm not really sure if they check for that during onlineplay.
     
  16. ThoD

    ThoD GBATemp Addict (apparently), but more like "bored"

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    The check happens ONLY at the time you try to download something, no other time.
     
  17. OrGoN3

    OrGoN3 GBAtemp Addict

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    The check on the 3DS happens when you install content in sleep mode. Definitely follow the guide as linked above for the 2 settings to turn off. Otherwise yes, you might get banned.

    You may also get banned if you play a game online before it's actually released, and/or if you cheat online. Otherwise you're pretty safe.
     
  18. ThoD

    ThoD GBATemp Addict (apparently), but more like "bored"

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    Actually no, the 2 "settings" are NOT about sending information to Nintendo or not, Nintendo still receives the information just fine and that's been proven many times already! For example, hiding what you are playing on the friend list DOES send the info on what you are playing to Nintendo, it just makes it so Nintendo won't show your friends what you are playing. That was proven close to two years ago but people still spread this misinformation. What matters, regardless of settings is to not pirate leaked games (even if you don't go online as long as the data of the game in your system is from before the release date you risk a ban when you do go online after release). Cheating online WON'T ban your 3DS, the MOST it will do depending on the game is either disconnect you suddenly after the game lagging extremely badly (eg: in Monster Hunter games) or ban you game-specifically (ONLY that game, not the system, for games like Pokemon for example).

    Anyway, the check happens when trying to download, regardless of sleep mode or not, the sleep mode thing was just regarding how FreeShop did things from what I saw back then when this was being looked into. Trying to download with invalid tickets, be it sleep mode or not, you could get flagged, but again, it ONLY happens when downloading, so installing CIAs is and always will be 100% safe after official release.
     
  19. OrGoN3

    OrGoN3 GBAtemp Addict

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    I thought the most Nintendo sent when those 2 settings are disabled were the last game you played/launched. Plailect's guide still says to disable the 2 settings, and he's usually spot on with his information (albeit slow to update).

    The only cheat I've ever used online is the Mario Kart anti-cheat. Well, I also used the course unlock cheat for Mario Kart DS so I could pick any course when playing online.

    I thought the system actively checked your tickets when in sleep mode. I guess I was wrong. I know it checks prior to downloading now.

    Well, I guess it's coincidence that when I set those 2 settings, I stopped getting banned. Oh well. Thanks for the info.
     
  20. SG6000

    SG6000 GBAtemp Fan

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    Nov 2, 2015
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    I just checked some GBA emulation on my 10.3 FW non-CFW N3DS. gPSP can run near full speed for less CPU-heavy titles but has scratchy audio and the dread of the random system crash (it didn't happen - not this time - for now). mGBA (non-retroarch) seemed to run worse across the board but I'd imagine that's mainly because its more accurate.

    On a system with glorious native GBA support (which should be enough by enough by itself to install CFW for in my book) you really have to ask yourself if save states are worth suffering an experience so poor for.
     
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