So what are these things? Do I get to play games for free? A backup loader is a homebrew application allowing for the use of legally-acquired backup ISOs of your legally-purchased Wii games bought from legal retailers, or, more accurately, mindless piracy. They work by unlocking and using a disc drive mode hidden in the Wii allowing non-authenticated discs to be played. Two of them have been released at the time of this post. The first one was Waninkoko's, and was leaked to the public before Waninkoko had a chance to release it, provoking him to refuse the finished release to the public altogether. The second was Wiigator's, an open source backup loader built off of a GeckoOS release, and originally called "Backup Loader GeckoOS Edition" until GeckoOS' author, Nuke, made complaints of it being affiliated to him (along with, apparently, canceling development of GeckoOS entirely). They've both caused a lot of ruckus within the "scene" and come along with some dire implications toward the future of homebrew in general. But no one cares about any of that anymore, so let's get down to the piracy. FREE GAMES, KICKASS! How do I use 'em?? Waninkoko's loader has a perfectly serviceable guide to getting it running over here, and setting up Wiigator's is largely the same process. To run either of them, you'll need the loader, cIOS v5, the DVDX installer, the ISO "patcher", a means of running homebrew (most commonly the Homebrew Channel), a WAD installer, burning software (ImgBurn suggested), and a small amount of common sense. Common sense is in the shortest supply of all those listed above, and most of them are linked to in the setup thread, save for Waninkoko's original files (cIOS v5, his loader, and the patcher), which were removed in respect to Waninkoko's wishes and are easy enough to find on your own. Note that the ISO patcher will take awhile to finish patching, so don't close it prematurely. When burning, use +/-R media, and make sure your drive's booktype is set to DVD-ROM. A GUI version of the ISO patcher is available here. This place has a lot of various info on Waninkoko's loader, including compatibility lists. cIOS? What's that? Will it break my Wii and/or cause the apocalypse? A cIOS (Custom IOS) is almost, but not quite, entirely unlike custom firmware for your Wii. The IOS is the "operating system" of the Wii, (not firmware, and as a result, much safer than actual custom firmware would be) and is contained in variously-tweaked version packages all coexisting in your Wii. A cIOS is a release of IOS files altered to incorporate different features not usually allowed, and is installed as a new IOS version, allowing safe and simple installation and uninstallation without a big risk of bricking your Wii. They were primarily used for disc dumping before the advent of backup loaders. It is possible for a cIOS to cause problems with your Wii, but it's unlikely if you haven't done any large modifications to your Wii. They may indeed cause the apocalypse. So do all games work? Can I play Gamecube games with these? Short answer, no. All games suffer from slower loading speeds, and there are still a lot of games that have various issues with the loaders. There are compatibility lists for Waninkoko's (mentioned above) and Wiigator's, though, and there are a few roundabout solutions to work around errors in some games, which can be found by searching around the forums. Gamecube backups don't currently work with the loaders, but they can be run provided you have an SD Gecko. A Gamecube-compatible backup loader being released in the near future is not inconceivable. Ooh! Can I play online with backups? No. This is not due to any type of legitimacy checks in Nintendo's wifi as far as I know, but primarily because of the 3x disc read speed imposed by the Wii's DVD video mode. Because of this, your game ends up loading slower and sometimes playing differently than others', causing desynchs and connection problems when playing online. There's no immediately obvious fix for this limitation without hitting the problem from a different angle, so don't hold your breath. It may be possible to play online with others who are also using backup loaders, but I couldn't find any material on that. Try it! Can you hook me up with some ISOs, dude? I hear Link's Crossbow Training is pretty sweet. No. Go find your own. If you're having a problem with the loaders or have a question pertaining to them, post here instead of making a new thread. Common problems and questions will be edited into this post as they come. If anyone can elaborate on the subjects mentioned here, by all means, do so, and I'll add it in. Disclaimer: I haven't actually used the backup loader, so it's possible that I have some of my info wrong. If I do, make me aware of it and I'll edit it with correct info.