Homebrew [NDS] Forwarder CIAs for your HOME Menu

RocketRobz

Coolest of TWL
OP
Developer
Joined
Oct 1, 2010
Messages
14,747
Trophies
2
Age
22
XP
16,666
Country
United States
NOTE: For a way to make forwarders for SD ROMs on your 3DS console, please follow this guide.

Remember the old days of having forwarder channels on your Wii that boots games from your USB drive or SD Card? :yaywii:
Ever wanted a way of launching full DS games like digital titles in your 3DS HOME Menu or DSi Menu? Well now you can!
In this tutorial, you can make forwarders that boots NDS ROMs from an SD Card (or if you want, a DS-mode flashcard).

Remember to please read the FAQs, if you have any issues.

Requirements

DSi:
  • GodMode9i
  • Unlaunch
  • hiyaCFW
  • TMFH (Title Manager for Hiya)
  • An SD Card
  • (Optional) DS-Mode flashcard (aka, Slot-1 to microSD card adapter)
3DS:
  • GodMode9
  • A CFW that patches TWL_FIRM (Luma3DS)
  • A CIA installer (FBI, DevMenu, etc)
  • An SD Card (or microSD card for N3DS)
  • (Optional) DS-Mode flashcard (aka, Slot-1 to microSD card adapter)
PC:
  • x64 version of your OS (May be needed for Windows)
  • Forwarder3-DS. Scroll down for the download.

The recommended flashcards are DSTT and Acekard 2i (and R4 Ultra too, since that's an ak2i clone).
If you want perfect game compatibility, get the SuperCard DSTWO/DSTWO PLUS. The only downside is that it drains your system battery faster.

If you have a flashcard that works with @Apache Thunder's NTR Launcher, fell free to request it here.
Be sure to specify which build you're using (Normal or Alt), and if RESETSLOT1 is set to 0 or 1 in "sd:/nds/ntr_launcher.ini".


Compatible:
Acekard 2(i) (DSi-Enhanced games, including newer NTR games, don't work.)
Acekard RPG
DSTT
DSTT Advance
Galaxy Eagle
M3 DS Real
M3 DS Simply (uses <2GB microSD card)
R4 DS (Original Non-SDHC version, uses <2GB microSD card)
R4 SDHC Snoopy
R4 SDHC RTS LITE (www.r4isdhc.com)
R4 SDHC Upgrade (www.r4i-sdhc.com)
R4i3D (www.r4i3d.com)
R4iDSN
R4i Gold
R4i Gold RTS (www.r4ids.cn)
R4i-SDHC (www.r4i-sdhc.com) (Normal and RTS versions)
R4iTT (www.r4itt.net) (Purple card may be incompatible)
SuperCard DSONE
SuperCard DSTWO (Normal and Plus versions)

Untested:
R4i3D NEW (Use R4iDSN template and pack)

Partially compatible:
Ace 3DS+(Game compatibility is bad, so saving/loading save file results in crashing.)
Gateway Blue Card (Game compatibility is bad, so saving/loading save file results in crashing.)
EX4DS (Game compatibility is bad, so saving/loading save file results in crashing.)
R4iLS (Game compatibility is bad, so saving/loading save file results in crashing.)
Cards with www.r4isdhc.com.cn (Game compatibility is bad, so saving/loading save file results in crashing.)

Incompatible:
CycloDS (i)Evolution (Can autoboot ROMs, but it works differently than other flashcards.)
(i)Edge (Unable to autoboot a .nds ROM)
R4 Gold Pro (www.r4i-gold.com/www.r4i-gold.me) (YSMenu (not the forwarder process) bricks the card)
R4i3D (2012)
R4 Infinity Dual Core
R4 SDHC
R4 SDHC Dual-Core (www.r4isdhc.com) (YSMenu (not the forwarder process) bricks the card)

Windows only:
  • Microsoft Visual C++ 2010 SP1 Redistributable
Windows/Linux/Mac:
  • Java 8 Update 251 (Thanks to @djwyman for finding this out)
  • Java SE Development Kit 8u281 (Thanks to @RoyalTea for finding this out)
  • Local language set to English
  • Linux: JavaFX

SD Card users: See what games work and what doesn't work:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1LRTkXOUXraTMjg1eedz_f7b5jiuyMv2x6e_jY_nyHSc/edit#gid=0


Download:
Forwarder3-DS (Current version: v2.9.6 - Template Update October 11, 2021)

also, check out:
Banner icon replacements for your forwarders! (Custom ones included)
For hacks/translations of DSi-Enhanced games, find a fixed banner above.

Source code for the templates (not needed):
https://github.com/RocketRobz/NTR_Launcher/tree/forwarder


Instructions
NOTE: If you don't see any tabs below, try clearing your browser cache.

Part 1.1: Getting started (SD Card)Part 1.2: Getting started (Flashcard)Part 2: Getting the AP-fix pack from TWiLight Menu++ (Skip, if the app is already installed)Part 3.1: GodMode9 (3DS)Part 3.2: GodMode9i (DSi)Part 4: Forwarder3-DS


  1. Do these steps. Forwarders will not work, if you don't do them.
    1. Download the required files here (look for tags starting with "SD").
    2. In the 7z file, extract what's in "for SD card root" to the root of the SD card.

    After you extract the pack for your card, you can edit "sd:/_nds/nds-bootstrap.ini" and change one of the settings.
    • BOOST_CPU: If set to 1, TWL clock speed is used, so lags begone.
    • SOUND_FREQ: If set to 1, sound will play at 48khz, instead of 32khz.
    • LANGUAGE: If set to -1, the system language will be used.
    • REGION: If set to -2, the DSiWare game's region will be used instead of the system's.

  2. Do these steps. Forwarders will not work, if you don't do them.
    If you don't have a flashcard, you can skip this part.

    1. Download one of these packs.
    Original R4/M3 Simply
    Acekard 2(i)/M3DS Real
    DSTT/R4i Gold/R4i-SDHC/R4 SDHC Upgrade/SC DSONE
    Acekard RPG
    R4iDSN/R4i Gold RTS/R4i Gold 3DS Plus
    Ace 3DS+/Gateway Blue Card/R4iLS/R4iTT
    SC DSTWO

    2. In the 7z file, extract what's in "for Slot-1 microSD" to the root of the flashcard's microSD card, and (if folder exists) "for 3DS SD card" to the root of the 3DS SD card.

    What will be in each pack for loading ROMs:
    Original R4/M3 Simply - WoodR4 & YSMenu
    DSTT/R4i Gold/R4i-SDHC/R4 SDHC Dual-Core/R4 SDHC Upgrade/SC DSONE, Acekard 2(i)/M3DS Real/R4i-SDHC 1.4.x - YSMenu
    Acekard RPG, Ace 3DS+/Gateway Blue Card/R4iLS/R4iTT, R4iDSN/R4i Gold RTS - WoodR4

    After you extract the pack for your card, you can edit "sd:/nds/ntr_forwarder.ini" and change one of the settings. This isn't possible for Acekard RPG, R4 DS, and R4i Gold RTS.
    • NTRCLOCK: If set to 0 or if A is held, the DSi boot screen will appear instead of the normal DS splash, and TWL clock speed is used, so lags begone.
    • DISABLEANIMATION: If set to 1 or if B is held, the DS/DSi boot screen is skipped.
    • HEALTHSAFETYMSG: If set to 1, the boot screen's H&S message will appear on the bottom screen. If set to 0, the bottom screen stays white with no H&S message.

    1. Download the latest TWiLight Menu++ version here. Only get the `3DS.7z` file.
    2. In the 7z file, go to "_nds", "TWiLightMenu", and "extras".
    3. Drag the "apfix.pck" file to "sd:/_nds/ntr-forwarder/".

  3. (Skip, if you already have the ROM(s) you need)
    1. Make sure you have your DS game cart inserted.
    2. Hold START on boot to bring up the payload selection menu.
    3. Select GodMode9.
    4. At [root], select GAMECART.
    5. Copy the .nds or _trim.nds file to anywhere on your SD card.
    6. When you're done dumping your ROMs, power off the system.

  4. (Skip, if you already have the ROM(s) you need)
    1. Make sure you have your DS game cart inserted.
    2. Select GAMECART
    3. Press A to dump the full ROM, or press Y to dump the trimmed ROM.
    4. When you're done dumping your ROMs, power off the system.


  5. Forwarder3-DS.png


    NOTE: If it doesn't start...
    MetoMeto said:
    If anyone is wondering how to make "Forwarder3DS.jar" to run, i did it by making bat file.
    So...i made run.bat file (just make txt file where Forwarder3DS.jar is and rename it to "run.bat" instead of "New Text Document.txt") and i right clicked on it, than "Edit" and once opened i wrote "java -jar Forwarder3DS.jar".
    Than i saved, exit, and double-clicked and it ran the forwarder (Forwarder3DS.jar)
    1. Select the target card you're using on the left.
      NOTE: If you don't see a list of cards, download a zip file here, and put "forwarders" in the same folder as the .jar file, and rename "forwarders" to ".forwarders".
    2. Turn on "Automatically set ROM path" to set the path to where your ROM is at in the SD Card or flashcard.
      Linux users: The automatic path is incorrect since it includes the entire path (e.g. /media/$USER/something/). Please remove that part.
      MacOS users: The automatic path is incorrect since it includes "/Volumes/(cardname)/" at the start. Please remove that part.
    3. DSi users: Turn on "Keep .NDS files".
    4. Click the folder on the top-right, and find the ROMs on the SD Card (or flashcard) you are using, or drag and drop them (from the SD card or flashcard, not the PC) into the window.
    5. SD card users: If your DS game's save file is in the same folder as the ROM, move it to a folder called "saves", which should be made in the same location as the ROM.
    6. If you're playing a hack/translation of a DSi-Enhanced game that has it's banner/title edited, find the banner for the game above, right click on the game in Forwarder3-DS, click "Import banner", and click on the banner to use.
    7. If using a homebrew ROM, click on it, then clear and type in the game title.
    8. Click the floppy drive button to generate the forwarder!

    Finalization (DSi):
    1. Copy the NDS file made by the application, to your DSi SD Card.
    2. Install the forwarder NDS file using TMFH.

    Finalization (3DS):
    1. Copy the CIA to your 3DS SD Card, or put it in Boop for network installation.
    2. Install the CIA(s). If using EmuNAND, install it to both Sys & Emu NANDs.

    You are now done! Enjoy playing your games through your forwarders! :nds: :yay3ds:



Here's a video tutorial and a forwarder in action! (This was before we were able to run retail ROMs from SD Card.)

Credits:
@Olmectron, for making Forwarder3-DS.
Me, for creating the Auto-Boot ROM Path setter for DSTT/R4i Gold/R4i-SDHC/R4 SDHC Dual-Core/R4 SDHC Upgrade/SC DSONE, Acekard 2(i)/R4iTT, and DSTWO.
@ahezard, for making the R4/M3, Acekard RPG, R4iDSN/R4i Gold RTS forwarder templates, and nds-bootstrap.
@Apache Thunder, for recreating the DS/DSi boot screen.
@MasterCheese, for helping me getting the Ace3DS Plus, Gateway Blue Card, and cards with www.r4isdhc.com.cn to work.


FAQs:

Q (Linux users): Why is Forwarder3-DS not starting?
A: JavaFX isn't installed. Please install JavaFX.

Q: How do I fix this error: Could not find or load main class com.olmectron.forwarder.Forwarder3DS
A: You need to install JavaFX version 8.
(credit to @Cosmopool)

Q for 3DS users: I'm not getting a CIA, just a .nds file. Why?
A1: Because you are using an x86 PC. The included make_cia build does not work on x86 PCs, and only works on x64 PCs.
If you still want to run DS games, please follow this guide (for 3DS), or use TWiLight Menu++ instead.
A2: The ROM filename might be too long. Try shortening it.
A3 (Linux and MacOS users): make_cia does not have the required rights. Execute chmod +x make_cia in the terminal on the .jar file's directory, so that make_cia gets the needed rights to be executed.

Q: When clicking the button to generate a forwarder, no window appears. How do I fix this?
A: Unfortunately, I don't know how to fix this.
Again, if you still want to run DS games, please follow this guide (for 3DS), or use TWiLight Menu++ instead.

Q: The icon for the forwarded DSiWare doesn't animate. How do I fix this?
A: Use NDSForwarder on your 3DS instead of Forwarder3-DS to create forwarders.

Q: Why is the banner/title blank?
A: Make sure your ROM's .nds filename is short, and/or create Forwarder3-DS folder in your hard drive (or flash drive) root, and run the .jar file there.

Q: How do I delete the blank forwarder(s)?
A for DSi users: Use TMFH to delete the forwarder.
A for 3DS users: In FBI, delete the title(s) that start with "00048004".

Q: How do I update the forwarder templates?
A: The app will automatically update the templates if it's set, or you can click the button next to the Forwarder3-DS title, and click "Update templates".

Q: How do I get rid of lag on games?
A: Hold A before the DS boot screen appears, or open "sd:/nds/ntr_forwarder.ini" ("sd:/_nds/nds-bootstrap.ini for SD card users) and set
NTRCLOCK (BOOST_CPU for nds-bootstrap.ini) to 0 (1 for nds-bootstrap.ini) to use TWL clock speed.

Q: Why aren't some of my forwarders appearing?
A: You went over the 40 DSiWare game limit. Copy any DSiWare/forwarder you don't use, to your SD Card, and delete it from System Memory.

Q for 3DS users: Will the game I'm playing show up in Activity Log?
A: Yes it will!

Q: What games are DSi Enhanced (and/or has animated banners)?
A: Look here.

Q: Why am I taken to a ROM selection menu?
A: Make sure "Games are on SD card" was checked, and you dragged and dropped the ROMs from the flashcard's microSD, to Forwarder3-DS' window.

Q: Can I run DSi-Enhanced games in DSi mode on flashcards?
A: Nope, this is not possible, as flashcards only run in DS mode.

Q: How do I use cheat codes?
A: Use a program called DSATM, or use TWiLight Menu++ instead of the forwarders.

Q: I'm getting a top black screen and a bottom white screen, or a black screen with a "Start failed" error message. How do I fix this?
A: Make sure "Automatically set ROM path" is enabled, and that the ROM was dragged from the SD card, and not from the PC, into Fowarder3-DS while making your forwarder(s).
If you already done that, then please re-download the SD forwarder pack.
If you already done that, then make sure there's a "saves" folder in the forwarded ROM's location.
If all fails, then use TWiLight Menu++ instead.

R4 DS/M3 DS Simply, R4iDSN/Acekard RPG/R4i Gold RTS:

Q: Why are some of my games getting white screens?
A: The forwarders are based on an outdated version of Wood, which had it's source code found. The version used has bad compatibility with some games. Open _wfwd/wfwd.ini, and set useLatestWood to 1.


DSTT/R4i Gold/R4i-SDHC/R4 SDHC Dual-Core/R4 SDHC Upgrade/SC DSONE, M3DS Real:

Q: Why does my game freeze sometimes?
A: The game has Anti-Piracy checks. YSMenu is supposed to fix that, but won't for some reason.

Q: Launching the CIA just takes me to the ROM selection menu. How do I fix that?
A: Delete or rename any existing YSMenu.ini file in the YSMenu and root folders/directories.

Q: How do I skip to the ROM selection menu?
A: When booting YSMenu, hold B to go to the ROM selection menu.

Q: Why am I getting:
[Rom Loading failed]
load rom errcode=-
Please reset system.
A: Look at the YSMenu error code guide.
 

Attachments

  • HNI_0097.PNG
    HNI_0097.PNG
    348.7 KB · Views: 45,110
Last edited by RocketRobz,

Apache Thunder

I have cameras in your head!
Member
Joined
Oct 7, 2007
Messages
4,284
Trophies
2
Age
34
Location
Levelland, Texas
Website
www.mariopc.co.nr
XP
5,926
Country
United States
Nice! Modified YSMenu with custom INI file path correct? That's one way to do it. Would hope someone finds out how the soft reset SRLs manage to init the DSTT and other SDHC clones. Homebrew that use DLDI (YSMenu included) hang when trying to init DLDI of such cards. Original R4 is the oddball that allows it. Probably because of how simple the hardware it was using. :P
 

AboveColin

Well-Known Member
Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2016
Messages
212
Trophies
0
Age
26
XP
87
Country
Netherlands
What do you mean with "DS Card Whitelist" the cia file or is it listed in one of the .nds or .cia tempalte file? sorry for the questions xD kinda new into hex thingy's
 
General chit-chat
Help Users
  • No one is chatting at the moment.
    kenenthk @ kenenthk: I guess Microsoft took over the 2ds line...