Nintendo DS Hacking and homebrew questions.

Discussion in 'NDS - Emulation and Homebrew' started by alexg1989, Sep 25, 2010.

  1. alexg1989

    alexg1989 GBAtemp Regular

    Sep 23, 2010
    United States
    I'm new to the DS. Actually I don't even have one yet but I want one and am planning on getting a used one in good condition. I bought a used PSP 1000 (it's been going strong for a year now) and hacked it and now I want to do the same with a DS.

    I just want to know which DS is best suited for hacking, what is this r4 thing I keep hearing about, an what does it allow me to do?

    Is the NDS homebrew scene as active and as good as the PSP homebrew scene?

    I love homebrew, especially ebook readers (and comic book readers of course) and the NDS double screen would be perfect for ebooks. I looked around and the DS does indeed have a couple ebook readers. Are they good? What about comic book readers?

    N64 emulation: Possible on the DS? I'm assuming no since it's not even that optimized yet for the PSP or even perfect on PC.

    What emulators run well? GBA, SNES, GENESIS? I can emulate all that on my PSP pretty much fantastically, but if something were to happen to my PSP I'd like to have a backup with similar multi-media functions.

    I'm not made of money so I don't want to just buy another PSP. With a DS I can also play DS games which I can't on PSP.

    Can I watch movies and listen to music on a DS?
  2. Kwigg

    Kwigg GBAtemp Regular

    Sep 25, 2010
    1) DS lite's are pretty good, as you can get special RAM packs to run more intensive homebrew, and DSi's get updates which block flashcarts, but usually there is an update. Here's a tip, DON'T get the R4, it seems alright, but either get the iPlayer, if you want RAW flashcart POWER, or the Acekard 2i for ultimate compatibility

    2) There's an awful lot of homebrew, but I'm not particulary sure if it's as popular as PSP

    3) Theres one for a specific flashcart called 'Supercard DSTwo"

    4) Nope, but the 3DS might be

    5) Theres a SNES, Game boy, Genesis, Really old pc and a GameBoy Advance, BUT the GBA one will only work on the iPlayer, which only allows Homebrew and movies to run off it, no commercial roms

    6) What? You mean, can you play DS games? Of course you can, there are a few rom sites, but due to Warez rules on this forum, I cannot give you a link

    7) Yep, iPlayer, a lot easier that works with almost every film format, or Moonshell, which you have to convert the videos beforehand to .dpg format
  3. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

    pip Reporter
    Nov 21, 2005
    United Kingdom
    While there are hacked firmwares for the pre DSi models of DS and they are quite useful the actual focus of hacking on the DS is on flash carts. The R4 is an outdated model of flash cart but it rose up at one point to become the most popular flash cart, today the focus is on several carts. In no real order

    Supercard DS one (the DS two is a DS one but with serious video and onboard hardware to help some homebrew, it comes at a fair cost though)
    Acekard 2i- most notable for third party loader AKAIO which is probably the most compatible around (not that others are to be sniffed at). Lacks some of the more exotic features the rest of the cards on this list might have (savestates, in game text reading and the like) but still good enough to be one of the most popular devices.
    CycloDS- features, decent compatibility
    EZ5i- Does things and does them well, a sort of clone/respin in the iSmart has been making a dent of late as well.
    m3 (m3i zero)- muddles along well enough but not quite as bleeding edge as some of the others mentioned thus far.

    The others in the likes of the dstt/ttds, EDGE and R4 (thanks to stuff like wood r4) are more budget carts and while they work quite well they are rarely mentioned in the same breath as the others above.

    All of them (except the iplayer) allow you to select and run DS games, they also do things like add cheats, savestates, load homebrew, read text in game (walkthroughs and the like). These extra features do vary from cart to cart but for the most part if they are there they work well enough.

    GBA is not necessarily emulated unless you are on a DSi (the DS and DS lite have a GBA slot after all) so most people get a small expansion pack (typically the EZ 3 in 1 although despite the name there is homebrew/source code/cart level support to allow it to work on other devices. Others opt for the even old GBA flash carts like the EZ4 (they are still made/available).
    GBA emulation on the other hand is limited to the new breed of rather pricey DS flash carts in the iplayer and supercard DS two and it will work on the DSi and DSi XL.

    SNES and genesis are not at PSP level but genesis at least has many games playable thanks to jenesisDS and picodrive.
    SNES- snezziboyDS, snesDS and snesemulDS have you covered. Some stuff has happened on those enhanced flash carts as well but I have not been following it.
    N64- not a chance.
    Older systems- almost flawless and on many of them will stack up against the PSP.

    Homebrew- if you like quirky little games, remakes and the odd bit of more conventional homebrew then the DS is far better than the PSP. Have a browse around
    Ebooks (assuming plain text or maybe HTML, PDF is usually not so hot but still there and some of the more conventional epub type stuff will be tricky unless you convert), comics are doable (CBR and CBZ just being rar and zip files with images) and you also have comicbookDS.

    Music is not a problem unless you like really exotic formats (your plain MP3, AAC- usually comes with MP4 or m4a extension, AC3 and the like will work fine).

    Video- part of the enhanced flash carts (not sure about the present state of the DStwo) is video support that is pretty good (as in you can often throw an AVI file you just downloaded on there and watch it without having to convert). As long as you do not mind converting then moonshell is good too and works on all carts. Certainly good enough to have something to watch during a ride somewhere.
  4. Kwigg

    Kwigg GBAtemp Regular

    Sep 25, 2010
    That post makes mine look like dirt now [​IMG]
  5. bluestreak711

    bluestreak711 Member

    Apr 15, 2010
    United States

    I think both of your posts were quite informative.
  6. Rydian

    Rydian Resident Furvertâ„¢

    Feb 4, 2010
    United States
    Cave Entrance, Watching Cyan Write Letters
    Here's my copy-paste on which flash cart to get.

    You have three choices for carts that have proper support/updates.
    [*]The original R4.
    NOT "R4-III Upgrade", NOT "R4-SDHC", NOT "R4i", NOT "R4 Gold", NOT "R4 Red", NOT "R4 King"...
    • Price: $6 from
    • Advantages: Can use Wood R4, giving it compatibility with modern games.
    • Disadvantages: No DSi support, limited to memory cards 2GB and lower, no special features.
    • Rank: The cheap card for somebody that just wants to play some games on a DS/Lite.
    [*]Acekard 2i
    • Price: $15 from
    • Advantages: Can use AKAIO, giving it compatibility with modern games. Can update itself and cheats over wifi, supports the DSi/XL, and supports memory cards up to 32GB.
    • Disadvantages: Can't do any of the special stuff the DSTwo can.
    • Rank: Mid-range card for people that want to play lots of games on a DSi/XL with some extra features.
    [*]Supercard DSTwo
    • Price: $35 from
    • Advantages: Supports the DSi/XL, can update itself even if the DSi won't run it, supports memory cards up to 32GB, real-time save (save states), in-game guide (show text and images from walkthroughs without having to reset the game), "free cheat" which lets you modify memory while the game is running, GBA and SNES emulator, slow motion, and more.
    • Disadvantages: The most expensive card.
    • Rank: Pretty much the ultimate card right now.

    But yes, the DS is far weaker than the PSP, it's emulation capabilities are not nearly as good.