As of now, it is possible to downgrade your 3DS FW to 4.2 (FW <= 9.2), use EmuNAND (up to current 9.4) and install .CIA files even without a Gateway card. GBAtemp user Chaldron has posted some excellent guides on the topic: https://gbatemp.net/threads/tutoria...r-firmware-to-cfw-4-5-without-gateway.378371/ https://gbatemp.net/threads/tutorial-4-5-sysnand-4-5-cfw-9-4-emunand-without-gateway.378721/ So, now I'm wondering, does it even make sense to buy a GW card anymore? The only obvious downside of Chaldrons method (using the Palantine CFW & .CIA) is that some games require a 3DS FW >= 7.x and therefore will not run (as the Palantine CFW requires a 3DS FW between 4.2 and 4.5). But even that may eventually be fixed, and until then a library of hundreds of game backups is accessible. Also, you will only need a DS mode flashcard such as the well supported R4i Gold, which runs a lot cheaper than a GW card. A guide to convert any 3DS / 3DZ backup to CIA format is found here. My only real concern with Chaldrons method is safety (or "bricking risk"). Although there are to my(!) knowledge no confirmed bricks yet, it is still relatively new and not much has been tested yet. We're also all still scared from the timed bricks the GW team once hid inside their FW and I'm not sure if we can trust the MTCard team on that issue. Anyways, any ideas or experiences on that? BTW, I know that "Chaldrons method" is actually the work of a lot more people, but they are given proper credit inside his threads.