Some beginner questions + Flashcart recommendations

Discussion in '3DS - Flashcards & Custom Firmwares' started by Aglaophotis, Jan 7, 2017.

  1. Aglaophotis
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    Aglaophotis GBAtemp Regular

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    Hi,
    I'm completely new to 3DS hacking and don't even have one yet but recently stumbled across this wonderful guide, read a few threads here and on Reddit and now I'm seriously considering getting a N3DSXL.
    But before I pull the trigger I got a few questions...

    From what I understood, with a CFW like Luma3DS I will be able to play any 3DS roms as well as any kind of games that are supported by VC like GB/GBC/GBA/NES/SNES without the need of a Flashcart. Even games that aren't officially on VC by converting any roms from those consoles to CIA files, is that correct?
    Is this arm9loaderhax method really safe to use? Because I saw a few people here bricked their device... which is quite scary if this may happen to a new console I just bought. :(

    But it's also important to me to be able to play normal DS games and from what I've read I still need a Flashcart for that. Now I couldn't really find what the general consensus is about which one to get if you have a N3DSXL with a CFW like Luma. People seem to be suggesting the following ones, among some others:
    R4i GOLD 3DS RTS
    R4i-SDHC 3DS RTS
    R4-SDHC
    DSTT
    Acekard 2i

    I'm a bit lost here because there are so many different variations and everyone suggests something different and mentions good and bad experiences with any of them... I've read that some may give you problems like draining the battery or even stop working after a while. On your Wiki here it's also mentioned that some "clones" can brick my system.

    What is the best one I can get in my situation? I don't mind spending a bit more if it gets me a reliable and stable Flashcart without any risk or other issues like battery problems. Also, I don't care about fancy emulator-like stuff like cheats or savestates.. I just want to play the games the way I would play the original ones without issues.
    And how exactly does this Flashcart method work? Would I need to store my DS games on another microSD which I put into the Flashcart, or can I store them together with the 3DS games and the rest on my regular one? I thought about getting a 64 GB card for everything but in case I need two, maybe I could simply use the 4 GB one that comes with the 3DS for regular DS games?

    I'd really appreciate any help and sorry if I asked noobie questions but I'm new to all this and I already tried to gather as much information as I could.
     
  2. Xiphiidae

    Xiphiidae

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    If you follow the guide you linked to install arm9loaderhax, you will have a >99% chance of not bricking if you follow the guide to the letter. Don't skip a single step, and maybe read it through a few times before sterting so you know exactly what you're getting into and what will be expected of you. You're effectively right on VC games and .cia files.

    As for DS flashcards, the R4i Gold 3DS is what I, and most others, would recommend. It's cheap, safe, versatile, easy to use, and will do what you want it to. The games will be stored as normal files on a microSD card that slots into the flashcart itself.

    I believe that a 64 GB microSD is a good size for the 3DS, but is definitely overkill for a DS flashcart. I use a 16 GB one and I haven't even made it halfway full with that. 4 or 8 GB should most likely be fine.
     
    Last edited by Xiphiidae, Jan 7, 2017
  3. Aglaophotis
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    Aglaophotis GBAtemp Regular

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    Thanks a lot for your help! That pretty much covers the questions I had. :)
    Now I can only hope I won't mess up the arm9loader process when I get my 3DS. (English isn't my first language after all...)

    About the Flashcart..
    I've read some people saying the DSTT is the best one if you use CFW. Is there a particular reason for that?
    On the Reddit FAQ they also recommend the DSTT. And it's supposed to work with DS game forwarders, although I'm not sure if I really understand what they do exactly. Seems to be like some.. easy access to DS games from the 3DS menu?

    How does the R4i Gold compare to the DSTT? Is there any reason to get one over the other, not considering the price difference?
     
  4. Xiphiidae

    Xiphiidae

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    I'm not 100% familiar with the DSTT, but if all you want is to run DS games on your 3DS, then I would honestly go with the R4i Gold 3DS (though either would be fine if you install A9LH).

    I imagine that FAQ recommends the DSTT due to price alone. Forwarders (shortcuts on your home menu) are a bonus, I suppose. It only works if you have CFW, as it has been blocked on stock 3DS consoles (you need to install a whitelist to use it, which requires CFW).
     
    Last edited by Xiphiidae, Jan 7, 2017
  5. Aglaophotis
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    Aglaophotis GBAtemp Regular

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    Just ordered the R4i and bought an almost new n3DSXL with two IPS screens.. unfortunately not the color I wanted (getting the Animal Crossing themed one, lol...) but I couldn't say no to the good price and dual IPS. :D

    But for the 3DS/VC games micro SD, I'm not really sure if I should get a 64 GB card. I'm leaning more towards 32 GB because I've read some people mentioning their boot and load times increased a bit when they switched to large cards like 64 or 128 GB. I think 32 GB may be the size/performance sweet spot. I also checked out a few game sizes and it looks like 32 GB should be enough for me for a while. I calculated that I could store at least more than 20 games from the ones I'm interested in, including VC games which are MUCH smaller than I expected.
    I guess the other stuff on the card like firmware, game saves or whatever else is needed won't take up much space?
     
  6. Xiphiidae

    Xiphiidae

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    I've been using a 64 GB SD card and have had zero problems or performance issues with it, and I have never heard anyone having any problems with 64 GB cards; only 128 GB ones. If you feel that 32 GB is all you'll need though, then go ahead.

    Games are the only things that take up any significant space, I would say.
     
  7. Aglaophotis
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    Aglaophotis GBAtemp Regular

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    Ok, you conviced me in getting a 64 GB card. :)
    Maybe what I read were indeed statements about 128 GB and I assumed "the larger the slower".

    Now everything's already on its way and I can't wait to start. :D

    Thanks a lot for the help!
     
  8. Xiphiidae

    Xiphiidae

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    No problem. Don't hesitate to ask if you need any help, advice or are facing any issues.
     
  9. squall14716

    squall14716 GBAtemp Maniac

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    The 3DS takes longer to boot up initially with a larger SD card, but it's honestly not a big deal. 128GB cards are fine.

    64GB cards are also fine and probably sufficient size unless you install a whole lot of large games.
     
  10. emuashui

    emuashui GBAtemp Regular

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    u may also consider sc dstwo cart if u r interest in gba games.
     
  11. Aglaophotis
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    Aglaophotis GBAtemp Regular

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    Well, I already ordered the R4i but... why would I even need this when I can play GBA (and other VC supported consoles) natively through the CFW? Am I missing something?
    I also read the DSTWO drains more battery on the 3DS.
     
  12. emuashui

    emuashui GBAtemp Regular

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    real time saving is unique.
     
  13. cocoPika

    cocoPika GBAtemp Regular

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    if you want play 3ds roms free without damage your console you can choose a sky3ds+ flashcart, it only need copy and paste, and support all the system firmware version include the latest V11.2.0-35:hateit:
     
  14. Xiphiidae

    Xiphiidae

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    Or you could install A9LH, which, unlike Sky3DS, is free, convenient, puts you at a near-zero risk of getting banned, and is effectively permanent.
     
  15. Shadow#1

    Shadow#1 Wii & 3DS Softmod Expert

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    Where can i get a Sky3ds+ for free?
     
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  16. Aglaophotis
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    Aglaophotis GBAtemp Regular

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    Since I..
    ..this is not relevant to me. I just want to play the games as intended.
    I think I heard that VC games even have something like a savestate feature so you can turn off your 3DS at any point without losing progress, which is indeed convenient. But anything beyond that is not necessary for me.
     
  17. Aglaophotis
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    Aglaophotis GBAtemp Regular

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    Ok, first problem here...

    I'm currently at the last page of the guide, at this step:
    Now that it says I should be on "2.1.0" I decided to go to System Settings and check, just in case. Version was correct so I clicked on Close to go back to the main menu and access the browser. But before the Home screen showed up, the screen turned black and now I don't know what to do next. :/
    Can I just turn it off and back on? I thought I better ask before risking a brick.
     
  18. Xiphiidae

    Xiphiidae

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    Turn it off and on again. Just make sure that if you have a New 3DS, don't close the screen while it's turned on.
     
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  19. Aglaophotis
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    Aglaophotis GBAtemp Regular

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    It doesn't boot...
    I pressed the power button for a few seconds to turn it off, then back on and the screens are lighting up but it's just black and nothing happens. Tried it again and still the same... :(

    Edit:
    Ok, I just fixed it. Totally forgot this...
    :D
     
    Last edited by Aglaophotis, Jan 14, 2017
  20. Xiphiidae

    Xiphiidae

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    Haha, I was just about to suggest taking out your SD card. Glad to hear it's not bricked!