Nintendo DS ROMS for Free – How to Use Them and Why You Should Care


nintendo ds

You’ve probably seen them walking around the streets and inside busses on your way back home. People playing a seemingly endless amount of DS games on a single cartridge – how do they do it? The answer is simple: a ROM. A ROM is the memory contained in a game cartridge, a very clever hacker transforms the data inside a DS cartridge into a file which can then be uploaded to a device that can be used for playback. But how does this all work? Let’s get started:

Materials List

A DS (Can be a Fat DS or a DS Lite, but NOT a DSi, the tech is still unproven for a DSi)

A Flashcart capable of reading ROMS (you can find some here, I recommend the M3DS or the CycloDS)

A PC with a USB Connection

A Card Reader Capable of reading either SD (with the adapter) or Micro-SD (without the adapter) – most carts come with one of these that’s USB 2.0 compatible.

A Micro-SD card that’s at least 1 Gb

Playing ROMS on your DS Lite or DS

1. Once your flashcart kit arrives, unpack it and remove the DS cartridge together with any additional accessories.

2. Go to the manufacturer’s website in order to find the correct firmware version for your flashcart – updating to the latest firmware ensures that you aren’t left behind trying out a new game that doesn’t seem to work.

3. Updating the firmware is a simple act of copying over the correct files to the Micro-SD card, just plug in your USB adapter and copy over all the files in the firmware pack over to the root of the memory card.

4. Once all the firmware files have been updated, create a new folder in the SD card’s root called “Games”.

5. Now the Games folder is ready to accept your ROMS (which should all end in *.DS)

6. Proceed to this website and find what ROM you’re looking for and download it.

7. Once you’ve downloaded the ROM, unpack it using 7-Zip or WinRAR and find the *.DS file

8. Place the *.DS file into your “Games” folder on the SD card’s root and you can start playing the ROM after booting up the flashcart.

And that’s all there is to it – I’ll leave it up to you on whether or not you should be doing this at all. While the resources are there, the legality of the issue is that it’s unquestionably piracy to do so.