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The ultimate guide to get free games on 3DS(Tested Working)

You can get free games on Nintendo 3DS by either hacking it or without hacking. After cracking the 3DS, you can play free games via insalling flashcard, homebrew or cfw; without using any mod or hack, there are game demos and free games to download and play from 3ds eshop. In the following article, I will show you the guide for each method.

How to get free games on Nintendo 3DS?

Guide A: Play free games on 3DS without hacking

There are two ways to get free games without hacking, download game demo and play free eshop games, check in Nintendo Game Store, we will find many free games, included free Nintendo 3ds games and Nintendo Switch games( NO Free Nintendo DS Games), you can donwnload the games directly, steps are easy, log in Nintendo site , check game store and choose free games, check games which you want to download, then enjoy it.

And we also can get free games with playing game demo, A game demo is a freely distributed piece of an upcoming or recently released video game. Demos are typically released by the game’s publisher to help consumers get a feel of the game before deciding whether to buy the full version and/or keep it. So, how can we play game demo?

A Nintendo Network ID is required to download game demos from the Nintendo eShop. If you need assistance creating a Nintendo Network ID, click here.

What to Do:

  1. From the HOME Menu, select the Nintendo eShop icon and tap “Open.”
  2. Keyword search “Demo” and tap the game’s icon from the list, or simply select the Game Demos icon and browse the available game demos. How to
  3. Tap the “Download Demo” icon to the left of the “More Details” icon.
  4. Review the ESRB Rating and tap “Next.”
  5. Tap “Download.”
  6. Select “Download Later” or “Download Now” to begin the download process.
    • Items downloaded now will begin immediately.
    • Items downloaded later will begin when the system enters sleep mode。

Guide B: Play free games on 3DS with hacking

1. Get free games via homebrew exploit

Homebrew launcher entrypoints are released for installing Homebrew Menu on Nintendo 3ds, once your 3DS supports Homebrews, you can play the old retro games for free on your console. Currently, the homebrew exploits are divided into 2 categories, one is Primary homebrew hax the other is the Secondary homebrew hax, only the primary homebrew exploit can be used on a non-hacked 3DS console directly.

These exploits themselves are free to use, you are no need to buy it. But most of them are based upon a certain 3DS or eshop 3DS game, in order to setup it on you Nintendo 3ds console, you should have the game at first .

Such as the Ninjhax 2.9, it’s the hottest homebrew exploit, if you have install the Ninjhax on your console, you can use it with the GBA/GB/GBC emulator to play free GBA/GB/GBC games, but we can not use it to play free DS/3DS games.

Here is the tutorial for installing Ninjhax 2.9 on your any 3DS

1. Go to the get ninjhax section of this page and enter your console’s firmware version.
2. Submit the form; you should get your very own ninjhax QR code.
3. Download the homebrew starter kit and extract it at the root of your SD card. Alternatively, you may choose to only download The Homebrew Launcher menu executable and place it at the root of your SD card. No matter what, after this step, you should have a file named boot.3dsx placed at the root of your SD card.
4. Make sure your 3DS’s wifi connection is enabled and connected to the internet (this is important!).
5. Start CUBIC NINJA on your console, choose “Create”, then “QR code”, and finally “Scan QR code”.
6. Scan the QR Code. This step might take a couple tries; make sure you fill up as much of your 3DS’s screen with the QR code. If scanning the QR code returns to menu with an error, try a few more times.
7. Follow the on screen instructions. You may choose not to install the exploit to your gamecard’s savedata, though doing so is not recommended.
8. OPTIONAL – once the ninjhax is installed to your gamecard, just go back to the “QR code” menu and it’ll run automatically!
9. OPTIONAL – you can now run homebrew apps on your 3DS! Simply drag and drop application folders into the “3ds/” directory that was created on your SD card by ninjhax.

2. Play free games on 3DS CFW 

3DS CFW is the custom firmware for Nintendo 3ds, on a 3DS with CFW, you can do the following things, including play free games with the .CIA extension. In order to install the CFW to your console, there are many methods to choose, here recommend you NTRboot Method and Frogminer.

  • Play all game cards and eShop games, regardless of region
  • Customize your HOME Menu with user-created themes and splash screens
  • Use “ROM hacks” for games that you own
  • Take gameplay and application screenshots
  • Backup, edit, and restore saves for many games
  • Play games for older systems with various emulators, using RetroArch or other standalone emulators. (Works best with a New Nintendo 3DS)
  • Install homebrew titles to your system, and have them appear on your HOME Menu
  • Dump your game cards to a format you can install, and play them without needing the card
  • New 3DS or New 2DS only: stream live gameplay to your PC wirelessly with NTR CFW
  • Run many old Nintendo DS flash carts that were blocked long ago or never worked on Nintendo 3DS
  • Safely update to the latest system version without fear of losing access to homebrew

NTRboot method or the NTRboothax exploit is the most popular 3ds hack to use, it is working with the NTRboot Flashcards to install Luma3DS/B9S to your 3DS with a much simple way in any time. This way can be highly recommended for getting 3DS CFW on any console and firmware, but this is the paid method, you need to buy the NTRboot card, such as the R4i gold 3ds plus.

Frogminer is a free CFW (Custom Firmware) installation method for the Nintendo 3DS family of systems.It uses homebrew to inject a new dsiwarehax game (Flipnote Studio) into a DSi system title instead of an eshop DSiware. This allows it to be free of charge.

NTRboot method requires you having a compatible flashcard while the way is a free one. So you can choose according to your need. Once you have a custom firmware like the luma3ds installed on 3DS, you can start to play free games with this guide.

  1. Download FBI app to your 3DS SD Card.
  2. Donwload the .cia 3ds games to your 3DS SD Card.
  3. Run the FBI app to install .cia files on 3DS.
  4. Play .cia games on the console.

The more detailed guides you can check here.

3. Buy flashcard to get free games on 3DS

If you don’t want to use the Homebrew or CFW to get free games, we recommend to buy one flashcard to hack your Nintendo 3DS to get free games, the steps are easier than Homebrew and CFW tutorials, you just need to buy one DS Game or 3DS game flash card.

The most popular DS flashcards are R4i gold 3ds plus, R4i sdhc 3ds rts, R4i gold pro, R4isdhc dual core and Ace3ds plus in the market. They are all supporting on the latest 3ds v11.9, dsi v1.4.5 and working on any lower firmware console.

Besides playing free games for you, they also have real-time save, cheats, homebrew and other functions. The Biggest advantage for them is the cheap price and simple&safe setup. Here is the instruction for using the above R4 card to play 1000+DS games on any 3DS.

1. Prepare a microsd card, format it with fat32 or exfat.
2. Download the firmware/kernel from each r4 card’s official site.
3. Extract the r4 3ds kernel zip file to the root of your micro SD.
4. Download the .nds game roms from online, and drag them to the root of your sd card.
5. Plug sd card to r4 card, insert r4 card to your 3ds console slot.
6. Enjoy DS games.

Top recommended 3DS flashcarts are Sky3ds+ and Stargate 3ds. The first one is able to playing every Nintendo 3ds game except for eshop titles, the latter one is famous for playing both DS and 3DS games, if you only care about the 3ds game compatibility, no need to consider it.

And Sky3ds+ is the best 3DS Games flashcard, Sky3ds+ can play all 3ds games on 3DS/2DS V11.9.0. It is working on all lower firmware and higher firmware versions. It is supporting nearly every Nintendo 3ds game, including the latest Kirby’s Epic Yarn.

It is plug and play, users only need to download sky3ds+ firmware and free 3ds rom files to make it to work on Nintendo 3ds firmware 11.9. All in all, if you are looking for a flashcard to play All 3ds games(excludes the eshop) easily on the 11.9, Sky3ds+ is your choice! Here is a sky3ds+ user guide for 3DS/2DS V11.9 console.

1. Prepare a microsd card, format it with fat32 or exfat.
2. Download the sky3ds+ v114 firmware from
3. Extract the kernel zip file to the root of your micro SD.
4. Download the .3ds game roms from online, and drag them to the root of your sd card.
5. Plug sd card to Sky3ds+, insert sky3ds plus card to your 3ds console slot.
6. Enjoy 3DS games, press 2 orange buttons to change games.

For getting free games, which ways should we choose?

  • If you want to play free games with hacking, you can buy one r4 3ds card or Sky3ds+ to get free DS/3DS games.
  • If you only want to get 3ds homebrews, the homebrew exploits are the better chocies, what you need is just having one game.
  • If you would like to get 3ds cfw, You can buy r4i gold 3ds plus to use the NTRboot way, or use the free way, Frogminer, but it’s complicated, doesn’t fit for the new players.

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