Home » 2DS » 3DS CFW Guide, how to install the best 3ds cfw to 3DS 11.6?
Buy Best R4 Card For 3DS(XL)/2DS/DSi/DS

3DS CFW Guide, how to install the best 3ds cfw to 3DS 11.6?

Besides the site, you can also get to know how to install the best 3DS Custom Firmware to V11.6 or lower firmware 3DS/2DS consoles from this post. In our article, we will write you about 3DS CFW Installation Guide, the Best 3DS CFW and How you can play DS/3DS games on the CFW. 

The Best 3DS CFW-Luma3DS

best 3ds cfw 2018

Nintendo 3DS CFW

Generally our 3DS run the original firmwares on our sysnands, but if we want to do varying things on the Nintendo 3DS, such as installing games, running homebrews, bypassing region locking, we need the 3DS CFW.

3DS CFW is the 3DS Custom Firmware, differs from the 3DS Firmware, which is the original 3DS OS, the 3DS CFW is a firmware modified by the third-party hackers or programmers. CFW enables us to use more advanced hacks that userland homebrew or flashcard can’t easily do. For instance, it supports us install unsigned titles that appear right on 3DS HOME Menu. It also allows us to play games out of region. In 2018, 3DS CFW already can be set up on any console on any version with the help of NTRboot and NTRboot Flashcard.

Currently, many different CFWs exist, ranging from Luma3DS, Cakes FW, NTR and so on. The most widely used one is Luma3DS, developed by Aurora Wright and TuxSH, which allows unsigned CIA (CTR Importable Archives) files to be installed on the Nintendo 3DS devices, provides region-free features, exception handling for homebrew software developers etc.. mostly because of its extremely user-friendly approach and large community support for this project. Cakes, Rxtools (the new version, again), ReiNand, CosmosFW, Gateway and SaltFW. A lot of choice.

Luma3ds CFW

History:  Luma3ds CFW is called AuReiNand in the past, it was the FIRST CFW for 3DS that supported A9LH. Later, Aurora is at it again with her release of Luma3DS. Then Luma3DS takes the place of AuReiNand, when searching for it on Google, we were presented with Luma3DS instead.

Popularity: Luma3DS is currently THE BEST 3DS CFW in 2018, mostly because of its extremely user-friendly approach and large community support for this project. Luma3ds boasts being almost 100% noob-proof, except for those mistakes like skipping an important step in installing B9S. It has regular updates and works on every system. It has all the things one could need (gba Ds patches, emu/sys in front of fw) and works good. Plus, Aurora Wright made a Luma3DS updater cia that you can install to just download the right files immediately from your 3ds if there’s an update :P which is a nice feature of course!


  • Play all 3DS game cards and eShop games, regardless of region
  • Play GBA games without the need to use a homebrew emulator
  • Play free 3DS and Eshop games by installing CIA files on the console
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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

Latest Version: Luma3DSv8.1.1.7z

3DS CFW Guide-To ALL 3DS firmwares, including V11.6

install cfw on any 3ds 2017

In 2018, we can install Luma3DS CFW to any 3DS with any firmware version, this is because the appearance of a 3ds exploit NTRboothax, it allows people to use a backdoor present in the bootROM to get full system control on any 3DS console regardless of the firmware version (as the bootROM can’t be updated), only requiring a compatible NTRboot Card and a magnet. The initial release was on August 12, 2017, supporting flash cartridges such as R4i gold 3ds plus, R4i sdhc b9s, R4i gold pro 3ds, R4isdhc dual core, R4isdhc rts lite, Ace X and so on.

Noob Guide-Install luma 3DS CFW to any 3DS


What You Need

  • A magnet that triggers the sleep mode of your device (if using a folding style device)
  • Your ntrboot flashed flashcart(R4i gold 3ds plus or Ace3ds X or R4i b9s 3ds)
  • The latest release of SafeB9SInstaller
  • The latest release of boot9strap (standard boot9strap; not the devkitfile, not the ntr file)
  • The latest release of Luma3DS (the .7z file)
  • The latest release of the Homebrew Launcher


Section I – Prep Work

  1. Power off your device
  2. Insert your device’s SD card into your computer
    • This is the SD card from your 3DS, not the SD card from your flashcart
  3. Copy SafeB9SInstaller.firm to the root of your SD card and rename it to boot.firm
  4. Copy boot.3dsx to the root of your SD card
  5. Create a folder named boot9strap on the root of your SD card
  6. Copy boot9strap.firm and boot9strap.firm.sha from the boot9strap .zip to the /boot9strap/ folder on your SD card
  7. Reinsert your SD card into your device
  8. Power on your device

Section II – ntrboot

  1. Use the magnet to find the spot on your device where the sleep sensor is triggered
    • This step is not needed on the old 2DS (which has a sleep mode switch)
  2. Power off your device
  3. Insert your flashcart into your device
  4. Place the magnet on your device to trigger the sleep sensor
    • On old 2DS, you should instead enable the sleep mode switch
  5. Hold (Start) + (Select) + (X) + (Power) for several seconds, then release the buttons
    • It may take a few attempts to get this to work because the positioning is awkward
  6. If the exploit was successful, you will have booted into SafeB9SInstaller

Section III – Installing boot9strap

  1. Wait for all safety checks to complete
  2. Remove the magnet from your device
    • On old 2DS, you should instead disable the sleep mode switch
  3. When prompted, input the key combo given to install boot9strap
  4. Once it has completed, force your device to power off by holding down the power button
    • Your device will only boot to the SafeB9SInstaller screen until the next section is completed

Section IV – Configuring Luma3DS

  1. Insert your SD card into your computer
  2. Delete boot.firm from the root of your SD card
  3. Copy boot.firm from the Luma3DS .7z to the root of your SD card
  4. Reinsert your SD card into your device
  5. Power on your device
  6. Your device should have booted into the Luma3DS configuration menu
  7. Use the (A) button and the D-Pad to turn on the following:
    • “Show NAND or user string in System Settings”
  8. Press (Start) to save and reboot
    • If you get an error, just continue the next page


How to play DS and 3DS games on the 3DS CFW?

Once Luma3ds CFW installed on our 3DS consoles, we are able to free play NDS and 3DS Games by some operation.

For playing free NDS games, we need to install the CIA format Twloader and Ndsbootstrap.

Nds-bootstrap is an application that allows the usage of Nintendo DS Homebrew & ROMs through the SD cards of the Nintendo DS/3DS, rather than through emulators or flashcarts.  In order to use this, we’ll need to get a frontend.

TWLoader is a CTR-mode GUI that looks and feels like the Nintendo DSi menu, but the theme can be changed to R4 or akmenu/Wood.

They can support us play ds games via a sd card only but the compatibility and speed is not satisfied. In fact, the NTRboot flashcards we use for setup CFW like R4i gold 3ds plus and Ace3ds X, they are also playing NDS Roms directly on our Nintendo 3ds consoles. Just download firmware and free nds roms to the microsd cards for them, we can play Thousands of NDS games with the R4i gold 3ds plus or Ace3ds X on any 3DS/DSI firmware device!

For playing free 3DS games, we need to either convert 3DS games to CIA format or install the Freeshop.

 .CIA files can be installed straightly to the 3DS system menu. This means once we convert .3ds game to the .cia file, we can run and play the game from the 3DS home menu directly. No need for using flashcard or homebrew! Just remember, to install .CIA file to the 3DS, we need to inject FBI firstly to our CFW installed Nintendo 3DS.

Freeshop, this is a homebrew software designed to imitate Nintendo’s eShop. It allows us to browse and search games, and download ones we own (i.e. games for which you have the titlekey).

So on the 3DS CFW, you have 2 methods to play 3ds game roms. Here’s the instruction for using Freeshop to play free Eshop 3ds games.

  1. Open FBI, go to Remote Install, then Scan QR Code
  2. Visit on your computer and scan the QR code at the beginning of the thread with your 3DS
  3. Hit A to install
  4. Google search 3DS titlekeys on your computer
  5. Click the QR code button underneath the heading ‘enctitlekeys.bin’
  6. Press B on your 3DS until you get back to the main FBI menu, then hit Start to exit
  7. Open up freeShop
  8. Tap the cog icon, then the Update tab
  9. Tick the top checkbox on the touch screen
  10. Tap the little QR code button that is near the top checkbox
  11. Scan the QR code that appeared on your computer screen in step 5
  12. Press Start to exit freeShop
  13. Open up freeShop, and it is ready to use

sky3ds plus cfw 3ds games

To sum up, playing 3DS Games is cheap but not simple on a 3DS CFW, if you want to avoid the complicated procedure, the 3ds flashcard Sky3ds plus is a wise choice. Sky3ds plus supports 3ds game roms directly on all 3DS firmwares&models, only download firmware and .3ds roms to the sky3ds plus, we can play nearly every 3ds retail card roms on any Nintendo 3ds, 3ds xl, 2ds, new 3ds, new 3ds xl and new 2ds xl handheld. No CFW, No game convert and No patch from Nintendo!

Comments are closed.

Scroll To Top