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Matvey Belov
Matvey Belov

Tips and Tricks for Using 3desmume - A Nintendo DS Emulator for the 3DS


What is 3desmume?




If you are a fan of Nintendo DS games and you own a Nintendo 3DS console, you might have heard of 3desmume, a DS emulator for the 3DS. But what exactly is it, how does it work, and is it worth trying? In this article, we will answer these questions and more.




3desmume download


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3desmume is a Nintendo DS emulator based on DeSmuME, a popular open source DS emulator for Windows, Mac, and Linux. It was created by shutterbug2000, a developer who ported DeSmuME's core to the 3DS. It is currently a work in progress and has many limitations, but it can run some commercial and homebrew DS games on the 3DS.


Some of the features of 3desmume are:


  • It supports high-resolution 3D rendering with a GPU scaling factor option.



  • It has tools for hackers, speedrunners, youtubers, and casual gamers.



  • It can be debugged through GDB.



  • It has a Cocoa frontend for OSX users and an incremental frontend for Windows users.



However, some of the limitations of 3desmume are:


  • It requires a custom firmware (CFW) on the 3DS to run.



  • It has low compatibility with many DS games.



  • It has slow performance and may cause crashes or freezes.



  • It does not support sound or touchscreen input.



As you can see, 3desmume is not a perfect emulator, but it is still an impressive achievement and a proof of concept. If you want to try it out for yourself, read on to learn how to download and install it on your 3DS.


How to download and install 3desmume?




Downloading 3desmume




To download 3desmume, you will need to visit its GitHub page, where you can find the latest releases and source code. The latest release as of June 2023 is 3desmume-0.0.1.zip, which was uploaded on March 2021. You can download it by clicking on the green "Code" button and then selecting "Download ZIP". Alternatively, you can use this direct link: https://github.com/shutterbug2000/3desmume/archive/refs/tags/3desmume-0.0.1.zip.


Once you have downloaded the ZIP file, you will need to extract it using a file manager or a program like 7-Zip. You should see a folder named "3desmume-3desmume-0.0.1" that contains several files and subfolders. You will need to copy some of these files to your 3DS's SD card in order to install 3desmume.


Installing 3desmume




To install 3desmume, you will need to have a 3DS with custom firmware (CFW) installed. If you don't have CFW, you can follow this guide to install it. CFW allows you to run homebrew applications and games on your 3DS, as well as access features that are normally locked or restricted by Nintendo.


Once you have CFW, you will need to copy the following files from the "3desmume-3desmume-0.0.1" folder to your 3DS's SD card:


  • The "boot.nds" file from the "bin" subfolder to the root of your SD card.



  • The "bios7.bin" and "bios9.bin" files from the "bios" subfolder to the "sdmc:/_nds/" folder on your SD card. If the folder does not exist, create it.



  • The "firmware.bin" file from the "firmware" subfolder to the same "sdmc:/_nds/" folder on your SD card.



  • The "roms" subfolder to the root of your SD card. This is where you will put your DS game ROMs that you want to play with 3desmume.



After copying these files, you can eject your SD card from your computer and insert it back into your 3DS. You will also need a way to launch homebrew applications on your 3DS, such as The Homebrew Launcher or TWiLight Menu++. For this guide, we will use The Homebrew Launcher, which you can access by holding START while booting up your 3DS.


Once you are in The Homebrew Launcher, you should see a list of homebrew applications that are installed on your 3DS. Look for the one named "boot.nds" and select it with A. This will launch 3desmume on your 3DS.


How to use 3desmume?




Loading and playing DS games




When you launch 3desmume, you will see a black screen with some text and a menu bar at the top. The text shows some information about the emulator, such as the version number, the CPU mode, and the GPU scaling factor. The menu bar has four options: File, Emulation, Config, and Help.


To load and play a DS game with 3desmume, you will need to have a DS game ROM file in the "roms" folder on your SD card. You can obtain DS game ROMs from various sources online, but make sure that they are legal and safe to download. You should also check if they are compatible with 3desmume by looking at this compatibility list.


Once you have a DS game ROM file in the "roms" folder, you can load it by selecting File > Open ROM from the menu bar. You will see a file browser that shows the contents of your SD card. Navigate to the "roms" folder and select the DS game ROM file that you want to play. Press A to confirm and wait for the game to load.


If the game loads successfully, you will see it running on both screens of your 3DS. You can use the physical buttons of your 3DS to control the game, as well as the circle pad or the D-pad to move the cursor on the touchscreen. You can also use the stylus to tap on the touchscreen, but this may not work well for some games.


To pause or resume the game, you can press SELECT. To exit the game and return to the menu, you can press START. To save or load the game state, you can select Emulation > Save State or Load State from the menu bar. You can also use the L and R buttons to quickly save or load the state in slot 0.


That's how you can load and play DS games with 3desmume. However, you may notice that some games run slowly, have graphical glitches, or don't work at all. This is because 3desmume is not a very optimized or compatible emulator. To improve your gaming experience, you may want to configure and optimize 3desmume for better performance and compatibility.


Configuring and optimizing 3desmume




To configure and optimize 3desmume, you can select Config > Emulation Settings from the menu bar. You will see a window that shows various options that affect how 3desmume emulates the DS hardware and software. Some of these options are:


  • CPU Mode: This determines whether 3desmume uses the ARM11 or ARM9 processor of the 3DS to emulate the DS CPU. The ARM11 mode is faster but less compatible, while the ARM9 mode is slower but more compatible. You can try switching between them to see which one works better for your game.



  • GPU Scaling Factor: This determines how much 3desmume scales up the DS graphics to fit the 3DS screen. The higher the factor, the sharper the graphics, but also the slower the performance. You can try lowering this factor to improve speed, or increasing it to improve quality.



  • Enable Sound: This determines whether 3desmume plays sound or not. Sound is not supported by 3desmume, so enabling it may cause noise, distortion, or crashes. You can try disabling it to avoid these issues.



  • Enable Touchscreen: This determines whether 3desmume emulates touchscreen input or not. Touchscreen input is not supported by 3desmume, so enabling it may cause inaccurate or unresponsive controls. You can try disabling it to avoid these issues.



These are some of the options that you can tweak to configure and optimize 3desmume for your game. However, keep in mind that these options may not work for every game, and some games may still be unplayable with any settings. You may need to experiment with different combinations of options to find the best one for your game.


What are the advantages and disadvantages of 3desmume?




Advantages of 3desmume




Despite its limitations, 3desmume has some advantages that make it worth trying for some gamers. Some of these advantages are:


  • It allows you to play DS games on your 3DS without needing a DS flashcart or cartridge.



  • It allows you to play DS games on a larger screen with higher resolution and better colors.



  • It allows you to play DS games on a portable device that you can take anywhere with you.



  • It allows you to relive your childhood memories or discover new games from the DS library.



These are some of the benefits of using 3desmume, especially if you are a fan of DS games and you don't have access to a real DS console or a better emulator. If you are looking for a way to enjoy some DS games on your 3DS, 3desmume may be a good option for you.


Disadvantages of 3desmume




However, as we have seen, 3desmume also has many disadvantages that make it unsuitable for many gamers. Some of these disadvantages are:


  • It requires a custom firmware on your 3DS, which may void your warranty or brick your device if done incorrectly.



  • It has low compatibility with many DS games, which means that many of your favorite games may not work at all or have major issues.



It has slow performance and may cause crashes or freezes, which means that even if your game works, it may not run smoothly or reliably.


  • It does not support sound or touchscreen input, which means that you will miss out on some of the features and functions of your game.



  • It may not be legal or ethical to use 3desmume, depending on the source and legality of your DS game ROMs and the laws of your country.



These are some of the drawbacks of using 3desmume, especially if you are looking for a high-quality and faithful emulation of DS games. If you are looking for a better way to play DS games, you may want to consider some alternatives to 3desmume.


What are some alternatives to 3desmume?




Other DS emulators for the 3DS




If you want to play DS games on your 3DS, but you are not satisfied with 3desmume, you may want to try some other DS emulators that can run on the 3DS. Some of these emulators are:


  • nds-bootstrap: This is a homebrew application that allows you to load DS game ROMs from your SD card and run them natively on your 3DS. It does not emulate the DS hardware, but rather uses the built-in DS mode of the 3DS. It has high compatibility and performance, but it requires CFW and some additional files and settings.



  • TWiLight Menu++: This is a homebrew application that acts as a frontend for nds-bootstrap. It allows you to browse and launch your DS game ROMs from a graphical interface that resembles the original DS menu. It also has some extra features, such as cheats, themes, and widescreen support.



  • DSiMenu++: This is an older version of TWiLight Menu++ that works on both 3DS and DSi consoles. It has similar features and functions, but it may not be as updated or stable as TWiLight Menu++.



These are some of the other DS emulators that can run on the 3DS. They offer a better way to play DS games on your 3DS than 3desmume, but they still have some limitations and requirements. If you want to play DS games on other platforms, you may want to try some other DS emulators for other platforms.


Other DS emulators for other platforms




If you want to play DS games on other platforms, such as your PC or smartphone, you have more options than 3desmume. Some of these options are:


  • DeSmuME: This is the original DS emulator that 3desmume is based on. It is available for Windows, Mac, and Linux, and it has high compatibility and performance. It also has many features and options, such as filters, cheats, savestates, screenshots, and recording.



  • melonDS: This is another open source DS emulator for Windows, Mac, and Linux. It aims to provide accurate and fast emulation of the DS hardware and software. It also supports online multiplayer, microphone input, and Wi-Fi emulation.



  • DraStic: This is a commercial DS emulator for Android devices. It is one of the best DS emulators for mobile devices, as it has high compatibility and performance. It also has many features and options, such as controller support, cloud saving, fast forward, screen layout customization, and cheat codes.



These are some of the other DS emulators for other platforms. They offer a better way to play DS games than 3desmume, but they may have different requirements and costs. You can choose the one that suits your needs and preferences best.


Conclusion




In this article, we have learned about 3desmume, a Nintendo DS emulator for the 3DS. We have seen what it is, how it works, and what its advantages and disadvantages are. We have also seen how to download and install it on our 3DS, how to use it to play DS games, and what some alternatives to it are.


If you want to try it out for yourself, you can follow the steps in this article to download and install it on your 3DS. However, if you are looking for a better way to play DS games, you may want to consider some of the alternatives that we have mentioned, such as nds-bootstrap, TWiLight Menu++, DeSmuME, melonDS, or DraStic.


We hope that this article has been helpful and informative for you. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below. Thank you for reading and happy gaming!


FAQs




Here are some frequently asked questions about 3desmume and DS emulation:


  • Is 3desmume legal?



3desmume itself is legal, as it is a homebrew application that does not contain any copyrighted or proprietary code from Nintendo or other parties. However, the legality of using 3desmume may depend on the source and legality of your DS game ROMs and the laws of your country. Generally, it is illegal to download or distribute DS game ROMs that you do not own or have permission to use. It may also be illegal to modify or hack your 3DS console to run custom firmware or homebrew applications. You should always check the laws of your country and respect the rights of the game developers and publishers before using 3desmume.


  • Is 3desmume safe?



3desmume is safe, as long as you download it from its official GitHub page and follow the instructions in this article to install it on your 3DS. However, there are some risks involved in using 3desmume, such as bricking your device, voiding your warranty, or getting banned from online services. You should always backup your data and use 3desmume at your own risk.


  • Is 3desmume still in development?



3desmume is still in development, but it has not been updated since March 2021. The developer, shutterbug2000, has stated that he is busy with other projects and does not have much time or motivation to work on 3desmume. He has also said that he welcomes anyone who wants to contribute or fork the project. You can follow his progress and contact him on his GitHub page or his GBAtemp thread.


  • What are some of the best DS games to play with 3desmume?



Some of the best DS games to play with 3desmume are those that have high compatibility and low requirements, such as homebrew games or simple 2D games. Some examples are Super Mario 64 DS, New Super Mario Bros., Tetris DS, Kirby Super Star Ultra, Pokémon Black/White, and The Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass. You can check the compatibility list to see which games work well with 3desmume.


  • How can I improve the sound quality of 3desmume?



You can't. Sound is not supported by 3desmume, and enabling it may cause noise, distortion, or crashes. The only way to improve the sound quality of 3desmume is to use another emulator that supports sound, such as nds-bootstrap or DeSmuME.


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