The R4i 3ds card is able to work on 3DS and play Nintendo 3DS Games. More detailed, it can play NDS games natively but should work with a method named NTRboot to play 3ds ROM. You might as well hack and homebrew your 3DS, The instructions are different for every console and version. check out the ultimate guide here. You will never get a brick. Just be careful not to get banned, although I’m not sure if Nintendo still cares about the 3DS.


What’s the method for using R4 card to play 3ds games?

The method is called NTRboot Method, this can work because it enables a Custom Firmware like Luma3ds to run on any 3DS firmware console via using a flashcard and a magnet, then after that, you can install 3ds games to your console via converting it to .cia file or directly downloading .cia ROM from online.

The NTRboot Method is heavily based on the NTRboothax or magnethax of Nintendo 3DS, which is a free 3ds exploit to use for running B9S .firm files from boot ROM via a compatible flashcard and a magnet! This can work on every 3DS&2DS variants with all firmware versions.

All preparations for this method are just an NTRboot compatible flashcart and a maget if our 3DS devices are of a folding style. This is because the exploit requires your device to enter sleep mode while still having access to the buttons. 

Which R4i 3DS work with NTRboot to play 3ds games?

Many flashcarts are compatible with the Ntrboot method, not only the 3DS R4i cards. But when using any of them, you should keep the following things in mind.

  • The R4i 3DS should be compatible with your 3ds firmware version.
  • The R4i 3ds should without Timebomb software.
  • The R4i 3ds should be installed with firmware or kernel.
  • The R4i 3ds can’t be used for its standard functions while the NTRboot exploit is installed on it unless you have R4i gold 3ds plus or Ace3ds x or you remove the exploit.

R4i 3DS cards support NTRboothax

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R4i Gold 3DS (RTS): Also known as R4i Gold 3DS, R4i Gold 3DS RTS, R4i Gold 3DS V6.1 R4i Gold and R4i Gold 3DS Deluxe (NOT the white-golden “STARTER” card)
Revisions are earlier than “4” might not be supported. 

R4i Gold 3DS Plus: This flashcard does not have to be flashed. There is an internal switch to change between DS games and NTRBoot mode. It has the revision “NTR boot”.

R4i SDHC: Also known as R4i(i) SDHC RTS Lite, R4i(i) SDHC Dual-Core, R4i(i) SDHC Gold Pro, R4i(i) SDHC Snoopy and R4i(i) SDHC Upgrade.
All cards from this team with “2014”, “2015”, “2016”, “2017”, “2018”and “2019” are supported. 

R4i 3DS B9S: This also comes pre-flashed with NTRBoot as “R4i 3DS B9S”. It doesn’t matter if the card has a “games engine” or a “wifi” logo. This card has a timebomb.

R4i gold EU 3ds: Only cards with “Touch! Bomberman Land” icon are supported. This is a rebrand of the “R4i 3DS RTS (”. This card has a timebomb. Unsupported cards might brick when trying to inject NTRBoot.

Guide-How to use R4i card to play 3ds ROMs?


For flashing NTRboot to a 3DS FW console with compatible R4i 3ds cards, there are 4 ways, they are the 3DS Single method, the 3DS Multi-method, the NDS, and the DSI methods. 

  1. 3DS Single System: This method requires nothing more than your stock unhacked 3DS and a compatible flashcart. 
  2. 3DS Multi System: This method requires temporary access to a second 3DS family device that is already running boot9strap.
  3. NDS: This method requires temporary access to a Nintendo DS or Nintendo DS Lite that is compatible with your flashcart. 
  4. DSi: This method requires temporary access to a Nintendo DSi that is compatible with your flashcart. 

The First method is the Easiest, no hacked or another device required and many R4i 3ds can support it. So just prepare a NTRboot R4i card and a magnet for your unhacked 3DS/3DS XL/NEW 3DS XL/NEW 2DS XL console, then finish the steps here, you can get the R4i 3ds card to play free 3ds ROMs. 

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  • The latest release of SafeB9SInstaller (
  • The latest release of boot9strap (
  • The latest release of Luma3DS (
  • The latest release of the Homebrew Launcher (
  • Flashing NTRboot to your R4i with this guide (, or if you have an R4i B9S, R4i GOLD 3DS PLUS, ACE3DS X, you are no need to do this.

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
  1. Copy SafeB9SInstaller.firm to the root of your SD card and rename it to boot.firm
  2. Copy boot.3dsx to the root of your SD card
  3. Create a folder named boot9strap on the root of your SD card
  4. Copy boot9strap.firm and boot9strap.firm.sha from the boot9strap .zip to the /boot9strap/ folder on your SD card
  5. Reinsert your SD card into your device
  6. 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)
  1. Power off your device
  2. Insert your flashcart into your device
  3. Place the magnet on your device to trigger the sleep sensor
    • On old 2DS, you should instead enable the sleep mode switch
  1. 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
  1. 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
  1. When prompted, input the key combo given to install boot9strap
  2. 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”
  1. Press (Start) to save and reboot
    • If you get an error, just continue the next page

Section – Playing 3DS Roms

  1. Download the 3DS game in .cia format from online or ask us in Discord.
  2. Put the CIA for the game onto the 3DS SD card.
  3. Download FBI, use the FBI to find the CIA and install it.
  4. The 3DS Game will appear on the 3DS menu and play it.

When taking this method to play 3ds games, you should be very careful, there is a risk for bricking your console if you do anything wrong. I have used this way to install ROMs to my console, the end is I spend a whole afternoon but only get 3 .cia files to download.

So I don’t recommend any 3DS console newbie or a kid to do with this guide. In my opinion, the 3ds flashcard that plays 3DS Games on the consoles is much more convenient. Just like the way R4i card play ds games, the Sky3ds+ or Stargate 3ds flashcards supports 3ds ROMs directly.

I have both the flashcards in hand, each one can be set up in 5 minutes with only download .3ds files and kernel to the card, then I just need to insert the card to 3DS and start to play them! No, exploit, no ban and no brick!

By Tell Me How

It is a technology blog and admin has excellent experience in programming from 5+ year. You can contact us at

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