It's (Actually) Surprisingly Easy to Hack your 3DS (And Why You Totally Should) (WIP)

, 2022

I guess I don't really need to go into a long intro about this — if you're a cool online gamer chad such as myself, no doubt you're familiar with the meme. "Modding your 3DS is surprisingly easy! Anyone can do it with a simple tutorial! And there's so much more functionality available with custom firmware than—"

Yeah. And honestly? I'm not gonna pretend that the main purpose of this article isn't to propagandize to vanilla 3DS owners about how true all of those memes actually are (and to hopefully get them on track to modding theirs). But it's also...more than that.

What I'm hoping to do here is provide a complete picture of the 3DS hacking scene, its ideals, its quiet present and tenuous future, and to give something of an insider's perspective on why free modification is, like, an actual right that people should have.

3DS Hacking and Me

Even though the majority of the actual important information presented so far has been sourced from more experienced, more qualified hackermen, you may still be wondering about my personal relationship to the topic at hand: essentially, why I care so much.

I've homebrewed three different consoles to date; one was a friend's, and two have been my own. Remember Soundhax? That was how I got my start, at the tender age of thirteen. See, I had no idea what the fuck I was doing and even I managed to get Luma running! It's Actually Very Easy.

Anyway. CFW for me was a way to experience a lot of stuff that I probably wouldn't have been able to — fun save-editing tools, great emulation, and of course, a lot of things I can't conscionably advocate for in this article!

The Fight for Your Right...To Hoooomebrew!

Hey gamers! Did you know that there's a themed restaurant for 3DS homebrew in Japan, complete with its own custom Spotpass? Google 'Nintendo 3DS Hacker Restaurant' to learn more!

If there's one thing Nintendon't, it's play around when it comes to homebrew. Even despite the looming threat of NNID bans, many consider the 3DS scene to be the halcyon days of Nintendo modding online. If you tried any of that shit on the Switch, you wouldn't get very far. But why is Nintendo so stuck in the past when it comes to this stuff, even as their competitors seem to be getting more supportive of user mods than ever?