Is it possible to back-up a cartridge version of a 3DS game (or one sold in retail)?

  • What's the difference between a cartridge version of a game and one sold at retail? – TZHX Mar 20 '14 at 9:24
  • 2
    @TZHX: You can buy a cartridge version on the secondary market (from someone who bought it himself), which is not a retail store. I do think though that retail versions are always cartridge versions, not sure if they can sell digital versions and how those behave. – scenia Mar 20 '14 at 9:40
  • @scenia Yes, you can, but that's not any different from a cartridge version, in that it is still a cartridge version, just new. – TZHX Mar 20 '14 at 9:42
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    @TZHX That's right, but it IS different from a version sold at retail. Simply because it's sold somewhere else. There is no technical difference, but the terms both exist and I believe this question was supposed to be there for future reference as a generalisation of the recent same question specific to Pokémon Y. And since people who have this question might use any of these terms, including both does make sense. – scenia Mar 20 '14 at 10:15
  • @TZHX I use both terminology because this is a catch-all question. This is mainly to help anyone who is looking for a "but what if my 3ds game cartridge" or "but what if my game i bought from x store" needs help. Scenia is absolutely right on both points. – sayu Mar 20 '14 at 18:43

From Nintendo's support page:

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Obviously, this means that only downloaded E-Shop titles will be able to use the Backup functionality. If you bought your game through a retail store or bought a physical copy, you will be unable to back up your saves.


You can only back up your save via the save data transfer tool. Meaning you need a physical copy of a game and digital one (Preferably not used) after you send your data to the digital (It cant be returned to the cartridge) you can back up your game if it has the feature. I am sure 95% of games have it.

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