I love Pokémon. I used to play Pokémon Black 2 on OpenEmu, but it froze and wouldn't let me play farther. In looking for a fix for this, I read that downloading Pokémon ROMs from the internet is illegal.

I was thinking if I was able to buy the Pokémon game, I could copy it to my computer with a SD card to USB type of thing, and then play it with OpenEmu.

Unfortunately, buying a DS or 3DS is out of the question, because I don't have any of my own money to spend, and frankly if I asked my parents for it as a birthday or Christmas present they would say no: "We already have a Wii, and you have your own computer!"

Would this be possible? What would I need to take a copy of my game cartridge?

  • 2
    We can't really answer legalities; we're not lawyers. We should be able to answer whether it's feasible or not. But you'll probably spend some cash getting the equipment in order to do so; it won't be free.
    – Frank
    Mar 31, 2015 at 20:29
  • I don't expect it to be. From what I read on the nintendo legal page, I don't think they would have a problem with it, but I was just looking for conformation. Mar 31, 2015 at 20:31
  • 1
    Nintendo would rather you didn't know about what you can and can't do with your property. But like I said, we can't answer whether it's legal or not. The rest, we should be able to help with. I'd recommend removing that part of the question.
    – Frank
    Mar 31, 2015 at 20:32
  • 5
    Since someone tried to close the question as illegal, Emulation is not Piracy Mar 31, 2015 at 21:25
  • 1
    I don't think it is possible, unless you are a master at hacking and can crack all the security that is protecting the game on the cartridge :) ROMs take a while to get released for a reason. For instance, if you have the Black2 ROM, you might be aware that there were a few things that didn't work properly in the early days of the ROM's release, such as the inability of pokemon to get exp.
    – Jerry
    Apr 1, 2015 at 5:14

2 Answers 2


There is no way to dump DS cartridges without using either a DS and some kind of flash cart or perhaps a 3DS and homebrew... unless you are willing to make your own custom hardware (no simple task). The closest thing might be the NDS Adapter Plus, but that supports only reading and writing save files, not the games themselves.

However, it has been a few years. Perhaps you could manage to get a DS these days -- they are much cheaper now. If you do that, then you will still need a flash cart of some kind to run a custom program to copy the cartridge, not to mention the cartridge itself. This gbatemp forum thread has instructions for various dumping setups.

Alternatively, you can use a homebrew-capable 3DS with the above-linked software, too.

In my case, it was an M3 Perfect slot2 flash cart using wood dumper (slot2). Run the dumping application from your flash card, insert your new Pokemon Black cartridge, push the button, and with luck you will have a copy of your game. (I don't think this copies save files, though, so if you want to do that too you'll have to find another tool for that -- but there is hardware to do it.)

dumpin a ROM, don't tell nintendo

You can then copy the dumped .NDS file and play it in your emulator of choice. You might need to clean up the dumped ROM, though, as in my experience it tends to copy too much data (effectively, garbage).

There are also other options, such as using Wi-Fi to copy a ROM over the network.

Of course, if you did all of this, then you already have the game you want to play and a Nintendo DS... But nothing stops you from playing the copy in an emulator.

  • You can also use a DSi with custom firmware to run wooddumper (or a port of it at least), but it can't dump DSi(enhanced) games, ironically. Also, some NDS Adapter Plus devices can dump carts, but I don't know if they do it properly.
    – Hiccup
    Jul 31, 2018 at 15:59

You can insert the cartridge into a modded 3DS and use GM9 to copy the .NDS file from the game cartridge directory to your SD card. Works similarly with a modded DS.

I, myself, have used the modded 3DS method. It also works with 3DS games with .CIA files.

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