I have a 3DS and I want to install an Atari emulator to play some old games (Boulder Dash, River Rider). I have read that I need a flash cartridge(such as the R4), but I am still not sure how these carts work. My questions are:

  1. Do I really need flash cartridge to play on an Atari emulator(I.E. StellaDS) on my 3DS?

  2. Is it possible to run the emulator from an SD card?

  3. Do I have to flash my 3DS with some special software to be able to run an emulator on a flash cartridge?

  • Now i see River Raid on AGH vol. 1. Cool step forward :) Oct 26, 2011 at 23:22
  • You can't play atari roms legally. End of story. Oct 27, 2011 at 5:13
  • Stefan Kendall: I am not sure if we read same story;) 1) My point is if have to crack my 3DS to run the emulator 2) Please write answer as regular answer to i can mark it as answer for my question. Otherwise this question will be always not solved. Oct 27, 2011 at 10:07
  • My comment isn't an answer. You're breaking US copyright law by running Atari ROMS. You shouldn't be concerned about what is and isn't legal with the 3DS if your end goal is to break the law anyway. Oct 27, 2011 at 21:47

1 Answer 1


Short Answers

  1. Yes
  2. Yes
  3. No

A bit more detail

  1. Since the 3DS doesn't have a whole lot of built in storage, some sort of flash cart is going to be necessary. This likely remains true even if there is, or comes to be some sort of lasting hack that would let you run homebrew from the SD card slot.

  2. Most flash cartridges store the bulk of their data on an SD card(usually Micro nowadays) that you provide, thus practically requiring an SD card.

  3. To the best of my knowledge, the business of flashing the DS itself is an old practice. Before the system had been so thoroughly hacked, flashing was one of the favorable options. Downsides included the fact that it would technically void your warranty(but wasn't really easy to detect). Basically, you could flash your DS, but all of the up-to-date carts will achieve the same end result without changing anything on the actual DS.

  • @Mailo - No worries. Thank you for accepting! :-)
    – FCTW
    Oct 28, 2011 at 14:40

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