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a quick guide to ds homebrew

Arrow Image Details on how to set up, the difference between different kinds of hardware, patching homebrew, types of exploits.

Today I\'m going to help you get interested and (hopefully) get you started with homebrew on ds. The homebrew scene is very hard to get into, so this is meant to help you understand what everything does, how it works, and where to get it.

.::. getting set up .::.

In order for you to use hardware on your DS, you will need a few things:
+ A flash cart (either with in-built memory, or with a memory card reader)
+ (optional) A passthrough device such as wifime, passme, nopass (also known as passme3), or flashme. You will not need this if you have a slot1 device. More on this later.
+ (optional) A memory card and reader (you will only need this if you bought a flash cart with a memory card reader)

.::. In depth - Flash cart .::.
The Flash cart is where the memory is stored. There are 2 main types:
+ The slot 2 device (fits in the GBA slot at the bottom)
+ The slot 1 device (fits in the NDS slot at the bottom)

The slot 2 device is the most common. It is used in conjunction with a passthrough device and a memory card.
Pros: very compatible, some slot 2 devices come with extra RAM - making your homebrew faster, Some are also compatible with GBA.
Cons: Quite expensive, bulky, you need a passthrough device.

The slot 1 device has just recently come on the market and is said to be the future. Most of them fit flush with the DSlite, which means they look much better.
Pros: \"The future in homebrew\", No need for a passthrough device, reasonably cheap to buy.
Cons: Not very compatible as yet, but still, they have just broke the market. No extra ram ever - it isn\'t possible with the way the NDS is built.

.::. In depth - passthrough device .::.
The passthrough device is a way to trick the ds into thinking that it is official code, when in fact, it is homebrew code.
There are two types of passthrough - physical, and virtual.

--= physical =--
The physical passthrough devices use hardware to bypass the DS\'s encryption.
The first passthrough device was called passme. Here is a picture:
It used the encrypted key from an official game in order to trick the ds into thinking it was a real game. Nintendo soon fixed this, so passme2 was invented
When the key algorithm was finally cracked, the passme3 was launched (also known as the nopass - as it technically didn\'t \"passthrough\" any key).

--= Virtual =--
The Virtual passthrough is basically a way of modifying, or exploiting the firmware of the DS. The most popular ways to do this are Flashme and Wifime.

+ Flashme is basically a hacked firmware installer. It is losing popularity with the rise of slot 1 devices and the passme3, and the risk of \"bricking\" your ds (rendering it completely useless).
+ Wifime is a driver for wifi adapters with the RALINK chipset. It fools the nintendo DS into thinking it is an official wifi card (AKA an \"Access point\"). You need an old type of nintendo DS, where this exploit isn\'t patched, though.

.::. Where to buy .::.

The cheapest setup you can get is a Game boy Advance Media Player (It NEEDS to be the Compact Flash version - the SD Version doesn\'t work with homebrew. Trust me, I learned the hard way.), A max media Launcher, and A CF (compact flash) card. This has decent homebrew compatibility, with a small price.

The Best setup is probably a Supercard SD original, a max media launcher, and a SD card. This has a top class homebrew compatibility, but is quite pricey.

You can buy a GBAMP here: (UK) or here: (US)
You can buy a supercard here: (UK) or here: (US)
You can buy a max media Launcher here: (UK) or here: (us)

.::. What NOT to Get .::.

Name of product Reason
GBAMP SD Bad support for homebrew
Wise Card Terrible card - the ds doesn\'t even recognise it sometimes
max media dock Dodgy homebrew support
Ewin 2 Mini Adaptor NO homebrew support, no support in english
Ninja DS Takes a lot of effort to get homebrew working... not worth it

.::. usefull sites .::.

.::. notable homebrew .;:.
+ dsquake - quake for ds
+ dsorganize - turn your ds into a PDA
+ dslinux - a port of linux for your DS
+ touchme (im famous) - a very well polished game
+ dsdoom - doom for your DS
+ snesDS - snes emulator for your DS
+ moonshell - turn your DS into a media player, text viewer, nds executable launcher, and more!
+ REIN - backup your game saves
+ PicodriveDS - a genesis emulator for DS
+ FWNitro - an alternative to flashme
+ SummVM DS - a port of scummVM for DS
+ DS2KEY - turn your DS into a mousepad for your PC, built in wardriving tool as well :)
+ beup - MSN on your DS
+ DSAmp - control winamp from your DS over a wifi connection

.::. end notes .::.

I hope you enjoy homebrew on the DS as much as I do. I also hope I made things less confusing for the novice. If you have any questions please contact me at s0l1dsnak3123 at gmail dot com - no spam please. Please comment on this article, I hope you enjoyed reading it, as much as I enjoyed writing it.

-- enjoy homebrew --


jinglehackion April 15 2007 - 19:04:38
i am about to buy a r4 card, but there is so damn stupid sellers in sweden and i dun wanna import =/, ill go for the high pricce lol
s0l1dsnak3123on April 16 2007 - 16:45:52
yeh r4 is a good choice for ds homebrew - people have been saying a lot of kind words about that cart Smile
s0l1dsnak3123on April 17 2007 - 18:10:11
glad you enjoyed it ^-^
My705on May 20 2008 - 13:31:44
wow B) nice to see some DS scene here. But the Market changed a bit Slot 1 devices like de M3 Real DO have Rumble/GBA support and RAM !!! so our DS browser will work!. :happy: Awasome from me. and maybei will post another ds Artikel
My705on May 20 2008 - 13:32:11
wow B) nice to see some DS scene here. But the Market changed a bit Slot 1 devices like de M3 Real DO have Rumble/GBA support and RAM !!! so our DS browser will work!. :happy: Awasome from me. and maybei will post another ds Artikel
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