Sure, you can already run Mario and Zelda, but learning how to mod a Nintendo DS is a simple process that will allow your system to run a massive catalogue of home-brewed games and programs. The mod is cheap, doesn't require any hardware tweaking, and can be completed in just a few minutes. To mod a DS, it doesn't matter which version of the hardware you have, the process is the same for an original DS, a DS lite, a DSi, or a DSiXL.
You will need:
- A Nintendo DS System
- A SLOT-1 flash cart
- A microSD card
- A computer or memory drive with a microSD slot
- Buy a flash cart. Every DS has a slot on the top of the system that's labelled "SLOT-1." In order to mod the DS, you're going to need a special card to plug into this slot. These are called flash carts, and you can order them online for as little as a couple dollars. A flash cart will convert a microSD card so you can transfer data from your computer to your DS. The most common brands of these cards are AceKard and R4, though others should do the job as well.
- Download firmware. Once you've got a flash cart, you'll need to place the latest version of card's firmware on a microSD card. Warning: only download firmware from your flash card's official product site, and make sure you have the latest version. If you're having trouble, you might have to re-download an official copy.
Copy content onto the flash cart. Copy all the firmware files onto your SD card. At this point, you should also copy any homebrew content, programs or music that you want to use on your DS over to the flash cart's memory.
Put the flash cart into SLOT-1. Slide the microSD into the flash cart, and boot it up on your DS.
- Activate the mod. Each cart is a bit different, but the firmware you loaded should allow you to access your content straight from the Nintendo DS main menu without any further tuning.