Nintendo 3DS

The Nintendo 3DS is a portable developed by Nintendo. It was released in March, 2011 for $249 USD. The original model featured a dual-core ARM11 MPCore at 268 MHz and a single-core ARM9 CPU, with 128MB of RAM.

It was known for its gimmicky display; an autostereoscopic panel that would allow users to perceive 3D images without the need of any special glasses, as long as you were looking at the device straight-on. You could kind of think of it like those special edition cards that switched image based on what angle you looked at them from, but only for your left and right eyes. The function could be turned off via a slider on the right side of the screen, requiring games to support both 3D and 2D modes (some games would even alter performance settings based on this, such as increased framerates). Later models opted to use a regular 2D display instead. Nintendo advised for young children not to use the 3DS's stereoscopic mode (though it is speculated that said advisories were more for liability reasons in case of a health-related lawsuit and not so much any serious concern).

The later releases of the console that prepended the “New” word to its name use a more powerful 804 MHz quad-core ARM11 CPU and 256MB of RAM. It also featured additional shoulder buttons (ZL/ZR) and a C-stick, however no game required these controls to function. Not all games, especially older ones, even support these extra controls. These additional controls could be retroactively added to an original model via the use of the Circle Pad Pro accessory.

This system scrapes metadata for the “3ds” group and loads the 3ds set from the currently selected theme, if available.

  • Accepted ROM formats: .3ds, .3dsx, .cxi, .axf, .elf
  • Folder: /userdata/roms/3ds

No Nintendo 3DS emulator in Batocera needs a BIOS file to run.

Place your Nintendo 3DS ROMs in /userdata/roms/3ds.

3DS ROMs are fairly complicated, due to both the dumping methods employed, the way the console reads or installs the software and the requirement for decryption/keys for encrypted titles.

There are two overarching types of 3DS ROMs, most alternative formats are derived from these:

  • NCSD-type Literally just the data extracted from the cart. These typically come in the .cci (a.k.a. .3ds) format.
  • NCCH-type The installation packages that the 3DS uses to install software onto its internal NAND storage. These typically come in the .cia and .cxi formats. Digital games were often distributed only as CIAs.

Converting a CIA image to 3DS format (and vice-versa) is possible without loss of content. This is outside of the scope of Batocera's support channels/this wiki, Google is your friend.

To add to the confusion, either of these formats can be encrypted or decrypted, with no clear indication of what it is based on its extension. Batocera recommends working with decrypted ROMs only, however it is possible to configure Citra to use AES keys to read encrypted ROMs. The AES keys file is read from /userdata/saves/3ds/citra-emu/sysdata/.

Extracting the files from a real 3DS is outside of the scope of Batocera's support channels/this wiki. Refer to Citra's FAQ for more info.

The “big” open-source 3DS emulator. Technically still experimental software, it's capable of running a large portion of the 3DS library at acceptable speeds.

Citra currently can't emulate any of the 3DS's online features aside from LAN multiplayer. Batocera does not support the automatic configuration of LAN multiplayer, you're on your own if you want to achieve this.

Citra configuration

Standardized features available to all cores of this emulator: 3ds.videomode, 3ds.ratio

ES setting name batocera.conf_key Description ⇒ ES option key_value
Settings that apply to all cores of this emulator
SCREEN LAYOUT 3ds.citra_screen_layout Allows you to arrange the DS screens
⇒ top/bottom 4-false, bottom/top 4-true, left/right 3-false, right/left 3-true, top only 1-false, bottom only 1-true, hybrid top ratio 4 2-false, hybrid bottom ratio 4 2-true.
VIDEO RESOLUTION 3ds.citra_resolution_factor Improve the fidelity of 3D models (does not affect 2D sprites)
⇒ Native (400×240) 1, 2x (800×480) 2, 3x (1200×720) 3, 4x (1600×960) 4, 5x (2000×1200) 5, 6x (2400×1440) 6, 7x (2800×1680) 7, 8x (3200×1920) 8, 9x (3600×2160) 9, 10x (4000×2400) 10.
VSYNC 3ds.use_vsync_new Fix the heavy screen tearing in games (CPU heavy)
⇒ Off 0, On 1.
FRAME LIMIT 3ds.citra_use_frame_limit Off will help some games, others will run too fast
⇒ Off 0, On 1.
DISK SHADER CACHE 3ds.citra_use_disk_shader_cache Reduce stutter that happens when building shader
⇒ Off 0, On 1.
CUSTOM TEXTURES 3ds.citra_custom_textures Use HD Texture Pack (preloading is impossible from ES)
⇒ Off 0, On 1-normal.
IS NEW 3DS 3ds.citra_is_new_3ds The New 3DS has a faster processor, ZL/ZR buttons and C-Stick
⇒ Off 0, On 1.

RetroArch (formerly SSNES), is a ubiquitous frontend that can run multiple “cores”, which are essentially the emulators themselves. The most common cores use the libretro API, so that's why cores run in RetroArch in Batocera are referred to as “libretro: (core name)”. RetroArch aims to unify the feature set of all libretro cores and offer a universal, familiar interface independent of platform.

RetroArch configuration

RetroArch offers a Quick Menu accessed by pressing [HOTKEY] + South button (B SNES) which can be used to alter various things like RetroArch and core options, and controller mapping. Most RetroArch related settings can be altered from Batocera's EmulationStation.

Standardized features available to all libretro cores: 3ds.videomode, 3ds.ratio, 3ds.smooth, 3ds.shaders, 3ds.pixel_perfect, 3ds.decoration, 3ds.game_translation

ES setting name batocera.conf_key Description ⇒ ES option key_value
Settings that apply to all cores of this emulator
GRAPHICS BACKEND 3ds.gfxbackend Choose your graphics rendering
⇒ OpenGL opengl, Vulkan vulkan.
AUDIO LATENCY 3ds.audio_latency Audio latency in milliseconds, turn it up if you hear crackles
⇒ 256 256, 192 192, 128 128, 64 64, 32 32, 16 16, 8 8.
THREADED VIDEO 3ds.video_threaded Improves performance at the cost of latency and more video stuttering. Use only if full speed cannot be obtained otherwise.
⇒ On true, Off false.

libretro: Citra


libretro: Citra configuration

Here are the default Nintendo 3DS's controls shown on a Batocera Retropad:

Citra does not officially support booting encrypted games, but can use AES keys to read them correctly. It is usually easier to just use decrypted backups.

Extracting the files from a real 3DS is outside of the scope of Batocera's support channels/this wiki. Refer to Citra's FAQ for more info.

Refer to the entirety of Citra's FAQ page first.

If you've already done so, and you're sure that the issue is not related to Batocera itself, refer to Citra's help section on their website.

For further troubleshooting, refer to the generic support pages.

  • systems/3ds.txt
  • Last modified: 14 months ago
  • by maximumentropy