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Quickstart Guide

Pengfei Zhu edited this page Sep 1, 2021 · 12 revisions

Note: This is an early draft. It is known to be incorrekt and incomplet, and has a lot of bad formatting.

How to Import Data from Your 3DS SD Card

threeSD is a tool for your PC which directly decrypts and reads data from your 3DS SD card. Using threeSD, it is very easy to import everything at once - including installed titles, save data, extra data as well as necessary system files.

Required tools

  • Latest version of threeSD
    • Windows, Linux and macOS are supported. Make sure you are downloading the correct build for your OS.
    • For Linux builds, you need to install Qt libraries. For example, on Ubuntu, do sudo apt install libqt5gui5 in terminal.
  • 3DS system with CFW installed and latest version of GodMode9 (older versions may not be able to execute the script properly)
  • SD / microSD card reader (required)


On Your 3DS

You will need to execute a GodMode9 script to dump a few files that are necessary for threeSD to properly decrypt data on your SD card. Some system files will also be copied so that they can be imported later if necessary. Please make sure you have at least 400MB of free space (per NAND if you have set up EmuNANDs) on your SD card before you run the script.

Not sure which bootloader you are using? Just skip to the For all users part. If anything needs to be done, the script will instruct you to do so.

For fastboot3ds users: When booting from fastboot3ds, the bootrom is not in the memory. Therefore, GodMode9 cannot directly dump it. You need to use fastboot3ds's menu to dump the bootrom before you proceed.

  1. Hold the HOME button as you turn on your 3DS. This should take you into fastboot3ds menu.
  2. Using the D-Pad and (A) button, go to Miscellaneous... > Dump bootroms & OTP.
  3. When finished, press (B) to power off your system.

Your bootroms are dumped to the 3DS folder on your SD card. You don't need to move or copy them anywhere, threeSD will automatically detect boot9.bin dumped in this way and use it.

For boot9strap users: You don't need to do anything special other than the following steps.

For all users:

  1. Put the SD card in your computer.
  2. Extract the threeSD release archive and copy dist/threeSDumper.gm9 to the folder gm9/scripts on your SD card.
  3. Insert the SD card into your 3DS.
  4. Boot into GodMode9.
  5. Press the HOME button to bring up GodMode9's menu, and use the D-Pad to select Scripts.... Press (A) to enter.
  6. Using the D-Pad, select threeSDumper from the scripts list. If you do not see the dumper, recheck if you have done Step 2 correctly.
  7. Press (A) to execute the script. When prompted, press (A) again to confirm.
  8. Wait for up to a few minutes. When prompted that the files have been dumped, press (A) to exit the script.
  9. Hold down the Right shoulder button and press (START) to power off your 3DS.

On Your PC

First, put your SD card in your PC.

If you use Citra Installer or Flatpak (Recommended): Directly open threeSD from the release archive.

If you directly download Citra release ZIPs: Copy the threeSD executable to the same folder as your citra-qt executable and open it from there.

For all users:

  1. Your SD card should be listed as an auto-detected configuration. If not, recheck if your SD card is properly recognized as a disk and whether the folders threeSD and Nintendo 3DS exist in your SD card root.
  2. Press OK. Wait for a while until the contents are loaded. You should now see a list of importable contents on your SD card. Select the ones you'd like to import.
    • You can switch between Title View, which organizes contents by title name, or Group View, which organizes contents by their type.
    • System Data and System Archive contain important data that may be necessary for your imported games to run. Be sure to include them in your selection.
  3. Press OK. Your contents are now being imported. Go out to get a coffee or two - it will finish faster than you'd expect! When completed, the importable contents list will automatically be reloaded.

What's next

You can now enjoy your games with Citra, at high resolutions, with custom controllers and cheats, and even custom textures!

If you have any game cartridges and would like to dump them as well, visit this tutorial.