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Thoroughly read all of the introductory pages (including this one!) before proceeding.

3DS firmware 11.17.0 was recently released. Here’s what you should know:

  • If your device is running Luma 10.2.1 or higher, it is 100% safe to update. You can check your Luma version by holding (Select) while booting your device.
  • If your device is on an older Luma version, you should update Luma before you update your device to 11.17.0.
  • If your device does not yet have custom firmware, do NOT update to the latest version, as installation methods may be more difficult.
  • If your unmodified device is ALREADY on 11.17.0, you can use this page to see if a method is available for your device.
  • Information about firmware 11.17.0 is rapidly evolving. For the latest information, join Nintendo Homebrew on Discord.

What is custom firmware?

Custom firmware (“CFW”) is a full software modification to your 3DS, comparable to “administrator access” on a computer. It allows you to do anything that the 3DS is physically capable of doing, rather than being limited by whatever Nintendo allows you to do.

Popular uses for custom firmware include:

  • Running homebrew software and games made for or ported to the Nintendo 3DS
  • Bypassing the region lock, allowing you to play games from other regions
  • HOME Menu customization, using community-created themes and badges
  • Modification of games (“ROM hacks”) through LayeredFS
  • Save data editing, backup, and restore
  • Emulation of older consoles, as well as native playback of DS and GBA games
  • Installing your physical cartridges for digital use

What does this guide install?

This guide will:

  • Install boot9strap and Luma3DS custom firmware on unmodified retail 3DS/2DS devices
    • Luma3DS will automatically remove the region lock and allow you to run unsigned software
  • Install various pieces of homebrew software, such as a package installer, save file manager, and a homebrew app store
  • Make critical system file backups that can help avoid bricks (and recover data in the event of one)

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