3DS / 3DS XL / 2DS consoles on firmware 11.17.0 do not currently have any free, software-only methods. Therefore, all of the methods here have some sort of prerequisite.
Installed eShop titles
Because Nintendo eShop no longer allows purchases, it is no longer possible to purchase new titles. However, you can re-download a title if you had purchased or downloaded them before purchases stopped being possible.
Any one of the following titles can be used in conjunction with Seedminer to install custom firmware:
- Mario Kart 7 (common preinstalled title; a physical cartridge also works)
- Pokémon Picross (free-to-play; digital only)
- Steel Diver: Sub Wars (free-to-play; digital only)
- ANY DSiWare title (free or paid; digital only)
Continue to Seedminer (Alternate)
Alternatively, SmileBASIC (a paid game; digital only) can be used to get Homebrew Launcher access without using Seedminer.
Continue to Installing boot9strap (smilehax-IIe)
If you own a version 2.2 US copy of the DSiWare game Petit Computer (paid; digital only) you can use it to install boot9strap.
Continue to Installing boot9strap (petit-compwner)
Retail 3DS cartridges
This method uses a cartridge or digital copy of the game Cubic Ninja.
Continue to Installing boot9strap (ninjhax2-dx)
This method uses a cartridge or digital copy of the game Freakyforms Deluxe.
Continue to Installing boot9strap (freakyhax)
This method uses another 3DS with custom firmware and a digital or cartridge copy of Mario Kart 7.
Continue to Installing boot9strap (kartdlphax)
This method requires a compatible DS flashcart to be flashed with ntrboot, which works on all 3DS-family consoles regardless of model or region.
If none of the above options are available to you, this is the cheapest available option. If you don’t already have a compatible cartridge, a preflashed ntrboot-compatible cartridge can be purchased here for roughly $20 USD.
Continue to ntrboot