Make Your 3DS Region-Free, The Easy Way

Make Your 3DS Region-Free, The Easy Way

One of the best things about the DS was the fact it was region-free. One of the worst things about the 3DS is the fact it isn't. Or, at least, it wasn't.

A simple workaround has been developed by DS superstar smea that lets anyone regardless of where they're at play any 3DS game, regardless of where it's from. Want to import a Japanese game in the US? See a game cheaper on a different region's online retailer? No worries.

All you need is a copy of the game Cubic Ninja. When you've got it, you scan a specific QR code using the game's scanner, follow some instructions and you're good to go. Your 3DS is now magically region-free. Those worried about piracy grey areas, don't sweat it; this isn't custom firmware and it doesn't open anything up allowing the user to play homebrew or pirated games. Literally all it does is get past Nintendo's region blocking (at least until the system's next system update, which may well render this — like previous attempts — unworkable).

You can find the full instructions here.

(via Tiny Cartridge)


    While I'm in favour of any method to break region locking (and only region locking), I wouldn't feel comfortable importing games from other regions if there was the slightest chance Nintendo could issue a firmware update and render them unplayable again. I really wish they'd just get with the freaking times already and ditch region locking across all of their systems once and for all.

      Imagine being right at the end aaaaaaaaand an update prevents you from finishing it...

    Region locking is nothing more than a profit-taking measure that doesn't benefit anyone who plays games or watches movies.

      I wonder what made Nintendo go backwards.

        Backwards? The original GameBoy and DS were the only NIntendo consoles not region-locked. Every other Nintendo console since the original NES was region-locked.

        Removal of region-locking is a fairly recent thing, with I think the PS3 being the first major platform to omit it. Fortunately the PSP and the Vita aren't region-locked either; the XBox One was going to be region-locked, until Microsoft changed their minds when it became clear they were losing the PR war vs. the PS4.

        (Well, there are probably some other exceptions - don't think the Atari 2600 was region-locked, as such. But still, region-locking has generally been the rule, not the exception.)

          Anybody else remember getting unofficial expansion cartridges to play international Mega Drive and SNES games?

          Yup, once Nintendo introduced an eShop/online store, BAM, there's region locking

          The original GameBoy and DS were the only NIntendo consoles not region-locked.
          Portable consoles up until DS were region-free and portable consoles after that (DSi and 3DS) become region-locked. Home consoles have always been region-locked (no change), but portable consoles haven't (backwards change) so this is why I consider Nintendo is going backwards.

          Last edited 08/05/15 3:35 pm

            I see what you mean, but as region locking was introduced with the DSi (for digital games only, at that point) that horse has long since bolted.

            And now they are the ONLY console manufacturer producing a platform which is region-locked...

          I think the PS3 being the first major platform to omit it.
          really? (I don't have one)
          I'm surprised, since Sony is a major proponent for region locking everything

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now