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Revision as of 14:26, 18 September 2017 by (talk)
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Current version: n/a
Active: Yes
OS: Windows, Linux, OS X
Authors: Citra Team
Official website:
Source code: GitHub

Citra is an experimental, open-source Nintendo 3DS emulator/debugger written in C++. It's currently able to run quite a few games well, though very few can run at full speed on existing hardware, and most titles have sound issues.

Due to its preliminary state, it has not yet had a stable release.


Unofficial builds

Some users have been creating their own builds using WIP branches and compiler optimization flags for slightly better speeds, compatibility and/or more features. Discussion and downloads for unofficial builds can be found in this thread.

Importing saves

Some games games require this to bypass bugs in title screens.

  1. Get the Title ID for the game version you have from here. For example, we'll try with the European version of Zelda: ALBW. Its full Title ID is 00040000000EC400.
  2. Take the last 8 digits of the Title ID. (in our example, 000EC400) In case this method fails later, take 00000000 instead, or make sure the save file and the ROM image are from the same region.
  3. Make an empty folder named as that partial Title ID (000EC400). Put inside it another folder named "data", then inside that one put another folder named 00000001, then inside that one put the actual save data files.
  4. Move the folder with the title ID and put it here:
    \user\sdmc\Nintendo 3DS\00000000000000000000000000000000\00000000000000000000000000000000\title\00040000


Emulation issues

Emulation for various features is non-existent or not actively worked on enough to be in a usable state. This includes:

  • Connectivity features relying on Wi-Fi (Wii U/3DS, Switch/3DS, 3DS Local Multiplayer, 3DS Online...), not in small part due to the setbacks hindering Wi-Fi DS emulation.
  • New 3DS mode. Throws a fatal error or tries to emulate in old 3DS mode. Even when the source is modified to allow for New 3DS mode, it's still too buggy and crash-prone to be usable.
  • Amiibo support. Nothing.
  • Stereoscopic 3D visual effect. Was worked on briefly before being abandoned.

Game Image Format

Citra accepts only games in decrypted .3ds format. Furthermore, in Summer 2017, chances are your existing dumps tailor made for Citra most probably made with the officially recommended tool braindump, which were missing some data yet could be emulated on Citra, have had their compatibility broken as a design choice with no options provided to fix those dumps. You'll have to get new dumps.

Furthermore, while the latest sighax exploit allows for dumping decryption keys to convert (and possibly load) encrypted games in either .3ds or .cia format, development for a solution to allow for this Citra, even one requiring keys from your console, isn't actively pursued as a design choice. Tools on 3DS and PC exist to convert those to decrypted .3ds format for the time being.


Citra developers decided to implement a telemetry feature uploading to them through Internet connection detailed logs and data about your computer specs and the games you're playing. It's always on by default unless you opt out of it.

If you're not comfortable with this feature for reasons like security, privacy, bandwidth caps or personal preferences, you can look into disabling this feature from Citra's GUI then blocking

Playing Citra on your phone

This program allows you to control citra with touch controls on your phone. It is therefore possible to use a remote desktop client via your phone, to emulate with Citra and stream from your PC to your phone. See gif.

Example of remote phoneplay on citra. (Click to play)

External links