This page contain console modding information. Game Tech Wiki may also have useful information.
A note for people considering EverDrives: There are Chinese clone EverDrives floating around on eBay/AliExpress/other websites that should be avoided at all costs. EverDrive firmware has DRM in them to verify real EverDrive hardware being used and will brick clone EverDrives. You should only buy directly from KRIKzz, or from an official reseller. Clone EverDrives will generally require you to use an older firmware with crippled functionality.
PSIO (~$112) Requires internal modification and an available parallel port.
Disc Swap Method (YouTube it) (can damage optical drive with excessive use)
UniROM Requires parallel port and cheat device.
Free McBoot Requires any one of the following:
- PS3 Memory Card Adaptor
- Agent Under Fire
- AR Max/AR Max EVO
- CodeBreaker Only compatible with fat PS2s and slim PS2s with model number SCPH-700xx.
- PS1 GameShark/GameShark
Don't use PRO-C2 listed there, use PRO-Cfix3 instead. PRO-C2 has a bug that breaks PSN PS1 EBOOTs.
Alternatively, you could try LME instead.
3K3y ODDE ($90, only recommended for unhackable consoles. Soldering required.)
Henkaku is homebrew for the Vita itself and Adrenaline is homebrew for the PSP emulator (but requires Henkaku). Requires version 3.60, if you're on a lower firmware you can update specifically to 3.60, see here. As always, wololo is the place for anything new in the PSP/Vita scene. Henkaku requires re-installation via the henkaku website or the offline installer upon restart. August is the expected arrival of Enso which will remove this need for constant reinstallation.
EverDrive N8 NES ($109) Uses SD cards and receives support, including fan-made mappers, such as the Sunsoft 5B. Some mappers support save states. These mappers can cause issues on very early NES systems manufactured before 1987. Supports Game Genie codes.
EverDrive N8 Famicom ($109) Uses MicroSD cards and is the exact same product as the above.
PowerPak ($135) Uses CF cards to play games. Supports Game Genie codes. Does not receive any updates anymore, but is still a good option if you need to use Compact Flash cards instead of SD cards. Also has a built-in NSF player. Fan-made mappers are available, including ones that support save states, but these are unofficial.
Look at the compatibility chart to see if the games you want to play are supported, and which cart supports them. Expansion audio is supported by both carts, but a modification to the NES is necessary to support it. The Famicom does not require this modification.
Game Boy (Color)
El Cheapo SD ($52) Supports mappers MBC1, MBC2, MBC3, and MBC5, no RTC until version 2.0 is released, accepts microSD cards, supports games up to 4MB (32Mb), has 128KB (1Mb) SRAM (big enough for LSDj). Saving must be done manually in the menu before loading a new ROM (both saving to SD and loading from SD). There are other cheaper versions with lesser ROM sizes available (for example, if you don't care about Game Boy Color enhanced/exclusive games).
USB 64m smart card ($42) No RTC, only one .sav stored at a time (alpha hack available, but deletes saves on occasion), issues when having GBC and GB games in the same bank, and not the easiest to use. Only uses an MBC5 mapper, and tries to fake other mappers. There are game-specific hacks to fix any issues caused by this. Multisave menu, hacks Supports ROMs up to 4MB (32Mb). Two ROMs at a time are supported when not using a menu. IMPORTANT NOTE: This flash cart uses 3.3v flash chips directly wired to the 5v Game Boy bus. This could shorten the life of the cart and/or the Game Boy.
EverDrive GB ($88) No RTC, supports the use of MicroSD cards, mappers MBC1, MBC2, MBC3, MBC5, Game Genie cheats, individual ROM sizes up to 8MB (64Mb), and saves for each game.
SD2SNES ($190) Has an FPGA to support some special chips, along with MSU-1 support (notable exceptions being SuperFX and SA-1). Can also play large ROMs such as Star Ocean. Can theoretically be firmware upgraded to support more chips, but that has not happened yet. SuperFX and SA-1 are in the pipeline for 2.0 firmware.
Super EverDrive ($79) Optional support for DSP1-4 chips, but otherwise, no special chip support. Is a good option if you do not care about special chips.
64Drive ($199 including CIC chip) Supports ROMs up to 256MB (2Gb) in size, includes RTC, possible future 64DD support with no need for ROM conversions. Much better option for developers than the EverDrive due to USB and WiFi support, along with a debugging button on the back, but is also a great choice for casual users along with the cheaper EverDrives. Also supports the separate UltraSave, which can dump/write saves from real carts to the 64Drive. 100% compatibility with all released games.
EverDrive 64 v2.5 ($106 including CIC chip) Supports ROMs up to 64MB (512Mb) in size, although the SRAM is stored at the end of the ROM, which corrupts 64MB games that use the entire ROM and also saves (Pokemon Stadium 2 is the only known example), no RTC, 99.9% compatibility (no Animal Forest due to lack of RTC, and Pokemon Stadium 2 due to the previously mentioned SRAM/ROM sharing). Must reset before powering off to save. Also includes support for 64DD cart conversions.
EverDrive 64 v3.0 ($174 including CIC chip) Supports ROMs up to 64MB (512Mb) in size, includes RTC, 100% compatibility with all released games, no need to reset before powering off to save.
With all three options, the UltraCIC II supports multiple CIC types. This is useful for Rareware games such as Banjo Tooie and Donkey Kong 64, removing the need for hacks.
POT Tweak is needed to run burned DVDs in combination with another mod. Ritek G04 mini DVDs are recommended for this purpose, as other brands can wear out the laser. The GameCube can read full-size DVDs if the top lid is removed/modified/replaced.
SDload (Requires Action Replay)
Numerous game exploits Most need a softmodded Wii or another homebrew capable GameCube to write the exploited save to an SD card. Homebrew and games are generally launched from a memory card to SD adapter in slot 2, sometimes called an SD Gecko. The SD Gecko does not have access to DMA like the DVD drive has, so many games will lag/freeze, especially when using streaming audio or during FMVs. This can be bypassed by burning DVDs or by getting a Wii ODE such as a WASP Fusion along with a GameCube adapter, although no Wii ODE is being produced anymore.
XenoGC (Quick Solder Board, ~$10) Simple modchip
Swiss is a homebrew utility that can launch burned games, homebrew and games from an SD Gecko (supporting SDHC) or ODE, and can force options per game. Highly recommended.
DSTWO+ Flashcard ($53.99) Only Nintendo DS flash cart that has decent to good GBA and Super Nintendo emulation depending on the game due to the DSTWO+ having its own processor, but also drains your battery when using them. Works on the DSi's latest firmware and supports MicroSDHC.
R4i GOLD ($17.99) One of the various R4 clones, but unlike the majority of them, these aren't that bad. Make sure the URL displayed on the flashcart are http://r4ids.cn/ or http://r4idsn.cn/ or else you'll be getting a shitty counterfeit card. Supports DSi's latest firmware and support MicroSDHC. Be sure to update Wood Firmware as soon as you get it.
R4: If you don't have a Nintendo DSi and are okay with the 2GB MicroSD limit you might as well go with the original R4, although you're most likely going to get a clone because the original R4 team disbanded shortly after the R4's release. The clone cards (although not the greatest) get the job done, just be sure to get an R4 flashcart and not an R4 SDHC, R4 dual core, etc. Usually found for around $5-$7, does not support DSi or MicroSDHC. The R4s usually come with Wood Firmware but if they do not be sure to install it for a much better-recommended experience. Has recently gotten a new lease on life thanks to Boot9Strap (see below) making it possible to use ancient flashcards like the R4 on the 3DS.
If using an older or clone flashcart, it is still possible to get firmware updates, albeit third-party, to work with newer games. To see the (very) expansive list of supported carts plus download links, go here: RetroGameFan firmware
CFW ($0): Boot9Strap (formerly known as Sighax) gives full control over the 3DS, and CFWs such as Luma3DS run on top of it. This is the best method if it is available, as it is free. See Plailect's guide for up to date information on the required firmware and the methods used to install Boot9Strap. There have been reports of people using CFW being banned, so take proper precautions and try avoiding online functionality.
freeShop is homebrew used in combination with the above hack to download games directly from Nintendo's server, so long as you have the necessary titlekeys.
As of system update 11.8.0, changes were made on how download request were dealt with to the server. Normally, freeShop (or any program like it) simply sends a HTTP request to the server and the server responds by sending the content. The program then makes a spoof ticket to trick the 3DS into thinking it's a legitimate download and proceeds to download the request. The system update made it so the 3DS now has to send an encrypted version of this ticket back to the server which then checks it before being allowed to download, rendering freeShop unusable as the server will quickly know the ticket is not legit.
DSTwo+ Flashcard ($53.99): NDS flashcard, only have access to 'NDS-mode'. Note: You may need to update some flashcards with an NDS before you can use them on a 3DS. You should under no circumstances use the 3DS functionality of this card, or you will risk bricking your 3DS. Install Boot9Strap/CFW instead (see above)
If you have an NDS flashcard that was patched out by a previous 3DS/DSi update or never worked on 3DS/DSi, the latest version of Luma3DS will allow you to use it; follow the "A9LH to B9S" section of Plailtect's guide above to update your CFW. If you don't want to update, you can try using the TWL Slot-1 Launcher for cards that were blocked by updates or the R4 Stage2 TWL Flashcart Launcher for NDS/NDSL only cards. Note that both of these require CFW to be enabled already to install these.
Gateway (~$60): Can be used for Homebrew, backups, and CIA installation, with EmuNAND support to upgrade to the latest 3DS version. Only works on versions 4.1-10.7.0. New 3DS requires either Cubic Ninja or Ocarina of Time 3D to use. CFW is a superior option, and it is free.
SKY3DS/SKY3DS+ (~$75): Works on all firmware (as of 11.4.0), as it emulates a real card. Only useful for backups/piracy, as homebrew will not work, although Ninjhax will work with Cubic Ninja as a ROM. Non-upgradeable. The blue-button version will support unlimited games, whereas the red-button version will only support 10 games forever (even if you switch out microSD cards), although this has been cracked. There is also an orange button version, SKY3DS+, which supports recent anti-piracy in games. Use this one where available, if going this route. Clones are available (QQ3DS which comes with a DS flash cart DS support, r5sdhc). If playing games online, you will need a private header, which can be retrieved from any physical 3DS cart. You will be banned from Nintendo's servers otherwise.
vWii (Wii mode) is hackable. vWii Soft Mod Guide. Only install IOS modules if they state they are compatible with vWii as otherwise, you WILL brick your Wii U. Note that there isn't a way to unbrick vWii currently.
Nintendont is a launcher for GameCube games in Wii mode. Works for the Wii and vWii, and supports any HID-compliant controller.
Loadiine is a backup loader for Wii U firmware 3.0.0 - 5.5.1, and supports loading games from SD. As it loads games via the Mii Maker app, which doesn't use online features, it cannot play online at the moment. It only supports DLC if you bought the DLC first. It doesn't support Wii VC injection (i.e. Xenoblade and friends for Gamepad controls).
The Wii U is easily hackable even on the latest firmware and does not even require permanent software mods to install or boot installed games. Simply accessing the homebrew launcher via the browser exploit is enough to get to installing and playing (but requires a wifi connection and can be unreliable. More permanent CFW hacks can be done by installing Haxchi, though this requires the legitimate purchase of a DS VC game). Through the use of injectors, you can install Wii and Gamecube games directly to your Wii U home menu. Injection of Wii homebrew apps is also possible, allowing you to install Nintendont to your Wii U home menu directly and therefore play GameCube games via Nintendont without any vWii modding (though launching Nintendont requires CFW to be running, and therefore Haxchi is recommended but not technically necessary). See the guide for more details on accessing homebrew, and this thread for details on injection.
Master EverDrive ($77) Can also play SG-1000 games.
Mega EverDrive X7 ($166) The premium option complete with an FPGA, save state support, supports up to 15MB (120Mb) ROMs, Sega CD memory card functionality, saves without reset, and has near instant load times, includes a pause button for Master System games, along with some other possibly useful features.
Mega EverDrive X5 ($89) Supports Sega CD memory card functionality, supports up to 7MB (56Mb) ROMs, has near instant load times, saves without reset, and includes a pause button for Master System games.
Mega EverDrive X3 ($45) A no frills flash cart for those on a budget. Has near instant load times, supports up to 7MB (56Mb) ROMs, and must reset the console to save games before powering off. Uses the exact same PCB as the Mega EverDrive X5, so it may be possible to mod it to be an X5 if you are skilled at soldering and can find out what the necessary parts are.
All 3 carts can play Master System games.
EverDrive GG ($77)
PC Engine/Turbografx 16
Turbo EverDrive V2 ($86)
PCB v3 ($40, For Saturn models: Model 1 and Model 2 64pin IC)
SSIC8B ($37, For Saturn models: Model 2 32pin IC and Model 2 Sanyo)
Rhea From the creator of the GDEmu. Works with 20-pin Saturn models.
Phoebe From the creator of the GDEmu. Works with 21-pin Saturn models.
All PAL models, all 3020 models, and all Dreamcasts that came in a white and orange box can play burnt CDs without modding. Some 3030 models can, but not all, and Dreamcast that came in a black and blue box can't.
DC-SD ($18) Cheap, but compatibility is not great. Also requires the use of a loader.
GDEMU (~$122) Also uses SD cards. Emulates the disk drive itself, so compatibility is great. Will only work with certain model Dreamcasts, so be sure to check which one you have before ordering. The creator makes them in batches and you have to pay attention to get on the pre-order.
USB-GDROM (~$175-230) Uses any USB 2 media to load images from. Region Free, compatible with GDI, ISO, and CDI images. Works with all VA0 & VA1 models.
USB for 3DO (~$165-295) Uses any USB 2 media to load images from. Various boards for the various 3DO models.
Game Exploit (Requires: Original MechAssault, Splinter Cell or 007 Agent Under Fire)
various modchips available
earlier models can be soft modded then TSOP flashed.
DVD Flashing (No homebrew, only useful for pirating games)
Reset Glitch Hack (Advanced users only)
JTAG (Better tut needed)