Nintendo 3DS Custom Firmware via Ninjhax, No Flashcard Required [3DS / XL, 2DS]

Discussion in 'Nintendo 3DS Guides' started by InsaneNutter, May 23, 2015.

  1. InsaneNutter

    InsaneNutter Resident Nutter Staff Member

    Jun 1, 2007
    Likes Received:
    Yorkshire, England

    So you have a Nintendo 3DS [3DS, 3DS XL, 2DS, New 3DS] and want the benefits Gateway Flashcard owners have, such as been able to install unsigned CIA files? well now you can do that, without buying an expensive flashcard!

    Using Ninjhax you can load the Pasta Custom Firmware, this custom firmware essentially removes the signature checks from your System nand, allowing unsigned cia's to be installed and loaded.

    So what does this mean to me?

    Essentially you have Kernel access, so can do what you like with the 3DS. Some examples I can think of are:

    • Install .cia apps / tools
    • Dump roms of your games, then convert the games to cia files, meaning they can be installed and launched from the 3DS's home screen without the cartridge in your console
    • Use SaveDataFiler to dump and backup your save games from your game cartridges
    • Modify / hack games, their is already a hack of some of the Pokemon games which changes the story
    • More...

    Current limitations:

    • Pasta CFW uses your system nand and not an emulated nand, this means you can't update past 9.2 otherwise you will patch the exploits Ninjhax / Pasta CFW use to load.
    • Can only play games supported by your sysnand (so the higher your sysnand version the better, up to 9.2)
    • You can brick your 3DS by installing a bad CIA

    You should be perfectly fine installing good cia files that don't mess with system files, however you should really only do this at your own risk. If you brick your 3DS you accept it is your own doing. I have installed all the games I own on cartridges as CIA files along with SaveDataFiler to backup my saves, I have not installed any other random .cia files that make changes to the system.

    If you are happy with all the above, keep reading to find out what to do next.

    How to install the Pasta Custom Firmware On Your Nintendo 3DS:

    1. You need to have Ninjhax setup and working, wich requires you to have the game Cubic Ninja. Before even following this tutorial you need to have complete my Easy Nintendo 3DS Homebrew Hack / Ninjhax Homebrew Install Tutorial if you haven't already.

    If you set Ninjhax up a long time ago the version of Ninjhax you have will likely be out of date, you need Ninjhax 1.1b for the Pasta Custom Firmware to work. If you follow the guide I linked to above you will end up with the latest version of Ninjhax.

    You should also make a backup of your 3DS's system nand, this is very important. If you brick your 3DS the only way you will ever be able to recover is by restoring a backup of your system nand, not somebody else's backup!

    I also have a tutorial for this, view: Nintendo 3DS Nand Dump / System Nand Backup

    2. To make thing as easy as possible for you I have created a package of all the files you need, simply download the 3DS Pasta Custom Firmware Pack.

    3. Unzip the contents of the 3DS Pasta Custom Firmware Pack to the root of your 3DS's memory card:


    You should end up with a 3ds and cia folder, along with a boot.3dsx file on your 3DS's internal sd card.

    4. Load Cubic Ninja and launch the Ninjhax exploit / Homebrew Channel (Ninjhax Main Menu > Create > QR Code)

    You should see that you have the Pasta CFW loader and the FBI CIA installer present:


    5. Load up the FBI CIA installer and use the D Pad to enter the CIA folder on the 3DS's SD card, here you should see the BigBlueMenu.cia and SaveDataFiler.cia. You can simply press x here and confirm you wish to install all CIA's in the current directory.


    6. Once the installation has finished press "Start" to exit back to the homebrew launcher, then click on the Pasta CFW loader.

    7. The 3DS will re-boot to the home screen, congratulations you can now install and load unsigned cia's!

    8. To test everything is working find BigBlueBox or SaveDataFiler on your home screen and load them up, if either one loads the Pasta firmware is working perfectly fine.


    That's basically it, you have the Pasta Custom Firmware up and running, along with a CIA installer (Big Blue Box) and a Save Game Manager (SaveDataFiler). You can now copy additional CIA files to your SD card and install them using BigBlueBox, the 3DS will now happily load them from the homescreen. You can also use SaveDataFiler to extract your savegame's from your retail cartridges and import them in to a CIA copy of your game if you so wish.

    Just remember that every time you fully power your 3DS off, you need to load the firmware again through the homebrew launcher. In addition any CIA you install will be on your system nand, if you install a bad CIA you risk bricking your 3DS. So like I said at the start of the tutorial do so at your own risk.

    This firmware is a good, free alternative to a Gateway flashcard, however the Gateway flashcard is still the safer option as you have emunand. If you brick your emunand its not the end of the world, you can simply set it up again. If your brick your 3DS's system nand, that's it, the 3DS is useless.

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