How to Load a DS Cartridge Onto an R4

An R4 cartridge allows you to load hundreds of downloadable games from the internet onto your DS portable game system. R4's are available for purchase online and most of the games that you can download are available for free. An R4 does not damage the DS system, but Nintendo may not repair DS's damaged while using an R4. There is no way for Nintendo to know that an R4 has been used in your DS.

Things You'll Need

  • R4
  • Micro SD Card
  • Micro SD Card Reader
  • WinRar


    • 1

      Insert the Micro SD Card into the Micro SD Card reader and connect it to your computer. If you are using a Micro SD Card with with an SD Card attachment, insert the attachment into your computer.

    • 2

      Navigate your browser to a site that allows to download DS ROMS. ROM sites are continually taken off the web and replaced. is a popular site that is currently active. Download the ROM file of your choice by clicking the ROM filename. Many sites will ask for a CAPTCHA code which is displayed above the code box.

    • 3

      Unpack the downloaded file. recommends that you have the WinRar program before downloading to ensure that you can unpack the games. Not all downloadable games are in a ".rar" file. Some will not need to be unpackaged.

    • 4

      Browse through the downloaded file for an ".nds" file. The filename could be anything, but it will usually be the game's title followed by ".nds". Right click the ".nds" file and click "Copy". If you are using a Mac, hold the "Ctrl" key and click the file to open the right click menu.

    • 5

      Navigate to your Micro SD Card through "My Computer" on a PC or through the Finder on a Mac. Open the Micro SD Card by double-clicking the icon. Right click, or "Ctrl" click for Macs, and select "Paste".

    • 6

      Eject the Micro SD Card, reinsert the Micro SD Card into your R4. Insert the R4 into your DS to begin playing.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you cannot find a like a site with ROMs, search for videos on using an R4; many will offer links to ROM sites.
  • If the downloaded game files end in ".rar", you need to download WinRar to extract them.
  • Using an R4 should not damage your DS. However, Nintendo may not repair damage caused to the DS while attempting to use pirated software.
  • Playing downloaded games is illegal.
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  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images

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