A Guide to the 3DS Console

Having problems using your 3DS or deciding whether to buy one for the first in your life? Well fret no more, here’s a FAQ about the 3DS console with information about all the built in apps, the console’s basic features and all the things you need to know about buying one. Hope this guide answers people’s questions!

Buying a 3DS Console

Where Can I buy a 3DS?

You can buy a 3DS console in any shop that sells video games or on any website which does the same. If you want to support Nintendo 3DS Daily and Nintendo 3DS Community, we recommend you buy it from our shop here:

Nintendo 3DS Shop

How much does the 3DS cost?

It depends on the region you’re living in (or I guess what region you might import the console from). In the US as of this moment in time it generally retails for between 182 and 187 dollars.

In the UK/Europe it’s sold for about £120 or €158. This may be higher or low depending on where you buy the console or if the site selling it gets a commission from every 3DS it sells.

In Japan it’s sold for about 15000 yen.

Finally in Australia the console is sold for approximately $250. Yes their prices are kind of high.

Is the 3DS region locked?

Unfortunately yes. So you should probably buy a 3DS that can play games released in the region you’re currently living in/spend most of your time in. Unless you’re one of those people who’s willing to import every single game you’ll ever buy from Japan, in which case good luck with that.

Will the 3DS damage my eyes or those of my family?

It shouldn’t do. Some people have reported adverse effects due to the 3D, but they are a minority and the whole worry about the 3D effect has been blown out of proportion by sensationalistic tabloids and media sources wanting to cash in on people’s technophobia (fear of technology).

Can the 3D effect be switched off?

Yes, the 3D thing is entirely optional and can be disabled by turning the 3D slider on the right side of the console down so it’s in the off position. This will probably not make most of the games more difficult to play or anything, the majority of them merely use it to add depth. And even the very few which use it to help the player overcome visual tricks like Super Mario 3D Land are entirely playable with no 3D.

How long does the console’s battery last?

About 3-5 hours. This isn’t quite as noticeable an issue as you’d expect, but it’s still rather short compared to the battery life of a DS or a Game Boy.

Is the 3DS just a DS model like the DS Lite or DSi?

No, the 3DS is an entirely new console with its own games that aren’t playable on older systems. Think of it as like the difference between the Game Boy and DS or the NES and SNES. This question comes up quite a lot due to Nintendo’s misleading marketing and some poor choices with branding (such as keeping the DS name and just adding 3 in front of it).

You will need a 3DS to play 3DS games. They do not work on a DS/DS Lite/DSi. Don’t even try.

Is the 3DS backwards compatible with DS games?

Yes it is. However, it’s not compatible with Game Boy Advance games, so you might want to avoid trading in your old DS for one if you still like/play any Game Boy Advance games since they’re also not available on the Virtual Console yet.

General System Questions

How do I remove someone from my friends list?

Select your own friend card, aka the furthest one to the left, then click the left icon above it where it says settings. There’s an option to delete friend card, so click it and then select the ones you want to delete. Confirm they’re to be deleted and done.

How do I move things to folders?

First, go to the right on the main 3DS menu and select an empty square, then click ‘create folder’. Next, once you’ve set up the folder, go to the app you want to add it to it, then click and hold it. This will let you move it to the folder.

How do I open up a game/app’s manual?

Select the game/app by moving the cursor over it, then click ‘manual’ in the bottom left. This works as a handy alternative to the printed manual that comes with most games.

What’s this whole 3DS ambassador thing?

If you bought a 3DS before the price cut and can prove it, Nintendo will let you download some free games from the eShop, including ten GBA games. Here are the games you get free:

Balloon Fight
Donkey Kong Jr.
Ice Climber
NES Open Tournament Golf
Super Mario Bros.
The Legend of Zelda
Wrecking Crew
Zelda II: The Adventure of Link
F-Zero: Maximum Velocity
Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones
Kirby & The Amazing Mirror
Mario Kart: Super Circuit
Mario vs. Donkey Kong
Metroid Fusion
Super Mario Advance 3: Yoshi’s Island
The Legend of Zelda: The Minish Cap
Wario Land 4
WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgame$
Built in Applications

StreetPass Mii Plaza

How do I get play coins?

You get them for walking 100 steps. In case you were wondering, this isn’t far at all. Indeed, you can get this by walking around a room a few times if you’re bored, shaking the 3DS up and down for about three minutes or just doing everyday chores.

If you have a dog and walk him or her, you will probably have ten play coins by the time you return to the house. If you take kids to school or go to school/work/college/university and it’s a remotely fair distance away you’ll probably have walked more than a thousand steps in just getting there and back.

How many coins can I get in one day?

Normally, ten.

Normally? Is there a way to get more?

Mess around with the system clock every thousand steps. This is extremely useful to know if you’re walking a long distance (like on a country walk or hike) and want to be appropriately rewarded for the effort.

How many coins can be carried at any one time?

I hear it’s 99.

Puzzle Swap

How do I get puzzles?

Collect pink puzzle pieces via StreetPass/SpotPass.

How do I get puzzle pieces?

Trade them with other players via StreetPass or buy them for 2 play coins a piece

StreetPass Quest/Find Mii

So what is this game then?

It’s a game where you have to rescue your Mii from evil ghosts and monsters who are keeping him or her captive in a cage. You do this by hiring either heroes (Miis you’ve met via StreetPass) or wanderers (cat or dog like characters with a level between 1 and 2 that cost 2 play coins each).

What level are wanderers at?

They’re always at level 1 or 2. This makes them okay for StreetPass Quest 1 and probably near useless for StreetPass Quest 2.

How do I unlock StreetPass Quest 2?

Get all the hats in the first game. Or in other words, beat it twice.

How do I defeat ghosts with shields?

Use a Mii whose shirt is the same colour as the shield and attack with the sword. Don’t worry, you’ll get the relevant two or three strikes at the enemy after breaking it.

How do I defeat armoured ghosts/enemies?

Use a Mii or wanderer at level 2 or above.

How do I defeat them without doing the above?

You can always bypass shields and armour by using magic or spells. For example, the fire or water spells can easily bypass any defences and be a good substitute for a Mii with the right shirt colour. If this fails, you can also try a Mii with the poison ability, since poison works on any enemy and always does one damage a turn. Then it’s just a case of stalling until they’re dead.

How does ‘elemental damage’ work?

Blood Ghosts (red ghosts) take more damage from water and less/none from fire, Blue Ghosts take more damage from fire and less/none from water.

What are the list of spells and their effects? How do I use them?

The spell a Mii or wanderer can cast depend on their shirt colour. Here are the spells and the relevant shirt colours required:

[table id=8 /]

How do I get past the dark room?

Use a Mii/wanderer with a white shirt

How much health does each enemy have?

You can see how much health each has in this list:

[table id=9 /]

Keep in mind any past the first Ultimate Ghost are from StreetPass Quest 2.

How do I change whether the heroes are dogs or cats?

Change your favourite animal under Mii preferences.

Mii Maker

How do I scan a QR code?

Click QR Code/Image Options and click the option at the top to scan a QR code. You can also save a Mii as a static image or a QR code, and these will be saved to the SD card.

Face Raiders

How do I open up new difficulty levels/options?

Clear the ones already unlocked by beating all the flying enemies and the boss to open up the next level. Repeat the process for the rest.


How often does Nintendo add games?

Usually weekly.

3DS Browser

What can’t the browser do/support?

It can’t support flash, video or music files

What is it technically?

It’s based on the NetFront NX v1.0 browser, using Webkit as the rendering image. So minus flash, video and music, it supports whatever Google Chrome and Apple Safari do.

Nintendo Letterbox/SwapNote

How do I get new stationary?

Nintendo sends out new stationary for major events like new game releases, E3, Nintendo Direct conferences, etc. You either receive an official message on one of these dates or receive a normal one using said stationary from someone else who has it.

Is the stationary region specific?

No, with one sort of exception. You can get send messages from people living anywhere and any special stationary will be added to your collection.

What’s the exception?

The mother’s day stationary. There’s a different design for it in Japan and the US, and I presume the one you get first is the one which the game saves. You cannot get both.

What does it mean by an eShop link?

Some stationary includes a link to the eShop, usually a game, video or demo. You can have this either kept or removed when a message using the stationary is sent.

How do I get coloured text?

Press left and right on the d pad.

What’s this update?

You need an update for things like coloured text, which can be gotten free on the eShop. If you don’t have this, any coloured text will show up in black regardless of who sent it.

3DS Sound

How can I make a third sound with some instruments?

Press the L and R button at the same time.

How can I load my favourite music in 3DS Sound?

Save it to an SD card, then insert the SD card into the 3DS. For most computers you can save files to an SD card by putting it in a special slot on the side/front of the machine, but if not you can connect a digital camera via a USB cable and put the SD card into the camera to load it.

Why is there a no sound option for the L/R button instrument thing?

So that you can walk around with the 3DS in your bag/in your pocket listening to music without being interrupted by the sounds of cats meowing, dogs barking and Mario jumping.

What can you do with the visualisers on the top screen?

Various things actually by pressing the L and R buttons.

For the Excitebike scene, L and R speed up the far and near bikes respectively. You can use this to change who ‘wins’ the race.

For the Star Fox scene, L and shoot let you shoot lasers at things, and pressing both shoots two lasers.

For the guy jumping up stairs, L makes him do something with his left hand and R with his right hand. Like throwing confetti, using a fan, etc.

For the Game and Watch scene, press left on the circle pad to take control and play a mini game. Keep the ball in the air by hitting it with your head for points, with the scoreboard behind keeping score.

3DS Camera

Coming soon, need to be asked some questions about it.

AR Games

How do I get new copies of the AR cards, say if my dog ate them?

You can download them from below and print them off, the design is all that matters.


You can officially get them here:


Or here:


No need to worry about it.

How can I get bigger versions of the AR cards?

You can print them at any size and the AR images will be scaled respectively. If you’re not very good at figuring stuff out yourself or need more help, Nintendo have provided a massive version to print which will generate a life size Mii or Nintendo character:


Other Stuff of interest

Are there any free ‘apps’?

Yes. Pokedex 3D is free. For a while, Four Swords was free. And for a short time, the Mario and Sonic sticker album is free.

As are any video game trailers and some other videos.

I hope that answers most of your questions, if you have any not covered in the FAQ post them below and I’ll add and answer them at a later date.

Mario Kart 7; Britain’s Fastest Family (PR Message)

You’ve probably heard about this competition Nintendo is holding where the best two family members who enter get to win a real car by getting the quickest times in time trial.  But in case you haven’t, Nintendo UK gave me this message about the event explaining what it’s all about:

Mario Kart 7: Are you part of Britain’s Fastest Family?

Since Mario Kart 7 arrived on the Nintendo 3DS in December 2011, many will have challenged their family members to a race for the chequered flag. Now, Nintendo is asking those same gamers to instead team up with their closest kin – to show they can take on the rest of the country.

We want to find Britain’s Fastest Family and are holding regional heats across the UK for those who think they and their mum, dad or even grandma have truly mastered the art of the Mario Kart games and have what it takes to prove it on a Nintendo 3DS console.

This Nintendo 3DS racing extravaganza also comes with some amazing prizes for the swiftest teams past the post. Those who manage to come out at the very top of the competition – having proved themselves in the Regional Heats and Grand Final – will walk (or should we say drive) away in a stunning new Honda Jazz Si. This sporty little 1.4-litre i-VTEC car has all the fun of a real-life Mario Kart motor, but comes with a little extra comfort, space, versatility and style thrown to make it an ideal family runabout. Not only that, but the champion team will also get their own limited edition trophy to prove yours is the fastest family on the Mario Kart 7 circuit and the teams that do best in their regional contests will receive a years’ worth of Nintendo 3DS games.

Entry to the competition is absolutely free and you can submit your time at any of the Regional Heats. Your team will need to consist of two members (one of which must be over the age of 18) and there should be a minimum age gap of 10 years between the two team members. In addition, you’ll need to be a resident of Great Britain. Apart from that though, all you’ll need is the skills to show you can handle the fast-paced kart racing of Mario Kart 7 – on the big stage!

Mario Kart 7 is just one of the Mario games that have entertained people of all ages and Nintendo platforms for years now. Having emerged on the Super Nintendo in the UK back in 1993, it has since appeared on the Nintendo 64, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo GameCube, Wii and DS. This latest incarnation for 3DS offers the usual frenetic fun across the landscapes of the Mushroom Kingdom, with the added extra features that only come with the handheld 3DS console. This includes dazzling 3D visuals, StreetPass and SpotPass enhancement and a range of new courses and characters to enjoy.

You can find out more about the Britain’s Fastest Family tournament as well as the locations of the latest regional heats by visiting this website. Then it’s just a case of getting some lap practice in and picking a family teammate to join you!


This is a pretty great deal if you ask me.  Win a whole years worth of games and a free car for doing well at Mario Kart 7?  That’s great, especially with all the awesome games coming out this year!  It means you get games like Luigi’s Mansion Dark Moon, New Super Mario Bros 2 (presumably), Paper Mario Sticker Star, Epic Mickey Power of Illusion, etc for absolutely nothing!

Unfortunately, there is one catch.  Namely you had a family member who’s also good enough to win the competition, and the age difference between both parties should be at least ten years.  You also need to be a British citizen to enter, but that’s not exactly unexpected and makes perfect sense for both prize distribution and legal reasons.

And finally, the entry dates for the regional heats are below, due to the fact it doesn’t seem to be stated on the website:

  • HMV TROCADERO: 17 Aug – 18 Aug 10am – 5pm
  • HMV OXFORD CIRCUS: 24 Aug – 25 Aug 10am – 5pm
  • HMV CROYDON: 3 Aug – 4 Aug 10am – 5pm
  • HMV KINGSTON: 17 Aug – 18 Aug 10am – 5pm
  • HMV BRIGHTON CHURCHILL: 24 Aug – 25 Aug 10am – 5pm
  • HMV CANTERBURY: 10 Aug – 11 Aug 10am – 5pm
  • HMV GUILDFORD: 10 Aug – 11 Aug 10am – 5pm
  • HMV BASINGSTOKE: 17 Aug – 18 Aug 10am – 5pm
  • HMV READING ORACLE: 3 Aug – 4 Aug 10am – 5pm
  • HMV SOUTHAMPTON: 10 Aug – 11 Aug 10am – 5pm
  • HMV BRISTOL CRIBBS: 17 Aug – 18 Aug 10am – 5pm
  • HMV CARDIFF RESITE: 3 Aug – 4 Aug 10am – 5pm
  • HMV SWANSEA: 10 Aug – 11 Aug 10am – 5pm
  • HMV EXETER PRINCESSHAY: 24 Aug – 25 Aug 10am – 5pm
  • HMV PLYMOUTH DRAKE CIRCUS: 3 Aug – 4 Aug 10am – 5pm
  • HMV OXFORD: 24 Aug – 25 Aug 10am – 5pm
  • HMV MILTON KEYNES: 17 Aug – 18 Aug 10am – 5pm
  • HMV BIRMINGHAM BULLRING: 24 Aug – 25 Aug 10am – 5pm
  • HMV NOTTINGHAM VICTORIA RESITE: 17 Aug – 18 Aug 10am – 5pm
  • HMV DERBY: 10 Aug – 11 Aug 10am – 5pm
  • HMV SHEFFIELD MEADOWHALL: 3 Aug – 4 Aug 10am – 5pm
  • HMV MANCHESTER 90 MKT STREET: 17 Aug – 18 Aug 10am – 5pm
  • HMV LEEDS HEADROW CENTRE: 10 Aug – 11 Aug 10am – 5pm
  • HMV NEWCASTLE: 24 Aug – 25 Aug 10am – 5pm
  • HMV GATESHEAD: 3 Aug – 4 Aug 10am – 5pm
  • HMV EDINBURGH PRINCES ST: 17 Aug – 18 Aug 10am – 5pm
  • HMV GLASGOW BUCHANAN ST: 10 Aug – 11 Aug 10am – 5pm
  • HMV ABERDEEN: 3 Aug – 4 Aug 10am – 5pm

And the final is apparently taking place in October, in Birmingham.

So start your engines racing game and Mario Kart fans, your Mario Kart skills could give you the chance of winning a free car and a whole year’s worth of 3DS games with Nintendo’s latest tournament!



Edit: This article has been edited as of June 2013 to fix all broken links. Sorry about any inconveniance that may have occurred beforehand.

Why Nintendo Needs to remove Play Coin Limits

As everyone who owns a 3DS knows, you currently get a play coin for every 100 steps you make when using your 3DS.  These coins can then be spent on all kinds of neat things such as SwapNote stationary, StreetPass Quest heroes and potions and various puzzle pieces used for the Puzzle Swap ‘mini game’.

But unfortunately, Nintendo kind of screwed up in regards to how you get these coins.  And by that, I mean only 10 a day.  You can time travel back and forth for more by changing the date around, but by default you’re limited to an absolutely paltry amount of coins for your effort to the point it kind of kills the whole ‘get out and about’ thing the 3DS was probably going for with the system.

The major problem here is a fairly simple one.  How far is 1000 steps?  Not far at all, just going to the nearest shop where I live gets me that on the outbound trip alone.  This is in the UK people, a place much smaller than the US and where everything’s closely packed together, God knows what it’s like over in the US where parts of town are many miles apart and your daily commute is probably about ten times the distance.

For those interested in a more precise figure, it seems to be about 0.2 to 0.3 miles equals a thousand steps.  Now call me cynical, but does anyone really go their day without walking at least ten times that distance?  You could probably make up the required distance to max out your play coins without even living your school, college or workplace.

And that’s the problem.  1000 steps is an utterly trivial distance.  Capping it at this much basically means that anyone who even leaves the house is going to be wasting about three quarters of their day not collecting a single coin.  That alone wouldn’t be bad if the amounts required for doing anything in game were minimal, say 1 coin per photo or sound effect attached to a note or 2 coins per piece of stationary, but it’s currently like the system used for coins in Mario Kart 7.  Repetitive.  And just like Mario Kart 7, it basically throws completely worthless chances to get coins at you at every time possible.

The obvious solution to this is simple, remove the limit of ten coins a day.  If people are actually getting out and exercising, isn’t that a good thing?  Shouldn’t they be rewarded for walking more than one thousand steps with the amount of coins that directly corresponds to how much effort they put in?  Because at the moment the system is nothing but an artificial barricade to make people complete games slower and make SwapNote that much more pointless.

What do you think, should Nintendo allow you to get more than ten play coins a day on the 3DS and hence complete things like StreetPass Quest in less time?

Angry Birds Trilogy coming to 3DS!

Kind of like a collector’s edition this one, with the different Angry Bird games on one game card.  However, there are going to be some interesting features.

For one thing, there will now be per level leaderboards online for recording the best scores of different players, so there’s now a competitive side to the game in the sense as time trials in Mario Kart Wii or what not.  The graphics will also be improved significantly with animated backgrounds, new lighting effects and changes and backgrounds that react to the action going on in the foreground. Maybe like buildings that collapse when the pigs structures are destroyed by firing the birds into them?

It will also support StreetPass, and will additionally be available on the PS3 and Xbox 360, although there’s unfortunately no talk of a Wii version.

Well, we knew all knew it was coming, and I guess it’s better we get the improved and expanded version available for HD consoles instead of just the original on the eShop.  But will any of you regulars here be buying Angry Birds Trilogy for the 3DS when it launches?



Wait, Pokemon Conquest won’t be released outside the UK in Europe?

This is a first, a Nintendo game that was released in the UK but not the rest of Europe for whatever reason.  But apparently it’s so, they’re not planning on translating Pokemon Conquest into French/German/Italian/Spanish and releasing it in the rest of Europe for whatever reason.

Apparently this was told to Nintendo Online by Nintendo of Germany’s customer service people.  So there’s a bit of a chance they may just be completely wrong due to how the people behind Nintendo’s customer support seem to be left in the dark a bit about upcoming game releases, but it’s not likely.

No Pokemon Conquest in the rest of Europe for you then!