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:
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:
Donkey Kong Jr.
NES Open Tournament Golf
Super Mario Bros.
The Legend of Zelda
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
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? 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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
Coming soon, need to be asked some questions about it.
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:
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.