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How to Record Nintendo 3DS Gameplay with Different Methods

Introduce different methods to record 3DS gameplay with or without a hardware mod. And what are the different options for recording 3DS gameplay.

It passed ten years since the Nintendo 3DS first launched on February 26, 2011. During the past decade, the Nintendo 3DS series has sold 76 million units globally. There are in total about 1349 game titles released on this platform, and there are still new titles released every month on this system. It may has accompanied and live along with them from an innocent ten-year-old boy to a mature adult. For gamers, the Nintendo 3DS isn’t just a game console but a gathering of memories. The excitement when fighting together with your friend to hunt down the monsters, the joy when you smash your bro in smash bros,the happiness you swallow Blocky with Kirby… We’ve had a great time on the Nintendo 3DS, why not we try to record the 3DS gameplay? Is Nintendo allow us to do the record? What we should do & how to record gameplay on 3DS?

How to Record Nintendo 3DS Game Video?




Nintendo Doesn’t Gave Support to Record Game Video On 3DS 

The Nintendo Switch, released on March 3, 2017, has a built-in game recording function, given full support to Nintendo Switch game video recording. The predecessor Nintendo 3DS was designed & sold in early 2010, apparently, engineers of Nintendo were not expected that social networking & video sharing will become the center of popularity here we live today. With the crippled hardware performance, the absence of expansion support, and incompetence of internet service, not until now Nintendo has officially updated or even announced that there will be a game recording support on 3DS. Here comes an issue — how do we record 3DS gameplay video or capture 3DS gameplay screenshots? No worry, we will figure it out later.


How to Record Old Model Nintendo 3DS Gameplay?

Developed in 2010, the 3DS has now released two variants (Nintendo 3DS XL, Nintendo 2DS) and three hardware upgraded versions (New Nintendo 3DS, New Nintendo 3DS XL, New Nintendo 2DS XL). We are not going to distinguish their differences & functionalities but focus on a very important notation. If our purpose is to record the 3DS gameplay video, a different strategy needs to adapt to a different version of Nintendo 3DS consoles.

Models of 3DS Which Need Capture Modification to Record the Game


How to Record 3DS Gameplay Video with A Capture Mod (Old Version Only) 

To record the older version of 3DS gameplay video isn’t as easy job to achieve as you to record your screen on desktop & mobile. Due to its extremely poor expandability, it is essentially impossible to achieve recording function by adding external card & cable or the capture card like elgato. For users who want to record the game video with Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo 3DS XL, Nintendo 2DS, the chance might only leave to be —— modify your console, or point a camera at the screen when you playing. 

A Typical 3DS Capture Mod to Record 3DS Game Play

The general price isn’t cheap for converting your old Nintendo 3DS to a gameplay video recording support model. To modify your console with the modification kit need a certain level of 3DS hardware knowledge and the technic of hardware modding. It will generally cost you more than $100 today and must send your console to the modder and allow them to modify your machine. The good news is, once you’ve finished modding, connect the console to the PC, the system will recognize your 3DS as a supported device, you can see the 3DS graphic through the software the modder provides (could be various depend on modders). Then you can record the gameplay with a screen recorder software.

Record 3DS Game Video with Capture Card is Costly

An alternative solution is to point a camera right to the screen of the Nintendo 3DS. Theoretically, that can solve all screen/ game video recording issues because the screen is optically recorded. But it will predictably influence the user experience since game audio will probably be missing in this situation. And to be honest, it looks bad…

Use Camera to Record 3DS Screen


How to Record New Model 3DS Gameplay? 

If you have the newer model of Nintendo 3DS, including New Nintendo 3DS, New Nintendo 3DS XL, and New Nintendo 2DS XL, the good news is we don’t have to purchase a modification kit. Since the New 3DS series support homebrew software and has better connectivity & expandability, its CFW (custom firmware) allows us to connect to the computer without modifying the game console physically.

Models that Support Software (CFW NTR) Recording

To set up a custom firmware, search Google for “boot9strap”, go to their website and there will be a full instruction & guide with the software download link provided. For more information, you can visit 3ds.hacks.guide


  • Attention: to homebrew your 3DS may have the risk of brick console or lost technic support from Nintendo. Generally, we do not suggest users use the homebrew custom system due to potential economic loss & legitimacy issues.
  • Please be aware that this method is only supported on the new 3DS, new 3DS XL (2015 model), and new 2DS XL (2017 model), and not the original 3DS, original 3DS XL, or 2DS.

For preparation, your will need:

  • N2DS XL, N3DS, or N3DS XL with a CFW already set up
  • A .cia title manager such as DevMenu, BBM, or FBI
  • Nanquitas' BootNTR Selector< https://github.com/Nanquitas/BootNTR/releases > (NOT the ones marked Mode 3, either the FONZD or PabloMK7 .cia versions will do, they are the same app but with different icon art)
  • A router

For the PC which receives the captured screen, you will need:

  • The latest version of Python installed on the PC
  • .NET 4.0 Framework installed on the PC
  • Kit-Kat Slim< https://github.com/gameincanada/kit-kat-slim/releases > (Official thread)


Steps to Connect Your N3DS to PC: 

Step 1. Ensure that the router has Internet access. This is because if a 3DS is unable to detect an Internet connection from the router, it will disconnect from the router.

Step 2. Power on the N3DS and allow it to connect to the router. It should display a blue "Internet" icon on the top-left of the Home Menu status bar.

Step 3. Find your N3DS' internal IP address. This can be found under the Rosalina menu from Luma3DS by pressing L + Select + Down on the D-Pad, then selecting Debugger options > Enable debugging.

Activate the Homebrew to Record 3DS Gameplay

Step 4. On the N3DS, launch the BootNTR Selector app we previously installed. You will see a few lines of text, before returning to the Home Menu.

Step 5. With the cursor highlighting an empty space or folder icon, press X and Y together. A menu will appear on the touchscreen. Select "enable debugger".

Step 6. Launch Kit-Kat Slim on your PC. If Windows Firewall asks you about Kit-Kat Slim, choose to allow connections. Enter your N3DS' IP address in the top field.

Activate the CFW NTR to Record 3DS Gameplay

Step 7. Click Connect. The N3DS top screen should flash purple and blue momentarily and a new window should appear with the N3DS screens streaming on your PC. If a blank NTRViewer window appears, close it, then press Connect again.

Capture the CFW NTR Output 3DS Game Video


How to Record 3DS Game Play Video with 3DS Emulator 

As we can see, the process & effort we take to record the 3DS game video is tremendously annoying and complex to achieve. The only simpler way which we can probably try is to use the emulator to play Nintendo 3DS games on PC, then the output graphics of the game could be recorded as the 3DS game video.  

Also read:>>The Encyclopaedia of How to Record Gameplay on PS4 in 2021<<


The Tool You Need to Record the 3DS Game Video: PC Screen Recorder

All these manuals & introductions are serving to one target: to record the 3DS game video. Some may notice that all exhibited methods and tricks are focused on one thing: to connect the 3DS to PC, and conduct the graphic from 3DS to the PC. For our purpose of recording a 3DS gameplay video, having a good screen recorder, will be the only way to record & capture the screen and make it a video.

So that requires us to find a screen recorder that good in quality, easy to control, and it is better to be free since we have already put a lot of time, energy, and money into this, we want a screen recorder which free to use but also has the full capacity to record 3DS game video in all conditions. Will there be a savior? 



The Best Screen Recorder You Can Have 

For recording 3DS game video, one of the best screen recorders that I can recommend, is the iTop Screen Recorder.

The iTop Screen Recorder

There are many competitors in the domain of the screen recorder industry. But after we considered all the features & characteristics combined: free, powerful, easy-to-use, there will be no challenger to iTop Screen Recorder for its freeware nature, complete functionality, and barrierless operating. It may not the best expert on one specific domain, but it is an absolute jack of all trade and responds to all different situations of usage.


How to Use iTop Screen Recorder to Record 3DS Game Video 

Compared to the complex process of 3DS modding & hacking. iTop Screen Recorder is much easier to use.

Step 1. Make sure your 3DS is connected to your PC via hardware connection (old 3DS hardware mod & CFW NTR software mod). Or running a 3DS emulator on PC. That would allow the game graphic to be detected by the iTop Screen Recorder.

Step 2. Run iTop Screen Recorder, click “Select a Region”, select “Window” in the drop-down menu. Drag the rectangle zone selector to determine the area you’d like to record 3DS game video.

Click Select Zone Botton to Select Capture Zone

Step 3. Start recording by clicking the red “REC” button, a timer will show up. You can stop recording anytime by clicking the “Stop” on the recording control panel.

Stop Recording 3DS Game Video by Click “Stop”

Step 4. After recording, you can manage your videos in “Video List” menu.

There also other exciting functions waiting to explore. For instance, the iTop Screen recorder can record your 3DS gaming video and save the clip as a gif image. That is sometimes very convenient if you want to share your best game completion & moment on Reddit/ social networking… If you are a content creator, its various output format option & detailed video adjustment could help you to make appropriate 3DS gaming video content.



The Best Way to Record 3DS Game Video 

Now in 2021, the 10th anniversary of Nintendo 3DS. He is about to withdraw from the stage, move back to the curtain. No matter what incentive we’ve had, to record a 3DS game video & memorize the past days for nostalgia, or record your best game technic to amaze your audience for glorious, we need to know that it is not easy to record game video on 3DS game video. For different consoles, there will do a different approach to record video on Nintendo 3DS. The value of iTop Screen Recorder is, no matter which way you take, it can always help you.

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