How Do I Put Downloaded Games on My 3DS SD Card?

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By Eric Wilson

So, you’ve downloaded some games for your 3DS and now you want to put them on your SD card. Well, don’t worry because in this tutorial, we’ll guide you through the process step-by-step.

Firstly, you need to ensure that your SD card is inserted into your 3DS. Once you have inserted the SD card, turn on your 3DS and open the home menu. From there, select System Settings which can be found at the top of the screen.

Step 1: Formatting Your SD Card

Before proceeding any further, it is essential to format your SD card to ensure that it’s compatible with your 3DS system. To do this, select Data Management from within System Settings and then choose Format System Memory. This will erase all data on your system memory or SD card and format it accordingly.

Note: Make sure to back up any important files before formatting as all data will be deleted permanently.

Step 2: Downloading Games for Your 3DS

Now that your SD card is formatted correctly and ready for use, it’s time to download some games for your 3DS. You can download games from various sources such as the Nintendo eShop or third-party websites.

Step 3: Transferring Games to Your SD Card

Once you have downloaded a game file in .cia format (short for CTR Importable Archive), connect your SD card to a computer using an SD card reader. Create a new folder on the root of the SD card named “cia” (without quotes).

Drag and drop the .cia file into this folder. After copying is complete, disconnect the SD card from the computer safely.

Reinsert the SD card into your 3DS console and turn it on. Open FBI (a homebrew app) from home menu by pressing L+R+A at the same time.

Navigate to the SD section and look for the cia folder. Select it and you will see a list of all .cia files present in that folder. Select the game file you want to install and click on Install and Delete CIA.

Once installation is complete, you can find the game on your home menu. You can also create a separate folder to store all your games in one place by pressing the “X” button on your home menu.


In conclusion, putting downloaded games on your 3DS SD card isn’t complicated at all if you follow these simple steps. Remember to always follow proper formatting procedures before transferring files to ensure compatibility with your 3DS system. With these steps, you can now enjoy playing your favorite games on the go!