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

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By Monica Bates

If you’re a Nintendo 3DS owner, you’re probably always looking for ways to expand your gaming library. Fortunately, the 3DS SD card allows you to store more games and content than the system’s internal memory. In this article, we’ll show you how to put games on your 3DS SD card.

Step 1: Check Your System
Before we get started, it’s important to make sure your 3DS system is compatible with SD cards. The original Nintendo 3DS and the Nintendo 2DS both have a slot for SD cards. Newer models like the New Nintendo 3DS and New Nintendo 2DS XL use microSD cards instead.

Step 2: Format Your SD Card
If your SD card is new or has been used in another device, it’s a good idea to format it before using it in your 3DS. To do this, insert the card into your computer or laptop and format it using the FAT32 file system. This will erase any data on the card, so make sure to save any important files beforehand.

Step 3: Download Games
Once your SD card is formatted and ready to go, you’ll need to download games onto it. There are several ways to do this:

Option A: Download Directly from eShop
The easiest way to download games onto your SD card is by purchasing them directly from the Nintendo eShop. When downloading a game from the eShop, you’ll be prompted to choose where you want to save it – choose “microSD Card” or “SD Card” depending on which type of card you’re using.

Option B: Use Your Computer
Another option is to download games onto your computer and then transfer them over to your SD card. You can find downloadable games through various online retailers, such as the Nintendo eShop, Amazon, or Best Buy.

Once you have downloaded the game onto your computer, connect your SD card to the computer using a card reader. Then, drag and drop the game files onto the SD card.

Step 4: Insert Your SD Card
Now that you have downloaded games onto your SD card, it’s time to insert it into your 3DS system. Make sure your system is turned off before inserting or removing an SD card.

For original 3DS and 2DS systems, the SD card slot is located on the left side of the console. For New Nintendo 3DS and New Nintendo 2DS XL systems, you’ll need to remove the back cover of the console to access the microSD card slot.

Step 5: Access Your Games
Once your SD card is inserted into your 3DS system and turned on, you should be able to access your games through the Home Menu. Any games that were downloaded directly from the eShop will appear on their own icon on the Home Menu. If you transferred games from a computer to your SD card, they will appear in a separate folder called “Nintendo 3DS” on the root of your SD card.

Tip: Be sure to keep track of how much space you have left on your SD card. You can do this by going to System Settings > Data Management > Nintendo 3DS > Software.


Putting games onto your 3DS SD card is a great way to expand your gaming library without having to purchase physical copies of each game. With just a few simple steps, you can download and store multiple games onto one convenient storage device. Whether you choose to download directly from the eShop or transfer games from a computer, make sure to follow all necessary steps carefully and have fun gaming!