How to Run GBA Games on M3 DS

Updated April 17, 2017

M3 DS Real is a cheating and home brew cartridge for Nintendo DS. The cartridge allows you to customise the way you play Nintendo DS games with cheats and alteration codes. You also can adapt the cartridge to function as a GBA (Game Boy Advance) emulator. By adding a GBA Ram Pack device, you can use M3 DS Real to run home brew ROM files originally designed for the GBA on your Nintendo DS.

Insert the SD card that you use with M3 DS Real into your SD card reader and connect the reader to your computer's USB slot.

Copy your GBA ROMs to the "NDS" folder of your SD card. If you do not have any ROM files for GBA, a selection of home brew GBA ROMs can be found in the Resources section.

Eject and remove your SD card. Place your SD card in the top of the M3 DS Real cartridge. Insert this cartridge into Slot 1 (the DS game slot) of your Nintendo DS.

Insert the GBA Ram Pack into Slot 2 (the GBA game slot) of your Nintendo DS and turn the system on to launch the M3 DS menu.

Use your stylus or D-pad to select the "GBA" icon from the M3 DS menu. Choose the GBA game you wish to play from the system's menu.


Some GBA games are protected by the ESA (Entertainment Software Association), and it is illegal to play or download them if you do not own the original cartridge. Only play home brew ROMs or ROMs downloaded from ESA-compliant websites. To find out whether a website is ESA-compliant, see the site's "Policies" or "Contact" sections.

Things You'll Need

  • SD card
  • SD card reader
  • M3 DS Real cartridge
  • M3 GBA Ram Pack
  • Nintendo DS
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About the Author

Nick Grimes was first published in 1998. Since then his work has appeared in the New Zealand Listener, Evening Post, City Voice, Turbine,, and Gamesradar. He has a master's degree in creative writing from the International Institute of Modern Letters in Wellington, New Zealand.