Ads keep us online. Without them, we wouldn't exist. We don't have paywalls or sell mods - we never will. But every month we have large bills and running ads is our only way to cover them. Please consider unblocking us. Thank you from GameBanana <3

Getting Started with Smash 3DS Mods: What is CFW?

A Tutorial for Super Smash Bros. (3DS)

Members see zero ads. Membership is 100% free

Updates

menu
3DS VERSION UPDATE 3y
  • - 11.1 Update is out! Updated the tutorial to make it more relevant.
Hello! Clouded Sun here, taking you into the very basics of 3DS hacking to get your Smash 3DS mods running. Getting yourself going is a very tedious, long, and sometimes risky process in your venture, but the rewards of a 3DS with Custom Firmware (Or CFW) is astounding, ranging from immediate homebrew launchable applications straight from the 3DS, access to all 3DS files and folders, access to clock speeds on the New Nintendo 3DS, custom 3DS themes, and even full 3DS system access, including the OS and various hardware features. Sounds exciting, huh?

With great power comes great risk, and although the reward of a hacked 3DS is great, so is the risk if you don't follow the directions of installing your CFW correctly, following every step tooth and nail to it. 

Custom Firmware is firmware modified by certain amazing programmers, who are able to exploit a system's firmware and add features not natively present in the stock firmware of a console. One of the most common features added to a console which has CFW is the ability to run unsigned, region-free content, which is user-generated content that is created for and tailored to a system, but is not "checked off" by the manufacturer to work with the system unless verified by some means. Usually in the publication process, games would be signed to work with a certain system before being shipped to the consumer market. Apps usable within homebrew and apps installable through custom firmware that aren't on the market, either as free product or profitable merchandise are unsigned applications, which use a couple of different technical tricks to work on your system. These technical tricks to get applications working where they normally shouldn't are called exploits, and they take advantage of an "opening" in the firmware of the 3DS in order to run.

Lots of information to go through, so let's run that whole thing back

-Custom Firmware is firmware modified by developers and/or programmers to add features to the firmware of a system or console, most commonly unsigned, region-free applications
-Signed applications (Like the games you can play on your 3DS) are the applications approved by the manufacturer/publisher of a system or system software. 
-Unsigned applications (Like homebrew, unofficial applications, Smash 3DS files and mods and yes even games from the internet) are applications that are not natively allowed to work on a system or console, due to not being approved by the manufacturer/publisher
-Exploits (Like the gateways of getting into homebrew, and iOS jailbreak methods) are pathways that take advantage of a system weakness to run homebrew, unsigned content, or other things that can tweak a system.

So why the heck do I even need CFW? Can't I just use homebrew?
Although you can run unsigned content on homebrew, it is not a permanent patch to the 3DS' firmware. It can not access the same features as custom firmware can, it's not able to run the same applications that are formatted to run natively on the 3DS, and does not behave like Custom Firmware does.

Okay, now I know what CFW is and what it does. What kinds of CFW are there?

LUMA 3DS
http://gbatemp.net/threads/luma3ds-noob-proof-3ds-custom-firmware.411110/

The most popular and common 3DS CFW solution, Luma 3DS is especially useful for running SaltySD (More to come in a later tutorial). This simple, beginner-friendly CFW is one of the easiest to install, has a user friendly interface, allows you to run payloads into certain applications (Such as a very useful backup and restore application for your firmware), runs games region-free and unsigned, and much more.

CAKES FW
http://gbatemp.net/threads/release-cakesfw.391200/

Cakes FW is a custom firmware option that allows you to have a plethora of system control options, all designed and enabled by you. Yes, Cakes FW at first seems like a barebones firmware enhancement, but with patches, known as "Cakes", you can add a huge list of features to your firmware experience. It all depends on what you want and don't want, and if it's there, Cakes has it.

CORBENIK
http://gbatemp.net/threads/corbenik-another-cfw-for-advanced-users-with-bytecode-patches.429612/
Corbenik is another CFW that allows complete access to your system's firmware. Based off of the aforementioned Luma 3DS and Cakes FW and sharing similar code, Corbenik is a highly dev-oriented CFW. Corbenik brings its own features to the table, including blocking nearly all unwanted updates to your games, firmware, or other software applications. 
EDIT: Corbenik is also compatible with Smash Selector, a way to run SaltySD mods.

GODDAMMIT, STOP! I just want to be able to make and mod Smash 3DS! What CFW should I use?
I highly recommend turning nowhere else but Luma 3DS if you want an easy to use CFW that isn't extremely flashy and complicated, but adds the extra features you need to run Smash 3DS and other games with mods. And, with a redirection application called SaltySD, running Smash 3DS mods is as simple as placing your mods in the correct directory of your SD card. In addition, with an application called Smash Selector, you have a feature that not even the Wii U uses with SDCaffiine: the ability to switch between multiple Smash modpacks, which can include Sound Mods, Turbo Mods, Stage Mods, Costume Mods, or any combination you'd like, provided that your SD is big enough to hold every modpack at once.

Now I know you've read all of that, but don't run out there and try to install Luma 3DS or any of the CFW I have mentioned right now!

Yes, it'll be an exciting journey to get your 3DS up with Smash mods, and maybe soon enough the modding community for Smash will be at least half as big as the one for Wii U, but don't go running to start now, especially if you've updated to the latest system software version on your 3DS. It's a long process, and takes much more than just dumping the game, adding your mods, and running it back like the Wii U is capable of. 

And that concludes Part 1 of the process of getting Custom Firmware on your 3DS! Thanks for coming this far! Special thanks to Crystal the Glaceon for her amazing work in her thread FAQ: What CFW is best for me? in which the CFW explanations part is based off of, to Plailect for his amazing guide to 3DS Custom Firmware Installation with Luma 3DS and to all the devs of the absolutely amazing CFW created by each and every one of them.

Stay tuned - for Part 2 - Preparing my 3DS: What do I need?

If you're interested, consider becoming a member of GBATemp.net, a source for all kinds independent console development projects, including homebrew, custom firmware, ROM hacking, and other things.


Authors and their CFW's (Curtesy of Crystal the Glaceon's "Which CFW is best for me?")
Aurora WrightLuma3DS
ReisyukakuReiNand CFW
CakesFWmid-kid
SaltFWShadowhand
Corbenikchaoskagami
Puma33DS CFW by Ryccardo
Yet another rxTools?duke_srg
Old RXtoolsroxas75 & Pasta Team
CtrBootManager9 & CtrBootManagercpasjuste

Todos

menu
check_box_outline_blank Maybe more pictures check_box_outline_blank Part 2 of 3DS Custom Firmware Installation Series check_box_outline_blank Maybe explain more CFW options check_box_outline_blank Better Thumbnail

Comments

Sign up to access this!
  • CloudedSun avatar
    CloudedSun Joined 3y ago
    Offline
    594 points Ranked 44035th
    access_time 3y
    Posted by psiJordan

    So is the next part coming?

    Im actually thinking about trashing this. Plailect can keep up with the updates a lot faster than I could. Unfortunately I have a lot on my plate as of now. As well as trying to be an active part in the community. 
    URL to post:
  • psiJordan avatar
    psiJordan Joined 3y ago
    Offline
    access_time 3y
    So is the next part coming?
    URL to post:
  • CloudedSun avatar
    CloudedSun Joined 3y ago
    Offline
    594 points Ranked 44035th
    access_time 3y
    Posted by Wolfipoo

    Posted by CloudedSun

    Posted by Oliver As Latias

    I have luma, SaltySD and Homebrew. And I have all the mods I want to the Smash 3DS. Is there anything I can do with the Homebrew launcher?

    At this point, there's nothing directly that you can do with Smash from the Homebrew Launcher with SaltySD that I know of. Strangely enough, you can't even run the latest 1.1.6 version with HANS, but you can take screenshots of the base game using the Home button. 

    Wouldn't the only possible way to run Sm4sh mods right now be to unpack a .cia, edit the contents and then repack it and install?


    You don't even need to do that. You can put your mods into a folder on the root of your SD named SaltySD/smashX (you can have multiple modpacks with Smash-Selector, so replace X with the number you want your modpack in ex. The first modpack would be smash1, then would go all your mods) Download and install the  Smash-Selector CIA, install the latest version of SaltySD (Press Select), Press Y to select SaltySD, Up or Down to your region and version of Smash (cartridge or installed) then run the mods on your SD!

    It's simpler than I put it.... Visit the Smash-Selector link I gave you, and you'll get a clearer idea of what I'm saying. 

    This is ONLY if you have Corbenik/Luma 3DS CFW, though.
    URL to post:
  • Wolfipoo avatar
    Wolfipoo Joined 3y ago
    Offline
    7,699 points Ranked 806th
    13 medals 1 legendary 2 rare
    • 10 years a member Medal icon
    • 6 years a member Medal icon
    • Returned 1000 times Medal icon
    • One month a member Medal icon
    • 6 months a member Medal icon
    • 1 year a member Medal icon
    access_time 3y
    Posted by CloudedSun

    Posted by Oliver As Latias

    I have luma, SaltySD and Homebrew. And I have all the mods I want to the Smash 3DS. Is there anything I can do with the Homebrew launcher?

    At this point, there's nothing directly that you can do with Smash from the Homebrew Launcher with SaltySD that I know of. Strangely enough, you can't even run the latest 1.1.6 version with HANS, but you can take screenshots of the base game using the Home button. 

    Wouldn't the only possible way to run Sm4sh mods right now be to unpack a .cia, edit the contents and then repack it and install?

    Banana Waffle
    URL to post:
  • CloudedSun avatar
    CloudedSun Joined 3y ago
    Offline
    594 points Ranked 44035th
    access_time 3y
    I'm still trying to gather the time to finish the next tutorials, sorry for the long wait. 
    URL to post:
  • CloudedSun avatar
    CloudedSun Joined 3y ago
    Offline
    594 points Ranked 44035th
    access_time 3y
    Posted by Oliver As Latias

    I have luma, SaltySD and Homebrew. And I have all the mods I want to the Smash 3DS. Is there anything I can do with the Homebrew launcher?

    At this point, there's nothing directly that you can do with Smash from the Homebrew Launcher with SaltySD that I know of. Strangely enough, you can't even run the latest 1.1.6 version with HANS, but you can take screenshots of the base game using the Home button. 

    URL to post:
  • Oliver As Latias avatar
    Oliver As Latias username pic Joined 4y ago
    Currently busy
    6,208 points Ranked 1046th
    22 medals 1 legendary 5 rare
    • Returned 5000 times Medal icon
    • Returned 1000 times Medal icon
    • Submitted 50 Sounds Medal icon
    • 10 submissions featured Medal icon
    • Submitted 20 Maps Medal icon
    • Reached 50 subscribers Medal icon
    access_time 3y
    I have luma, SaltySD and Homebrew. And I have all the mods I want to the Smash 3DS. Is there anything I can do with the Homebrew launcher?

    Is this what I came up with? avatar
    Mantra
    Is this what I came up with?
    URL to post:
  • CloudedSun avatar
    CloudedSun Joined 3y ago
    Offline
    594 points Ranked 44035th
    access_time 3y
    Posted by Jigawatt

    my brain hurts

    It's that type of modding thing XD it's something you don't understand crud about until you actually start the process. Like, at first I was like "Wuuuuuuuuuttttt?" Even while I was hacking TWO DS'

    URL to post:
  • Jigawatt avatar
    Jigawatt Joined 3y ago
    Offline
    access_time 3y
    my brain hurts

    Bananite
    URL to post:
  • CloudedSun avatar
    CloudedSun Joined 3y ago
    Offline
    594 points Ranked 44035th
    access_time 3y
    Why does everyone keep deleting my stuff? This tutorial was in a specific section last time I checked. 
    URL to post:

Embed

menu
Share banner
Image URL
HTML embed code
BB embed code
Markdown embed code

Credits

Key Authors
CloudedSun
CloudedSun Joined 3y ago
Offline
594 points Ranked 44035th
Special Thanks
GBATemp.net
Source for a plethora of 3DS hacking and homebrew
Plailect
Detailed Guide of Installing Luma CFW
AuroraWright
Creator of Luma 3DS
Crystal The Glaceon
Creator of FAQ: What CFW is best for me?
mid-kid
Creator of CakesFW
chaoskagami
Creator of Corbenik

Submitter

CloudedSun avatar
CloudedSun Joined 3y ago
Offline
594 points Ranked 44035th
CloudedSun
Creator
  • Paypal Donate
Sign up to access this!
Sign up to access this!
Sign up to access this!

Game

Sign up to access this!

Category

Details

Difficulty Level
Intermediate

Attributes

Share

  • Share on Reddit
  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • favorite 1
  • remove_red_eye 15.3k
  • mode_comment 10
  • access_time 3y
  • access_time 3y
  • refresh 3y

More Other/Misc Tutorials