From GameBrew - a wiki dedicated to Video Game Homebrew.

Last Updated2021/10/11

nds-bootstrap is an open-source application that allows Nintendo DS/DSi ROMs and homebrew to be natively utilised rather than using an emulator. nds-bootstrap works on Nintendo DSi/3DS SD cards through CFW and on Nintendo DS through flashcarts.

Note from developers:

A frontend isn't required to be used as nds-bootstrap uses an ini file to load its parameters. However, it is very much recommended. TWiLight Menu++ is a frontend for nds-bootstrap, developed by RocketRobz & co. It has 7 customizable launchers to choose from with the ability to launch emulators and other homebrew. It also includes a number of Anti-Piracy patches for the games and will automatically configure nds-bootstrap for you, with customizable per game settings.


To install nds-bootstrap, download the .7z file.

Extract the nds-bootstrap .nds files, to root:/_nds/.

For TWLMenu++ users, extract the .ver file to root:/_nds/TWiLightMenu/.

User guide

ROM Compatibility

nds-bootstrap supports most DS ROMs, with a few exceptions. See compatibility list.

You can enhance your gaming experience with cheats and faster load times than general cartridges (for games that support those features). Game saving is supported too and will be saved in the .sav extention, and .pub or .prv for DSiWare.

Anti-Piracy patches can be loaded via IPS files, but they are not included inside the software itself.

nds-bootstrap also supports many homebrew applications, including games like DSCraft.

B4DS mode (a result of running nds-bootstrap on DS-mode flashcards with locked SCFG or DS Phat/lite) only supports some DS ROMs. You can increase compatibility by inserting a DS Memory Expansion Pak.


Since 0.46.0 you can take screenshots directly from the hardware, without a capture card or an emulator. To take screenshots:

  • Open the in-game menu, select Screenshots...
  • Select the VRAM bank, in case if the screenshot looks incorrect (this feature cannot be used in B4DS mode).
  • You can now step 1 frame, while in the in-game menu (by pressing R).
  • Screenshots will be saved to screenshots.tar in sd:/_nds/nds-bootstrap/.
    • Due to hardware limitations, only screenshots of the main-set screen will be taken.
    • Limit is 50 screenshots. After reaching the limit, you cannot take any more, until you delete screenshots.tar in sd:/_nds/nds-bootstrap/, where it'll be re-created on next boot.


3DS Play NDS ROM's Off Your SD Card! (TWiLightMenu) (Tech James)

Known issues

Please refer to


v0.49.1 2021/10/11

  • Included in TWiLight Menu++ v22.2.0.
  • Donor ROMs for certain SDK2 and SDK5 games are no longer required (They are still required when running from flashcards).
  • DSi-Enhanced ROMs containing THUMB ARM7/7i binaries (ex. Fossil Fighters Champions) now require any TWL-type (DSi-Enhanced, DSi-Exclusive, or DSiWare) ROM set as a Donor ROM, in order to run in DSi mode.
  • Minor HB build improvements.
  • Fixed certain games not booting (depending on the console used), such as Naruto Shippuu Den: Ninjutsu Zenkai! Chaclash!!.

Release notes.

External links