Actions

Wii U Homebrew Setup

From GameBrew - a wiki dedicated to Video Game Homebrew.

What is Homebrew?

Homebrew usually refers to software that is not authorized by Nintendo. It allows you to run homebrew games, tools like save editing and backup, and emulators for various older systems.

Running homebrew on your console is 100% free using nothing but the system’s browser.

What is Custom Firmware?


Custom Firmware (“CFW”) enables you to use more advanced hacks that userland homebrew can’t easily do, in addition to anything homebrew can do.

CFW can be easily set up on any console in any region on the latest version.

What does this guide install?


This guide has the end goal of taking a completely unmodified Wii U from stock firmware to Coldboot Haxchi powered Mocha Custom Firmware. It utilizes homebrew as a stepping off point, but Custom Firmware is still the goal.

What can I do with Custom Firmware?


  • Play all game discs and eShop games, regardless of region
  • Backup, edit, and restore saves for many games
  • Play games for older systems with various emulators, using RetroArch or other standalone emulators.
  • Install homebrew titles to your system, and have them appear on your system menu
  • Dump your discs to a format you can install, and play them without needing the disc

What do I need to know before starting?


  • Before beginning the guide, you must know the risks of Wii U hacking: EVERY time you modify your system, there is always the potential for an UNRECOVERABLE brick. They’re rare, but still a possibility so make sure you follow ALL directions EXACTLY.
  • This guide will work on all Wii U devices in all regions on the version 5.5.0 to 5.5.2.
  • If everything goes according to plan, you will lose no data and end up with everything that you started with (games, NNID, saves, etc will be preserved).
  • Your SD card is recommended to be at least 16GB or 32GB to have enough space for dumping and installing games.
  • Your SD card should be MBR, not GPT.
  • If you need to format a brand new SD card, you can use guiformat and set to an Allocation Unit Size of 64K.

Get Started


These steps will prepare your SD card for installing Coldboot Haxchi custom firmware.

Before beginning, you should make sure your Wii U is currently on firmware 5.5.0, 5.5.1 or 5.5.2. Older versions aren’t currently supported.

Your SD card is recommended to be at least 16GB or 32GB to have enough space for dumping and installing games. If you want to make a backup of your Wii U’s system in case it needs to be restored in the future, you will need an SD card at least twice the size of your Wii U’s system memory (16GB SD card for an 8GB white console; 64GB SD card for a 32GB black console).

Your SD card must be formatted as FAT32 (64KB clusters if possible). Most SD cards will be formatted this way by default.

If you need to format an SD card on Windows, do not use the built in formatter or it may cause issues. Use guiformat instead and set to an Allocation Unit Size of 64KB.

Your SD card cannot be named

wiiu

, or it will cause problems.


Before starting, you may want to check your SD card for errors using H2testw (Windows), F3 (Linux), or F3X (Mac)!


What you need

Instructions

Section I - Prep Work

  1. Power off your device
  2. Insert your SD card into your computer
  3. Create a folder named

    wiiu

    on the root of your SD card
  4. Create a folder named

    install

    on the root of your SD card
  5. Copy the

    apps

    folder from the Homebrew App Store

    .zip

    to the

    /wiiu/

    folder on your SD card
  6. Copy and merge the contents of the Homebrew Launcher

    .zip

    to the root of your SD card
  7. Copy and merge the contents of the Haxchi

    .zip

    to the root of your SD card
  8. Copy and merge the contents of the CBHC

    .zip

    to the root of your SD card
  9. Copy

    config.txt

    to the

    /haxchi

    folder on your SD card
  10. Create a folder named

    hbc

    in the

    /install/

    folder on your SD card
  11. Copy the contents of the Homebrew Launcher Channel

    .zip

    to the

    /install/hbc/

    folder on your SD card
  12. Copy the WUP_Installer_GX2 folder from the WUP Installer GX2 (Channel)

    .zip

    to the

    .zip

    /install/ folder on your SD card
  13. Create a folder named mocha in the

    /wiiu/apps/

    folder on your SD card
  14. Copy mocha.elf from the Mocha CFW

    .zip

    to the

    /wiiu/apps/mocha/

    folder on your SD card
  15. Copy the

    savemii_mod

    folder from the savemii_mod

    .zip

    to the

    /wiiu/apps/

    folder on your SD card
  16. Copy and merge the contents of the WUP Installer GX2 (Homebrew Launcher)

    .zip

    to the root of your SD card
  17. Copy and merge the contents of the disc2app

    .zip

    to the root of your SD card
  18. Copy and merge the contents of the hid_to_vpad

    .zip

    to the root of your SD card
  19. Copy and merge the contents of the NNU-Patcher

    .zip

    to the root of your SD card
  20. Reinsert your SD card into your device
  21. Power on your device

Section II - DS Virtual Console Game

There are two methods for using Wii U custom firmware.

The first method is to run a browser exploit through the browser which will patch the system. Unfortunately, the nature of this exploit is that this must be run after every reboot. Additionally, the browser exploit compatible with 5.5.2 is very unreliable making this an even less usable option.

The second method is to purchase a very cheap exploitable DS Virtual Console game to launch your Custom Firmware automatically at boot. This is essentially required for users on 5.5.2 because of the aforementioned instability with the 5.5.2 browser exploit.

The DS Virtual Console game must be a

legitimately purchased

copy of the game installed to the

internal memory

of your device. You cannot install this DS Virtual Console game to a USB drive.


If you want to use the DS Virtual Console method, you should purchase the game before proceeding to the next section.


The following DS Virtual Console games are compatible:
  • Compatible Haxchi Games
  • Animal Crossing: Wild World
  • Big Brain Academy
  • Brain Age
  • DK: Jungle Climber
  • Dr. Kawashima’s Brain Training
  • Kirby: Canvas Curse
  • Kirby: Mass Attack
  • Kirby: Squeak Squad / Kirby: Mouse Attack
  • Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass
  • Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks
  • Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time
  • Mario Kart DS
  • New Super Mario Bros.
  • Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of the Sky
  • Pokemon Ranger
  • Pokemon Ranger: Guardian Signs
  • Pokemon Ranger: Shadows of Almia
  • Starfox Command
  • Super Mario 64 DS
  • Wario: Master of Disguise
  • WarioWare: Touched
  • Yoshi’s Island DS
  • Yoshi’s Touch & Go

Currently, Brain Age is the cheapest of these titles on the eShop ($6.99 USD).

If already own Brain Age or Brain Training and have had it installed on your Wii U for a while, try deleting it and redownloading the game from the eShop. Older versions of the game are not compatible with the exploit.

Section III - Block System Updates

Note that, to access the eShop with these DNS addresses set, you must first run NNU-Patcher through the Homebrew Launcher. Additionally note that NNU-Patcher is a temporary patch and will need to be ran again if you need to access the eShop after a reboot.


Note that, unless you block updates with this method on all current and future connections, updates on the Wii U are performed automatically and cannot be disabled.


  1. Go to the “System Settings”, then “Internet”, then “Connect to the Internet” then press (X) to display your current network connections
  1. For each of your connections (and all future connections), do the following
    • Select the connection
    • Select “Change Settings”
    • Move to the second list and choose “DNS”
    • Set the DNS to “Don’t Auto-Obtain”
    • Set the DNS server IPs to the following servers
    • 168.235.092.108
    • 081.004.127.020
    • Select “Confirm”, then press (B) to save
    • These servers will block your SysNAND from being updated

Homebrew Launcher

The Homebrew Launcher is a homebrew application that lists and allows the launching of other homebrew applications from the SD card.

We launch this using the Wii U’s built in browser, so your Wii U will need to be able to access the internet.

Instructions

Section I - Preparing Browser
  1. Launch the browser on your device
  2. Go to the browser settings and select “Reset Save Data”
    • This will prevent issues with the browser exploit
    • This will also delete all save data including settings, history, and bookmarks
  3. Return to the browser


Section II (i) - Versions 5.5.0 & 5.5.1
  1. Go to http://loadiine.ovh
    • You may want to bookmark this address to save time on typing in the future
  2. Ensure that the drop down box shows “Homebrew Launcher 1.4 (5.5.0 - 5.5.1)”, then press “Submit”
    • This may take many tries
    • In some situations, the “Homebrew Launcher 1.3 (5.3.2 - 5.4.0 - 5.5.0 - 5.5.1)” option may be more reliable for launching the Homebrew Launcher
    • If it freezes, just force the console to power off by holding the power button, then try again
  3. Your console should load the Homebrew Launcher


Section II (ii) - Version 5.5.2
  1. Open the browser curtains
    • This improves the success rate of the 5.5.2 browser exploit
  2. Go to http://u.drg.li/
    • You may want to bookmark this address to save time on typing in the future
  3. Select “2” for the first exploit attempt
    • This may take many tries
    • If it freezes, just force the console to power off by holding the power button, then try a different number
    • You may need to try all exploit numbers more than once before one works
  4. Your console should load the Homebrew Launcher

Methods

Mocha CFW

This method requires that you rerun the web exploit used above after every reboot. It is not recommended that you use this on 5.5.2 as that version’s web exploit is extremely unreliable.

Continue to Mocha CFW Guide

Haxchi

This method uses a cheap exploitable DS Virtual Console game to launch your Custom Firmware automatically at boot. This is essentially required for users on 5.5.2 as the web exploit for that version is extremely unreliable.

Continue to Haxchi Guide

Homebrew Launcher (Channel)

This will install the Homebrew Channel so that, once you have a patched SysNAND running, the Homebrew Launcher will appear as an icon on the system menu.

Instructions

  1. Enter the Homebrew Launcher
    • CBHC users must press (Home) while CBHC is booting to access the CBHC boot options menu, then select the Homebrew Launcher
    • Haxchi users must launch Haxchi once to patch SysNAND, then run it a second time while holding (A) to launch the Homebrew Launcher
    • Mocha CFW users must launch Mocha CFW, then relaunch the Homebrew Launcher
  2. Launch WUP Installer GX2
    • Note that if WUP Installer GX2 crashes with a “DSi Exception Has Occurred” error, you should just shut down the console and try again.
  3. Select the Homebrew Channel
  4. Press “Install”, then press “Yes” to confirm
  5. Select “NAND” as the destination
  6. Select WUP Installer GX2
  7. Press “Install”, then press “Yes” to confirm
  8. If you plan to install games to a USB HDD, select “USB” as the destination; if you do not plan to use a USB HDD, select “NAND” as the destination
  9. Press (Home), then close the software to exit the installer once it has completed installing

You can now launch the Homebrew Launcher on patched SysNAND just by launching the Homebrew Channel.

You can now launch WUP Installer GX2 on patched SysNAND just by launching it from the system menu.

For increased safety, you should create a NAND backup of your device.

For information on dumping your discs to an installable format to play without needing the disc, check out the disc2app page.

For information on installing vWii mods on SysNAND, check out the vWii Modding Guide page.

For information on uninstalling CFW safely and returning to stock, check out the Uninstall Wii U CFW page.

NAND Backup (Optional)

This is an optional page which will create a backup of your NAND on your SD card, which will allow you to restore your device using a hardmod in the case of a brick.

If you have a black Wii U (32GB) model, your SD card must be at least 64GB in size. If you have a white (8GB) Wii U model, your SD card must be at least 16GB in size.

Note that Mocha CFW users should follow these instructions after a reboot without running Mocha CFW (using the browser based Homebrew Launcher) to prevent Wii U NAND Dumper from freezing.

Before starting, you may want to check your SD card for errors using H2testw (Windows), F3 (Linux), or F3X (Mac)!

What you need

The latest release of Wii U NAND Dumper

Instructions

  1. Power off your device
  2. Insert your SD card into your computer
  3. Copy and merge the contents of the Wii U NAND Dumper .zip to the root of your SD card
  4. Reinsert your SD card into your device
  5. Power on your device
  6. Launch the Homebrew Launcher
  7. Launch nanddumper
  8. Use the D-Pad to set the following options:
    • Dump SLC (528MB): yes
    • Dump SLCCMPT (528MB): yes
    • Dump MLC (8GB/32GB): yes
    • Dump OTP (1KB): yes
    • Dump SEEPROM (1KB): yes
  9. Press (A) to dump your NAND
    • Be prepared to wait; this can take a while (up to several hours depending on how much used space you have on the internal memory)
  10. When it has completed, your Wii U will reboot automatically
  11. Power off your device
  12. Insert your SD card into your computer
  13. Copy slc.bin, slccmpt.bin, otp.bin, seeprom.bin, and each mlc.bin.part file from the root of your SD card to a safe location on your computer or a cloud service.


If you ever brick your device, you will be able to use this backup to restore it using a hardmod.

Source