How to get the Homebrew Launcher on 3DS

What is the Homebrew Launcher?

Homebrew is a popular term used for “homemade” applications that are created and executed on a closed video game console by developers and consumers. The Homebrew Launcher for 3DS is an application that manages the homebrew applications and keeps the apps organized in a central place.


Why install it?

With a homebrew capable 3DS you can do many things. A few of them being:

  • Run homebrew games such as Aperture Science 3D and 3DSCraft 
  • Play 3DS games from other regions
  • Custom Themes – Make your own themes to use in home menu
  • Run emulators and play retro NES, SNES, GBC, and GBA games

For a full list of homebrew applications available now check out the 3DBrew wiki list here.

List of Current Working Exploits

Primary Exploits

Web Browser (this tutorial uses this method)

browser_iconIf your 3DS is on a compatible version, you can use the stock web browser to get homebrew running! Head over to yellows8’s browserhax page and follow instructions there.

Note: browserhax does not currently support the latest firmware versions.

Cubic Ninja

cubic-ninjaIf you own a copy of Cubic Ninja 3DS app follow instructions on the official ninjhax website

Freakyforms Deluxe
freaky-forms-deluxIf you own a copy of Freakyforms Deluxe, please head over to plutoo’s freakyhax website and follow the instructions there.
Smile Basic
smile_iconIf you own a copy of Smile Basic, please head over to either mrnbayoh’s basicsploit website (currently supports only USA) or plutoo’s smilehax website (supports JPN and USA) and follow instructions there.
Super Smash Bros. 3DS

ssb_iconIf you own Super Smash Bros, a New 3DS, some compatible wifi hardware and aren’t afraid of going under the hood, then you can head over to yellows8’s smashbroshax webpage and follow instructions there.

Note: This is currently the least convenient method of running homebrew.

Monster Hunter X (N3DS only)

This exploit works on N3DS systems from 9.9 up to 11.2. It requires a gamecard or eShop-install of Monster Hunter X (JPN only), and the DLC encryption key (see installer instructions here).

Nintendo 3DS Sound App (9.0-11.2)

This exploit works on any 3DS system from 9.0 up to 11.2 does not require internet or any game to work. Visit soundhax’s main github page for installation instructions.

Secondary Exploits

Home Menu (this tutorial uses this method)
menu_iconIf your 3DS is on a compatible version, you can use home menu itself as a permanent entrypoint to get homebrew running.
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time

oot_iconIf you own a copy of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3DS, you can install oot3dhax. This can either be done in two ways:

  • Using another exploit to run the oot3dhax installer. The installer is included in the starter kit below.
  • Writing a raw savegame image to your gamecard (PowerSaves method). For this method you can find more information on yellows8’s repository.
Paper Mario: Sticker Star
paper-mario-sticker-starIf you own a copy of Paper Mario: Sticker Star, head over to yellows8’s stickerhax website and follow instructions there.
Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire
oras_iconIf you own a copy of Pokémon Omega Ruby or Alpha Sapphire, please head over to mrnbayoh’s basehaxx website and follow instructions there.
Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon

psmd_iconIf you own a copy of Pokémon Super Mystery Dungeon, you can install ShinyQuagsire’s supermysterychunkhax.

Note: initial installation for this can only be done if you or one of your friends already has access to homebrew.

vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv_iconIf you own a copy of VVVVVV, please head over to shinyquagsire’s (v*)hax website and follow instructions there.
Citizens of Earth
humble_iconIf you own a copy of Citizens of Earth, please head over to Dazzozo’s humblehax website and follow instructions there.
Pixel Paint

This exploit works on all 3DS on firmware 9.0.0-X up to and including 11.2.0-X. It requires an eShop-install of PixelPaint. Check out the github page here.

Difference between Primary and Secondary Exploit?

  • Primary exploits do not require extra exploits or hardware to use. The only two things needed are the system and the game/exploit.
  • Secondary exploits can only be set up using a system with Homebrew access (including the same one), or extra hardware like Powersaves or a save device.

For a complete and more comprehensive list of all 3DS homebrew exploits view the 3DBrew wiki page here.

Get the homebrew Launcher on 3DS (browserhax + homemenuhax method)


  • 2DS, 3DS, or New 3DS (Regular or XL versions both work)
  • 3DS Firmware must be between 9.0 and 11.0
  • SD Card or Micro SD Card (New 3DS) in your system
  • Internet connection


  1. Go into your 3DS system settings to make sure your 3DS is compatible. Your firmware must be between 9.0 and 11.0.20161009_164006
  2. Next, download the homebrew starter kit.
  3. Once downloaded, move it to your 3DS’s SD Card and right-click and extract the package.3ds-micro-sd-card
    Tips on File Types
    .3dsx files are homebrew applications to be placed in the /3ds folder
    – The /3ds folder contains all the homebrew applications you want to install to your system. You can either place 3DSX files directly inside of that folder, or create an individual folder for each application you install.
    .smdh files contain icons and metadata
    – The /Themes folder is where you can put your custom Home Menu themes
    boot.3dsx is the actual Homebrew Launcher executable file. If nothing else, this file is required.
  4. Prevent updates and Browser Lockout by entering your System Settings and going to
    Internet Settings > Connection Settings > (Existing Connection) > Change Settings > Tap the
    Right Arrow on the screen > and finally choose DNS.
  5. Set the Auto-Obtain to “No” and then press Detailed Setup
  6. set the Primary and Secondary DNS to then press OK and Save the connection. You do not need to test the connection if it worked for you previously.

  7. Set your 3DS’s date and time to 01/01/2000 and 00:0020161009_170642   20161009_170412
  8. Return to the Home Menu and select Change Theme from the Home Menu Settings
    popup (top left corner). Choose a random theme, then put it back to “Do not use a theme”.

  9. Open up the Web Browser app, go into the Settings and delete Cookies and Save Data. Exit the browser. (On old 3DS: Clear Cookies and Initialize Save Data located at the bottom).20161009_170752
  10. Turn off your 3DS’s WiFi either via the switch (old 3DS) or in the Home Menu Settings popup (New 3DS).
  11. Navigate to: OR you can press L+R at the
    Home Menu and click on QR and scan this QR Code:
  12. Go through the Browser setup. It doesn’t matter if you choose Google or Yahoo. Press OK.
  13. It won’t load the page because Wireless Communications are off. Turn them back on and go into the Browser again.
  14. If successful, the 3DS screen will flash different colors and you should boot into the Homebrew Launcher. If your 3DS appears to lock up or does not respond after 30 seconds, hold down the power button to power off the unit and try steps 8-12 again.
  15. Now to install menuhax: Select the Menuhax_Manager application and choose the 3rd option, Configure/Check Haxx Trigger.20161009_172607
  16. Select Type 1 (Recommended) if you want the 3DS to boot to the Home Menu
    first, or Type 2 to let the 3DS boot into Homebrew Launcher directly after power on.
  17. It will now ask you to select which button(s) you want to trigger the Type 1 or Type 2
    effect. You may choose any button combination, but for ease of use, I recommend holding
    down R (Right Shoulder button) and then tapping the bottom touch screen. This will save the
    configuration file.
  18. Back on the main Menuhax_Manager screen, select the Install option and let it configure your 3DS. If you are prompted to “override the detected system version,” press (B) to decline. You will get an installation successful message.
  19. Power off your 3DS. If you selected Type 1 Installation, power your 3DS back on while holding R (or the button(s) you chose) and, after a few moments, it should boot into the Homebrew Launcher.
    Note: Some screen noise and text output is completely normal during the boot process.
    If you selected Type 2 Installation, powering on your 3DS will boot directly to the Homebrew Launcher.

Get the homebrew Launcher on 3DS

Congratulations! You’ve installed the Homebrew Launcher on your 3DS! You can now play games that are out of your region, emulators, get custom themes, and more!

Stay tuned for more 3DS Homebrew Tutorials! Follow @codedonutblog on twitter.