How to do a System Transfer for the New Nintendo 3DS XL

New3DSXfer

For some folks, upgrading to the New Nintendo 3DS XL is simply a matter of time; those hardware enhancements are particularly appealing now that Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate is out. There are, however, a few different approaches to the System Transfer and it can get confusing. Nobody wants to accidentally lose any game licenses or data, so we’re listing the steps for all the methods below.

Full credit goes to RedmondStache from the Capcom-Unity forums.

Before starting

  • You must do a transfer if you want to use your downloaded games and data.This includes save files, your friend code, system settings, and StreetPass data.
  • You must have both systems on hand to perform a transfer, not just the SD card.Game licenses are linked to both your Nintendo Network ID and the system. If your current 3DS is not in working condition you’ll have to go through support.
  • Both systems need to be connected to the internet at all times.You’ll want a stable connection so it’s best to do this at home.
  • Have both systems fully charged or connected to a charger.Transfers reportedly take 20–120 minutes depending on method and contents. Play it safe!
  • You need a small screwdriver.Preferably a Size #0 Phillips head, for opening the New 3DS back panel.
  • You should get a card reader for your PC.This is for copying files from one card to another, used in the faster methods. I recommend buying one — they’re cheap and essential for a DS owner.
  • All data on the New 3DS will be wiped.A system transfer should be the first thing you do. If not, save relevant data onto a PC first.
  • Do NOT create a Nintendo Network ID on the New 3DS before the transfer.You’ll lose any pre-installed games otherwise.
  • Transfers are non-reversible.You can only transfer to another New 3DS afterwards.

Getting started

The New Nintendo 3DS XL comes with a 4GB microSD card in the unit. Which method you choose largely depends on whether you’ll be using the included card or using one you’ve purchased separately.

If you plan on buying games from the eShop you’ll probably want something larger anyway. Anything higher than 32GB should be reformatted to FAT32.

To give you an overview of what we’ll be doing please watch the video by Nintendo below. It demonstrates only one method but features many of the preliminary steps found in others.

Choosing a method

For the rest of this article:
SourceDS” refers to your current system, whether Nintendo 2DS, 3DS, or 3DS XL;
SourceCard” refers to the miniSD/SD/microSD card in your current system;
New3DS” refers to the New Nintendo 3DS XL;
NewCardrefers to the 4GB microSD card included with the system; and,
microSD“refers to the microSD card you purchased separately.

Note that if the contents on SourceCard is larger than microSD, the transfer will only move system data and save files. You will have to re-download the games on the New3DS accordingly.

By following these instructions, any pre-installed games you may have on the New3DS will be linked to your account, allowing you to re-download them in the future.

***

I have a microSD and…

I do not have a microSD and…

I do not want to transfer anything…

My SourceDS isn’t working…

This is my first 3DS…

I don’t even have a New3DS! Where do I get one in Singapore?

Instructions

Transfer using a microSD Adapter

  1. Remove SourceCard.
  2. Copy SourceCard to microSD using a computer.
  3. Insert microSD into SourceDS using the adapter.
  4. Start System Transfer from SourceDS.
  5. Follow video instructions until Step 8.
  6. Select “No” for having a microSD.
  7. Wait for transfer to complete.
  8. Power down both systems.
  9. Replace NewCard with microSD.
  10. Done!

Transfer using a computer, with microSD

  1. Start System Transfer from SourceDS.
  2. Follow video instructions until Step 8.
  3. Select “Yes” for having a miniSD/SD card.
  4. Choose “PC-Based Transfer”
  5. Wait for transfer to complete.
  6. Power down both systems and remove both cards.
  7. Copy SourceCard to microSD using a computer.
  8. Insert microSD into New3DS.
  9. Done!

Transfer using a computer, without microSD

  1. Start System Transfer from SourceDS.
  2. Follow video instructions until Step 8.
  3. Select “Yes” for having a miniSD/SD card.
  4. Choose “PC-Based Transfer”
  5. Wait for transfer to complete.
  6. Power down both systems and remove NewCard.
  7. Copy SourceCard to NewCard using a computer.
  8. Re-insert NewCard into New3DS.
  9. Done!
Transfer using a wireless connection

Note that this is the slowest method. 

Steps 2–4 are for the benefit of those with pre-installed games. Please proceed with caution.Those without a microSD may skip to Step 5.

  1. Insert microSD into New3DS.
  2. Go to the eShop. (Do not create an ID!)
  3. Check Menu > Settings/Other > Redownloadable Software.
  4. Proceed if pre-installed games are listed. Otherwise, use PC transfer instead.
  5. Start System Transfer from SourceDS.
  6. Follow video instructions until Step 8.
  7. Select “Yes” for having  a miniSD/SD card.
  8. Choose “Wireless Transfer”.
  9. Wait for transfer to complete… eventually.
  10. Done!

No transfer but keeping game licenses

  1. Note down SourceDS serial number (sticker on back of system, below bar code)
  2. Note New3DS serial number.
  3. Contact support and ask for a license transfer.

This method will save your digital library but not any of your system or save data.

New owner with microSD

  1. Create or Sign in with Nintendo Network ID on New3DS.
  2. Power down system.
  3. Copy NewCard to microSD using a computer.
  4. Insert microSD into New3DS.
  5. Done!

New owner without microSD

  1. Create or Sign in with Nintendo Network ID on New3DS.
  2. That’s it. Start playing!

Where’s This New Nintendo 3DS XL in Singapore?

The good news is local sets are now available with a one-year warranty!

The bad news is they’re selling before they even reach retail shelves. Pre-orders are burning through shops’ limited supplies right now, if they aren’t out of stock already, so interested buyers are going to have to rely on luck or wait on the next shipment.

We’ve reached out to Singapore distributor Maxsoft Online and will update if we hear anything on when that may be.

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Ade Putra

Ade thinks there's nothing quite like a good game and a snug headcrab. He grew up with HIDEO KOJIMA's Metal Gear Solid, lives for RPGs, and is waiting for light guns to make their comeback.