Nintendo 3DS Capture Cards – How To Stream & Record Your Gameplay


The Nintendo 3DS has some awesome games, and it's probably one of the best hand held gaming devices we've had in years. But recording or streaming games on your 3DS for Twitch or YouTube is not as straightforward as it is on your PC. Luckily, you can get a capture card to record 3DS gameplay. In this article, we will explain what a capture card is, what it is used for, and how you can use it to record and stream from your Nintendo 3DS.

We will also show some ways to video capture from your 3DS without using a capture card.

What is a 3DS capture card?

Simply put, a capture card allows you to "capture" the video and audio signals from your Nintendo 3DS and feed it into your computer. This means you can stream your 3DS gameplay or simply record it and edit it into a video later. This is very helpful for streamers wanting to showcase 3DS games or speedrunners that need to provide frame-accurate runs of their 3DS games.

Capture cards exist for all sorts of consoles such as Playstation 4 and Xbox One, and if you're looking for more info on those then we recommend checking out our article on those capture cards. Unfortunately, for a 3DS you will need a specific type of capture card.

The capture cards do require a bit of DIY skills to get it installed, but there are also services online that allow you to send in your 3DS and they will install the capture card for you.

Where to get a 3DS capture card?

Unfortunately, there is only one reliable place to order a 3DS capture card. Currently, Merki sells 3DS capture card kits to both EU and USA markets. You can view their products here. You may also have some luck searching on eBay for used capture cards or searching for a used 3DS with a capture card already installed.

For people with older 3DS models (i.e. not the New 3DSXL), this is sadly the only option for capturing your video. This is also the only option for people playing on a regular DS hand held.


Once you have a capture card installed on your 3DS, you will need to install the Nintendo 3DS viewer software. This software comes with the capture card. You can then simply connect your 3DS to your PC with a mini USB cable.

Once you are connected, you will need to open your streaming or recording software (such as Open Broadcaster Software or XSplit). Once your recording software is ready, you can specify the source of your video capture which will be your connected 3DS.

If you are doing this through OBS for example, you will select it through a Window Capture source. Now you should be able to see your 3DS gameplay on your PC, and this will allow you to livestream and/or record it!

How To record on a New Nintendo 3DS Without a capture card?

NOTE: This method will work with a N2DS XL, N3DS or N3DSXL models only.

If you have the newer version of a Nintendo 3DS (N3DSXL) that has the c-stick, you can bypass the physical installation of a 3DS capture card and instead use a CFW software hack. This allows you to use the Nitro CFW to wireless stream your 3DS gameplay without using a capture card.

While there can be a little bit of lag, it is a much cheaper and simpler option for people looking to stream on a new Nintendo 3DS.

In order to do this, you will need to have CFW set up on your console. This is a simple software installation process that can be completed by following this guide. Once you have CFW installed, you can follow the remaining steps here. There is also a comprehensive thread on Reddit that walks you through all required steps found here.

It is a fairly straightforward process, but do note that you will only be able to stream and record games that are running in 3DS mode. So this will not work with original DS or DSi games.

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