NDS Homebrew Terms

What's a passthrough device? - A Passthrough device is what allows you to play homebrew ROMs on the NDS. It redirects the NDS to run the program from the GBA Flash cart. There are currently 4 methods available:
1)FPGA = Expensive electronics kit was used to create the passthrough code for the NDS by DarkFader that runs code from a GBA Flash cart. Not the prefered method as it's bulky as well. 2)PassMe = Small portable device using a CPLD created by Natrium42 using DarkFaders code that also requires a GBA Flash cart. 3)WiFiMe = Wireless method requiring the use of a wireless networking adapter using a specific chipset and an application made by FireFly. Original version required GBA Flash cart, but now if you have patched your firmware with FlashMe, you can download the homebrew code as well, so you don't need a GBA Flash cart. This is an excellent method for homebrew developers as you don't have to swap a Flash cart in and out of your DS to test your program on the DS hardware. The downside is you have to be near a computer to download the program from, so not as portable. 4)FlashMe = A firmware patch created by Loopy using the same process as the FPGA and PassMe methods. You need either a PassMe or WiFiMe with a GBA Flash cart to flash your DS for the first time.

Of course FlashMe is the best method (In my opinion) but the catch is you need a PassMe or WiFiMe to update the firmware anyway. And if Nintendo releases firmware updates (which they could), you *may* need a PassMe to repatch your DS. But, this method doesn't have ANY strings attached. Nothing sticking out of the back of your DS, nothing to bring along, except your GBA Flash cart loaded full of homebrew ROMs, downloaded from here of course. ;) Minor drawback is if you don't follow directions, you could end up destroying your DS.

What's a NoPass device? - Well, a NoPass is the name refered to the PassMe1/2 replacement. Since the DS Card encryption has been cracked, manufactureres are now able to create their very own game cards. So, a NoPass has it's own header and looks like a real DS game to the DS. Currently, most are just doing the same job as a PassMe1/2 by redirecting the DS to load homebrew code from the GBA slot, but it doesn't have to. It could do anything, like load from it's own flash chip (Like a GBA Flash Cart, but inside the DS card), load from a web site, or anything else you can imagine. Some of the commercial names for a NoPass device is:

- Max Media Launcher (MML)
- PassCard3
- MK4 Key
- SuperKey

What's a GBA Flash cart? - This is a device created for the Game Boy Advance that you write a ROM to, and insert into the GBA/Expansion slot on the DS. It can also be used to write homebrew GBA programs and either run on a GBA or the NDS in GBA mode.

What's a Slot-1 Flash Card/Adapter - This is what most people are using now. Flash Cards work just like the GBA Flash cards that require you to write homebrew to the card, and insert it into your DS. Adapters take a media like MicroSD cards that you write your homebrew to, and then insert it into the device, and then the device into the DS. The benefit to an adapter is that they normally hold a lot more, which is nice if you want to play MP3s on your DS. Some examples are:

- R4DS / M3 Simply
- SuperCard One
- G6DS Real
- Datel Games N Music
- NCard
- Acekard RPG
- NinjaPass X9TF
- CycloDS Evolution
- DS X-Treme

What's an NDS? - NDS stands for Nintendo DS. If you don't know what an NDS is, you're at the wrong site.

For more information on the passthrough methods or to purchase a PassMe, visit


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