How to

How To Play 3DS Games Using Citra 3DS Emulator

Play 3DS Games On PC Using Citra 3DS Emulator

If you want to play 3DS games on PC, you can then use the Citra 3DS Emulator. While Citra hasn’t quite reached Dolphin’s level of accuracy or compatibility. However, many popular 3DS games are playable on the emulator, to boot.

Citra also offers some truly unique benefits. Well, it is not under the restrictions of the original 3DS hardware. So you can run the games at a higher resolution on Citra than you could on your 3DS. Also, you can add some other graphical tweaks, too. For instance, in Pokémon Sun/Moon, you can erase the jagged black lines from around environmental versions or characters for a crystal-clear gaming experience.

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How To Install & Download Citra To Play 3DS Games 

Initially, you want to download and install Citra itself. If you want to do this, move to the Citra download page. To maintain the balance between stability or performance, we suggest you take one of the Bleeding Edge builds rather than the Nightly builds.

Tap the Windows icon on the most recent of the Bleeding Edge builds to install it. A prompt appears and asking you to download or install CitraSetup.exe. You can then move ahead and allow this, then wait until Citra to complete downloading before continuing this article.

When Citra downloading is complete, you can then open the CitraSetup app after tapping the .exe. Fortunately, installing the app is very simple and painless! Executing the .exe will install the program automatically and then open it for you. Once you’ve done it, you can then open Citra any time you like by just opening Citra from your Start Menu or the auto-created Desktop shortcut. To play 3DS games on PC dive down below!

If you want to update Citra, just install or download the new CitraSetup.exe and then execute it. However, it’ll then replace the current installation of Citra on your PC with the latest one.

Now that once you have installed Citra, there are many configurations to do. Also, you might be looking at how to even get those 3DS games onto your system.

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Play 3DS Games On Your PC

Play 3DS Games

Before we explain how to tweak or get your 3DS games on Citra, let’s have a look at how to obtain those games on your system. To play 3DS games on PC dive down below!

Download Or Install Your 3DS Games

To download or install your 3DS games, you can simply use Wii U USB Helper. As it lets users download or install Wii U and 3DS games/DLC from Nintendo’s servers. People can face the trouble of moving through false sites or dumping their own games from their PCs. However, if you want to use USB Helper to download or install your games, you want system title keys for 3DS games.

If you want to open 3DS games once you’ve installed them, move to the appropriate executable file from within Citra and then tap “Open.”

How To Get 3DS System Archives

For some games, such as the Pokémon titles, you should have 3DS System Archives in your Citra folder. If you want to get these system archives, you then move to dump them off of your own 3DS (move to the below section) or install them online somewhere.

How To Protect Your Privacy & Security With NordVPN

The best VPN can helps to keep you safe from all the above threats. VPNs also encrypt chunks of data before they leave your device. However, making it impossible for anyone to take your identity or view what you’re installing. This base level of security is amazingly powerful for a lot of tasks. It includes breaking through censorship firewalls, accessing geo-restricted content, and making your portable devices safe on public Wi-Fi.

NordVPN may not have the single biggest server network in the industry. But it is not far off. Spanning more than 5,800 servers in 59 countries. NordVPN gives you an astounding range of spoofable IP addresses to choose from for any purpose you can think of. Sheer numbers, not enough?

In addition to having a vast server network, NordVPN is both fast and secure. Everything starts with 256-bit AES encryption, which is so tough that a supercomputer would need millions of years to break just one passcode. Specific protocols include OpenVPN’s cutting-edge UDP and TCP protocols. As well as SSTP: a technology that can beat even the harshest censorship filters.

The logging policy is airtight too, with no records of your traffic, IP addresses, timestamps, bandwidth, or browsing history ever being stored. Last but not least, NordVPN’s holding company is based in Panama – a neutral country. That actually means that major world governments can do nothing to force your data out of NordVPN.

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How To Configure Controls For 3DS Games

Configure Controls For 3DS Games

If you know about the emulation, you might be tempted to move to Citra’s Input Configuration Menu and then wrap your gamepad functions that way.

However, we are not going to do this. The analog controls stop working when you configured this way. Rather than, you would like to modify a Citra configuration file just to play 3DS games on the system with any degree of true precision. To make this simpler, you should install Notepad++.

Step 1:

First, tap “Start” and input “File Explorer”. Then successfully open the program. A screen appears.

Step 2:

Then tap the toolbar above frequent folders, and input “%AppData%”, then press Enter.

Step 3:

From your AppData folder, search and input the Citra folder.

Step 4:

Now, move to config. Right-tap the qt-config file and then choose “Edit With Notepad++”.

Step 5:

Now once you’re in Notepad++, you should then view a screen.

Step 6:

Then copy the given text:


















Step 7:

Now, highlight the whole [Controls] section, right-tap, and choose “Paste”.

Step 8:

Then save the config file and then close or exit the document.

You can now easily control the games with Citra using any XInput-compatible gamepad.

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How To Configure 3DS Games Performance Settings

To play 3DS games you should configure its performance settings. From the Emulation -> Configuration Menu, there are not lots of performance settings to worry about. Just ensure that “Enable CPU JIT” is marked in the General Tab.

Head over to your Graphics settings. Mark all your options except Enable V-sync or you may experience slowdowns/speedups/performance problems in general.

The ability to modify your resolution a big advantage. The default 3D setting and smaller screen can make this looks very sharp. Also, the 3DS resolution is a meager 240p, and it looks quite horrible on your monitor. So you should start it from the 1080p-like resolution as a baseline, and lowering it if you experience performance problems in some games.

If you are working with a modern gaming PC, you can then push your Citra resolution quite high. Well, it is not GPU-intensive, so you should make your games look better.

Dump System Archives

Dump System Archives

At this time, Citra can run lots of games without doing any special work on a physical 3DS. However, some games need files dumped from a 3DS just to function properly. In this section, you’ll learn how to dump the system archives, which are difficult for some games, like Pokemon, to work. These files are copyrighted so you can’t share them.


threeSD is a tool that can help you to import data from your 3DS for Citra more conveniently.

Also, you want a hacked 3DS with GodMode9 to obtain your keys so that threeSD can easily decrypt your data on your SD card.


Need Tools
  • A 3DS with Homebrew Launcher access
  • The 3dsutils homebrew app
  • An SD card reader or a way to wirelessly move files b/w your PC and 3DS console


  • Execute 3dsutils through the homebrew launcher.
  • Hit A when prompted to start. However, the system archives will be dumped. Wait until the whole process to finish, then hit A when prompted to move back to the homebrew launcher.
  • Now there will be a 3dsutils folder at the 3DS’s SD card root. In that folder, there is another folder nand. Move the folder nand to the User Directory. The folder will merge or combine with the existing nand folder contained therein. A prompt appears to overwrite any files, say yes.

Recommended Games with Good Support

You can play 3DS Games with good support and compatibility:

  • A Link Between Worlds
  • Ocarina of Time 3D
  • Majora’s Mask 3D
  • Sonic Generations
  • Super Mario 3D Land
  • Mario Kart 7
  • Super Smash Bros
  • Pokémon Sun/Moon
  • Pokémon Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire

Well, the games on Citra are the ones that look to work the best on the emulator. Well, these all are the classic games of the highest caliber.


I hope you can now understand how to play 3DS games. Whenever you try Citra yourself and play many other games then let us know what you’re playing. If you find it helpful then share it with others!

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Alex Joshua

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