What is R4 or R4 DS Card? How to use an R4 card in the DS, DSi XL?

Published on Nov 17, 2023 by


Revolution for DS, R4, or R4 DS is a flashcard for Nintendo DS created exclusively for ROM emulation and to run illegal or cracked applications on the console. The first generation R4 flashcards have a special chip, this chip is not for emulation, but copy protection that prevents other competitors from plagiarizing the device.

The second generation of flashcard arose when other crackers broke the protection of the R4, however, these new cards required adding various devices to the console or patching the ROMs.


  1. Among the characteristics of the R4 we can find:
  2. Supports ROMs from Nintendo DS, Homebrews, and the Moonshell media player.
  3. Compatible with the Sleep mode and the Touch Screen of the console.
  4. Just like a DS game.
  5. Use MicroSD cards as a storage drive.
  6. Run clean or fan-translated ROMs. They do not need to be “patched”.
  7. Very easy to use: copy and paste the files to the MicroSD card.
  8. No drivers required.
  9. Compatible with FAT16 or FAT32 system.
  10. Compatible with MicroSD cards with a maximum of 2 GiB on 1st generation R4 cards, or with a maximum of 32 GiB micro-SD HC cards on R4i cards of 2nd or subsequent generations.
  11. Compatible with WIFI, DS Rumble Pack, and DS Browser.
  12. Upgradeable Firmware (OS / Bios / Kernel)
  13. Control via the touch screen.
  14. Games are not saved on the R4 card. They are saved on the MicroSD with a .sav file to make backups easier and avoid data loss.
  15. Detection of the type of saved game and automatic generation of the file.
  16. Compatible with homebrew software.
  17. Play videos, MP3s, and TXT files through Moonshell.


Compatible only for DS and DS Lite

  • R4 DS
  • R4 DS Max

Compatible only for DS, DSL, and DSi

  • Hyper R4i

Compatible only for DS, DSL, DSi, and DSi XL

  • R4i DS
  • R4i TTDS
  • R4i Advance
  • R4i Deluxe

Compatible only for DS, DSL, DSi, DSi XL, and 3DS

  • R4i3D
  • R4i 3DS

R4i 3DS (with WiFi Firmware Update)

  • R4i SDHC
  • R4i SDHC RTS
  • R4i SDHC Silver RTS

Compatible for DS, DSL, DSi, DSi XL, 3DS, and 3DSXL

  • R4i 3DS Gold
  • R4i Max
  • R4i Dual Core

R4 copies

When the protection of the original R4 was broken, imitations like R4 Update-II, Update III, and the N5 appeared among others that are not manufactured by the R4 Team (the team that created the R4); They are copies made by other people that can work but gradually tend to lose their functionality, likewise, it can also damage the console little by little until it reaches a state in which it is unusable.

The R4 Team announced on July 4, 2008, that it will release a new kernel on September 15, 2008, that could render copies of the R4 unusable. in which it is used, but this does not mean that it will damage the console, as announced by the same R4 team three days later, on July 7, 2008. On September 25, 2008, Kernel v1.18 is released, the latest firmware to date.

In 2010 the new kernel for R4 and M3 came out. Simply the Wood R4 that has excellent compatibility with the new games that are coming out, it is constantly updated.

R4i and its clones

With the release of the Nintendo DSi, different flashcards were invented, including the R4i. It is not the original of the R4 Team, as it was discontinued in 2009. The R4i works on all Nintendo DS consoles (NDS / NDSL / NDSi) and supported only micro-SD cards of a maximum of 2 GB, but the following that they came out if they support SDHC max 32GB.

R4i SDHC (White, Silver, Gold, and Platinum)

Again, when the Nintendo 3DS system was released, the old flashcards had to be redesigned, which were discontinued (the R4 and the R4i). They were replaced by the R4i SDHC and its variants such as White, Silver, Gold, and Platinum which, depending on the model, work on all Nintendo 3DS-DSi-DS (NDS / NDSL / NDSi / 3DS) consoles and support memory cards both micro-SD and SDHC up to a maximum of 32 GB. These flashcards have a way to update their internal firmware as well as their kernel that is stored on the SD or SDHC memory card, in order to maintain compatibility with the new versions of the console firmware and with the newest games respectively.

There are several types that will be determined according to the Nintendo DS model where you are going to use it, so it is super important that you keep this in mind. Now we can see all the models that are available for you to buy and explore your Nintendo DS to the fullest. Let’s start now!

R4 card for 3DS MicroSD compatible

This is one of the products in this range with the best scores on Amazon Spain. It is fully compatible with the Nintendo 3DS to use normal games. You can also integrate a microSD card but this does not come with the purchase. However, it is a good deal!

R4 Gold + MicroSD

If you want to simplify your purchase and do everything at the same time, then we advise you to visit the button below so that you know all the details about this R4 card. It comes with the MicroSD card so you can use all the games you want in large storage space.

R4 Gold 32GB Card

And finally, you also have the possibility to buy this R4 that includes a microSD card with 32GB of space for you to store all your games on the Nintendo 3DS. Surely it will come in handy since it has a fairly affordable price. Click the button below to find out!

Do you have a Nintendo 3DS but don’t know how to configure these R4 cards? Then you have to stay and watch the following video so as not to miss the step by step of the previous configuration before you can enjoy all the benefits when integrating one to your device. Look it now!

How to use an R4 card in the DS?

Despite the fact that this type of device has become world-famous, there are still quite a few people who do not know how to configure or use R4 cards to enjoy all its benefits when playing games. So, stay reading this section of our article to find out now.

After having placed the MicroSD card that will later be mounted on the adapter, it is time for you to insert the R4 in the upper part of the video console. There you must take it and start loading everything in the storage of the card that you have inserted.

The main purpose of using R4 cards in your DS is that you can download all kinds of games until the memory you have inserted is limited. You must be aware that your device is compatible with the R4 that you are placing, otherwise, it could be damaged.

Download games to R4 Card

Another of the most recurrent doubts of users with Nintendo DS is how to download games to the R4 card that they have just bought. If you also ask yourself, then you should stay to look at the recommendations or the tutorial that we will teach you right now. Let’s see!

First, you will have to find a safe and reliable website where you can download the video games that are compatible with your Nintendo DS to avoid damaging it. After downloading it, you place it in a specific folder inside your computer to be able to locate it more easily.

Next, you will insert the MicroSD card that is inside the R4 adapter in your computer, to copy and paste into it the game that you have just downloaded and that you want to play on your Nintendo DS. Then you extract it in safe mode and insert it back into your Nintendo with it turned off.

Then when you turn it on, the game will start to load and from there the steps to follow are super simple and are shown directly on the screen. So as you see, it is a fairly easy process that both children and adults can do. Ideally, look for web pages that are secure.

But to complement this information, we are going to leave you the following video that shows you a tutorial with the step by step to download all the games you want on your R4 card. This way you will begin to take advantage of it and enjoy all the entertainment that your Nintendo DS offers.

R4 card recommendations

Many people do not know that the R4 card is a device that must be handled with great care, since if it is removed from its slot while the Nintendo is operating; It may end up damaging the console. You should avoid downloading games with viruses as much as possible.

How to do it? Check the web for the safest sites, recommended by users so that they will not damage the operation of the R4 Card of your Nintendo DS. Take these recommendations into account to achieve the maximum performance and duration of your DS!

About the Author: Andrew Webster

Andrew Webster is an esteemed writer and editor with a strong foothold in the realm of technology and gaming journalism. His career is marked by insightful and engaging articles that delve deep into the latest trends, game releases, and tech innovations. Known for his clear, concise writing style, Andrew adeptly navigates the ever-evolving digital landscape, providing his readers with timely and relevant content.

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