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3DS: How to backup/restore your retail cartridge save file for 3DS games


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Updated OP, removing old shops, adding Amazon for the NDS Backup Adapter Plus, and warning which games this doesn't work for.

Games the NDS Adapter Plus does NOT (nor ever will... spoke with the crew over there) work with:

Animal Crossing: New Leaf

Pokemon X

Pokemon Y

Nintendo has changed how the data is being saved onto these cartridges (and likely all 1st party titles.)

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Pokemon X and Y are used NAND saving is like AC:NL. so i no have any idea with my X saves >.> (i can't online on 3ds with my current wifi so i can't register anything >.>).

btw i have pokemon mystery dungeon gate to infinity game and regularly backup my save (everyday), since we don't know how to decrypt the save so is just prepare for save editing ^^. also is one my fav game.

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I've used the R4i Save Dongle to 'successfully' create a backup of an 'X' save game. (successfully, meaning that the dongle recognized an inserted 3DS cartridge and copied something)

However I have not been able to restore to the cartridge from the PC file successfully. The game continues from the last console save rather than from the one I made earlier using the R4i Save Dongle.

FYI...

strider

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I've used the R4i Save Dongle to 'successfully' create a backup of an 'X' save game. (successfully, meaning that the dongle recognized an inserted 3DS cartridge and copied something)

However I have not been able to restore to the cartridge from the PC file successfully. The game continues from the last console save rather than from the one I made earlier using the R4i Save Dongle.

FYI...

strider

Are you close enough toward the beginning of the game that you could experiment with trying to restore the save backup after first erasing the existing save on the card?

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I've used the R4i Save Dongle to 'successfully' create a backup of an 'X' save game. (successfully, meaning that the dongle recognized an inserted 3DS cartridge and copied something)

However I have not been able to restore to the cartridge from the PC file successfully. The game continues from the last console save rather than from the one I made earlier using the R4i Save Dongle.

FYI...

strider

pretty sure all that was dumped was garbage. on the off chance it's not though, can you post your save? it should be at least 1mb.

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Games the NDS Adapter Plus does NOT (nor ever will... spoke with the crew over there) work with:

Animal Crossing: New Leaf

Pokemon X

Pokemon Y

Nintendo has changed how the data is being saved onto these cartridges (and likely all 1st party titles.)

Never? I have the NDSAP as well and I knew it currently didn't work, but I thought that maybe they'd be able to eventually work it out once the encryption was broken. Pardon my ignorance on the specifics, but even with a new save format, if it could eventually be decrypted, why couldn't it work?

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Never? I have the NDSAP as well and I knew it currently didn't work, but I thought that maybe they'd be able to eventually work it out once the encryption was broken. Pardon my ignorance on the specifics, but even with a new save format, if it could eventually be decrypted, why couldn't it work?

It's a hardware issue. Animal Crossing and Pkm XY don't store saves the same way other DS/3DS games do.

No update can fix this, only a new device can.

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It's a hardware issue. Animal Crossing and Pkm XY don't store saves the same way other DS/3DS games do.

No update can fix this, only a new device can.

I'll have to read up on this more. Is the NDSAP the only one or do ALL current save backup devices share this problem?

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

wow, cool I had no idea you could do this... that's awesome, I can't wait for X & Y backup-ability to be announced. This is the first Pokemon game I've gotten over 300 hours of gameplay and still not tired of, I'm awaiting this with extreme patience.

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  • 1 month later...

The issue would be with ALL back-up devices. Previous to Animal Crossing, all NDS/3DS games wrote their data to a small chip (I will keep this to lamens terms) that was mounted to every cartridge with the sole function to store the game's data. Nintendo wanted to ensure they could prevent the backing up of save files could be prevented. They found an alternate way to save the date of games going forward. Animal Crossing would become one of their most heavily ONLINE 24/7 games for the 3DS so they could not afford to risk people hacking their save files. Obviously, the exact same thought to use the same method with Pokemon X & Y was no brainer. None of these games even have that chip on the cartridge.

With that said, all existing back-up devices function by reading that small chip. That is what they are designed to do. As a result, they will not work.

wow, cool I had no idea you could do this... that's awesome, I can't wait for X & Y backup-ability to be announced. This is the first Pokemon game I've gotten over 300 hours of gameplay and still not tired of, I'm awaiting this with extreme patience.

First off, you must have read this correctly. We are NOT talking about a function added by the Pokemon Company or Nintendo. This was previously the result of a company creating a piece of equipment to read the save of all NDS cartridges based upon their original design. Nintendo will NEVER allow for a Back-Up of these games. As a matter of fact, the eShop versions of the games are one of the few games in which the SD card back-up feature does NOT work with.

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On a similar note, I would also like to share an interesting fact about the eShop versions of the games.

It is possible to create an image of an SD card used in a Nintendo 3DS. The image can be written to another SD card to allow a player to use a different SD card with their system. I will note that if you attempt to use this method to rewind time on your eShop versions of XY you will get an error from the games. This confirms that there is data stored on the actual 3DS system about the SD card being used with the system.

Furthermore, I should point out that writing the image to an SD card then plugging the SD card into another 3DS linked to another eShop account will not show any of the applications on the memory card. (I do not currently own a second 3DS.)

This may be well established or documented information for the console hacking community: this testing confirms that every 3DS stores data on the system itself relating to the eShop account and the SD card the system is using. Furthermore, a brand-new key for the data encryption appears to be generated every time an app/game is launched.

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  • 5 weeks later...

This is not a reply to any of the previous posts. I am just as anxious as many other people to find a way to backup the save data for generation 6 games.

Each 3DS system generates a unique key which is used to create a folder on the SD Card and encrypt the apps and data stored in that folder. You CAN use the same SD Card for multiple 3DS systems and each one will have its own unique folder on that card. You CANNOT copy the apps and data from one system folder to another because the files are also encrypted with that unique key. A single "Private" folder also exists on the SD Card which is used by certain apps. The "Private" folder is shared by all 3DS systems that use that SD Card.

The 3DS system stores a timestamp every time the SD Card is accessed. That same timestamp is stored in an app database on the SD Card within that unique folder. If that timestamp is not in sync the database on the SD Card is updated and apps like Pokemon X and Y will use this to identify tampering. If there was a way to synchronize these timestamps before the 3DS system accessed the SD Card it would be possible to restore and use older backups of the SD Card with the Pokemon X and Y games. I don't currently know of any tools for this but the concept is to retrieve the timestamp from the current SD Card and apply it to the encrypted files on the backup prior to putting the backup card in the system.

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The website for Datel's Powersaves 3DS indicates you can now download saves for Pokemon X and Y and load them into your game card. No mention of Animal Crossing.

I'm a little skeptical, but still curious. Anyone have it and able to backup Pokemon saves?

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The website for Datel's Powersaves 3DS indicates you can now download saves for Pokemon X and Y and load them into your game card. No mention of Animal Crossing.

I'm a little skeptical, but still curious. Anyone have it and able to backup Pokemon saves?

I sent them an email yesterday asking for details, specifically of whether or not the save backups are stored unencrypted, allowing the use of save editors, not so much X and Y compatibility. If they get around the encryption, that's impressive enough on its own, and lends to their credibility.

I'll post the gist of their response when they reply.

If it is true, then this device has great potential.

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I have a question guys, since Pokecheck hacked the game already and they are now waiting to figure out how to upload the Pokémon files to the fake GTS, and Pika Edit has the Pokémon X/Y editor. It will be easier to edit the save?

http://pikaedit.wordpress.com/

I'm quite sure the Pikaedit for Gen 6 presently is a pkx editor, not save editor.

As of now, editing .pkx is useless if you don't know how to re-insert. (which methods not available to public, and we won't know when).

Honestly, rather than .pkx editing, I'm more interesting in getting "Wonder cards sharing" up and running ><

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I'm quite sure the Pikaedit for Gen 6 presently is a pkx editor, not save editor.

As of now, editing .pkx is useless if you don't know how to re-insert. (which methods not available to public, and we won't know when).

Honestly, rather than .pkx editing, I'm more interesting in getting "Wonder cards sharing" up and running ><

Yeah, I really want it for the WC editor, thanks for the answer :D

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So I've looked at this thread but just want to clarify some things...

If I were to get the NDS Backup Adapter Plus, I'll be able to copy the save files of my 4th and 5th gen games (which are on actual cartridges and not r4s or something)? And I'll be able to restore them should my games ever corrupt? I also only have 3DS XLs. I'm assuming that since it's a USB adapter, that the 3DS (and all its updates) won't be involved at all in the process, and so it won't matter, but I'd like to be sure (I see it's good for 3DS games too, so the answer seems obvious). And I see X/Y won't work with these things, so I guess I'm lucky that I have nothing worth saving on those games.

I also see that you apparently can't copy a save file onto a different cartridge? So then if I copied a save file from SoulSilver, then rented a copy of SoulSilver, I wouldn't be able to restore the save file onto the rented copy? My only concern regarding that is if my cartridge breaks or stops working entirely or something. So then, for example, would I be able to do this: Copy my Platinum file, trade the pokemon I want preserved to my HeartGold file, restore the Platinum file onto the cartridge (still containing the pokemon I traded), and then if my Platinum cartridge was ever unusable, I could buy a new Platinum and just trade over the pokemon that were originally on my Platinum file that were sent over to my HeartGold?

Would doing what I mentioned somehow mess something up? Like could my Platinum and HeartGold not interract afterwards in case of some risk due to having the same exact pokemon or something? (Let's say I messed around, went into battle between the two games, and sent out the same Empoleon. Would this risk causing either or both of the games to glitch up or anything?)

Does using any of these adapters risk messing the games up at all? Restoring a save file will let the game work exactly how it should in every way?

My biggest concern is having my games randomly corrupt one day and losing the handful of pokemon I desperately want to keep. I don't cheat/clone/glitch/pokesav/whatever else, and I try to be very careful with my games/systems (even taking a game out of its case makes me worried I'll somehow mess a piece of hardware up and lose my save data), so hopefully a corrupt save file won't happen. I don't even trade with people, especially once I saw that people who cheat can mess up your own game just by trading/battling with them (supposedly).

All I want to know is that I'll be able to retrieve these pokemon should something go wrong with the save file or cartridge, and that 'cloning' these pokemon to store on other games (in case of cartridge failure) won't somehow mess any of my games up or prevent them from interacting.

Sorry for asking so much, a lot of which seems to be obvious (though I have no idea about the cloning stuff), but I'd dread to lose these, especially if I ended up losing them in the process of trying to back them up =\ So far, I've only had a SoulSilver game tell me the file was corrupted (which happened once, not sure why) and while there wasn't anything too important on there, it luckily still worked again once I turned it off and back on again...I think I read HG/SS have backups in them already.

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If I were to get the NDS Backup Adapter Plus, I'll be able to copy the save files of my 4th and 5th gen games

I myself don't have that adapter; I'm using R4i dongle.

From what I read, your data will be copied.

I also see that you apparently can't copy a save file onto a different cartridge?

Not true.

Going by that statement, I won't be able to restore my saves from emulators onto my carts.

Given it's the same version, (or even same paired version), it will work.

The only issue you might encounter, is GEN IV you cannot cross KOR and other language save

(Let's say I messed around, went into battle between the two games, and sent out the same Empoleon. Would this risk causing either or both of the games to glitch up or anything?)

No, the game doesn't work like that.

Does using any of these adapters risk messing the games up at all? Restoring a save file will let the game work exactly how it should in every way?

If you backed up a save that is corrupted, or corrupted a save, then you decided to restore it,

You need to start over (because now the save on the cart is corrupted)

The ROM for the game, and the save are stored at two different physical location (hardware), so nothing is affected.

My biggest concern is having my games randomly corrupt one day and losing the handful of pokemon I desperately want to keep.

besides backing up saves, you can also use our Pokecheck.org

Anyhow, not to be rude, that was one heck of a long post.

Next time, consider summarizing and listing it in point form.

It'll be easier to reply :)

----

EDIT:

BTW, I hope you release that you posted in the wrong thread; this place is for 3DS carts.

We have a thread dedicated for NDS carts here.

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