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  • Managing 3DS Saves

    How to backup and restore Nintendo 3DS save data
    1. 1

      Overview

      In order to backup or restore your 3DS saves from a cartridge or eShop title, you will first need access to CFW or homebrew. CFW is the preferred option, and a comprehensive guide on how to set it up can be found here. If you do not have what you need to install CFW, and your 3DS is on a lower firmware, check Smealum's homebrew website to see if you have a compatible homebrew entrypoint. If you do not have one, you cannot backup or restore your 3DS saves without a Cybergadget, which only works on Japanese retail cartridges and is outside the scope of this guide. Powersaves, the SMS4, and the NDS Backup Adapter Plus will not work because they export the raw save. It must first be decrypted, which can only be done with a hacked 3DS or a Cybergadget. Using CFW If you're using CFW, the recommended tool is Checkpoint. A tutorial on how to set up and install it can be found here: Using Homebrew If you're using Homebrew, or if you simply do not want to use Checkpoint, follow this tutorial to use an older tool called JKSM: Using an Emulator If you're playing on an emulator instead of a console, getting your save data is far easier and requires no hardware except for a compatible computer. Read here to learn how to get your saves from Citra 3DS:  
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      Using Checkpoint

      Checkpoint is a 3DS homebrew application that can backup and restore save files for 3DS cartridges, 3DS eShop titles (including GB and GBC virtual console), and NDS cartridges. This tutorial will walk you through its installation and usage. Prerequisites In order to use Checkpoint, you will first need access to CFW. A comprehensive guide on how to set it up can be found here. If you do not have what you need, you cannot use Checkpoint. What you need A 3DS with CFW The latest version of Checkpoint. A mirror of the CIA version can be found here. A mirror of the 3DSX version can be found here. Setup If your CFW is Luma 3DS, then Rosalina makes it possible to use the Homebrew Launcher as an alternative to the CIA version. You cannot use Checkpoint with the Homebrew Launcher without Rosalina's Homebrew Launcher. If you wish to use the CIA version: Download the CIA version of Checkpoint and put it on your 3DS's SD card. Use your CIA installer to install it If you wish to use Rosalina's Homebrew Launcher: Create the folder /3ds/Checkpoint on your 3DS's SD card if it does not already exist Download the 3DSX version of Checkpoint and put it the folder you just created When you are finished, you can proceed to the next step: Using Checkpoint Instructions Once you have installed Checkpoint, these steps will guide you through backing up and restoring save files. Once complete, any saves you back up will be located in /3ds/Checkpoint/saves on your 3DS's SD card. 1. (If you're backing up a cartridge save and not an eShop title) Insert your cartridge, and make sure the 3DS menu can see it. This is important because sometimes the system can't read the cartridge unless it's inserted just right. 2. Launch Checkpoint. 3. Use the DPad to select the game whose save you want to backup or restore. Then press A to select the game. 4. Use the DPad to select the save slot you wish to use (the selected slot has a blue background). If backing up the save, you can select "New..." to create a new slot. Be careful not to overwrite anything important. 5. Press either the Backup or Restore button on the touch screen. 6. Press "A" to confirm. 7. If you chose to create a new save slot, use the on-screen keyboard to give it a name, then press "OK". 8. If the save was exported correctly you should see a success message appear. 9. Your backup is complete. Exit Checkpoint, and your save should be located on your SD card under /3ds/Checkpoint/saves/(your game)/(your save slot). 10. MAKE A BACKUP OF THIS FILE BEFORE USING OR EDITING IT WITH ANY SAVE EDITORS. Credit to @NinFanBoyFTW for the screenshots.
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      Using JKSM

      JKSM is an older 3DS save manager, but can still be safely used if you are using homebrew instead of CFW, or if you'd rather not use Checkpoint Downloads JKSM's GitHub page has been removed, so look here for downloads: JKSM.cia (for CFW) JKSM.zip (for homebrew) Using CFW CFW is the preferred way to use JKSM. If you are using homebrew instead, skip to "Using Homebrew" below. 1. After installing JKSM with your favorite CIA installer, open JKSM on your 3DS and click on either Cartridge or SD/CIA, depending on whether you want to backup or restore a cartridge or installed title. 2. Scroll down to and click on your desired game. You may need to click "Refresh Games" on the previous Screen if you don't see your desired title listed. 3. Click on "Save Data Options" then click on "Export Save". Click on "Import Save" instead if you are trying to restore your edited save file back to your VC Game. 4. Click "New" and create a new folder to put your save file in. 5. Exit JKSM, Power off your 3DS and put your SD card from your 3DS into your computer (if you use an FTP client on 3DS you can alternatively launch it instead). Then navigate to (JKSV/Saves/"your desired game"/"your folder name") Inside should be your save file. 6. MAKE A BACKUP OF THIS FILE BEFORE USING OR EDITING IT WITH ANY SAVE EDITORS. Using Homebrew The steps for using homebrew are a little different than for CFW: Download JKSM.zip and copy the 3ds folder to the root of your 3DS's SD Card. Open the homebrew menu using your favorite homebrew entrypoint. Choose JK's Save Manager, and target the game you wish to manage. Resume from step 3 of "Using CFW" above.
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      Using Emulators

      This tutorial will show you how and where to access your save files while using a 3DS emulator. This guide will cover the most popular emulator for running 3DS games: Citra (Computer). This guide assumes that you have already set up and played one of these emulators at least once. This is not a setup guide. This guide is meant to show where to find or inject your save files. Citra:  1. Open up Citra. 2. Right click on your desired game. Then click on "Open Save Data Location" 3.Inside this folder will be your save file. 4. MAKE A BACKUP OF THIS FILE BEFORE USING OR EDITING IT WITH ANY SAVE EDITORS. For this to work, make sure:   (1) File name is main    (2) It is the only file in this folder.
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