Top 10 Best 3DS Homebrew Apps

Welcome! Ever since its release in 2011, hackers and the modding community have really taken the time to create a very nice community within the 3ds modding community. However, like with other consoles, the 3ds has quite a few notable pieces of homebrew content that are must-haves so with that, let's look at what I personally think are the best pieces of 3ds homebrew. Let's go!
The Top Ten
1 Homebrew Launcher

By far, the most important piece of homebrew for the 3DS is the Homebrew Launcher. Without it, we wouldn't have any other form of homebrew on the 3DS. Not only that, but if the homebrew isn't in a CIA file, then this is the way to go.

2 GodMode9

A universal file manager for the 3DS. You can do all sorts of things with it despite its simple interface. You can back up games (both 3DS and original DS ROMs, with GM9i having the ability to back up classic GBA titles), look into the files of the said games (even original DS games), and back up your SYSNAND (which I heard is used to prevent bricks).


FBI is the homebrew app to use if you want to load .cia files. With that and GodMode9, you can pretty much have the entire 3DS library in the palm of your hands (or some, if you don't want to be a pirate, argh!).

4 Checkpoint

Checkpoint is a pretty important app if you want to back up your saves. This is especially important if you have a save file with hundreds of hours into it, such as the Pokemon games, Tomodachi Life, and Animal Crossing, among others. I vividly remember a few months ago (before I modded my 2DS) that my copy of Pokémon Moon got corrupted, and I lost 500 hours of gameplay, including a shiny legal Petilil I spent about an hour hatching. This, in turn, really makes me want Nintendo to create a save backup tool for their next console.


Hey, want to become a genner? Then PKSM is the app for you. PKSM is simply a 3DS port of the famous PKHex app for PC, and you basically can gen any Pokémon you desire. Want to gen an egg to hatch into a shiny Mewtwo? Then do it! The only downside is that the legality checker is a bit broken (please don't gen a level 1 Cosmog). When you legalize a Pokemon, they win against the Champion instantly (which is impressive for a level 5 Pichu).

6 ModMoon

ModMoon is a modding tool. Mods in general are extremely fun to mess around with, especially if it's a game with loads of them (such as Smash 4). Want to see Meta Knight explode his opponents? How about SpongeBob in Mario Kart 7? Want to define the laws of the Pokémon World by having Digimon in Pokémon X and Y? ModMoon is a fun utility if you want to spice up your games. GameBanana is a good site if you want to get some good mods.

7 H Shop

I should also say that this service also has physical-only 3DS games such as Angry Birds Trilogy. So, you can pretty much have the entire 3DS library without spending a single cent due to Nintendo only caring about money.

Looks like our old friend piracy is back. H Shop, for those wondering, is an archive for 3DS games (both physical and digital titles) and will likely serve as a hub for us 3DS fans once the eShops close in March 2023. Not only that, but you can also download DLC and even demos that were once considered lost media from the service too.

8 CTGP-7

CTGP-7 is a mod of Mario Kart 7 that really improves the game on so many levels. First and foremost, it introduces a VS. mode, meaning you no longer have to wait to play on your favorite tracks! Of course, being a Custom Grand Prix, several fan-made tracks have gotten mainstream too. You can then play as custom racers as well. Now your dreams of playing as Waluigi have come true!

9 Universal Database

For those who don't want the risk of committing piracy, Universal Database serves as a pretty good alternative to the H Shop. With exclusively homebrew software, Universal Database is a must-have if you've just modded your 3DS.

10 TWiLight Menu++

Want to have a built-in R4 cart? Then TWiLight Menu++ is the thing for you. For me, this piece of 3DS software is an excellent tool if you want to play ROM hacks of your favorite games without the use of an emulator. Not only that, but TWiLight Menu++ can also play older consoles via emulation. So, if you want to play *legally dumped* GBA ROMs (GM9i will do the trick), then go ahead.

The Contenders
11 Playcoin
12 Anemone3DS

Themes, themes, themes! Even custom ones!

It is the best way to use custom themes since they closed the E-shop.

13 Reddit

Wait, you can get Reddit on 3DS? That's cool.

14 Universal Updater
15 Wumiibo
16 NotifyMii
17 NDSForwarder
18 New3DSFormat
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