Nintendo DS Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do I correctly insert a DS Game Card into the system?

    If you are having difficulty inserting a Game Card into the Nintendo DS, it is likely that the Game Card is facing the wrong way. You may have noticed that on early versions of the DS operation manual, page 12 reads, "the label should face towards the top of the DS." This is incorrect; the Game Card should be inserted with the label side facing down (towards the bottom of the DS). For detailed installation steps, please click here.


  • Can the DS play Game Boy games?

      What it can play:

    • Game Boy Advance games in single-player mode only
    • Game Boy Advance videos
    • What it cannot play:

    • Original Game Boy or Game Boy Color games
    • Game Boy Advance games in multi-player mode
    • Why there are limitations:
      There are two main reasons that the Nintendo DS is not compatible with older software. For one, the system is designed for wireless play and lacks a link cable port. Because older games aren't designed to use the wireless features, they can't communicate for multiplayer games.

      Also, the Nintendo DS lacks the special processor that is required to play these games. Because of the age of the processor, and the difficulty in adding that processor to an already highly complicated architecture, the processor was not included in the final design of the DS.


  • Can the Nintendo DS play games online?

    Beginning in the Winter of 2005, Nintendo DS owners around the world started to play some of their favorite franchises via Wi-Fi. Mario Kart DS, Animal Crossing DS and a new Tony Hawk title from Activision were among the first using the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection, a groundbreaking portable, wireless gaming network. For more information, please see our Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection information.

      About the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection:
      Using IGN's GameSpy Technology, DS players can connect wirelessly at many Wi-Fi Hotpsots to find their friends and begin racing, battling or chatting as easily as if they were sitting in the same room. Depending on the game being played, the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection can also let players post high scores or other game statistics and data.


  • Can I transfer my Nintendo Wi-Fi ID to another Nintendo DS or DS Lite?
    You have the ability to transfer your Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection ID to another Nintendo DS. This is usefull if you have purchased another Nitendo DS system (such as those who want to purchase the newer Nintendo DS Lite), and means you won't have to worry about getting new Friend Codes or losing your Wi-Fi Connection stats.

    Click here to go to Wi-Fi support step-by-step instructions on transfering a Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection ID to another Nintendo DS or DS Lite.

  • Can I use the Nintendo DS onboard aircraft, in hospitals, or in airports if it's not in wireless mode?

    Operation of the Nintendo DS when it is NOT in wireless mode, may be allowed on aircraft, in hospitals, and in airports just like any other non-wireless device would be. You will know when your DS is in wireless mode when the Power Indicator LED (green or red) rapidly blinks to indicate that wireless communication is in progress. The Power Indicator LED will blink rapidly when you are in PictoChat, playing any game in multiplayer mode, or downloading a game to another unit.

    Observe and follow all regulations and rules regarding the use of wireless devices in locations such as hospitals, airports, or onboard aircraft. In order to comply with airline regulations, do not use PictoChat, or play the multiplayer modes of DS games while on board an airplane. Operation in these locations may interfere with or cause malfunctions of equipment, with resulting injuries to persons or damage to property.


  • What does "DS" stand for?

    To our developers, it stands for "Developers' System," since we believe it gives game creators brand new tools which will lead to more innovative games for the world's players.

    It can also stand for "Dual Screen."


  • Should I purchase a screen protector(s)?

    The use of screen protectors is not required, however if you would like to use one, we recommend using only licensed protectors. Licensed products always carry the Nintendo seal. The use of an unlicensed screen protector can reduce the touch screen's effectiveness and visibility, making the system difficult to operate. In addition, attempting to remove an unlicensed screen protector can be difficult and can permanently damage the screen. (Any damage caused by an unlicensed product will not be covered under warranty if a repair is required.)

    If you don't wish to use a screen protector, the proper use of licensed styluses -- such as the two included styluses -- are designed to help prevent damage. The use of any unlicensed styluses including pens, styluses for other devices, or your fingernail, may cause damage and is not recommended.

    If you feel your Nintendo DS screens appear dirty, scratched, or smudged, click here for tips on properly cleaning the screen of any Nintendo handheld system.

    For tips on locating licensed accessories, click here.