How To: Download & Play Nintendo DS Games on Your iPad or iPhone—No Jailbreak Required

Download & Play Nintendo DS Games on Your iPad or iPhone—No Jailbreak Required

Nintendo fans rejoice! Not only can you play classic NES games on your iPad or iPhone without jailbreaking, you can play Game Boy Advance and Game Boy Color games. And that's not it. Now, thanks to @angelXwind, we can add Nintendo DS to our list of non-jailbreak emulators for iOS 7.

Unlike GBA4iOS, the nds4ios emulator also has a jailbreak version, so if you are jailbroken, it's best to choose that option. If not, you'll be sideloading it. Sounds scary, but it's not, and it's easy to delete should you ever want to.

Update: April 15th, 2014

nds4ios has updated their emulator UI, added Dropbox capabilities, changed their certificate date to February 8, 2014, and added a testing version of the emulator on their site. The below instructions have been updated accordingly.

Step 1: Download & Install the Emulator

From your mobile web browser on your iPad or iPhone, go to nds4ios's download page. If you're jailbroken, choose one of the Cydia options. If not, choose the OTA version, then hit "Install" when the popup appears.

Step 2: Change Your Date Back!

This is IMPORTANT. As soon as the download starts, you need to manually change the data back to February 8th, 2014.

To do it, go to Settings -> General -> Date & Time. Uncheck the Set Automatically option, then select the current date and time listed and manually adjust it to February 8th, 2014.

You need to do this after the download starts, not before. It took me a couple of tries before I got it to work, but it definitely works.

Step 3: Access the Emulator

Once the date is changed, the download should complete and appear on your device (like in the screenshot below).

After the whole installation process is complete, open up the emulator.

Step 4: Add Some Nintendo DS ROMs

UPDATE: The plus sign used to add ROMs is now gone from nds4ios; see the update at the bottom of this article to see how to manually add ROMs.

Since this is just an emulator, there won't be any games installed, but you can find ROMs by tapping on the plus (+) sign at the top right. Only download ROMs that you own. If you don't own them, you're technically committing piracy and the FBI might raid your house and arrest you. You've been warned.

You can also mess with the settings by tapping on the three-lines symbol in the top left. I enabled Bottom, which relocates the controls to the bottom of the emulator (leaving it on Top makes the controls stay at the top of the emulator, which get in the way of gameplay).

If you have some of your ROMs uploaded to a Dropbox account, you can go to the settings in nd4ios, enter your information, link your account and easily access all of your games, just like you can with the GBA4iOS 2.0 emulator.

Step 5: Play, Play, Play

Once you've downloaded your ROMs, it's time to start playing. Seeing as this is a Nintendo DS emulator, some of the larger games might lag a bit (Assassin's Creed, Grand Theft Auto, etc). Smaller games that have much simpler graphics (Pokémon, Super Mario Bros., etc.) worked perfectly though.

In addition to the regular controls, you also have the bottom portion of the screen, where you can perform touchscreen actions as you would on the Nintendo DS.

Overall, the emulator worked pretty great, only lagging with extremely large games that render complicated graphics and overarching landscape. Even with the lag, I would still recommend this application for all you Nintendo lovers and video game addicts alike, as well as GBA4iOS and webNES.

So far, I'm an hour deep into Pokémon. Bye, bye social life.

How to Remove nds4ios from Your iPad or iPhone

In the off chance that you don't like it, or just feel funny about having an app on your iPad or iPhone that's not from the iOS App Store, don't worry—it's easy to uninstall.

First, remove nds4ios from the home screen like you would any other app. Long-press on it and tap on the X when it appears. Done.

After that, you'll need to remove provisional access. Go to Settings -> General and if there's a Profile section with MBS-HelloApp-Provision listed, tap on it and select Remove to get rid of it for good.

UPDATE: Adding ROMs Manually Now That the Plus Sign Is Gone

Now that the plus sign used to find ROMS has disappeared from the application, you'll have to manually find somewhere else to download ROMs. Ones you legally own, of course.

Using a site like CoolROM from your Safari browser, find a Nintendo DS ROM that you own and download it. It might take a few seconds before you're redirected after downloading, so be patient.

Once the download is complete, you'll have the option of opening the ROM with nds4ios. Select the Open in "nds4ios" option and the ROM will appear in your emulator.

How do you like your new Nintendo DS emulator? Share your thoughts on it below!

32 Comments

Just press the plus sign in the app, which will take you where you can download ROMS.

For some reason, it either won't download or it just shows the download without the file. Any thoughts?

Alright, I managed to download some games! What you have to do is click on the plus button in the app, use Coolrom to choose a game. Next, you might want to check the size of the game. I found that games of only 10-20MB (Phoenix Wright - Ace Attorney, for example) work much better than games like Pokémon Heartgold. Naturally, of course, but it's something you might want to keep in mind.

Next, you click the download button... and wait. Just wait. Don't do anything with your device while it is downloading. Just lay it down and go do something else for a moment. Go make a cup of coffee, or take a pee. If you decide, however, to stay with your device, you might notice that the loading spinner is spinning, or that instead of a refresh button, there's a cancel button.

Now, depending on your connection strength, it'll take about a minute to two until it shows a grey screen with the file in the middle of it. Choose "Open in.../Open with..." and then choose "NDS4iOS".

Now open NDS4iOS, then choose the game you downloaded. Before playing, however, you might want to set Frame skip to "Auto". It works fine for me. This is so that the game won't crash if it can't keep up.

If your game suddenly stops and crashes, just try again. It crashes a lot, but trust me, it works.

Happy gaming!

PS. I run these games on my iPad Mini. It's not the newest design, but it's still a rather "recent" device.

Awesome job man! Really works on iPhone!

So I did everything it asked me to and it doesn't let me download it. Keeps saying cannot connect.

I also can't get it to download. I think it requires a processing chip 7 or higher. I'm dissapointed

The app works fine. Download doesn't take too long either. But the gameplay us SO SLOW. Every game I play is at 20 fps or even lower! I was really disappointed with the app... I was so ready to play Mario and Pokemon on my IPad Mini...

Heres a thought, Nintendo made these games fine from the systems they were programmed for. This is piracy. If you want to play these games, buy them from Nintendo. Cant find an original DS? 3DS is fully backwards compatible. Dont want to do that? Go to a pawn shop or find one online. Want to play GBA games? Same thing, buy one at a pawn shop or find one online. Is 3DS an option for downloading games? YES. ive downloaded a few classics on my 3DS and im satisfied with it. The games dont crash, dont suffer framerate losses, and most of all, ITS NOT ILLEGAL. Nothing in life is free. You pay for it one way or another.

You're right! Buying possibly broken or damaged, overpriced, pre-owned Nintendo consoles and carts off eBay or at a flea market does in fact support Nintendo directly! Man, too bad I'm not rich, or else I could afford one of nintendo's earthbound carts for snes, you know, since there were so few released in America and the average price per cart, not including box/cover or manual is $300. Oh, but of course, buying discontinued items for outdated consoles from a 3rd party is most definitely helping Nintendo out, right? Maybe if you stepped off your high horse for a minute, you would realize this: Nintendo isn't remastering or even repackaging these games, they are literally mixing emulators in with the new software for "backwards compatability", and then selling us roms. It's a new trend in the field of entertainment: Take out the software/hardware that allows for true backwards compatibility, like how the wii could read gc disks, or Xbox 360 could read Xbox disks, or the various Nintendo portables, etc, and charge money for games that were already made. It's cheap, and makes more money for less effort. Emulators are a solution to this corrupt form of commercialism. Granted, yes piracy is theft, but the prices they charge for outdated games is highway robbery. Now, I'll support the industry if I find a current game I'm interested in, but not for older games, since they were discontinued. Also, newer consoles aren't fully backwards compatible as how you state. It's up to how that company decides what games to allow back on the market. Otherwise, we would have the entire mother series, or the entire final fantasy series up to the hardware capabilities of that console, but they don't. Emulators, however, can be used for translations and hacks. TL;DR, think before you type, and no, buying from eBay/flea market does not help nintendo, nor do emulators for previous gens hurt it.

In the picture you have both nds4ios and GBA4iOS. How did you manage to install them at the same time and keep both of them? I was under the impression that you can't have two emulators and one would replace the other. thanks

Is there a way I can connect to Nintendo wifi to get into other people's animal crossing emulator towns?

mine has no plus sign

Update has been added to the article!

Update has been added to the article!

Update has been added to the article!

Same, mine doesn't have a plus sign, wtf did I do wrong?

Update has been added to the article!

It says that safari can't download the file any advice so I can download?

added some roms to my drop box and there not showing up on the list?

cant connect to secure angelxwing net???
help me please ...

What about HeartGold? I've downloaded that one, any way to stop how slow or "laggy" the gameplay is?

I want to download inazuma eleven firestorm but it won't let me for some reason it's in one of the pictures

I'm trying to download it and when I click on the link it says safari can't find it or something like that . Help please !

Question: how to put cheat code in?
There's a problem with pokemon black ver2 with exp bug.
Everyone says to enter a big code in to fix the bug. But how?

no offense mate, but the download page has crashed.
the page has worked before, have opened it earlier via another page.
try to fix it please

The download link crashed pls fix this

The download link doesn't work, but instead the owner gave a new site, with a real domain.
http://www.nds4ios.com
Works perfectly! THX!

My broadband provider doesn't let me

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