New 3DS Update Patches Homebrew Exploits

Despite shuttering eShop support, Nintendo has released a new update on 3DS with a focus on stability improvements. 

According to the Nintendo website, update version 11.17.0-50U released on May 22, 2023, offers “Further improvements to overall system stability and other minor adjustments have been made to enhance the user experience.”

What does that mean in actuality? Let’s dig in. 

According to popular 3DS modding website 3DS Hacks, the latest firmware update has patched out several exploits used to run homebrew on the handheld. “If your device does not yet have custom firmware, do NOT update to the latest version, as you will not be able to hack your console,” reads a warning on the 3DS Hacks FAQ page. 

As of right now, it’s hard to say what has and hasn’t been patched out. Reports from GBA Temp and Discord indicate exploits like BannerBomb3 no long function, but the full extent of the crackdown will take a while to come to light. Mostly because most people won’t want to update their 3DS console to test out if their favorite hack tool has been rendered useless, which is understandable to be honest. 

It’s not all bad news, though. The same GBA Temp thread linked above notes Ntrboot – a modified DSi flashcard used to boot up custom firmware – does still work even after updating, so there’s some hope for people looking to mod their 3DS. 

One thing to keep in mind, this update only affects people on non-hacked 3DS consoles. Chatter online is that the new update doesn’t mess with already-hacked systems, which makes sense. If the system is already hacked, then updating through homebrew means should prevent those hacks. 

As always, I’ll be keeping an eye on this and will let you know as I find out more about how this affects modded 3DS consoles (UPDATE: I spoke with members of a popular Nintendo homebrew discord to get the lay of the land. It’s not nearly as bad as it sounds).

In the meantime, I’d recommend not updating the 3DS just to be safe so you can still dump games without fear of the process being taken away. 

While you’re here, and if you are dumping games on 3DS, I’d also recommend checking out how to play 3DS games on the Steam Deck. You’d be amazed at how well they run. Plus, you can play with higher resolutions and new texture hacks. It’s well worth taking a look at if you haven’t already.

Wesley Copeland
Wesley Copeland

Wesley Copeland is a gaming, tech, and toys journalist with over 10 years of experience writing online. Originally starting in video games before specializing in tech and toys, you can find his bylines at IGN, VG24/7, Kotaku, Tech Radar, Games Radar, PC Gamer, Heavy, and many more. He's also highly passionate about how tech can be used to better our day-to-day lives.