Snes9x for 3DS

Snes9x for 3DS is a high-compatibility SNES emulator for your Old 3DS / 2DS. It runs many games at full speed (60 fps). It supports games that use CX4 chip (Megaman X2/X3), and the SDD-1 chip (Star Ocean, Super Street Fighter 2 Alpha). It can also play games that use the SuperFX chip (Yoshi’s Island, etc), and the SA-1 chip (Super Mario RPG, Kirby’s Dreamland, Kirby Super Star) but it runs slowly. It generally supports higher compatibility than existing SNES emulators on the old 3DS, because it uses Snes9x 1.43 as a base, and is a good alternative if your existing emulators cannot play all games.

It also runs on your New 3DS, and performs much faster! Use your New 3DS if you want to play SuperFX and SA-1 games!

Download the latest from:

Give feedback / report bugs here:

To use:

Homebrew Launcher:

  1. Copy Snes9x_3ds.3dsx, Snes9x_3ds.smdh, snes9x_3ds_top.png into the /3ds/snes9x_3ds on your SD card.
  2. Place your SNES ROMs inside any folder.
  3. Go to your Homebrew Launcher (either via Cubic Ninja, Soundhax or other entry points) and launch the snes9x_3ds emulator.

CIA Version:

  1. Use your favorite CIA installer to install snes9x_3ds.cia into your CFW. You can also use FBI to download from TitleDB.
  2. Place your SNES ROMs inside any folder.
  3. Copy snes9x_3ds_top.png to ROOT of your SD card.
  4. Exit your CIA installer and go to your CFW’s home screen to launch the app.

When in-game,

  1. Tap the bottom screen for the menu.
  2. Use Up/Down to choose option, and A to confirm. (Hold down X while pressing Up/Down to Page Up/Page Down)
  3. Use Left/Right to change between ROM selection and emulator options.
  4. You can quit the emulator to your homebrew launcher / your CFW’s home screen.

Feedback and bug reports are welcome. Help with development is also welcome!


Seiken Densetsu 3 (English Patch)

Seiken Densetsu 3 (English Patch)

Secret of Mana

Secret of Mana

Super Mario Kart

Super Mario Kart

Disney's Magical Quest 3 Starring Mickey & Donald

Disney’s Magical Quest 3 Starring Mickey & Donald

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers - The Fighting Edition

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers - The Fighting Edition

Megaman X

Megaman X

Megaman X3

Megaman X3

Castlevania - Dracula X

Castlevania - Dracula X

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do some games have strange color issues (for eg., Wild Guns, Kirby Super Star, Judge Dredd, Batman Forever, Secret of Mana, Kirby Super Star)?

Try going to the Settings and change the In-Frame Palette Changes to either one of the 3 options: Enabled, Disabled Style 1, Disabled Style 2. Color emulation is never perfect because we are using the 3DS GPU for rendering, which doesn’t allow us to do what the SNES requires.

Why do some games keep writing to the SD Card every second or so (for eg., Treasure Hunter G, Some Super Mario Hacks, Final Fantasy Mystic Quest)?

Try going to the Settings and change the SRAM Auto-Save Delay to 10 seconds, 60 seconds, or disable it entirely! Don’t worry, the SRAM will be saved again when you tap on the bottom screen.

Why can’t I load some games? They are lised as supported on the compatibility list!

Ensure that your ROM file is not a zipped file. Currently, the emulator only supports .SFC, .SMC, .FIG formats.

Can I use my save states generated from Windows versions of Snes9x?

You can try using save states from Snes9x v1.43, but sometimes this emulator doesn’t recognize them.

How can I make Snes9x utilize the full speed of the New 3DS?

The .3DSX version currently uses the full clock speed of the New 3DS, enabling all your SuperFX, SA-1 games to run faster.

After closing the lid and re-opening it, the sound synchronization during game emulation is off!

Yes, this is a known issue. You can try to tap the bottom to bring up the menu, and then resume your game. The sound should become synchronized again.

After pressing the Home button, the emulator music still plays!

Try to avoid pressing the Home button or putting the 3DS to sleep. Quit the emulator entirely from the emulator’s menu before going to the Home screen.

What’s supported

  1. Graphic modes 0 - 7.
  2. Save states of up to 5 slots
  3. Cheats - place your .CHT/.CHX (text format) with the same filename in the same folder as your ROM. For example, if your ROM name is MyGame.smc, then your cheat file should be named MyGame.CHT or MyGame.CHX
  4. Currently uses CSND for audio. So your entry point to home-brew must be able to use CSND. If you can play BlargSNES with sound, you should be able to play Snes9X_3DS with sound.
  5. Frame skipping.
  6. Stretch to full screen / 4:3 ratio
  7. PAL (50fps) / NTSC (60 fps) frame rates.
  8. Navigation of ROMs in different folders.
  9. SDD1 chip (Street Fighter 2 Alpha, Star Ocean)
  10. SFX1/2 chip (Yoshi’s Island, but slow on old 3DS)
  11. CX4 chip (Megaman X-2, Megaman X-3)
  12. DSP chips (Super Mario Kart, Ace o Nerae)
  13. SA-1 chip (Super Mario RPG, Kirby Superstar)
  14. Use of full clock speed in the New 3DS.
  15. Sound emulation (at 32KHz, with echo and gaussian interpolation)
  16. Automatic saving and reloading of savestates.

What’s missing / needs to be improved

  1. Minor sound emulation errors.
  2. Mosaics.
  3. In-frame palette changes - This is because this emulator uses the 3DS GPU for all graphic rendering. Without in-frame palette changes implemented, a small number of games experience colour issues.

Change History





















.CHX Cheat File format

The .CHX is a cheat file format that you can create with any text editor. Each line in the file corresponds to one cheat, and is of the following format:

  1. [Y/N] represents whether the cheat is enabled. Whenever you enable/disable it in the emulator, the .CHX cheat file will be modified to save your changes.
  2. [CheatCode] must be a Game Genie or a Pro Action Replay code. A Game Genie code looks like this: F38B-6DA4. A Pro-Action Replay code looks like this: 7E00DC04.
  3. [Name] is a short name that represents this cheat. Since this will appear in the emulator, keep it short (< 30 characters).

The .CHX must have the same name as your ROM. This is an example of a .CHX file:

Filename: Gradius III (U) [I].CHX

Y,F38B-6DA4,Start with 31 lives
Y,7E00DC04,Constant Megacrush (enemies die)

If you are still lost, refer to a sample Gradius cheat file here:!%7D.chx.txt

NOTE: You can only have either .CHT or .CHX in your ROM folder for the same ROM. If you have both, only the .CHX file will be effective.

How to Build

The current version can be built in two ways:

libctru v1.0.0

You will need:

Ensure that the makefile has the following definition -DLIBCTRU_1_0_0.

Then build by using make.

libctru v1.2.0

You will need:

Remove the following definition -DLIBCTRU_1_0_0 from the makefile

Then build by using make.

*Please note that building with libctru v1.2.0 causes the emulator to run at Old 3DS clock speeds on a New 3DS. It seems like a known problem with libctru v1.2.0.


  1. Snes9x team for the fantastic SNES emulator
  2. StapleButter / DiscostewSM for their work on BlargSNES. Many ideas for optimisations came from them.
  3. Author of SF2D library. Some codes for hardware acceleration evolved from here.
  4. Authors of the Citra 3DS Emulator team. Without them, this project would have been extremely difficult.
  5. Maki-chan for helping with the libctru 1.2.0 conversion.
  6. Fellow forummers on GBATemp for the bug reports and suggestions for improvements.