How To Record Or Stream A Nintendo 3DS XL | Updated 07/2016

nintendo-3ds-capture-card

If you’re looking to record or stream a Nintendo 3DS for YouTube or Twitch TV, then just read these simple steps. You’ll have your gaming footage online in no time!

We’ve been playing a lot of Nintendo Wii U games over on our YouTube channel. But we couldn’t help but feel like our viewers were missing out on the world of Nintendo 3DS games. So after a few months of waiting, our Nintendo 3DS capture card finally arrived from KatsuKitty in Japan and is now in action! Since we’ve been really pleased with the results, we thought we’d share how it’s done so you can record or stream your 3DS! If you’ve got any questions then feel free to leave us a comment below.

1. Get a Nintendo 3DS or 3DS XL Capture Card.

how-to-record-or-stream-a-nintendo-3dsIf you want to record or stream a Nintendo 3DS or 3DS XL, you’re gonna need a Nintendo 3DS capture card installed directly into your console. Sadly, this can only be done in Japan, USA and Germany, but all outlets will happily ship internationally. You can either buy a brand new Nintendo 3DS from these outlets with the capture card pre-installed, or send your existing console to get it modified and sent back to you. Here’s your options of where you can buy one:

The installation usually involves creating an extra mini USB port at the back of the Nintendo 3DS which allows the device to be connected and viewed on your PC via a simple cable connection. Not sure where you should get your capture card from? Check out our review of Merki/Loopy’s Nintendo 3DS Capture Card vs Katsukity’s Nintendo 3DS Capture Card.

2. Install the Nintendo 3DS viewer software.

nintendo-3ds-capture-cardYour Nintendo 3DS capture card will come bundled with a software download that allows you to view your Nintendo 3DS on your PC screen. Once you connect your console to your PC via the mini USB cable, open the viewing software and voila! You can now play your Nintendo 3DS or 3DS XL via your PC monitor.

However, this software won’t allow you to record or stream a Nintendo 3DS, so you’ll need to follow step 3 to get recording or streaming. Whilst Loopy/Merki’s Nintendo 3DS Capture Card does come with software that allows you to record, I’d highly recommend step 3 for a more reliable and higher quality recording solution.

3. Install Broadcasting Software.

record-or-stream-a-nintendo-3dsOnce you’ve installed the viewing software bundled with your Nintendo 3DS capture card, you’ll need broadcasting software if you want to record or stream a Nintendo 3DS or 3DS XL. We’d recommend the two listed below, which both work in a similar way:

4. In your broadcasting software, add a ‘window capture’ source.

window-capture-obs-3ds

After installing the broadcasting software, you’ll need to add a source that records everything from a specified window that’s currently open on your PC. So go ahead and launch the Nintendo 3DS Viewer software ready for recording or streaming.

In OBS, the final step simply involves adding a new ‘Window Capture’ source and then selecting Nintendo 3DS Viewer software from the drop-down box. Lastly, just click ‘Preview Stream’; if you’ve done it right, you should be able to see and hear your Nintendo 3DS gaming footage. If everything is ok, cancel the preview and click ‘Start Recording’ or ‘Start Streaming’ and proceed to record or stream your Nintendo 3DS to the world!

That’s all folks…

So there you have it! There’s really nothing other than the price standing in your way if you want to record or stream a Nintendo 3DS. Wanna see it in action? Check out our Final Fantasy Explorers gameplay video, which recently came out on the Nintendo 3DS. With the help of a nice overlay, you can theme the blank space around the footage to compliment that game you’re playing. Check it out below!

Any questions? Problems setting it up? Not sure about how to send your Nintendo 3DS or order your 3DS capture card? Let us know! After all, we’ve done the whole process ourselves already! Please feel free to leave a comment below and we’ll try and help you out in setting everything up. If this post helped you and you’d like to help us, please donate to help keep this blog and our YouTube channel alive!


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  • Carl O

    Do you use the USB audio? I have a yeti mic and and double male audio jack but OBS won’t let me record my mic and game audio unless I use the USB game audio. I also notice when recording gameplay in the towns the music sounds bad but that is the only part I’ve found and not sure why yet.

    • Mark Wood

      We use a Yeti mic and it doesn’t seem to affect the in game sound in the recording. If the sound in the 3DS viewer software is fine, then it’s more than likely an issue with OBS. Sorry for the delayed reply but I hope this helps!

  • GearWax

    I want to BUY a 3ds with the chip in. Where can I do that?

    • Mark Wood

      You do that from Merki/Loopy and Katsukity as long as they have the stock. Links are in step 1 🙂

      • GearWax

        Merki and Loopy seem to be permanently out of stock.
        And like you said, katsukitty seems to be unreliable.

  • Takky

    You would want to change the preferred OBS to anything else as they have updated it and its crap as all hell now, seriously shit, it crashes every 10 minuets and will stop streaming mid way for no apparent reason it was perfect before why’d they have to change it

  • el la juan chez

    hey so what about if i have a high quality phantom powered mic? how to make it work over the broadcast? and how to prerecord a broadcastso i could just post it?

  • Ariel Kelly

    Say you’re recording both the 3DS normal and touch screens at the same time. When using recording software like Xsplit, how does one switch from the normal screen to the touch screen?

  • Sea Agate

    I’m considering getting a capture card, but I have a concern: have there ever been incidents of 3DS consoles ever going missing, being stolen, breaking, or being returned built wrong in some way when going through this process? I’m very nervous that something like this could happen and I’d like to know before I ship mine away! How reliable is this (don’t worry, I’m not using KatsuKitty, lol)?!?

    On a side note, why is it called a capture “CARD” if it’s just a USB port?

    • Nota Robot

      I’m just gonna try to answer your last question. (I haven’t done any research as of now.) I believe the “card” is a small board where it divides the output (both image and sound), one for the 3ds screen (where you would normally look at when you play) and the other one for you pc (your pc will record any data coming from that usb port and show it one the 3ds viewer software as mentioned in one of the steps in this article).

      • Sea Agate

        I see.