So you've heard the rumours, collected a little cash (for hardware buying) and decided to get into DS homebrew gaming. This guide will tell you exactly what you need to get started, using a cartridge-based method known as 'NoPass'. This method has the advantage of not modifying your DS' firmware; to go back to normal DS play you simply unplug the cartridge. The downside is it requires you buy some extra hardware.

Note: Beginners beware! Exploring the homebrew scene is outside of the standard use of your DS. Certain procedures may invalidate your warranty, expose your hardware to viruses, or even disable your DS permanently. You follow the steps below at your own risk, and we will not be held responsible. So if in doubt, don't!
There are many different ways of starting with homebrew. Here we're outlining the MagicKey4 (also known as MK4 Key) NoPass method. The cartridge required is available from specialists sites like Divinio. How to Homebrew using NoPass method pic1
Next you need an SD card reader. We chose the EZ-Flash IV Lite because it fits the DS Lite perfectly without sticking out at all. The standard version is fine for oldskool DS owners. We got that from cheapmod, too. How to Homebrew using NoPass method pic2
Finally, you need a micro SD card. You can get these from loads of high street shops, internet sites or cheap from eBay. Only restriction is that it must be 2GB or smaller and should come with a micro SD to SD adapter. How to Homebrew using NoPass method pic3
Plug your Micro SD card into the SD adapter and plug the whole thing into the EZ SD-Reader that came with your EZ-Flash IV. Plug the reader into your PC's USB port. Double-click My Computer then right-click the SD card. Select Format… and format the card, making sure the Filesystem is FAT or FAT16. How to Homebrew using NoPass method pic4
Go here and download the EZ4 Client and the EZ4 Kernel. Unzip both and copy the file ezfla_up.bin to your SD card. Put the Micro SD card inside the EZ-Flash IV and plug it into your DS. Turn on the console, holding the 'R-trigger'. How to Homebrew using NoPass method pic5
Your DS is now ready to go. You copy items to the Micro SD card using the EZ4 Client you downloaded earlier. The Wikipedia DS Homebrew page has some good ideas on where to get started finding software. More dedicated DS homebrewers congregate at DSEmulation, amongst many other fansites. Enjoy! Check out our guide to DS homebrew, and our other DS How Tos. How to Homebrew using NoPass method pic6