How to Play DS Games on Your 3DS In Native DS Resolution

After picking up a Nintendo 3DS over the weekend, and after playing “Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars” for a couple of hours I decided to fire up “Sim City DS” to compare how the older DS games played, and to be fair I love a bit of Sim City now and then.

What I noticed though, is that the 3DS will stretch out original Nintendo DS games so the image can look a little pixellated, I decided to quit out of the game and have a little look at the system settings on the main menu to see if I could find any options to optimise the picture quality.

No, there are no options.

After a little bit of playing about though, the solution came to me.

After turning on your 3DS with your DS game inserted:

  • Press and hold the Select and Start buttons, these are on the left and right of the Home button below the touch screen
  • With Select and Start held down, select the DS game icon to launch it
  • Keep both buttons held down until the game has loaded
  • When the game has loaded, release the buttons

When the game has loaded up it will now be in its native resolution,

This does come with Pro’s and Con’s to this though.


Image is a lot clearer

Game runs a little smoother

You are still able to play all your favourite DS games the way they were meant to be played


Black borders, instead of the black borders being slightly noticeable on the left and right sides of the top screen, they will now be roughly 1/2 inch thick on the left and right sides, and just over 1/4 inch thick on the top. With roughly 1/4 inch on 3 sides on the bottom screen.

To me this is not too much of an issue, but to other’s this may be a bit off-putting.

In all I’m quite happy with how the 3DS has been performing, this is nothing more than minor irritation though. I am looking forward to the future releases and will enjoy playing my old DS games for a long time to come, and as long as Nintendo continue to release top quality titles, and re-release the older NES and Snes games on the upcoming eShop for the Virtual Console, I am confident that the 3DS will have the same success as the previous Nintendo DS handheld’s.

By Gary D Cook