nds-bootstrap FAQ & Troubleshooting


Why do I get a white screen when trying to load a game from SD card? #

  • First, check the the nds-bootstrap compatibility list and make sure your game is compatible
  • Try with all cheats disabled for that game as some cheats are not compatible with nds-bootstrap at the moment, you can use L to disable all cheats for a game
  • If it worked before, delete the fatTable and patchOffsetCache folders in sd:/_nds/nds-bootstrap/

nds-bootstrap troubleshooting #

If you get issues with using the latest version of nds-bootstrap, here’s how you could troubleshoot it.

  1. Run the game with different settings, including changing the ARM9 CPU Speed, DS / DSi Mode, sound quality, Card Read DMA, etc
  2. Delete the fatTable and patchOffsetCache folders in sd:/_nds/nds-bootstrap/
  3. It’s probably not that big of an issue; ask in the Discord server

If the server says it’s an nds-bootstrap issue, check if the game hasn’t been reported already on GitHub. Check the closed issues too in case we had one issue closed in preference a different one. If it doesn’t have any GitHub issue attached to it, go ahead and make a new one.

Also, make sure you add it to the compatibility list on Google Sheets.

Why doesn’t multiplayer work? #

This is a known issue with cloneboot. Please wait for a fix.

Why are there issues with ROM loading, even though they’re run natively? #

nds-bootstrap patches the ROM functions to run from an SD card, as the ROMs are hardcoded to read from Slot-1. There are also timing issues and AP measures (which most are already removed), both of which would cause the ROMs to not work properly. To improve performance, nds-bootstrap also shrinks the game’s heap in memory, which breaks some games, though both the forwarders and TWiLight Menu++ have a heap shrink blacklist to fix the non-working games broken by heap shrink.

Why use nds-bootstrap over a regular flashcard? #

  • Certain compatible ROMs are loaded into RAM, allowing for load times to be faster than even normal cartridges
  • You can expand the VRAM memory bus to 32-bit
  • Utilize the DSi’s additional CPU speed, allowing for better performance in some games
  • Enhance your audio with 48 kHz
  • Use DSi mode, allowing for DSi features
  • Using certain cartridges, you are able to use IR in your application
  • nds-bootstrap is open source, meaning developers can always update it to fix bugs and other things, even if the project gets discontinued
  • The DS Memory Expansion Pak is emulated, meaning games that require that accessory will work
  • Swap top and bottom screens in compatible games for more comfortable gameplay, or on systems with a broken or removed screen

Donor ROMs #

Most SDK5 games can be selected as a Donor ROM (which can be done via TWiLight Menu++). The Donor ROM’s ARM7 binary is copied by nds-bootstrap and replaces the ARM7 binary for the game that it is trying to run. This allows certain and SDK5 games to boot and save.

What is a nightly and where do I get it? #

A nightly build is build for the latest commit. Nightly builds may be unstable, but has the most recent bugfixes added. You can get nightly builds for nds-bootstrap here.

Why do my cheats not work? #

The way E cheat types are implemented in nds-bootstrap is broken, meaning they’d only work half of the time. Your cheat probably uses that type. It is not a fault of the cheat database, but rather a fault of nds-bootstrap. Please do not request these cheats to get deleted from the DB.

For more info on cheats, look here.