Hacked your 3DS? You may have just been banned

2 min read


Like the DS before it, Nintendo’s 3DS was cracked open a little with hackers able to inject custom firmware to enable modding, homebrew, and – of course – activities that are more nefarious like piracy. Now, according to reports on communities that engage in this sort of thing, Nintendo is bringing down the ban hammer.

Reports on GBATemp, 4Chan and Reddit and other modding communities are awash with people hit by a massive ban wave. Affected users are coming across “Error Code: 002-0102″ when trying to open their online friends list – meaning that they’re unable to play any 3DS games online, access online services like Miiverse or even Hulu and Netflix. They can still access the eShop to give Nintendo money.

There’s no real commonality to the bans though. Some users have admitted to running custom firmware, using save editors and playing pirated games, but others say they’ve not done anything wrong. Some users who haven’t switched on the systems in months are finding themselves locked out – and Nintendo doesn’t seem to be keen to help.

Speaking to Kotaku, Nintendo issued a statement:

As a result of a number of users making unauthorized system modifications, playing unauthorized versions of one or more games and/or connecting to the game servers in violation of our terms of service, Nintendo has banned those users’ systems from accessing its online network, effective immediately.

It’s not actually illegal for users to modify the systems they own, provided they don’t step in the murky waters of piracy and emulation. A landmark case in 2010 saw device modifications like jailbreaking were legal, provided they aren’t then used to circumvent copy protection.

The 3DS community is in a frenzy at the moment, trying to find some sort of commonality, some sort of flag for why systems have been hit in the ban wave. That said, I have zero sympathy for those who knowingly modified their systems to pirate games, and were struck down.

Last Updated: May 26, 2017

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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