Nintendo offers $20,000 Reward for Documentation of 3DS Exploits


Over five years after launch, Nintendo is finally starting to make a concerted effort to stop the 3DS’ rampant homebrew and piracy scene with a twenty thousand dollar reward.

Working with HackerOne, Nintendo will be offering up to twenty thousand dollars for exploits that allow for cheating, piracy, or inappropriate interactions with children. On HackerOne’s page, they say:

Nintendo’s goal is to provide a secure environment for our customers so that they can enjoy our games and services. In order to achieve this goal, Nintendo is interested in receiving vulnerability information that researchers may discover regarding Nintendo’s platforms. Currently, in the context of the HackerOne program, Nintendo is only interested in vulnerability information regarding the Nintendo 3DS™ family of systems and is not seeking vulnerability information regarding other Nintendo platforms, network service, or server-related information.
Since its release, the 3DS has been the target of a large number of exploits that allow users to run unofficial software on their devices. While these basic exploits don’t allow piracy, recent discoveries have allowed users to install custom firmware on their devices that make piracy possible. These exploits also allow for cheats and game hacks, which could cause problems for the system’s online multiplayer.
Matthew Sigler


Currently interning at Niche Gamer. I’ve been playing video games since I was three years old.

  • Mr.TopKek

    Nintendo, a company worth more than 40 billion dollars is too cheap to hire professionals to patch and protect their devices from piracy. How pathetic.

  • Feniks

    It’s not just piracy though.

    You can kiss your undub/uncensor patches goodbye if Nintendo actually manages to fix their shit.

    Don’t worry they won’t ;)

  • Smug

    Piracy/homebrew is pretty much what made the 3DS a lot better tho

  • SuperDuperSenpai

    A little late for this, no? I bet there are hundreds clamoring for this reward. I’d be surprised if they actually pay out.

  • Narmy

    If not for CFW I’d have to buy a whole new 3DS to get around the fucking region lock.

  • Tubsiwub

    They could easily pay more… the reason I won’t root for Nintendo is because of their region locking. I’m down for people fan-patching stuff.

  • Mr.TopKek

    oh I know, I’m just saying that it’s pathetic of Nintendo to try and save money by using random hackers instead of hiring full time professional ones.

  • Minuteworld92

    lol too late nincenso, citra plays on even the shittiest pcs.

  • Instead of unfucking their localizations and removing region lock from their console, two of the main reasons why people decided to take advantage of the exploits in the first place.
    And yes, $20,000 is not worth the value that this represents for their sales. (or at least what they THINK they can recoup from it)

  • NeoTruth

    Lmao exactly. Instead of using shtty ways to fight against hacking they should make better alternatives for people like the 3ds being region free.

  • Gin Tosh

    What’s the undub scene like for fixing blatant censorship? Are they un-fucking all the Treehouse stuff?

  • Cats736

    >You can kiss your undub/uncensor patches goodbye if Nintendo actually manages to fix their shit.

    No, the undubs/uncensored patches will still be here. At worst you won’t be able to go online with CFW.

  • Fear Me I Am Free

    Well, there’s a complete fan translation of Fe Fates because of how terrible it was.

  • dogmentation

    Typical…offering a paltry handout in exchange for information that could be worth many times that to the right darknet buyer. Maybe it their own engineers weren’t so incompetent…
    Not that I blame them for trying, the 3DS is what prints money for Nintendo. Of course they want us all back in that walled garden, where they can yoke us with restrictions and shameless paid DLC. But piracy and exploits are less of a problem in America as they are in Asia; they might have a few thousand people with CFW in NA, but in places like China, piracy is practically institutionalized. Stopping that is likely their end goal, and if it ruins the fun for the rest of us, so be it.
    I’m not worried though. The ethical flexibility of the platform is what makes the 3DS so appealing to many intelligent, talented people, and just like the PSP or the Dreamcast, it’s far too late to put that genie back in the bottle.

  • larverto365

    Inb4 Travis Touchdown comes down to comment with a raging hateboner towards homebrew.

  • dogmentation

    I’m a haxxor. I can use the numerals and punctuation to name my pokemon stuff like “Pika Cun+” or “D1CKCHEESE”. gib 20k pls.

  • Andrew Krasy

    Not to mention this information is worth millions, not 20K.

  • True Goddess Reincarnation

    Hey Matthew

    nice 3DS


  • Grayares Fakcot

    kid yourself, the single main reason people would use an exploit is to pirate.

  • Grayares Fakcot

    i tried playing rune factory 4 JP on citra but my file is in .3ds and apparently i have to put that file on a real 3ds to get the decrypt file before i can even run the game on citra

  • Jim

    Guess 20k is still cheaper than doing decent translations.

  • scemar

    This is low, even for Nintendo

    I want to have hopes for the Switch but stuff like this is just depressing

    Anytime a company fights imaginary monsters and blames boogeymen for their failures its just further proof of how little in the game they really are

    Innovators, creators and achievers make stuff happen

    Whiners and have beens without anything better to do waste their time on this quixotic quests

  • scemar

    a sadder story

    it’s too clueless to realize this is not the fight that will win them any customers or fans

  • Minuteworld92

    it runs .3ds files, it just won’t run rune factory 4. I converted project marai from .cia to .3ds and it worked though the converter makes 2 .3ds files, one that doesn’t work and one that does.

    rune factory 4 flat out doesn’t work which is to be expected because it’s still a work in progress emulator.

  • sanic

    Eh 20K seems cheap but I guess if someone needs 20K they will do it

  • catazxy


  • catazxy

    Don’t worry nintendo, I’m not planning on buying any of your family friendly plastic boxes.

  • Uncle Slick

    I have my 3DS running Luma with hr9.

    I can easily install CIA file formatted games on my 3DS.

    I love my 3DS.

  • Uncle Slick

    Citra is cute, but soft modding a 3DS is the real deal.

  • Migi

    They won’t get the help, considering most hackers are against censorship and that’s what Nintendo stands for.

  • Um Nintendo instead of restricting more freedom for your customers maybe work on making Zelda BOTW run at higher frame rates than 20.

  • jack

    The Game works just fine but the Cutscenes are sluggish

  • Leandro Teixeira

    True, just for breaking the region lock makes it a must have on 3DS system, how else would I be able to play New Love Plus

  • Shinobu
  • Narmy

    nene is best girl

  • Narmy

    Eh, I think I’d rather play 3DS games at a higher resolution on an emulator than on the shitty 3DS screen in 240p.

  • CRES

    But how else am I going to play Japanese games on my American 3DS!? Or are you telling me I have to play the shitty version of Fire Emblem if?

  • Leandro Teixeira

    I’m in between Manaka and Nene, it’s one of those “I can’t choose one” Situations so I just keep a save slot for each one, plus that dude in japan (one of my personal heroes), has already legaly married her so she’s already taken

  • Yup, and Citra is like Cemu. One year ago they were “cute” as the poster before said, but nowadays they actually convinced me (almost) to sell my Wii U and 3DS and just emulate.

  • What convertor did you use? I read that 3DS to CIA was easy but not the other way around as CIA contained no headers or something like that.

  • Narmy

    Manaka is the only one I haven’t tried dating yet. She seems kinda boring, but her innocence is pretty cute.

  • Uncle Slick

    Hardware or bust.

    Emulation is just for lazy people who can’t into modding.

    Also, that way isn’t very portable, even with a laptop.

  • Narmy

    I already have a modded 3DS. I don’t like portable systems anyway, I’d rather play on a big screen than on a small handheld.

  • Leandro Teixeira

    Yup, her innocent side is the best, plus her storyline is pretty good, Rinko is also cute but Tsundere+Cold heroine+ her overall design was the one I liked the least, because Tsundere+Cold with hints of Kuudere is a odd combo that doesn’t work that well

  • Minuteworld92

    the 3DS to CIA converter v4.1.

    you need python to run it though. citra only runs .3ds files and others that arent .cia so you need to convert the cia to .3ds in the converter. make sure to wait until the program says congratulations before you close it, it takes awhile and you might close it prematurely.

  • Uncle Slick

    Good for you.

    I, for one, love portable gaming. Being able to shit and catch Pokemon is just amazing.

    Playing on native hardware is just always so much more fulfilling. It’s like playing a SNES game on an emulator as opposed to on an actual SNES.

    You just can’t beat the feeling of playing on that CRT.

    Emulation is cool sometimes, but most the time the real deal is what’s best.

  • Narmy

    I liked Rinko the most at first, but I got tired of her after a while. Though maybe that’s just the nature of the real-time mode, it’s not as fun as the friend part. I can’t even go back to my save games anymore, because I’m afraid of the response I’ll get for abandoning them for months…

  • Thanks man, appreciate it. Time to sell the old 3DS then before the Switch drops…
    Also, is DLC enabled via savegame patching, do you happen to know?

  • Minuteworld92

    I have no idea, I just bothered to download it yesterday.

  • OSad

    People make fun of Nintendo for doing this and the paltry reward they’re offering, but I don’t think it’s such a dumb move. As a hardware manufacturer, you have to try and cover all vulnerabilities while hackers have to find but one to start running unsigned code on your hardware. Getting someone who’s aware of how to get to those to spill the beans wouldn’t just help to staunch piracy a bit on this portable, it could also help with the Switch in the future, and I’m willing to wager there’s at least a few hackers out there struggling to get by who could use the twenty G’s, since it’s not exactly the most scrupulous of pastimes. Plus, if the guy is actually useful, he could net some more monetary rewards from daddy Nintendo.

    I don’t really support it but I can at least see that it’s not a waste of effort from the company’s part. As far as censoring and region-locking is concerned, Treehouse is stuck so far up the company’s ass that they never even get to see it as an issue.

  • Alright, thanks!

  • Leandro Teixeira

    You’re talking about the original love plus right? I got tired of it after about 7 months in the real time mode because well, it was real time and you basicly either set up a date or just stare at the screen without doing anything (plus skinship on dates was boring has hell), from Love Plus + onwards you have random events, and things like you or you’re girlfriend getting sick, school trips etc etc. And don’t worry, when you return after months of being absent they only ignore you for a while but after a few mails and meeting up their mood returns to normal

  • Narmy

    No I am talking about New Love Plus+. I did go on a trip with Nene which was kinda cool, but I just can’t keep up with it every day lol. Plus I have no idea how the skinship works compared to the original game, it seems a lot harder.

  • Leandro Teixeira

    Since I play almost everyday I get those random events often, which had things to do in the game, while in the original I had nothing to do. and tbh I found the skinship in the original worse since it was just a pain to do and takes a long time to do, the new romantic time has they call it is much more easier and faster to do imo there’s is even a guide for it here:

  • OSad

    If your waifu loves you, she will forgive you, senpai.

  • Narmy

    Oh I see the problem I was having. I thought the purple heart was a good thing, but that guide says that’s when you stop.

    And yeah the skinship in the original was a pain, but at least I knew how to do it lol.

  • Zombie_Barioth

    This is actually a pretty common practice, hiring hackers or offering rewards for reporting system vulnerabilities.

    Its a smart move, since there’s always a weak spot somewhere, and new ones crop up all the time. Its not just about piracy. Up to 20K for what somebody probably does in their spare time isn’t anything to complain about either.

    As for censoring, region-locking, and such, to be fair most of that is likely coming from somebody higher up and isn’t Treehouse’s idea. Its not a matter of being to stuck up the company’s ass, albeit some of them MIGHT be, but most more likely than not don’t want to risk their job over it.

    Its certainly understandable, especially considering the nature of some changes. You’re not going to come out looking like a hero.

  • Γεώργιος Αρχαιοκαπηλίδης

    Making a company losing money: better.


  • Γεώργιος Αρχαιοκαπηλίδης

    I still buy original games on my 3DS but for games like Fire Emblem Fate with awful localization that ruin them a lot I’d rather hack my 3DS and play the uncensored roms.

  • Narmy

    But what if she doesn’t forgive me…

  • shadowhedgehogz

    Swearing doesn’t make you look cool btw, makes you look stupid.

  • Narmy

    thanks mom

  • Smug


  • Smug

    Said the guy who certainly buy games in sale or used lol
    stop being pissed at piracy just because it nullifies the purpose of your purchases

  • Smug

    “but most the time the real deal is what’s best.”
    not when the older games cost you a fucking leg thanks to scalpers and “geek culture”

  • Guin

    As much as I understand that feeling, games like Panzer Dragoon Saga can only be feasibly played on an emulator, but unfortunately it was on a platform in which emulating said console would be a fool’s errand.

  • Guin

    20K is like chump change for something of this magnitude.

  • Guin

    Manaka is life
    Manaka is love

    Just don’t read doujins of her if you want to keep that image.

  • Uncle Slick

    Yeah, Saturn emulation is very iffy, but then Saturn consoles are pretty pricey.

    What a conundrum.

  • Uncle Slick

    If you can afford it it’s not a problem.

    And not every great game costs that much, anyways. Just the overrated stuff like Chrono Trigger/FF7.

  • Smug

    Just because I can afford doesnt mean I should, you kike. Not going to buy a GBA game for 40-80€ for instance, shit is way too expensive

    “Just the stuff like anything SquareEnix, Konami, Capcom, Nintendo”
    Even niche stuff like any Neo Geo game (and most Saturn games) can be sold with an inflated price

  • Uncle Slick


    Maybe once you grow out of your teens and get a real job, you won’t have to wait for your birthday/shitsmass to ask mommy for “expensive” games.

    Fucking leech.

  • Smug

    Nice projection of yourself

  • Uncle Slick

    I’m a Jew, you’re a poor Euro fag.

    Try again, schmuck.

  • Smug

    That’s why I said you project your status of leech

  • Uncle Slick

    If I knew were you lived, I would buy your house and sell it my dog.

    That’s the kind of money you have when you have a real job, as opposed to flipping burgers/bagging groceries like yourself.

    You can’t even afford a period at the end of your sentence.

  • Smug

    Didnt know that having a good income mean I must handle my money terribly

  • Uncle Slick


    What you think is terrible, people with hobbies/extra money who actually like they games that they play so much that emulating isn’t good enough.

    Extra money is just that, extra. What, you want to donate to a charity or something?

    You need more than just that advice, Eurofag.

  • Mr.TopKek

    exactly, bunch of cheap bastards

  • john

    No, making such asinine assertions due to someone’s entirely harmless word choice makes YOU look stupid.