Is the Nintendo DS region free?

Is the Nintendo DS region free?

Yes, Nintendo DS and DS Lite game software is region-free, meaning you can play any DS game on a DS, DSi, DS Lite or DS XL


How about the DSi? Is the Nintendo DSi region free too?

No, the DSi library is region locked. This means that games designed exclusively for the DSi, sometimes called DSiWare will only play on DSi handhelds from the same region. A European or Australian PAL game will only play on a European or Australian console. You won’t be able to play a DSi game from Japan or the USA.

They will also not work on the older generation DS and DS Lite consoles. Consider any software that is DSi-exclusive to be region-locked.


Can I play my favourite Nintendo DS and DSi games on a 2DS or 3DS?

Yes, all Nintendo DS and Nintendo DSi games can be played on the Nintendo 2DS / 3DS handheld consoles. If the games were downloaded, you can even transfer them over to either 2DS or 3DS. DSi to 3DS transfer article.


What about the 3DS XL and Japanese exclusive 3DS LL? Can they play DS games?

All 3DS consoles are region locked, so only DS and DSi games from the same region will play. You'll need a Japanese 3DS LL to play japanese games.

Have you ever wondered about the silly name "LL" in Japan was used in place of "XL" when describing sizes "Larger than Large", so for the Japanese releases of their “XL” models Nintendo uses “LL” in the name instead. Think of it as simply Larger Large. I know right....someone was clearly drunk in the marketing department that day.

Let’s summarise - Nintendo DS region compatibility

Console Region Region Free?
Original DS All Yes
DS Lite All Yes
DSi All No
DSi XL All No
DSi LL Japan only No
3DS XL All No
3DS LL Japan only No
2DS All No
New 3DS All No
New 3DS XL All No
New 3DS LL Japan only No
New 2DS XL All No
New 2DS LL Japan only No


Q. So let me get this straight, Nintendo region locked the DS range of consoles at the DSi era for all of eternity afterwards?

A. Yes they did.



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