In order to make a game for Nintendo DS, you should have some knowledge of
Before starting to code for our beloved Nintendo DS, we need some tools, like the right compiler (kindly provided by devkitPro) and the right libraries.
Step 1. Download and install devkitPro pacman
First of all we need to download the devkitPro package manager. We will use it to download the devkitARM toolchain and Nintendo DS libraries.
- Linux: use this guide: https://devkitpro.org/wiki/devkitPro_pacman
- Windows: https://github.com/devkitPro/installer/releases ← take the latest version
- OSX: use the installer https://github.com/devkitPro/pacman/releases ← take the latest version
After you installed pacman, you'll need to set up the following environment variables:
DEVKITPRO=/opt/devkitpro DEVKITARM=$DEVKITPRO/devkitARM PATH=$PATH:$DEVKITARM/bin
If you don't know how to do it, just google
how to set environment variables on <your OS>.
Step 2. Install devkitARM and NDS libraries
It's time to open your terminal! Move to
This command will do all the work:
./pacman -Sl nds-dev
Step 3. Emulate!
It's time to download an emulator, if you don't already have one. My personal suggestion is melonDS, it's a very complete emulator, with lots of settings and even some Wifi functions work on it.
Step 4. Compile!
Luckly, in step 4 we installed a bunch of code examples together with the libraries. For making sure that everything works well, let's start with the
Now move into
/opt/devkitpro/examples/nds/hello_world with your terminal.
You can rather work directly in this directory, or copy it somwhere else.
Let's compile, type the following command:
If you get an error like
Permission denied, type this:
cd .. sudo chmod 777 hello_world cd hello_world make
Set 4. Run!
Now, if everything went well, in your
hello_world directory there's a
hello_world.nds file. Open this with your emulator, and you're done!
Step 5. Have fun!
Now you can code your personal Nintendo DS game. Here's the documentation of
libnds, it will be useful: https://libnds.devkitpro.org/.
Feel free to open
source/main.cpp file and make some experiments! If yu don't have any C++ IDE, i suggest CLion by JetBrains, or if you don't want to pay (or you're not at university) you can youse Visual Studio Code.
If you encountered problems following this guide (especially during step 1 on windows) you can refer to this guide: https://devkitpro.org/wiki/devkitPro_pacman
Otherwise just send me an e-mail at
email@example.com, and i will try my best to help you.
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