Citra 3DS


  • Question: I get a bios error, what I do?
    Answer: Because of legal reasons we are not allowed to add bios files with the emulator.
    You can download them separately here.

  • Question: Help I get this error!: "The application failed to initialize properly (0xc0000135)"
    Answer: This is a common error people get when they don't have Microsoft's .NET 4.0.
    Download it from here and install it.

  • Question: Does the emulator work for smartphones?
    Answer: At this time the emulator works only with Android OS.

  • Question: Does the emulator contain Virus/Malware/Spyware?
    Answer: No, our software is 100% clean and does not harm you or your PC in any way.

You can find the official Citra FAQ here.

About Citra

What is Citra?

Citra is a work-in-progress Nintendo 3DS emulator started in early 2014. Citra can currently emulate, with varying degrees of success, a wide variety of different homebrew programs and commercial software.

What is Citra's License?

Citra is an open-source project, licensed under the GPLv2 (or any later version). Refer to the license document for more information.

Who made Citra?

Citra has an active team of open-source developers. Over 50 people have worked hard on the project since its founding in 2014! The list of contributors can be found on GitHub.

Note: Citra is not affiliated with Nintendo in any way.

Running games in Citra

Can Citra run Pokémon games?

(Put Pokémon first because it is the most asked game...)

Yes, but they require a Home Folder dump and crashes are common.

Can Citra run \'Insert retail game name here'?

Citra can, ostensibly, "play" many different games, including The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and Animal Crossing.

Many games, however, will not load at all – only showing a black screen. Many other games will only show the title screen and then freeze or crash.

Note that many games also require a Home Folder dump.

You can expect many games to run slowly, though and to exhibit many gameplay and graphical glitches.

If you're interested in 3DS emulation as an experiment, you may gain something out of trying Citra, but if you're simply looking to play games then stick to your 3DS handheld.

Can I expect Citra to play [GAME] at full-speed?

Citra can run most games at full speed now thanks to the recent JIT compiler being merged into the official build. Certain parts of videos/cutscenes will still be slower due to JIT compilation is not feature complete yet. However, not all games are created equally and therefore some games will run at full speed while others might suffer from slow emulation.

Note: The speed of [GAME] will still depends on the performance of your processor.

[GAME] runs way too fast, how can I slow down the emulation?

This has only been happening recently and there is no good solution to this problem yet. In the future Citra will be able to emulate at the correct speed. For now, we have added a V-Sync option in the Menu (citra-qt): "Emulation" > "Configure ..." > "Graphics" > "Enable V-Sync". If you enable this option Citra will at run at your display refresh rate at most. Other users had success limiting their framerate using dxtory - We don't provide any support for this workaround though.

I saw a YouTube video about [GAME], why doesn't it work on the nightly build?

Alternative custom branches may have not been merged into master. We only support nightly builds based on the master branch. Unofficial builds are not supported. There may be other branches that are planned to be merged, but must go through vetting first to ensure they are good contributions to the project long term.

Where can I download games to use with Citra?

Short answer: You don't. Buy games and dump them with a Nintendo 3DS.

Long answer: Downloading commercial games is illegal and thus strongly frowned upon by the Citra developers. To prevent legal issues, this includes gray areas like downloading games which you purchased earlier. You don't necessarily need to own a 3DS yourself, as you can buy game cartridges and dump them with a friend's console. On the other hand, copying a friend's game dump is considered illegal. Please note that any mention or discussion of piracy on our forums or Discord channels will result in being banned from our community.

Please refer to Dumping Game Cartridges for guidance on how to dump games for use with Citra.

When launching a game, I get a "Failed to Decrypt Error". I want to run backups of retail titles that I own, how can I do that?

Citra does not natively run dumps of games that have not been decrypted properly. This requires a physical 3DS and the game you owned. Refer to Dumping Game Cartridges.

Download here