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Does The Nintendo DS Have a Gameboy Slot?

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The current software developed and released for Nintendo DS can be played on Nintendo DSI that includes the Gameboy Advance games. The DSI has a Gameboy Advance slot. However, the Nintendo DSI doesn’t have a Gameboy Advance Game Pak slot.

This makes certain games for Nintendo DS that makes use of the Gameboy Advance Game Pak slot unplayable while some of the Gameboy game features can’t be utilized fully on the DSI.

Does Nintendo DS Have a Gameboy Slot

Nintendo DS does not have a Slot-2, and therefore cannot take Gameboy cartridges. A Nintendo DS and DS lite have a DS game slot and a game pak slot (Gameboy Advance games). A DSi has a DSi game slot, two cameras (one on the inside one on the outside), and an SD card slot. The only slots are: 1 DS game slot one sd card slot. 

For more information about the Nintendo DS, please keep reading and check out this video!

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What If Your DS Gameboy Advance Slot Won’t Play

There are a few Nintendo DS products that are not fully compatible with the DSI. You cannot play the Guitar Hero on Tour and Guitar Hero Decades. Some features also aren’t available in newer games such as Pokémon Diamond, Pearl, Platinum, and Dash, and Pokémon Mystery Dungeon, the Blue Rescue Team.

Not just the new games but also other accessories that cannot be used include Nintendo DS Rumble Pak, Nintendo MP3 Player, Nintendo DS Browser, Nintendo DS Lite Browser, Nintendo DS Memory Expansion Pak, Nintendo DS Lite Memory Expansion Pak, Guitar Hero “Guitar Grip.”

However,  there may be DS games that have certain features that can only be used for Nintendo DSi. This will not play on Nintendo DS or even the Nintendo DS lite system at all, however , this will then be mentioned explicitly on the new product’s packaging. You can check the Gameboy game page  on the Nintendo websites for updates.

 Nintendo DS or DS Lite Playing Gameboy Games

Can the DSi or DS lite play Gameboy games? What can they perform? The DSi console through the Gameboy slot can play all games in the Gameboy Advance games in single-player mode only. You can also play Gameboy Advance videos.

If you owned any of the original Gameboy or Gameboy color games, the DSi is not able to play them. This also includes Gameboy Advance games in the multiplayer mode.  Why are there limitations for DSi with a game boy slot? You might already know the answer to this question. There are two main reasons that the Nintendo DS and DS Lite are not compatible with older software.

The DSi system is designed for wireless play and therefore lacks a link cable port. In such a case, older games are not intended to use the wireless feature, and they can not communicate for multi-player games. The system also lacks a specialized processor that is required to play most of the Gameboy games.

The Nintendo DSi system has an older processor and it would be very difficult to add another processor to an already highly complicated architecture. The processor was not included in the final design of these systems.

Some users might have a concern that most games allow you to transfer data between the Nintendo DS game card slot. The Gameboy, particularly Gameboy Advanced Pak or games that need the use of an accessory in the GBA Game Pak slot might not be able to be used properly without the right processor.

Play Gameboy Advance Games on a Nintendo DSi

Despite the limitation, there is a way to play the old Gameboy games on the Nintendo DSi. You can try to download the Gameboy Advance DSi Emulator, which makes it possible to play Gameboy Advance games using a backup commonly known as Gameboy Advance ROMs.  

Use the special DSi flash card adapter though, for MicroSD cards. Then use the emulator and place the Gameboy Advance games on the Micro SD card. This is known to be one of the best ways to download DSi games on your SD card.

Why Can’t DSi Run Gameboy Advance ROMs Natively, But 3DS Can

The DS and DS lite back in the day had Gameboy hardware built-in to run the Gameboy Advance games. But later on, DSi removed the Gameboy Advance cart slot, and it is hard to find information on whether it removed the Gameboy Advance hardware for the DS.  Knowing about this issue, most users looked for different ways to run Gameboy Advance ROMs natively on the DSi and not on the emulation, but found none. So the users assume it can’t be run for whatever reason Nintendo decided to stop building in the correct hardware.

The most puzzling thing is why does the 3DS have Gameboy Advance mode, as they have written on their website. Gameboy Advance games in the AGB_FIRM mode on the 3DS run with 100 percent accuracy as if they’re on the Gameboy Advance hardware. However, you will have to put up with the dark tint and the blur of the screen, unless you can remove it with CFW.

Why would Nintendo go through all the trouble of making a 3DS run Gameboy Advance games, but not the DSi when the latter is much closer to the DS family and by extension Gameboy Advance than the 3DS?

It is tricky to describe the technical reason why the DSi lacks the Gameboy Advance slot. But regardless, Nintendo probably thought it was too soon to release the Gameboy Advance VC since by getting rid of them they wanted to move away from it by removing the Gameboy Advance slot.  If there is a technical reason, the 3DS has an additional CPU that would undoubtedly help overcome and sort the ROM redirection limitation of the ARM9 that makes it impossible to play Gameboy games.

Nintendo DS Won’t Read Games

A common problem that many people have with their Nintendo DS is that it won’t read the game cartridges. Of course this can be incredibly frustrating especially when it was reading the game cartridges just fine a few days ago and now it isn’t.

Is there anyway to fix this common DS issue?

There are really three possible issues with your DS that could cause the games not to read or play properly. They are:

  • Game isn’t inserted fully
  • The pins inside of your DS are dirty
  • The pins inside of your DS are bent

Obviously the easiest one to check and fix is simply making sure that the game is inserted fully. Sometimes it might seem like it is all of the way in but it won’t be. Make sure that your DS game is fully inserted first before moving on to the other possible issues.

The next thing to check is if the pins inside of your DS’s cartridge slot are dirty. If you haven’t used your DS in a while then this can just happen over time as dust or dirt can build up and cause the pins not to make a good connection with the cartridges.

If your pins look dirty or dingy you can clean them using a Q-tip, paper towel, or other small cleaning cloth and some rubbing alcohol. Just make sure not to use too much liquid as you want to clean the pins not get a bunch of liquid inside of your DS.

If the pins inside of your DS game slot are bent then that will likely be the reason that your DS isn’t reading the game cartridges. These pins might get bent with time or simply by roughly inserting or removing the game cartridges.

They can also become bent if someone puts a foreign object into the game slot. If your pins are bent check out the video below on how to fix them.


Does DSI have a Gameboy slot? There is a  complicated answer.  The bottom line is, DSi is a section of the Gameboy Games Pak. The extra cartridge slot is located on the bottom of the console as well. Yet, this is limited.

The Nintendo DSi was only backward compatible with Gameboy titles. It means that if all you owned were Gameboy games, you were out of luck. The Nintendo DSi is compatible with Gameboy Advance games and regular DS games. To be fair, the DS Lite has a DS slot on top and the game boy slot on the bottom and also has a microphone and dual screens.

DSi does not have a Slot-2, and therefore cannot take Gameboy cartridges. A Nintendo DS and DS lite have a DS game slot and a game pak slot (Gameboy Advance games). A DSi has a DSi game slot, two cameras (one on the inside one on the outside), and an SD card slot. The only slots are: 1 DS game slot one sd card slot.