Setup Guides - Nintendo DS

Nintendo DS/DS Lite

The original Nintendo DS and DS Lite use the same firmware and function identically, with the differences being the DS Lite’s brighter screen and slimmer, more compact design. To set up your original Nintendo DS or DS lite, press or slide the power button or power switch respectively and if necessary follow the on-screen setup instructions. You may need to plug the system into the charger and allow the battery to charge before the system will turn on. When the system is charging the orange charge light will come on, and will turn off when the battery is fully charged. The power light will be green when the system is turned on, but will turn red when the battery is low and begin flashing when the battery is about to die.

The Nintendo DS and DS Lite have two cartridge slots: one at the top of the system for DS cartridges and one at the bottom for Game Boy Advance cartridges. These are the only two DS models that have this backwards compatibility. There are certain games that make use of this backwards compatibility or require accessories that use the Game Boy Advance slots. These functions are not available on later models that lack the Game Boy Advance slot.

Games must be inserted into the Nintendo DS or DS Lite cartridge slots before the system is powered on. The system will not recognize them if they are inserted after. In addition, the system may be set up to automatically boot the game in either the DS or GBA cartridge slot instead of booting to the main menu. You can reach the menu to change these settings by turning on the system when no games are inserted.

If a game cartridge isn’t reading, the contacts may be dirty. While blowing on or into the cartridge can be a temporary fix it can damage the cartridge in the long run. It’s recommended to use a cotton swab or toothbrush wetted with alcohol to clean Game Boy Advance or DS cartridges respectively. You can apply a lot of pressure without damaging the contacts. If a DS cartridge shows signs of corrosion you may also need to use a small tool like a toothpick to better scrape it away.

If the touch screen is not responding to touches accurately, it may be miscalibrated. You can recalibrate it by going into the system options, selecting the calibration tool, and following the directions on screen. [demonstrative image pending]

A copy of the DS and DS Lite manuals can be found here or here respectively.

Nintendo DSi/DSi XL

To set up your Nintendo DSi (or the larger Nintendo DSi XL model), press the power button and follow the on-screen setup instructions. You may need to plug the system into the charger and allow the battery to charge before the system will turn on. When the system is charging the orange charge light will come on, and will turn off when the battery is fully charged. The power light will be green when the system is turned on, but will turn red when the battery is low and begin flashing when the battery is about to die.

The Nintendo DSi has a slot for a standard size SD card you can use to save game data or pictures from the system’s camera to. Make sure the card is unlocked and insert it into the slot face-down. Be aware that not all SD cards are compatible. You can find information on which SD cards are or are not compatible here.

The Nintendo DSi can play Nintendo DS cartridges. They will read when inserted either before or after powering the system on, where the game can then be selected from the home menu. Pressing the power button will close the game and return you to the home menu, while holding it will power the entire system off.

If a game cartridge isn’t reading, the contacts may be dirty. DS cartridges can be cleaned with a toothbrush wetted in rubbing alcohol. If the cartridge’s contacts show signs of corrosion you may also need to use a small tool like a toothpick to better scrape it away.

If the touch screen is not responding to touches accurately, it may be miscalibrated. You can recalibrate it by going into the system options, selecting the calibration tool, and following the directions on screen. [demonstrative image pending]

A copy of the DSi user manual can be found here.