Dumping Save Data from a 3DS Console | Citra | Nintendo 3DS Emulator
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Dumping Save Data from a 3DS Console

How to Transfer 3DS Save Data to Citra

There are multiple ways to transfer 3DS save data to Citra in a usable form, but the important thing to note is that whatever tool used to get the save data off of the 3DS supports exporting expanded save data. Save data lives in Citra’s emulated SD card directories (user/sdmc/Nintendo 3DS/000...0/000...0/title///data/00000001/). The below tutorial uses JK’s Save Manager (JKSM), which is easy to install and use.

Required tools

Installing JKSM

  1. Download JK’s Save Manager from the link above.
  2. Move the JKSV folder containing filter.txt to the root of the SD card.
  3. Move JKSM.cia to the SD card and install it to the home menu.

***Note - JKSM has a homebrew app available, but The .cia is recommended because the homebrew app may not work with some games. To install the homebrew app, merge the 3ds/JKSM folder containing the JKSM.3dsx, JKSM.smdh, and JKSM.xml file with the 3ds folder on the SD card and use the homebrew launcher to open it.


Transferring Save Data

  1. Open JKSM
  2. Select SD/CIA if you are dumping save data from an installed game, Cartridge if you are dumping save data from the inserted cartridge, or System Titles if you are dumping save data from a system application.
  3. Highlight the game to dump the save data from*. Take note of its High ID and its Low ID. These will be important later. Press A.
  4. Select Save Data Options, then Export Save.
  5. You will be prompted to select a folder or New. If selecting New, enter any name you wish and then select OK.
  6. A popup should appear that says Complete! Close JKSM.
  7. Transfer all files located in /JKSV/Saves// to the computer.
  8. Place the files in Citra’s emulated SD card’s save directory. You can open the save directory by right-clicking on a game in Citra and clicking "Open Save Data Directory". If the directory doesn’t exist, start the game once and the directory will be created.

*In step 3, If the title to be dumped isn’t on the list, first try selecting Refresh Games from the app’s root menu. If that doesn’t work, JKSM’s filter may need to be updated. This can be done easily from the app’s root menu and selecting Download Filter (internet connection required). If that still doesn’t work, the filter will have to be updated manually. Open /JKSV/filter.txt and add a new line. Type 0xXXXXXXXX where XXXXXXXX is the game’s TID Low (the last 8 characters of the game’s Title ID). Save the edited file. The game should now appear in the list.

Example diagram showing the correct location of New Super Mario Bros. 2 save data in Citra’s User Directory.
"User directory"
└── sdmc
    └── Nintendo 3DS
        └── 00000000000000000000000000000000
            └── 00000000000000000000000000000000
                └── title
                    └── 00040000
                        └── 0007ae00
                            └── data
                                └── 00000001
                                    └── BigRedSave.dat