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Dumping System Archives and the Shared Fonts from a 3DS Console

How to dump System Archives and Shared Fonts

At this time, Citra can run many games without needing to do any special work on a physical 3DS. However, some games do require files dumped from a 3DS in order to function properly. This tutorial will teach you how to dump the system archives and system font, which are critical for some games, such as Pokemon, to work. These files are copyrighted and are not allowed to be shared, so don't ask for them on the forum. If you do not own a 3DS to dump the files from, you are out of luck.

Diagram showing the correct location of the system archives and shared font in Citra's User Directory.
"User Directory"
├── nand
│   ├── 00000000000000000000000000000000
│       └── title
│           ├── 0004009b
|           │   ├── 00010202
│           │   │   └── content
│           │   │       └── 00000000.app.romfs
│           │   └── 00010402
│           │       └── content
│           │           └── 00000000.app.romfs
│           └── 000400db
│               └── 00010302
│                   └── content
│                       └── 00000000.app.romfs
└── sysdata
    └── shared_font.bin

Required tools

  • A 3DS with Homebrew Launcher access
  • The 3dsutils homebrew app^
  • An SD card reader or a way to wirelessly transfer files between the 3DS console and a computer

^ There is no official precompiled version of this app, but an unofficial build can be downloaded here. Alternatively, you can install devkitPro and compile it yourself.

Instructions

  1. Run 3dsutils via the homebrew launcher.
  2. Press A when prompted to begin. First the shared font is dumped. Wait for the process to finish and press A again when prompted. The system archives will be dumped. Wait for the process to finish, then press A when prompted to be taken back to the homebrew launcher.
  3. There will now be a 3dsutils folder at the root of the 3DS's SD card. Inside that folder are two more folders, nand and sysdata. Transfer these folders to the User Directory. The folders will merge with the existing nand and sysdata folders contained therein. If prompted to overwrite any files, say yes.