R4i-B9S DS Flashcard

Posted by: Sam Tree | 27 October 2017

The R4i-B9S is the newest entry into a long line of Nintendo DS flashcards produced and distributed by the R4i team. The card comes pre-flashed with NTRBoot, the homebrew solution used to modify any Nintendo 3DS system, unlocking them to various homebrew software through the use of custom firmware.

Glacier Gaming does not condone piracy. The review of this product is for backup and informational purposes only

The R4i-B9S flash card is a device which allows users of Nintendo DS and Nintendo 3DS console owners to play backup copies of their games from a single cart. What’s more interesting is that the team supply it pre-flashed to be able to boot a homebrew exploit known as NTRBoot using nothing but the card and a small magnet.

The package comes with everything you need to get started; the flash card, a micro SD card reader and a small magnet. As previously mentioned the card is pre-flashed with the NTRBoot software. By downloading a set of files to your Nintendo 3DS console’s memory card you’re good to go. The idea behind the card is to be easily accessible to those who wish to install custom firmware to their consoles. And it is. Sort of.

You’ll need to download a number of files created by the community. And while the guide is straightforward and easy to follow, the R4i-B9S doesn’t come with any paperwork which points you in the right direction. The same can be said for flashing the card to work with DS games. Luckily, from following the scene quite closely I had a fairly good base knowledge of what to do, but I feel this could be an issue if you’re not technically inclined.

The card itself is well built. It feels solid to hold and I can imagine it will last a fair while with constant use. The micro SD loads into the top via a spring-loaded mechanism – this I feel would be the first part of the card to break due to wear and tear, but it’s worth noting this is not a comment on the build quality, but rather just an observation. While the flashcard is the same size as a DS card, I did notice on the odd occasion the card would fail to lock in place or fail to release from the console, this I attribute to it being ever so slightly out on the dimensions front.

When the correct firmware is loaded to the card and backup data have been added, the R4i-B9S loads up fairly quickly. After a quick scan of the inserted micro SD card, my DS backups were displayed in order on my screen. After spending a fair few hours running through some of my game backups I have to admit I didn;t notice any slowdown or encounter any crashes. Using the R4i-B9S feels no different from using my legitimate cartridges. The firmware has a built-in cheat engine as well as a function to allow you to download ROMs directly to the card through the console.

Overall the R4i-B9S is a decent card and does exactly what it says on the tin. Flashing from NTRBoot mode to the NDS mode is a little fiddly if you’re not completely familiar with the process and it can be initially confusing, but once it’s set up it works a dream. If you’re looking for a reliable card to help you move into the custom firmware scene and have a large collection of DS games that you like to play on a regular basis then I would highly recommend the R4i-B9S. If you’re not interested in setting up custom firmware then you might be better off going for one of the R4I teams other flashcards.

The R4i-B9S DS Flashcard used for testing in this review was kindly provided by Royal3DS.com and is currently sold for £16.50.

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