The Nintendo 3DS is a great handheld console with a range of hugely popular games available, from Pokemon to Monster Hunter and even Animal Crossing. But while there is a range of great games available for the Nintendo 3DS, taking and sharing screenshots from the handheld console is a notoriously difficult process. Here, we explain the limitations of screenshotting on a Nintendo 3DS, along with how to take screenshots on a Nintendo 3DS. Read next: New Nintendo 3DS XL review
Nintendo doesn’t offer built-in capture software with the 3DS
So, why is it so hard to take screenshots on a Nintendo 3DS? While many other consoles, including the PS4, Xbox One and even Nintendo’s new modular console, the Nintendo Switch feature the ability to easily take and share screenshots on social media, the option is still missing from the Nintendo 3DS.
While no-one is sure why Nintendo decided not to offer screenshot support on the 3DS (or even offer it as part of a software update), the Nintendo community has come up with a handful of workarounds that have varying levels of success.
Most recommend uploading screenshots via Miiverse, which is what we go into detail about below, although it isn’t a method that’ll work with any Nintendo game. If that’s not up your street, some hardcore gamers opt to mod their 3DS to include a capture card. This, of course, voids the 3DS warranty and will set interested users back over £200 from certain online retailers (none of which we can vouch for).
So, for now, we’ll be concentrating on capturing and sharing Nintendo 3DS screenshots using Nintendo’s Miiverse. Don’t worry: there’s a way to get them onto your PC (and social media too, if you desire).
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How to take screenshots on Nintendo 3DS
Before we go any further, it’s worth noting that to take screenshots on a Nintendo 3DS, your 3DS needs to not only be up to date with the latest software, but also connected to an active WiFi connection.
To check whether your 3DS is up-to-date, head to System Settings on the Home menu then select Other Settings and head to page 4 (or 5 if you’re using the new 3DS XL). Select System Update, then tap OK, and your 3DS will connect to the internet and download any available updates.
Once you’re up to date and connected to WiFi, simply follow these instructions to take screenshots on a Nintendo 3DS:
1) Head to the Miiverse website and browse the Nintendo 3DS communities section. All games available in this section can be screenshotted on a Nintendo 3DS, while those without communities are out of luck for now.
2) Play your 3DS game until you want to take a screenshot. When you want to save a screenshot, hit the Home button below the touchscreen display on your 3DS.
3) On the Home menu, open Miiverse (the green icon in the top-right of the touch-enabled display).
4) Create a new post in the community of the game that you’re playing (like the Pokemon Sun and Moon community, if you were playing Pokemon Sun) and tap the Attach Screenshot button before posting it to Miiverse.
5) Using a PC or Mac, head to the Miiverse website and sign in with your Nintendo Network ID credentials (this should be the same as the account used on your 3DS).
6) Once successfully logged in, select User Menu from within the navigation bar to the left of the site.
7) Select Profile, and browse for the post with the screenshot that you shared and click on it. From here, right-click the image and save the picture to your Mac or PC (the image saving process varies slightly between not only browsers, but operating systems too).
There you go! You should now have a Nintendo 3DS screenshot ready to be shared on Twitter, Facebook or anywhere else online. We know it’s not the ideal way to take and share screenshots from your Nintendo 3DS, but without any official method from Nintendo, it’s about as good as it gets – for now, anyway.
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