How to Mod a Wii: It's Easier Than You Think

Hack your console and gain access to Wii mods

If you know how to mod a Nintendo Wii, you can play homebrew games and even watch DVDs on your old Nintendo console. Learn more about what modding a Nintendo Wii means and how to install the Wii Homebrew Channel.

Instructions in this article apply to the original Nintendo Wii. It is also possible to mod a Wii U in Wii mode.

Why Mod Your Nintendo Wii?

Modding, or modifying, a Nintendo Wii allows you to sideload software created by other users. There are hundreds of homebrew applications for Wii. Things you can do with a modded Wii include:

  • Play Wii games from any region.
  • Burn backup discs of your games.
  • Watch DVDs.
  • Play homebrew games.
  • Turn the Wii Balance Board into a scale.
  • Play games for the SNES and other systems using emulators.

Hacking a Wii and using homebrew applications is completely legal, but downloading ROMs of games you haven't purchased is illegal in some regions and should be avoided.

Risks of Jailbreaking Your Wii

Any time you mod something, there's always a risk of bricking the device. The chances of that happening are very slim if you follow the process below, but it's still a possibility if you make a mistake during the setup. Modding also voids the warranty, but since the warranties for Wiis are long expired, this isn't so much a concern.

If you have a Wii U, transfer your Wii data using a SD card and the Wii U Transfer Tool before modding your Wii to avoid the risk of losing your downloaded games and save data.

What You Need to Mod a Wii

Modding your Wii requires the following items:

  • A formatted SD card with at least 1GB of free space
  • A computer with an internet connection and an SD card reader
  • A Wii console with an internet connection

Before you begin, make sure your Wii is running the latest firmware. Updating the firmware after modding your console can cause technical issues.

How to Hack a Wii

Follow these steps to mod your Wii and install the Homebrew Channel.

  1. Select Wii Options on the Wii home menu.

    Select Wii Options on the Wii home menu.
  2. Select Wii Settings.

    Select Wii Settings.
  3. Select Internet.

    Select Internet.
  4. Select Console Information.

    Select Console Information.
  5. Write down the MAC Address for your Wii.

    Write down the MAC Address for your Wii.
  6. Go to the LetterBomb website. Select your System Menu Version (4.3U for U.S. models), enter your Wii's Mac address, then complete the CAPTCHA and select Cut the red wire to download a ZIP file.

    Make sure the box beside Bundle the HackMii Installer for me is checked.

    Go to the LetterBomb website and enter your Wii's Mac address, then complete the CAPTCHA and select Cut the red wire.
  7. Insert the SD card into your computer, then open the ZIP file you just downloaded and copy its contents to your SD card.

    Insert the SD card into your computer, then open the ZIP file you just downloaded and copy the files to your SD card.
  8. Remove the SD card from your computer and insert it into the Wii, then select your Messages in the bottom-right corner of the Wii home menu.

    Select your Messages in the bottom-right corner of the Wii home menu.
  9. Select the Calendar in the bottom-left corner and open the new message in the previous day's mail.

    Select the Calendar in the bottom-left corner and open the new message in the previous day's mail.
  10. Select the Letter Bomb icon to open the HackMii installer.

    Select the Letter Bomb icon to open the HackMii installer.
  11. Wait for the program to open, then press 1 on the Wii remote when prompted.

    Press 1 on the Wii remote when prompted.
  12. Select Return to the main menu on the HackMii Installer screen.

    Select Return to the main menu.
  13. Select Install the Homebrew Channel.

    Select Install the Homebrew Channel.
  14. After the Homebrew Channel launches, select Home on the Wii remote, then select Shutdown.

    After the Homebrew Channel launches, select Home on the Wii remote, then select Shutdown.

    If the Homebrew Channel doesn't open automatically, select Exit on the HackMii Installer screen to return to the Wii main menu and turn off the system.

  15. Remove the SD card from the Wii and insert it into your computer, then download the Wii Homebrew Browser.

    Select Download under Links.
  16. Create a new folder on the SD card and name it Apps.

    Create a new folder on the SD card and name it Apps.
  17. Open the ZIP file containing the Wii Homebrew Browser and copy its contents to the newly created Apps folder.

    Open the ZIP file containing the Wii Homebrew Browser and copy its contents to the newly created Apps folder.
  18. Open the Apps folder and select the homebrew_browser folder.

    Open the Apps folder and select the homebrew_browser folder.
  19. Open the settings.xml file with Notepad or another plain text editor.

    Open the settings.xml file with Notepad.
  20. Change the value of setting_server to 1, then save and close the file.

    Change the value of setting_server to 1.
  21. Remove the SD card from your computer and insert it into the Wii, then turn on the console and launch the Homebrew Channel from the home menu.

    Launch the Homebrew Channel from the Wii main menu.
  22. Select Homebrew Browser.

    Select Homebrew Browser.
  23. Select Load.

    Select Load.

The Wii Homebrew Channel and Browser

With the Wii Homebrew Channel and Homebrew Browser installed, you can download custom games and apps. Use the tabs at the top of the menu to browse the different categories. After selecting the apps you wish to install, you can access them from the Wii Homebrew Channel.

You can view a list of all available apps for Wii on the WiiBrew Wiki.

Download games, emulators, and more with the Wii Homebew Browser.