How to Install the Homebrew Channel to the Wii U's Wii Mode

Wii U gaming platform

Nintendo, inc. 

While no one has created a way to install homebrew directly to the Wii U’s operating system, it is possible to install homebrew into the Wii U’s virtual Wii mode, which is designed to allow gamers to play Wii games on their Wii U. This involves “exploits,” software that takes advantage of a glitch in a game that allows that software to hook into the operating system.

Wii Homebrew Browser

As always, be aware that hacking a game console could damage or disable that console. Proceed at your own risk.

What You Will Need

Wii Menu


An SD Card (not SDHD) formatted in Fat16 (FAT) or Fat32, and a computer that can connect to the internet and has an SD card reader.

A second SD card to store your game’s original save game.

One of the following games plus the related exploit (each exploit is linked to a page at ​ with a download link and instructions for its use):

Initial Steps

Blue SD Memory Cards
Tim Grist Photography / Getty Images

Steps common to all exploit installations.

While a lot of homebrew installation is specific to the particular exploit used, a few first steps are done for all exploits.

If you have a savegame for the game you’re using, you’ll want to move that savegame to an SD card other than the one you’re using for homebrew. Move rather than copy, as you want to get it out of the way.

  1. Put the SD card in your Wii U and go into Wii mode
  2. From the Wii menu, click Wii Options in the lower-left corner
  3. Click Save Data
  4. Click your saved file then click on Move
  5. Click Yes. You’ll be able to move your save file back after you’ve installed homebrew
  6. Put the SD card in your PC SD card reader. Download the exploit for the game you’re using to your PC.
  7. This will be a zip file containing a folder called private, and you will unzip the file and copy private to the root drive of your SD card
  8. If your SD card already has a folder named private, rename it to privateold

In some cases, exploits will contain multiple private folders for different versions of the game or console. See instructions for individual exploits.

Download the Hackmii installer. This will be another zip file. Unzip it and copy the file boot.elf to the root drive of your SD card.

Using LEGO Game Exploits to Install Homebrew to the Wii U's Wii Mode

Return of the Jodi


The three LEGO game exploits follow similar rules:

  1. Go into Wii Mode
  2. Click on Wii Options then on Save Data
  3. Click the SD Card tab. There you should see the exploit’s "savegame"
  4. Copy the exploit "savegame" for your region (USA, JPN, or EUR) from the SD card to the Wii.
  5. Start the game
  6. Load the savegame in the first slot

Once in the game, your actions depend on which game you’re using. Complete these actions and the homebrew installation will begin:

  • LEGO Star Wars: Walk right to the bar where you will find characters in vats. Choose the one named “Return of Jodi” and press “A”. Installation begins.
  • LEGO Indiana Jones: Walk down the short flight of steps then go through the door on your right, then go through the door at the end of the courtyard. Talk to the character on the left podium. Choose the icon of two shadows with an arrow between them. Installation begins.
  • LEGO Batman: Take the elevator on the right side, then go through the door at the back left of the trophy room. The character select screen comes up; go to the bottom row and then go to the right-most slot that has the highlighted circle. Installation begins.

Using "Super Smash Bros. Brawl" to Install Homebrew in Wii Mode

Super Smashbros. Brawl


Super Smash Bros. Brawl — Exploit: Smash Stack

  1. Remove all custom stages, both those created by you or received in some other way
  2. Start the game, go to the stage builder and move your custom stages to your SD card or delete them
  3. Exit the stage builder (According to the original instructions for the Wii, if you use something called Smash Service, you must then turn off Wi-Fi on your Wii, and wait 24 hours for the stage to be automatically deleted from the Service)
  4. Start the game.
  5. Once you are in Brawl, insert the SD card containing the exploit (do ​not insert it until the game has started)
  6. Go to the stage builder and homebrew installation will start.

Using "Yu-Gi-Oh 5D's Wheelie Breakers" to Install Homebrew in Wii Mode

Yu-Gi-Oh 5D's Wheelie Breakers


Yu-Gi-Oh 5D's Wheelie Breakers — Exploit: Yu Gi Vah (North America, Japan) or Yu Gi Owned.

Yu Gi Owned contains two folders, each containing the private folder you need to copy to the SD card. If the video signal of your Wii is 576i, copy private from the 50Hz folder. If it is 480i or 480p, use the 60Hz folder. Yu Gi Vah just contains one private folder.

  1. Go into Wii Mode
  2. Click Wii Options then Save Data
  3. Click the SD Card tab (there you should see the exploit’s savegame)
  4. Move the Yu-Gi-Vah save file to the Wii
  5. Insert the game and start it
  6. Press A.
  7. When the title menu shows up, press A again and in a few seconds, the homebrew installation will begin

Using Tales of Symphonia: DOTNW to Install Homebrew in Wii Mode

Tales of Symphonia


Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World — Exploit: Eri HaKawai

  1. Go into Wii Mode
  2. Click on Wii Options and then on Save Data
  3. Click on the SD Card tab (there you should see the exploit’s savegame)
  4. Copy the save game to your Wii
  5. Start the game and load the first save
  6. Press + to enter the menu, then choose Status
  7. Press A, and select Eri HaKawai (or Giantpune for the NTSC)
  8. Press A