Nintendo DS, DS Lite, and DSi Cheat Code Entry

Learn how to enter game cheats on the Nintendo DS, DS Lite, and DSi

Nintendo DS kids in back of vehicle
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Nintendo's dual-screen portable video game systems support a massive library of titles, many of which feature cheat codes. To use cheats for your Nintendo DS games such as Lego Batman and New Super Mario Brothers, get familiar with the system's buttons and their abbreviations.

Instructions in this article apply to the Nintendo DS, Nintendo DS Lite, and the Nintendo DSi portable game systems. All models support the same library of games.

How to Enter Cheat Codes With the Nintendo DS Gamepad

Nintendo DS systems are well labeled. However, there's sometimes confusion over the shoulder buttons on the top left and right of the system when it comes to cheat codes.

For example, if a cheat guide directs you to "press L," you might assume that it means press Left on the directional control pad; however, L usually refers to the left shoulder button.

Nintendo DSi system and control layout to aid in the input of Nintendo DS and DSi cheat codes.

The image above represents the Nintendo DSi model, but controls for the original DS, the DS Lite, and the DSi are identical. Use the following key to determine which buttons to press when entering a cheat:

  • L and R: These are the triggers, or bumpers, located at the top left and top right of the Nintendo DS. They aren't seen in the image above because the system is open. In most cases, cheat codes that require the use of these triggers are listed as L and R, and they are often the press and hold type of code. For example, in New Super Mario Brothers, to play as Luigi in single-player mode, hold L+R and press A while selecting a saved game file.
  • D-Pad: The D-Pad (short for directional pad) is used whenever a code requires an Up, Down, Left, or Right action. Use the D-Pad to enter whatever directions the code uses.
  • A, B, X, and Y: These are the most common buttons used for code entry on the DS. Most codes require swift yet accurate presses to work properly.
  • Start and Select: Not many games use Start or Select for cheat code entry on the DS, but you might occasionally need them.
  • Volume Up and Volume Down: No DS games make use of the volume control slider for cheat code entry.
  • The Touch Screen: Although not labeled above, the bottom screen has touch functionality, and some cheats require you to tap the screen.

How to Use Cheat Codes for Nintendo DS Games on the Nintendo 3DS and 2DS

The Nintendo 3DS is the successor to the original DS family of systems. The 2DS is a variant of the 3DS that shares the same game library, but it lacks 3D support. While Nintendo DS games can be played on the 3DS and 2DS, the opposite is not true. Nonetheless, since the control layout is the same for all devices, any cheat codes for DS games should work while playing them on the 3DS or 2DS.