How to Avoid Fake R4 and R4i Cards!

The R4 has many imitations / clones with the same or similar names.

We have a list of recommended retailers for different countries, which you can see in our "Where to Buy" section. We base links on that page on consumer feedback, reputation and quality. Websites listed on our "Where to Buy" page are reliable, and only sell top quality cards and provide exceptional service.

Register to get FREE for R4 / R4i Tips and News!

Get R4 tips and news direct to your inbox. No spam! We hate it too.

Your Name:

M3i Zero Card

M3i Zero Card Menu

  1. What is a R4 M3i Zero card adapter, and why should I get one?
  2. How does a R4 M3i card work?
  3. What hardware do I need to use a M3i Zero card?
  4. Step by step installation instructions
  5. Where do I download M3i Zero software?
  6. Where can I buy a M3i Zero ds adapter?
  7. R4 M3i Frequently Asked Questions

What is a R4 M3i Zero card adapter, and why should I get one?

The M3i Zero R4 type adapter card is an advanced accessory for Nintendo DS consoles.  Shaped like a normal game cartridge, the M3i R4 card expands the features of the Nintendo DS original, DS Lite, DSi, DSi XL, and the 3DS.  If you don’t like carrying around a lot of game cartridges, or you like the idea of being able to watch videos and listen to musc on your DS should consider the M3i Zero.  Due to its unique tight integration of Moonshell media player, the M3i Zero is especially well suited to multimedia use.

[Back to Top]

How does a R4 M3i card work?

The M3i Zero holds data on a removable micro sd card up to 32GB in size.  The M3i R4 card fits in the regular game slot of the DS and runs custom firmware on top of the DS native firmware.  It does not write data over, or interfere with the DS firmware in anyway.

[Back to Top]

What hardware do I need to use a M3i Zero card?

We occasionally get e-mails asking exactly what is required to use a M3i Zero DS card. See the following checklist below:

  • A Nintendo DS, DS Lite, DSi, or 3DS console
    NDS console – OR –   – OR –  DSi Console  -OR- 3ds console
  • The M3i Zero adapter card itself in addition to a micro-SD card reader. Note that there are many micro SD card reader designs and the one you get may not be exactly the same as the photo below – this is perfectly fine.
    – AND –
  • The actual memory itself – a micro SD card. Most stores that sell the M3i Zero will also offer these for sale. The smallest size typically sold are either 2GB or 4GB. Most people buy 8GB cards, and for those with a large number of applications, games and music/video, a 16GB card may be used.R4 micro sd – OR –R4 micro sd – OR – R4 micro sd – OR –r4 micro sd

    As for the question Which Micro SD Card for my M3i Zero? – we’d recommend using a 2GB or 4GB card for the more casual users who mainly play some games and applications on their M3i R4 adapter, and the 8GB or 16GB micro SD card for those that have a lot of audio and video files, or a very large games collection.

[Back to Top]

Step by step installation instructions

Setting up a M3i Zero card can be somewhat difficult for those buying and using their card for the first time. Following the guide that follows should help with the first steps you take using your new R4 M3i card.

  • STEP 1 – Buy the M3i Zero as well as your micro SD card. 
    This is the most obvious first step – obtain the hardware you need to set up! If you haven’t already bought an Acekard 2i we recommend you visit our Where to Buy M3i Zero page, where you should find a list of reputable vendors that have earned our quality seal of approval for genuine products and efficient customer service.
  • STEP 2 – Check to make sure you are in possession of all the necessary equipment
    Before you continue, make sure that you have everything you need, which will include:

    • M3i Zero DS Adpater Card
    • Micro SD to USB adapter (to plug the micro sd into your computer)
    • Micro SD memory card
    • Computer that is running Windows XP or later or Mac OS
    • Unzip program; Winrar preferred.
    • Working internet connection
  • STEP 3 – Download the newest M3i Zero menu software
    Now that you have everything you need to set up your new R4 M3i, you need to download the latest firmware. The manufacturers are always updating the software, and therefore it’s useful to periodically check in to see if there are any updated Acekard firmware downloads available.  The official site for the Acekard 2i card is located at  They do host their files through another site, so don’t be surprised if you get forwarded off the M3 official website.  Once you have downloaded the software, save the ZIP file to somewhere on your computer (usually the desktop is the most visible place). Right click the ZIP file and choose the ‘Extract All’ option.  You should then see the files and folders inside the ZIP file, which is what we’ll be transferring over to your micro SD card in the next step.
  • STEP 4 – Setting up your micro SD card for use with your M3i Zero
    Insert the micro SD card into the USB adapter supplied with your M3icard. Then, place the USB adapter into your computer. When using Windows, you will be automatically prompted to choose what to do with the micro SD card when inserted. Simply select “Open folder to view files” or equivalent.

    Now, take the files that you extracted from the ZIP file earlier when you downloaded the M3i Zero firmware. Select them all, then drag and drop them into the folder window for your micro SD card that popped up when you selected ‘Open folder to view files’. Your micro SD card’s directory should now look like the image below (note: M3i Menu Sakura version at the time of writing used in the screenshot below, later firmware versions may look a bit different but this is fine).

    And you are now ready to go. Simply add games and multimedia files as you wish onto the micro SD card from this point, then right click on the drive from My Computer and choose “Safely Remove”.You can now place the micro SD card inside the R4 M3i card, and boot it up with your Nintendo console!

  • STEP 5 – Booting up your M3i Zero card
    Now that everything has been set up as in the previous steps above, your R4 M3i adapter should be ready to use! Boot it up in your Nintendo DS / DSi / 3DS console, and the start screen should look something like this (minor variations in theme normal, as sometimes new firmwares for the M3i Zero give different theme backgrounds): and you’re good to go!

[Back to Top]

Where do I download M3i Zero software?

In order to begin using your R4 M3i card, you need to download the latest firmware, which is also known as the software or the kernel. You can download this from the official website at There is also a directory of official websites to download the firmwares from on our Download Acekard Firmware page.

[Back to Top]

Where can I buy a M3i Zero ds adapter?

There are lots of different places online where various M3i Zero cards are available for purchase. We have conducted surveys of many of these online stores to find out who sells genuine cards and where customer service is the best. Check out our Where to Buy M3i Zero page for the results of this survey and the best places to buy from.

[Back to Top]

R4 M3i Frequently Asked Questions

Some of the more commonly asked questions about the M3i R4 card will go here. This list may grow over time.

  • What is the biggest micro SD memory card size I can use with my R4 M3i Zero adapter?
    The largest theoretical capacity the M3i Zero can accept is 32GB, although stores very rarely sell memory this big because it’s quite expensive. 8GB tends to be the option most people go for, with 16GB for those with particularly large numbers of games and multimedia they want to use with their Acekard.
  • What consoles is the M3i Zero compatible with?
    The M3i R4 is compatible with the original Nintendo DS, DS Lite, DSi, DSi XL, and 3DS consoles. However, you must make sure you never  update your console’s firmware (known as “System Update” in the settings of your console) because these updates often cause M3i cards to stop working. You should always wait for the M3 team to release patches to make them compatible with new Nintendo updates, before updating your console.  You might be prompted to update your DS card by going to the DSiWare store or DSiBrowser, don’t do it.
  • I have updated my Nintendo console to the latest firmware and now my M3i Zero doesn’t work. What can I do?
    Unfortunately it is impossible to reverse a Nintendo console update. Check the official manufacturer’s website to see if there is a patch / fix out for the console update you have just applied. If there is, you can download and update the console (although you’ll need to use a DS Lite / pre-patch DSi or 3DS to apply the patch, you can’t use the same console to apply it). Otherwise, you must be patient and wait until a fix comes out (this typically takes anything from a week to two months), or buy a different card that is compatible. See our Where to Buy M3i Zero page for stores that have other cards for sale that could be compatible with the latest Nintendo console firmwares.

[Back to Top]