R4 Acekard 2i (Ak2i) Menu
- What is an R4 Acekard adapter, and why should I get one?
- How does an Ak2i card work?
- What hardware do I need to use an Acekard 2i?
- Step by step installation instructions
- Where do I download Acekard 2i software?
- Where can I buy an R4 Acekard adapter?
- Acekard 2i Frequently Asked Questions
The Acekard 2i (also known as the R4 Acekard, and Ak2i) was a card that was a latecomer to the Nintendo DSi homebrew scene but has built a strong reputation on solid performance and one of the quickest response developers in the industry. Few other teams are able to match the speed that the Acekard team releases new updates and fixes. The Acekard 2i has experienced excellent longevity due to the upgradeable nature of the firmware via the menu .nds method. The Acekard 2i is a unique product from a dedicated team and has never been a clone of another card. A few clones of the Acekard have popped up, notably from www.acekard.cc as opposed to the genuine website www.acekard.com.
The Acekard 2i is also in a unique position where the unofficial alternate menu software became more popular then the official menu software while it was still supported. This software is the AKAIO or Acekard All-in-One loader that was developed by a third party for the Acekard 2i, but not of the Acekard team. The Acekard team has now adopted AKAIO as their preferred menu software. The Acekard 2i coupled with AKAIO is one of the fastest loading cards out there with exceptional compatibility due to their frequent updates.
The R4 Acekard type allows users to expand a lot of usage of the DS console, whether that is the old Nintendo DS, DS Lite, DSi, DSi XL, or 3DS console with the standard SLOT-1 use(the standard Nintendo DS games slot). As well as playing games, the Acekard 2i also enables playing music, converted videos, and pictures using the Moonshell hombrew application.
A micro SD memory slot is on the top of the Acekard 2i. The Acekard 2i uses a spring clip style slot so some care is needed to make sure that you don’t damage it. The Acekard 2i supports all SDHC sizes from under 2GB to 32GB.
The Acekard 2i allows access to a micro sd card storage and runs custom firmware on top of the DS menu. No data is modified or left behind on your console itself, the Acekard 2i handles it all. The menu software file as well as all games and content are stored on that micro sd card. Save game files are also created on that micro sd card which makes it easy to back them up. As well as turning your DS into a personal media player, the Acekard 2i will also allow you to carry your entire games library on one single cartridge so that you don’t risk losing your valuable retail cartridges. Better to lose/damage one 25$ Acekard 2i then 250$ worth of games.
We occasionally get e-mails asking exactly what is required to use a Acekard. See the following checklist below:
- A Nintendo DS, DS Lite, DSi, or 3DS console
– OR – – OR – -OR-
- The R4 Acekard 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 Acekard 2i 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.
– OR – – OR – – OR –
- As for the question Which Micro SD Card for my DSi Acekard? – we’d recommend using a 2GB or 4GB card for the more casual users who mainly play some games and applications on their Acekard 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.
Setting up a Acekard R4 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 Ak2i card.
- STEP 1 – Buy the Acekard 2i 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 Acekard 2i 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:
- Acekard 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 AKAIO software
Now that you have everything you need to set up your new R4 Acekard 2i, 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 www.acekard.com– 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 Acekard 2i
Insert the micro SD card into the USB adapter supplied with your Ak2i card. 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 Acekard 2i 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: AKAIO 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 Acekard, and boot it up with your Nintendo console!
- STEP 5 – Booting up your Acekard 2i card
Now that everything has been set up as in the previous steps above, your R4 Acekard 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 Acekard give different theme backgrounds): and you’re good to go!
In order to begin using your R4 Acekard, 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 www.acekard.com. There is also a directory of official websites to download the firmwares from on our Download Acekard Firmware page.
There are lots of different places online where various Acekard 2i 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 Acekard page for the results of this survey and the best places to buy from.
Some of the more commonly asked questions about the Acekard 2i 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 Acekard adapter?
The largest theoretical capacity the Acekard 2i 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 Acekard 2i compatible with?
The Acekard 2i model ds adapter 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 R4 cards to stop working. You should always wait for the Acekard 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 Acekard 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 R4 page for stores that have other cards for sale that could be compatible with the latest Nintendo console firmwares.