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8 Annoying Nintendo 3DS Problems and How to Fix Them

While the Nintendo 3DS is over a decade old, it’s still a great portable game console. Unfortunately, due to the age of the system, you may find that your Nintendo 3DS is prone to software and hardware problems that are difficult to fix.

If you’re experiencing problems with your Nintendo 3DS (whether it’s a 3DS or 3DS XL), like no audio, an unresponsive touch screen, or it won’t charge, we’re here to help. . Here are some common 3DS problems and how to fix them.

1. Top screen or touch screen is dirty

Even though the 3DS folds itself naturally thanks to the folding design, both screens are bound to get dirty. This is especially true if you use your fingers on the touch screen. Thankfully, cleaning the screen is easy.

Take a microfiber cloth and gently wipe away the dirt. For any stubborn grime, lightly dampen a cloth—you don’t want water to get inside your system, so make sure the cloth doesn’t drip. Alternatively, use an antibacterial wipe designed for touch screens.

Do you have gunk around the edges of the touch screen, between the screen and the 3DS housing? If so, Nintendo recommends you use a new toothbrush to brush out the particles. Full details are available on Nintendo’s support website.

If you use a screen protector, it is possible that the dirt is on it instead of the actual screen. You may want to consider replacing the protector or removing it completely.

2. Touch screen is unresponsive

If your Nintendo 3DS touch screen is responding to input erratically, you may need to re-calibrate it. To do this, go to System Settings > Other Settings > Touch Screen. Here, touch the center of the circles with the stylus. You can also launch it directly from boot by pressing the Power, L, R, and X buttons.

If you use a screen protector on the touch screen, take it off. While you may want a screen protector on your phone, they have been known to reduce the input sensitivity of the 3DS screen. Also, try to use a stylus instead of your finger, when possible, to ensure consistent input.

3. The game cartridge cannot be read

There’s nothing more frustrating than not being able to read your 3DS’s game cartridges. If possible, test the game on another 3DS. If it doesn’t work there, then the cartridge is at fault rather than your console. In this case, contact the retailer for replacement.

Also, unlike the original DS, the 3DS is region locked. This means that you can only play games purchased in the region where the console is.

If one of your games doesn’t work, your console is faulty. According to TronicsFix, this is often because the pins in the game slot are dirty. To solve this, put a small amount of rubbing alcohol on a cotton swab. Rub it on the pins of one of your games. Then, turning off the console, insert and remove the cartridge about ten times. This should hopefully clear the pins within the console.

4. 3DS Won’t Charge

If your 3DS isn’t charging and you have a charging cradle, disconnect it and plug your 3DS directly into the wall via the power adapter. If it works, then your charging cradle is faulty.

If you only have the power adapter and it’s not charging your console, try a replacement. Your power adapter may be broken.

Alternatively, if your console only works when plugged in or the battery drains rapidly (it should last about five hours on a full charge), then the battery is faulty and needs to be replaced. You can either get a professional to do this or follow Nintendo’s battery replacement guide.

5. Can’t connect to the internet

You do not need to maintain a connection to the Internet to use your 3DS. However, it is essential when you want to play online, download games, browse the web, and so on. Thus, it is naturally frustrating when you cannot connect to the Internet.

First, check Nintendo’s operational status page to see if the servers are down or undergoing maintenance. If they are, all you can do is wait.

Alternatively, the problem could be with your Internet connection; Test with another device like laptop or mobile to find out. If your internet is down, check out our guide on how to fix an unstable Wi-Fi connection.

6. Microphone doesn’t work

The Nintendo 3DS has a built-in microphone. Some games, such as Super Mario 3D Land, make use of it synthetically, while others use it for voice chat.

If you think your 3DS microphone is broken, you can test it via System Settings > Other Settings > Mic Test. Speak and you should see your voice registered on the screen.

If you don’t, your microphone is most likely broken.

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