3DS Emulators, eMu3Ds are fakes

Posted: Saturday, 13 October 2012


Thanks to (1) Smealum's (smea) creation and effort on the 3DS Homebrew, IronHax and Ninjhax - which all enable running homebrew programs straight off a physical 3DS device (http://smealum.github.io/3ds/),
(2) archshift's work on Decrypt9 and xorer - which decrypts 3DS roms by first generating a xorpad (from a 3DS device) and applying that to the 3DS rom (on a Desktop),
and (3) work that has been completed with Citra http://citra-emu.org/ https://github.com/citra-emu/citra - emulating the 3DS' ARM11 CPU and more importantly PICA200 GPU,
Commercial 3DS rom emulation is possible!
Only took 3-4 years!

Jump links

Skip the initial proof that was posted in 2012
Skip to a collection of fakes similar to this
Skip to the Hackingnation analysis
Update: The "3DS Emulator 1.1.7" fakeware has been renamed to eMu3Ds, see what has changed here: Changelog
Hey look. Exceptions have started to pop up. Progress has been made with Citra regarding commercial 3DS software and games. It's fundamentally an ARM emulator that's re-purposed for the 3DS, which is different then a non-functional shell: http://citra-emu.org/, https://github.com/citra-emu/citra


The Gist

This whole post started out with 3DSEmulator.org. 2 years ago, 3DSEmulator.org was a scam. Like an pesky introduced species, the authors keep on evolving their scam and it continues to live on, years after the initial 3DS hype, and still is a scam.
Even today, 3DSEmulator.org remains to be a fake, and unfortunately, have evolved their tactics to be more then just an annoyance, but more of a malice.
To be as blunt as possible, eMu3Ds (from the aforementioned site) is a fake, YouTube videos related to this whole phenomena are fake.


Be Skeptical

With YouTube videos, sometimes the scams are extremely obvious. Others - you might have to think twice and be amazed by how the 3DS graphics can be shown in a 2D video, or about how powerful that the computers that run these supposed programs are.
Monitoring the progress of the whole situation, it seems like copycats looking to exploit users and "offering" the same as 3DSEmulator.org are popping up.
3DSEmulator.org is still the #1 site when you search "3ds emulator", but now it's accompanied by other sites that are similarly deceptive.

With the development of Citra, it is clear that even a small factorial alongside OpenGL homebrew code takes time to run. (though, commercial games appear to be feasible).
So imagine these so-called "Commercial 3DS Emulators", that claim to emulate a magnititude of high-quality 3DS games. Then think twice about how "legit" these applications are.


A solution!

If you want a homebrew 3DS Emulator, then the following emulator can suit your needs: https://github.com/bunnei/citra/
It doesn't offer the ability to emulate commercial 3DS games, but it's better then finding out that you have a magnitude of riskware installed onto your computer.


Don't install eMu3DS!

Instead of being plain dodgy, eMu3DS is now no-longer downloaded as an archive. At the original date of posting (2012), it was fairly harmless to fall for the deceitful program.
Now, the program is bundled full of joy-
if you consider having your computer hi-jacked by malware and constantly bombarded with adware joyful.
Since a picture means a thousand words, here's a almost fully visual step by step guide on how to install 3DS Emulator aka "eMu3Ds" at 3dsemulator.org
Step 0: Read all of the instructions first.
Step 1: Download the internet installer at whatever the site was again.
Step 2: Open/Run the installer...
Step 3: Rage the night away and click on "Next" on the installer.

Step 4: Hope your computer survives and click on the big blue button.

Step 5: There, done, you've clicked on a button.. Congratz.. Now click on it again...

Step 6: What the, just press "Next" without reading anything...

Step 7: See, you've got a progress bar.. That means progress, like always.

Step 8: You're done!

Step 9: Actually, the installer will actually install the emulator now... I think...

Step 10: Ok, at this point, don't panic, just continue to read the instructions and everything will be just fine...
This part is intentional, so you'll be OK..

Step 11: See, it's just detecting problems.. Why the hate?

Step 12: Oh wow, it is actually getting laggy. See, "PC Utilities Pro - Optimizer Pro" was right. As it should.

Step 13: Remember the debunked BIOS concept from 2012? The BIOS now has a downloader, which apparently has an author: Somoto Israel.. I guess this means that you can now totally trust the bios downloader. Since no-one lies about authorship on the internet, and it can be easily verified.

Step 14: Do remember the first few steps to get the main program installed? Well, do the same here..

Step 14: And here...

Step 15: See, I guess its done...

Step 16: Open the emulator and press "OK" when you get the message below:

Step 17: See, here is a dead end.. LOL...

Step 19: Actually, you can download "my" version here: http://static.extramaster.net/eMu3Ds.zip (2.3MB)VirusTotal (3AC134872BB6A5C475EBDA9A3183BD04F56AE05DF8DC82F30FCF9F9BBA8C2939) (apparently it's classified as Riskware/Hoax Agent/Generic (Gen), but don't worry, I had had a look at the source code and it's just a big time-waster)
Step 20: And, something, something, running exe... .
Step 21: After you're done, remember to close it! (it's actually one of a few things that functions as advertised)

Last step, Step 22: Did I mention that eMu3DS was fake?


Original Proof

As the post's url suggests, the following content was written when 3DSEmulator.org released their apparent "3DS Emulator 1.1.2". And unfortunately, most of it remains relevant today.

Analysis of the program folder 

Analysis of the source code 

So basically, what the 3DS Emulator 1.1.2/3DS Emulator 1.1.7/eMu3Ds typically does, is that it opens, shows an error message that prompts you to download the "bios". Which if you do have (Hint: don't fill in their survey, create an empty folder called "3dsbios" instead) instead shows an activation error which forces you to fill in a second survey, and even if you do fill that survey in, nothing will happen; because it's fake and appears to be intended to work that way.

Analysis of the original website

Accompanying reason w/ unedited screenshots

The following YouTube video is a complete fake: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jtxjTU3ns-c
It links to what apparently looks like a legitimate emulator at "http://3dsemulator.org/" and of course, after downloading it, you will get an error [the source code is included in the section above this, explaining why]:

The popup box title is "Fatal error 2.4.5.", which states that the bios is corrupted. And after downloading the "bios" at fileice...

...you will find that the contents of the 10mb "Bios" archive

is already in the data.dat folder.. There is NO mapping or bios, stop wasting your time.. Having a look at it further, the files in the bios folders are dated from 2005, but the 3ds was released in 2011, also there are .img files and .txd files... Does that remind you of anything? [Hint: GTA for PS2]

There really is no explanation as to why the video appears legit, but that's because we're all suckers,, since it was intended to do exactly that - Trick us...



This post was written a few years ago, but as a clarification; as of October 2014, there are no commercial 3DS Emulators that have been released yet.
Any commercial 3DS Emulators that have been "released" are fake or complete scams, just like any other emulator mentioned in this post. Why is this? Well basically, like the new PS3, companies always look for ways to protect and/or decrypt their software and games.
There have been no jailbreak released for v3.60 right up to v4.46 of the PS3; the same applies to commercial 3DS Emulators.
There have been no commercial "3DS Emulators" released yet, and just like a jailbreak for the v4.46 PS3 firmware, it's very, very unlikely that there ever will be a 3DS Emulator..
Companies are always trying to protect their software and hence, commercial "3DS Emulators" may never exist...

Additional sources

(the people behind similar "emulators" seemed to be working on other things)
And a shoutout to "Squall Leonhart" for showing this fake and providing an image proof (see comments section)
Proof: http://image.svijethardvera.com/images/plugincontainer2wcw.jpg


Changelog (new!)

Changed version from eMu3Ds to eMu3Ds to look more legitimate.
Also changed the downloader so that it makes your downloader faster:

Changed name from 3DS Emulator 1.1.7 to eMu3Ds, same quality and wokring :P survey emulator, but different name
Changed error message from "Fatal error 2.4.5." to "Fatal error #01029 Missing files"
Changed the "Original Filename" from "360 emulator.exe" to "3DS Emulator 1.1.7.exe"
New filename is now called "3DS Emulator 1.1.7" instead of "3ds EmulatorX" in its previous release (1.1.2)
1.1.7 is 100kbs smaller then 1.1.2 with more functionality, such as having a longer bios error message, and having more games support (0 instead of 1)...


Similar Fakes

Skip to the Hackingnation analysis

According to this video:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M_URnd0u3_I this issue is more widespread then I initially thought it was - have a look at these links:

The new homepage for the ps3 emulator shown in the "Analysis of the Website" screenshot above

A now deactivated fake homepage for the ps3 emulator

And also:

It looks like there's also fake emulators out there for xbox360, and not just for ps3 and the 3ds.. As a very coincidental fact - the "3DS emulator" seems to have it's code based upon the fake xbox360 emulator...
Hopefully, to all of you, don't don't get scammed or get your time wasted the next time a chain of scams like this occur.



And if you think that the 3DS Emulator at Hackingnation works, then think again..
The Nintendo 3DS Emulator – v2.9.4 is also a fake, here's a portion of it's source-code:

Click to expand
Now what does this mean? Well, even if you have the BIOS.dll file, Plugins/Audio.dll, Plugins/Controlers.dll  or Plugins/Graphics.dll the scamware will state that that file isn't at the latest version, even if it's the most current.
If you need further proof that Hackingnation's 3DS Emulator is a fake, then you can download "The Nintendo 3DS Emulator – v2.9.4" at
  • http://www21.zippyshare.com/v/20862987/file.html
  • http://hackingnation.org/nintendo-3ds-emulator/
What you have to then do, is to extract the archive to your C:// drive (so you end up with a program located at C:\3DS Emulator 2.9.4\3DS Emulator 2.9.4.exe) and create an empty/new file called BIOS.dll in that folder

Go ahead, try starting it, this fake emulator will "try" to scan for "plugins" and then state that it doesn't work. Even if those file existed (completely empty or not, or if it's from the official download) it still doesn't work because the source code says so and because the program is fake.

If you don't know what I'm talking about, here's  a copy of the download, complete with the "bios" and "outdated plugins", https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B1JvZsBu8DnkZTJQc0E0bnFHcms/edit?usp=sharing
Direct Download (4.3MB)

The PS3 Emulator 1.9.4, conveniently created by Hackingnation is also a fake.. Surprising isn't it?

At least this around time around the "developers" offers an updated version [don't expect that to work as well..]

And like the scams from 3dsemulator.org, xbox360emulator.net and emulatorx.net the files are structured similarly...
If you've managed to fall into this trap then rest assured that you can get no viruses from this, just your time wasted filling in surveys to amount to nothing.


To clarify once again: there are no real commercial 3ds emulators out yet, and most likely will not be one. The most prevalent commercial "3ds emulator" that exists is a fake program that is currently rank #1 on Google's searches, it has been renamed multiple times starting from 3DS Emulator 1.1.2, to 3DS Emulator 1.1.7, to even eMu3Ds, all of which have turned out to be deceptive and forces you to fill in surveys.. Rest assure that the 3ds emulator that exists on 3dsemulator.org (and even hackingnation) are fake and filling in the survey will lead to nothing.

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