Please help preserve your 3DS and Wii U SpotPass data before it's too late!…

submitted by DreitonLullaby edited

Please help preserve your 3DS and Wii U SpotPass data before it's too late!


Hello everyone. For everyone who owns a 3DS, 2DS, or even a Wii U, I'm sharing this out to as many places I can think of, where the awareness can make an impact. Please read if you own a 3DS or Wii U at all, or know anybody who does:

The SpotPass servers by Nintendo will be shutting down on April 8th, 2024 (4PM PDT). The SpotPass Archival Project has been created by the 3DS and Wii U Homebrew modding community, to make sure as much SpotPass data as humanly possible is preserved for the foreseeable future and not lost forever in the coming few days. A huge amount of SpotPass content is essentially free DLC for various games and apps, and they could have been installed without your knowledge. They are not required for most games to play, but without their archival, many games will lose DLC content permanently and some features may no longer work. This archival project can only be made possible by the donations of any individuals owning a 3DS or Wii U (not a donation of money, but rather a donation of SpotPass data stored on your system)

This data can *only* be collected *before April 8th. Any and all dumps made or sent after the end-date will be *useless* due to the nature of how the archive process works. The dump does not* require you to have a modded or Homebrewed console, and can be done completely unmodded. All you need extra as an unmodded user, is a PC or laptop. There is also zero risk of having your console banned; so rest assured. The guides can be found here:

*Update: For those who can't recall the difference, what we're archiving here is *SpotPass, not *StreetPass. The difference between the two are: *StreetPass:* Is a 3DS exclusive *offline* wireless tech which connects your 3DS to other systems and shares various bits of data with random people you pass on the street (in the real world). For example, in the game StreetPass Mii Plaza, the data sent to random passers are your Mii, along with your most recently played game, and your Mii can be played with in the various minigames that StreetPass Mii Plaza offers, and vice versa. *SpotPass:* Is an *online* wireless tech available on both the 3DS *and* Wii U. Unlike StreetPass, it does not connect to other 3DS systems directly, but rather connects to Nintendo's SpotPass servers online. The data sent could be anything from notifications, to in-game content. This is what we're archiving; *not* *Street*Pass data. Streetpass is not an online service, and thus does not lose content after April 8th; but SpotPass data *will* be lost after the 8th if it's not archived. Wikipedia article.*

Even if you make the dump *before* April 8, and send it to them afterwards, the dump will be useless regardless, this is why we are frantically trying to spread the word about the project as quickly as possible, as there is a lot of data that is still going to go away permanently regardless of the efforts of this project. The data is stored offline locally on your 3DS and Wii U, so you may be confused as to why you can't just make the dump after the date. For a better explanation, here is a Discord message from the official Discord server which explains things. I am not a developer of the project, I'm just someone who is passionate about gaming and technology preservation, and wants to get this out there, and the 3DS was a wonderful part of my late childhood.

The data is going to be used by the developers to put towards developing a replacement for the SpotPass network, similar to what was done by the Homebrew community who created the Nintendo Network replacement, dubbed "Pretendo Network".

Even if you don't think you have much data on your system, *please* help dump it towards the archive as soon as possible (within the next couple of days), because you likely have some things you don't know about. The process does not require a modded console at all, and the official site here, has instructions for both users of modded consoles, and users of unmodded consoles. You can ask for help in the official Discord server of the project here and people will be very willing to help.

There are also many many niche, lesser known games, which have absolutely no data archived for them still to this day, so any help archiving them is vital. Thanks for reading, and I ask you to also share this out to as many people as you possibly can. Even if you don't own a 3DS or Wii U, please share this out to anyone you know who owns one, or even those whom you suspect might have one.

*Edit: added some extra information, removed some no longer relevant information, fixed some typos, improved some wording slightly.*


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Uploaded my 3DS XL data. Was easy as pie with my modded 3ds.

I'll see if I can connect my WiiU tomorrow.

Thanks for the heads up!

DreitonLullaby [OP]

No worries, glad I could reach you!


Used to play my 3DS a lot during its heyday so I’d love to contribute, but my 3DS uses a standard SD card and none of my computers have an SD card reader. Is there a good way to get the data off it without one?


I just donated mine and there doesn't seem to be one. Try to go to a computer store, SD card adapters aren't very expensive these days. P.S. I just remembered it uploads automatically if you're connected to the internet


Actually, I was able to dig up an old laptop that as an SD reader in it. I don’t know if I have a spare blank SD lying around, though- can I use my 3DS’s native SD card without losing the data stored on it?

clubb , edited

Yes, all it does is create a directory with the data and then upload it to the internet - all from the 3ds

Do keep in mind I have cfw 3ds, without it I don't know if you still have a solution


Yeah my 3DS is unmodded. I may look to see if I have an SD card lying around somewhere at my home when I have a chance


First of all, it's incredibly easy to mod it, and it's something that, since the shop shut down, is necessary to have new experiences on it. Here's a link to the site I used to mod my new Nintendo 2ds.


There's a homebrew app called ftpd that you could use, but it only works on a hacked system and that requires an SD card reader to initially setup.


Just done my 3ds that I'd recently installed CFW on, funnily with the intention of hooking it up to the pretendo network.

For anyone hesitant, it was a less than 5 minute job.


Just got it done! Thanks for spreading the word!


What does this data do? Looks like a decent cause otherwise. Submit to /piracy also?


🤔 Might be stupid question but what is spotPass why do we need to preserve the data?

AlexCory21 , edited

My version of a TLDR:

Spotpass is a wireless tech that would auto connect with other 3ds or Wii U systems that were in the immediate area albeit with a limited range. It was their way of having a social community. Sort of like how you might meet other people while walking around outside.

In the case of Spotpass, when you connected, it would show you the user's profile, their favorite games, etc. And in some cases for specific games it would provide special DLCs or content that cannot be found elsewhere.

Hence why we'd want to preserve that data since some DLC and other features are exclusive to Spotpass.

DreitonLullaby [OP]

This isn't correct, you're getting confused between StreetPass and SpotPass. Yes, SpotPass is a wireless tech, but it has nothing to do with connecting to other 3DS's or Wii U's (and the Wii U did not have StreetPass; only SpotPass). A StreetPass-like feature would be pointless on a Wii U because you couldn't take it out of the house without it losing range from the console. The 3DS on the other hand, had both features. So yes, the SpotPass did provide you with "DLC's", but it did *not* have the same features as StreetPass.

Also, the users' profile and their favourite game was shown in the friends list, which was not a part of SpotPass. I can't remember for sure if you needed a Nintendo Network account for adding friends, but I do know that you can add friends offline through the local network, but this does *not* use the SpotPass network, as the SpotPass network requires internet (and most games which had SpotPass warned you of this prior to activation).

The local wireless connection used in the friends list is the same connection used in local multiplayer games, the same as how it works on the Nintendo Switch.


Thanks you. I will try to extract the data from my 3ds later but I never used to that feature. So I am not sure if it will much help.

DreitonLullaby [OP]

Note that if you got the console second hand (even if it was factory reset), apparently, the SpotPass data stays on the console in the background, so it may be of more help than you think.

braxy29 , edited

based on memory, so a little vague, but examples - access to various merchants in Bravely Default required you to have passed others. i remember this because i was sick with flu and spent a couple days with my 3ds and my daughter's running/"passing" each other repeatedly so i could unlock everything.

to the best of my memory, some turn-based rpg's (Persona? SMT? Etrian Odyssey?) would allow you to access customized personas/demons/teams? others had made available. like maybe someone had a really great high level persona (basically a pokemon) with a really great selection of skills on it and you could use it instead of trying to build the same thing yourself, before you might have normally had access to it.

so the latter type thing was cool and fun, but i didn't get many of those. the first example is a situation where the game doesn't really fully work without spotpass.

edit - you could visit houses of people you had passed in animal crossing and buy their stuff, too. so you could see how other people decorated and access furniture you might not have access to yet (seasonal, Gracie).


Damn, I've disposed of my 3DS battery because it started to fail (and I don't play on it anymore anyways) and THIS is how I find out you can't turn the damn thing on without a battery? Well, I can at least get the ol' WiiU out and do it on there.


I have multiple 3DS and a WiiU, will try to remember to do this tomorrow!

DreitonLullaby [OP]

Hey, just checking in and seeing if you remembered to make your dump yesterday? Just in case you forgot.

alekwithak , edited

I appreciate that! I dumped my 3 3DS. The application made it super easy.

And my WiiU as well!


I am doing my part 🫡!


Just finished! Thanks for the tip!


I lost my 3DS last week 😭


I'll definitely look into this tonight. Affordable Space Adventures was fantastic and deserves to be remembered, but I've never seen another soul mention it.

DreitonLullaby [OP]

Don't mean to bug you, but did you end up getting it done? Just wanting to check in.

☄🦘🛎 , edited

Hmm, not sure I'm going to be able to do it. I don't have an SD card reader on my computer anymore... I do have an old ebook that could read it, but it might be a hassle getting everything shuffled around. Plus I need to figure out Python. Might have time for it tomorrow.
EDIT: This is a monumental hassle... my laptop can't properly run the script it seems, CMD just auto-closes after trying to initialize the SD card, so I'm seeing if I can compress, upload to google drive, run it on my main computer, send back, then overwrite the SD card
EDIT2: It looks like I did the injection correctly, but the 2DS is stuck on a loading screen in the Extra Data Management page; the tutorial says "Follow the directions shown on the bottom screen." :/

DreitonLullaby [OP] , edited

I used the modded method so I'm not sure I can help you personally, but the people over at Discord will be very willing to help. Here is an invite to the Discord so you can get help; I'm sure they can help you. Otherwise, there is another method listed on the site that doesn't involve Python, but it only works on the New 3DS or New 2DS though. I don't know if the method is any more or less difficult, though.

☄🦘🛎 , edited

Ok, I went out and got an SD card reader (I needed one anyway for my dash cam). Less swapping seemed to do the job, got both my 2DS dump uploaded! Also just finished up with the WiiU spotpass dump :D

DreitonLullaby [OP] , edited

I appreciate you've gone to this much effort. Thankyou. I'm so sorry if this affects you. Because your message is 13 hrs ago, I will assume that you weren't affected by this, so you likely don't have to worry:

There was an announcement on the Discord by the maintainer of the server which the entire archive is stored on. He announced that he'd accidentally not noticed that the server storage-space had run out, from all the dumps being made. This means that for at least 4 hrs, all dumps made by contributors were not being received, even though they thought they had been. Here's the screenshot of the post.

So the servers were first overfilled starting April 6, 12PM Pacific Daylight Time (PDT); and was fixed by the server maintainer at 4:08PM (PDT). However, all he knows is that the full amount of time the server was having this issue was "at least a 4 hrs", so it could have started some hrs prior to 12PM; it could have even been the entire day for all he knows. I know this is annoying. I'm not officially a part of this project, I'm just spreading the word, but I'm still sorry for you if this affects you. If you think you made your dump within this time period, you will need to make the dump again. Otherwise, if you made the dump prior, but on the same day, it might be worth re-dumping, because your original dump may have not actually properly uploaded due to this mistake on the server-owners part.


damn, guess i have a late night project today, and possibly tomorrow.


My 3Ds has never been played, I assume there's nothing I can contribute here?

DreitonLullaby [OP] , edited

Edit: Ignore this comment, what I said is completely wrong. I'm sorry if I inconvenienced anyone and wasted your time dumping a console with nothing on it.

Probably not. *Unless* you bought it second-hand? Apparently the data still remains on the system even if it's reset, so if you bought your console pre-owned, or was given it by a friend, there may still be a large amount of data still there in the background.


Ooh, I factory reset a used one I bought pretty recently... I might as well give it a shot then

DreitonLullaby [OP]

Please forgive me. That information was wrong, the data does not stay after factory resetting. I'm editing my comment to clarify this.


Oh man, that's too bad... The O3DS I grew up with is bricked and inoperable too...


I wish I still had my 3DS with me. Sadge.


Pretendo, yay!


Thanks. I'll do it later

DreitonLullaby [OP]

Hey. Gotten around to it yet? Just checking in with a few of the "I'll do it later posts".


Ok. I already dumped it and my data was uploaded :p

Thanks for this thread XOXO

DreitonLullaby [OP]

No worries. Thanks so much for uploading it. Glad I reached so many people before the time.


Nope lol. I will put it as a reminder so I don't forget about it later.

DreitonLullaby [OP] , edited

Hey, even though I'm not officially part of this project, I'm sorry to say that at least for the period of April 6, at 12PM to 4PM PDT (Pacific Daylight Time), the maintainer of the server mistakenly didn't see that the server had run out of storage space. This means that any dumps made by anyone within this time period didn't actually get archived in the end. The exact amount of time is unknown. This 4 hr period is just the least amount of time the server was down for, so for all he knows, it could have been for the entire day of April 6th up until 4PM in the afternoon (PDT). Again, even though this wasn't because of me, I'm sorry about this. If you can, could you please make the dump one last time if possible? As the archive servers are now working correctly again. Screenshot of the Discord announcement


Well no WiiU here, but I've got an N3DS upstairs somewhere. Maybe a regular 3DS too if I ever got it back.

Will do what I can later today!

DreitonLullaby [OP]

Awesome, thanks a lot!

DreitonLullaby [OP]

Hey, you looked further into getting it done yet? I've had a lot of "I'll do it later" posts, so just checking in on some people.


Had to find the cable to charge it, so it only got power last night. So on the list for after work today.

DreitonLullaby [OP]

Hey, even though I'm not officially part of this project, I'm sorry to say that at least for the period of April 6, at 12PM to 4PM PDT (Pacific Daylight Time), the maintainer of the server mistakenly didn't see that the server had run out of storage space. This means that any dumps made by anyone within this time period didn't actually get archived in the end. The exact amount of time is unknown. This 4 hr period is just the least amount of time the server was down for, so for all he knows, it could have been for the entire day of April 6th up until 4PM in the afternoon (PDT). Again, even though this wasn't because of me, I'm sorry about this. If you can, could you please make the dump one last time if possible? As the archive servers are now working correctly again. Screenshot of the Discord announcement


Will try and do again later, yeah

DreitonLullaby [OP]

Thanks. Sorry for the hassle.


Thanks for the post. I will try to do it on Saturday

Venia Silente

Would love to contribute, but I won't have access to my 3DSes until around the 22nd.

Also would love to try and know why the data can't be sent after the deadline (it's just data, should not be "time-encoded") but unfortunately the link to the image with the explanation says the image can't be loaded because it has errors. Does anyone have the actual text explanation?


Will the replacement services be proprietary or open source/free software?

Draconic NEO

Pretendo is open source.

Firestorm Druid , edited

Have a 3DS and a 2DS both of which I'll make sure to do this with. Sent your post to two of my friends who also own 3DS systems to spread the word. Thanks for putting this out there!

Edit: Takes less than 5 minutes lol


Already done 👍🏻

Pretty easy to do with a hacked DS.

Actually, I have other two 3DS hacked, but I have barely used them (the one I backed up was my main) I wonder if they have any usable data...

DreitonLullaby [OP]

Worth a dump, I think. I dumped my modded secondary console which is an OG 2DS which I also hardly ever use, just in case there was something there.


I doubt my 3ds had much, but I went and completed it. Super easy to do on CFW!

DreitonLullaby [OP] , edited

Thanks for that. Edit: Sorry, just found out I was wrong about notifications in the paragraph below. They technically are sent through SpotPass, but the process of archiving them, while theoretically possible, is a bit more complicated, and there isn't enough time left to start developing a method now.

I don't know this for sure, but I think that your news notifications are archived as well, as I'm pretty sure they were all received through SpotPass; so while that's not exactly game content, it's still something else.