Can You Play 3DS Games On 2DS? Find Out

3DS and 2DS are both handheld consoles designed by Nintendo to serve different audiences. 

The 3DS console renders games in 3D and is a good fit for older audiences.

The 2DS console renders games in 2D and is a good fit for younger audiences – age seven and below. 

According to Nintendo, the company produced the 2DS to help the eye health of the younger generation while letting them play their favorite games.

2DS has similar software compatibility and hardware as the 3DS. 2DS is basic for beginners. 

So, can you play 3DS games on a 2DS console?

Can you play 3DS games on 2DS?

Yes, you can. Nintendo designed the new 2 to be backward-compatible. 

So you can play your favorite 3DS games on the 2DS console.

That is not all. You can also play 3DS games on 2DS XL, 3DS XL, and your regular 3DS.

However, there are a few exceptions. 2DS cannot play games that are exclusive to the new 3DS.

Examples of these games include Fire Emblem Warriors, Xenoblade Chronicles 3D, and SNES virtual console titles.

So, in what ways are the two different game consoles similar to each other?

Similarities Between 2DS And 3DS

  1. They are both handheld consoles.
  2. You can download and save games on both 2DS and 3DS SD cards.
  3. They both have Micro SD card slots to increase storage space.
  4. They both come with a stylus.
  5. They both use gyro sensors.
  6. They both have front and rear cameras.
  7. They both come in different colors.
  8. They both have two screens – the top and bottom screens. The top screen is a non-touchscreen, while the bottom is a touchscreen.
  9. The top screen is bigger than the bottom screen on both devices.
  10. The top and bottom screen resolutions for both devices are 400 × 240 and 320 × 240.
  11. They both play new releases of virtual console retro games from Nintendo.
  12. They have the same cartridge slot style.
  13. Both packages come with a game.
  14. They both support Wi-Fi connections.
  15. They have the same type of chargers.

Differences Between 2DS And 3DS

Regardless of their similarities, 2DS and 3DS consoles are different handheld devices.

Let us see how they differ from each other.

  1. 2DS displays 2D graphics while 3DS games display 3D graphics.
  2. 3DS was designed for adults, while 2DS was designed specifically for kids.
  3. 3DS has a lighter body, while 2DS has a thicker body to avoid breakage and scratches.
  4. 3DS is smaller in size than 2DS.
  5. The 3DS console has an in-built memory of 256MB, while that of 2DS is 128MB.
  6. The 3DS console has and works with its in-built Amiibo support, which is lacking on the 2DS.
  7. While the 3DS console is foldable, 2DS is flat and has tough skin. The ability to fold the 3DS makes it more portable than the 2DS. It also provides more protection for the screens, unlike 2DS.
  8. 3DS is more expensive than 2DS.
  9. The battery life of 3DS is 3-5 hours, while that of 2DS is 3.5 to 5.5 hours.
  10. 3DS consoles have two stereo speakers, while 2DS has one stereo speaker.
  11. You can connect 3DS consoles to home devices. This feature is not available on the 2DS.
  12. Unlike 2DS, 3DS has an autostereoscopic display,
  13. 3DS has two sensors, while 2DS has one sensor.
  14. 3DS has a power-saving mode which is absent on the 2DS.
  15. 3DS comes with a 2GB SD card, while 2DS comes with a 4GB SD card and an AC adaptor.
  16. The 3DS top screen measures 3.88 inches, while 2DS measures 3.5 inches.
  17. The 3DS is 80.6mm high, while the 2DS is 127mm high.
  18. 3DS has a 3D top screen but is absent on the 2DS.
  19. The 2DS has a sleep button, but for 3DS, you only need to close the console for it to sleep.
  20. 2DS are easier to produce and quite cheap, unlike their hinged counterpart.

Regardless of their differences, Nintendo created 2DS and 3DS to fulfill the needs of specific audiences.

2DS And 3DS – Which Is Better?

2DS is the entry-level form of 3DS. So, 3DS tops in both speed and performance. 

However, recommended usage depends on preference. 

2DS is better for younger children, while the older ones can play 3DS.

The 2DS is better for children because the 3DS has a 3D front camera that requires a lot of focus for facial capture.

It may be difficult for a child to maintain the device.  It can cause headaches and eye problems for some.

Secondly, the 2DS body is hard plastic. That’s why, no matter how many times it falls, it won’t break easily.

2DS gives kids the opportunity of playing 3DS and DS games in a much safer way.

Again, the 2DS console has convenient handling. Since it has just one speaker, the sound will be safe for kids. 

Also, 2DS is way cheaper than 3DS consoles and a good company for the kids.

Most adults, on the other hand, do not enjoy playing 2DS.

They prefer the experience that comes with the adventure and tension of the 3D games.

For this reason, many adults will go for the slim and less heavy 3DS console. The double speaker makes the game feel exciting for them.

Again, it’s easier to carry a foldable two-screen game console than looking for where to fix a 127mm long console.

Contents Of 2DS Package

The following items are part of a 2DS game console package.

* Stylus

* 2DS handheld consoles.

* 4GB SD card.

* Nintendo 3DS AC adaptor.

* AR cards.

* An offer of a case for it.

Contents Of 3DS Package

The following items are part of a 3DS game console package.

* Nintendo 3DS console.

* 3DS AC charger.

* 2GB SD card.

* 6 AR cards.

* Stylus.

* Charging cradle.

Examples Of Some 2DS Games

Mattel: Escape Room in a Box Werewolf

Here, gamers have to seek out clues and solve puzzles in under one hour to free them from the room.

Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

This game affords you the experience of the Olympic games.

Mad Rat Dead NSW Game

This game follows the story of a rat who could not fulfill his dreams before he dies. He seeks a second chance to do what he should have done.

Untitled Goose Game

A goose is let loose, and as the goose, you need to get past traders and people’s gardens in one piece.

What To Do When 2DS Cartridge Doesn’t Read Non-Downloaded Games

Some 2DS cartridges do not read games on external devices except installed titles. 

Some factors may be responsible.

The cartridge may be dirty, so you can try cleaning the cartridge slot using a damp cloth.

Another reason is that the cartridge pins may be broken or damaged. Check to confirm if this is the case.

If the pins have broken, you can solder in a new reader.

Another problem you may encounter with your 2DS is if your card slot tabs refuse to hold in your card.

Try slotting your card slowly into the card slot till you hear a click sound.

If these methods do not work, you will have to repair them. If you have a valid warranty, you can get service for free or at a subsidized cost.

Common Problems Of 3DS And How To Fix Them


Your 3DS sometimes may freeze and stop responding to touch.

There are ways to fix this. You can hard press the power button for 10 seconds. It will shut down, and you can restart it.

If this method does not work, it may indicate that you need to upgrade to the latest system software. While downloading, make sure you connect your console to a power supply.

If the freezing continues, the problem may be from the game you are playing. Go to Nintendo e-Shop and update your games using the Nintendo 3DS Download Repair Tools.

You don’t have to worry; it won’t erase already saved data.

If, after all these, your game is still freezing, then contact Nintendo for assistance.

3DS won’t wake

Sometimes your 3DS may refuse to wake up after being in sleep mode. This problem may be due to low battery life.

If you discover that your 3DS refuses to wan from its sleep mode, try putting it off and on.

If this method does not work and you see a red light, plug into a power supply and charge until the light goes out.

Consistent low battery

Your console may indicate low battery more frequently. The fault may be from the charger.

Plug your charging cradle into a power source to solve this problem, then place your 3DS on it. 

If your console is not charging, you’ll have to send in your AC adaptor, the console, and the charging cradle to Nintendo for repair.

Alternatively, you can plug the console directly into a charging outlet if you don’t have the cradle using a different AC adaptor.

If this method doesn’t work, send your console to Nintendo for repair. The problem may likely be from the hardware.

Noise from the speakers

One major problem with 3DS is the unpleasant sounds the speakers produce.

The ready solution to this problem is to use a headset. You can also raise the volume beyond 30%.

If increasing the volume doesn’t solve the problem, then it may be a hardware problem. Send in your console for repairs.


3DS and 2DS are both handheld consoles designed by Nintendo. However, Nintendo designed them for different audiences. 

The 3DS console renders games in 3D and is a good fit for older audiences.

The 2DS console renders games in 2D and is a good fit for younger audiences – age seven and below.

2DS can play virtually all 3DS games. However, there are a few exceptions. 2DS cannot play games that are exclusive to the new 3DS.

Examples of these games include Fire Emblem Warriors, Xenoblade Chronicles 3D, and SNES virtual console titles.

David Huner
David Huner is a tech lover who loves to use latest technologies and share his thoughts with others. He was graduated from The University of Phoenix and writing on different topics has become a passion for him since his University life.

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