Check Out Details Of How To Play 3DS Games On 2DS

The 3DS and 2DS are portable handheld video gaming consoles produced by Nintendo. 

Nintendo released the 3DS in March 2010 as the successor to the Nintendo DS. 

Nintendo launched the 2DS in October 2013 as an entry-level version of the 3DS.

Nintendo made 2DS consoles backward-compatible. So, with a few exceptions, you can still enjoy your favorite 3DS titles on 2DS systems. The rendition, however, will be in 2D.

So, back to the mind-boggling question! 

How to play 3DS games on 2DS

To play 3DS games on 2DS, insert the 3DS game card into your 2DS system.  It will play on your 2DS device the same way it would on the 3DS.

The only difference is that the rendition will be in 2D.

You can purchase 3DS games from retail stores or download from Nintendo e-Shop and install them on your device.

2DS and 3DS have similar hardware functionality. The only significant difference is the lack of the 3D feature in 2DS.

Which 3DS Games Do Not Work On 2DS?

You can play all 3DS games on a 2DS system except games exclusive to the new Nintendo 3DS XL. 

Examples of such games include the Xenoblade Chronicles and the Binding of Isaac.

However, the good news is you can play these games with a Nintendo 2DS XL system.

Is it possible to transfer games between 2DS and 3DS models? Continue reading to find out.

Can You Transfer Games From The 3DS To The 2DS?

Data transfer between both systems is possible. However, there are a few caveats.

You can transfer data between a 2DS and a 3DS or a 3DS XL system. 

You can also transfer data between a new 2DS and a new 3DS system.

However, data transfer is not possible between new and old models of 2DS and 3DS systems.

With this information in mind, how do you perform a data transfer between 2DS and 3DS models?

Things To Note Before Carrying Out A Data Transfer

Before you begin the transfer, there are a few things to note.

You must set both systems to the same region.

You’ll need to connect both devices to the internet.

Also, ensure that the firmware for both devices is up to date.

If your new 3DS already has a Nintendo Network ID associated with it, you must first deactivate it.

You will need an SD card to complete the data transfer process. Ensure the SD card is compatible with your model.

How To Transfer Data From A 3DS System To 2DS

Follow the steps below to transfer data from a 2DS system to a 3DS system.

  1. Turn on the 3DS system and go to the Home Menu.
  2. Select Other Settings.
  3. Select System Transfer.
  4. From the options, select transfer from a System in the Nintendo DS Family.
  5. Tap Agree on the information displayed.
  6. Select Send from this System.
  7. If you have linked your Nintendo Network ID, the system will prompt you to enter your password. 
  8. On your 2DS system, go to Home Menu
  9. Select Other Settings.
  10. Select System Transfer.
  11. Select transfer from a system in the Nintendo 3DS family.
  12. Tap Agree on the information displayed
  13. Select Receive from Nintendo 3DS.
  14. On your 3DS system, select Transfer to Nintendo 2DS.
  15. Select Yes on your 2DS.
  16. Follow the prompts to complete the process.

To transfer data from 2DS to 3DS, follow the steps above using 2DS as the source system and 3DS as the target system. 

Differences Between The Nintendo 2DS And 3DS

There are some differences between the 3DS and the 2DS gaming consoles.

Screen size:

Although both systems spot a dual-screen, their dimensions are varied. 

On the 3DS, a 3.53-inch display sits on top, with a smaller 3.02-inch display below.

The 2DS screens, on the other hand, are two halves of a single flat screen, split by the console’s plastic screen cover. 

The display features:

The 3DS also has an autostereoscopic 3D feature which is absent on the 2D.

Autostereoscopic 3D is a technology that doesn’t require you to wear glasses to enjoy the 3D effect.

The 3DS and 3DS XL both include little sliders on the side of their screens. These sliders are absent on the 2DS.

The slider enables you to adjust the intensity of the 3DS effect. You can also disable the 3D effect with the sliders.


The 3DS is 74mm tall, the 3DS XL is 93mm tall, and the 2DS is 127mm tall. 

The New 3DS is 80.6mm tall, and the new 3DS XL is 93.5mm tall, so they do not differ so much in size from their predecessors.

In the 2DS, the absence of a hinge increases durability but limits portability. 

The 3DS and 3DS XL are both substantially smaller than the 2DS when closed.

Battery Life:

The battery life varies between the two consoles. 

When playing games, the 3DS XL lasts between 3.5 and 6.5 hours. The 3DS lasts between 3.5 and 5.5 hours, whereas the 2DS lasts between 3.5 and 5.5 hours.

Although the 2DS and 3DS appear to have the same battery life, we must note that the 3D function 3DS consumes additional power.

The two newer consoles, according to Nintendo, have a little longer battery life than their predecessors.

The reason is in part due to a new auto-brightness feature. With 3D turned on, the new 3DS XL offers the longest battery life, at 3.5 hours and 7 hours, respectively.

The new 3DS, on the other hand, has the same 3.5 hours of 3D gameplay as the original 3DS, but only 6 hours with 3D turned off.

Nintendo 2DS Pros And Cons


Because it can’t project 3D pictures, the Nintendo 2DS is less expensive. 

Except for 3D pictures, 2DS is identical to the 3DS in terms of functionality.

All 2DS devices can connect to Wi-Fi and access the internet through their built-in web browsers. 

The 2D is a lot lighter than the 3DS. When dropped, the 2DS is less likely to break, making it suitable for children.


The 2DS is more difficult to carry in a suitcase and nearly impossible to put into most pockets.

The original Nintendo 2DS has a tablet design instead of the Nintendo 3DS and 3DS XL’s hinged clamshell design. 

As a result, 2DS screens are vulnerable to scratches from bumping in a backpack or handbag. 

Nintendo 3DS Pros And Cons


The 3DS’s key selling point is its 3Ds capabilities. The 3DS projection enhances the gaming experience. 

The clamshell form also protects the 3DS and 3DS XL screens from scratches, whereas the 2DS is significantly more vulnerable in this regard.

Newer 3DS models have longer battery lives. So you do not need to reduce the 3D effect to conserve battery power.


Due to their 3D features and autostereoscopic screens, 3DS devices are more expensive than 2DS. 

Some people get eye discomfort and headaches from the autostereoscopic screen on the 3DS.

For this reason, Nintendo decided to make the 2DS – especially given its attraction to young children.

About 2D And 3D

The basic difference between 2D and 3D games is in the dimensions. 

2D games are flat, and their rendition is two-dimensional: length and width.

3D games, however, have, in addition to length and width, depth and volume.

This basic difference affects other aspects of gaming like controls, environment and movement in gameplay.

Movement in the 2D games is linear. Characters may move either forward or backward. 

Characters in 3D games can move in any direction.

Since movement in 2D games is flat and linear, controls in 2D games are simple and easy to learn. 

Given the depth and volume of 3D games, the controls are complex. The user would need some time to master them.

The environment in 2D games is visually linear and flat. In reality, there’s little focus on the environment in 2D games.

3D games have more visually appealing environments, and rendition is close to reality.

What about their advantages?

Since they have linear movement and straightforward controls, developing 2D games is inexpensive, fast and easy.

Developers can also release updates very quickly.

For the users, playing 2D games is easy. Instructions are straightforward. 2D games are, therefore, the obvious preference for beginners.

3D games may be more complex and expensive in all respects. However, they offer a more fulfilling gaming experience.

3D games offer improved graphics and gameplay. As a result, developers have more creativity to add scenes and subplots to a game.

Will 2D continue to be relevant in the future?

3D games may be the stylish choice for gamers, but current trends indicate that the 2DS is not going away soon.

Beginners prefer 2D games for their simple gameplay, and 2D games still appeal to many children and teenagers.


The 3DS and 2DS are portable handheld video gaming consoles produced by Nintendo.

Nintendo made 2DS consoles backward-compatible. So, with a few exceptions, you can still enjoy your favorite 3DS titles on 2DS systems.

To play 3DS games on 2DS, insert the 3DS game card into your 2DS system.  It will play on your 2DS device the same way it would on the 3DS.

The only difference is the rendition will be in 2D.

You can play all 3DS games on a 2DS system except games exclusive to the new Nintendo 3DS XL.

David Huner
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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