[Gen IV/V/Any DS game!] How to backup and restore your Nintendo DS save files using TWLSaveTool!

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[Gen IV/V/Any DS game!] How to backup and restore your Nintendo DS save files using TWLSaveTool!

Post by thotsi » Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:09 pm

Want to start a fresh save file without saying goodbye to your ancient save file you've had since you were a kid? Want to extract your save file to play on an emulator, or edit the save file information on your computer and put it back on the cartridge? You've come to the right tutorial!

First, some prerequisites - You will need:
  • A softmodded 3DS (with SD card)
  • A computer
  • An internet connection
  • The game cartridge itself
Now, the last 3 things on that list you should already have since you are viewing this tutorial in the first place, but if you have a 3DS that is not softmodded already, the process is quite lengthy and the process itself can sometimes change. A tutorial on how to softmod your 3DS is being constantly updated at https://3ds.guide/ so I suggest you go there before you come back here and learn how to use TWLSaveTool. Please read this guide thoroughtly and follow the instructions exactly. I am not responsible if you mess up following that guide.

Now, if you have a newly softmodded 3DS, I suggest you install the application 'ftpd'. This is not a part of using TWLSaveTool, but is in general a useful application to have on your 3DS for quickly moving files to and from your computer. A guide to installing and using ftpd will be included underneath a spoilertag, then I'll get on with the save backup tutorial.
[+] ftpd tutorial
First, after first softmodding your 3DS, one application you should have is 'FBI'. After opening FBI, go down to the 'Remote Install' option and press A. Then, select 'Scan QR Code' and scan the following QR code:
[+] ftpd QR Code
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Once scanned, press 'A' to install and wait for it to finish. You can then back return to the home menu and you should see a new application - ftpd. Open it.

In order to use ftpd, you need a piece of software called an 'FTP Client' installed on your computer to send and recieve files to/from your 3DS remotely. One piece of FTP software I recommend is FileZilla, which can be downloaded at https://filezilla-project.org/download.php?show_all=1 - simply select the option which is most relevant to you.

Once FileZilla is installed, if you open it, at the top there should be boxes to input a 'host', 'username', 'password' and 'port'. Go over to your 3DS, with ftpd open, you should see this screen:
[+] ftpd image, apologies for blurriness
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Pay attention to the numbers in blue. Everything in blue BEFORE the colon (:) should be entered into the 'host' box on FileZilla. Finally, the numbers after the colon (but not including it) should be entered into 'port'. Username and password can be left blank. It should look like this on FileZilla:
[+] FileZilla example
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All you need to do now is hit 'Quickconnect' and in the bottom right of FileZilla should be the root directory of your SD card to move files to and from - no need for any SD card readers anymore, not turning off your 3DS and removing the SD card just to send one file!
Now, installing TWLSaveTool is incredibly simple. After first softmodding your 3DS, one application you should have is 'FBI'. After opening FBI, go down to the 'Remote Install' option and press A. Then, select 'Scan QR Code' and scan the following QR code:
[+] TWLSaveTool QR Code
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Simply press A to confirm installing this application, and go back to the home menu once the application completes its installation.

Now, once in the home menu, confirm that your desired DS game is in the cartridge slot and reading properly. Open the new TWLSaveTool application. Once there, press 'B' to backup the save file. Take note of the filename displayed: for me, it was 'POKEMON SS.0.sav'. You can press left and right to change this, and it will warn you if you are about to overwrite an existing backup.

Once the backup is complete, on your SD card, you should be able to find the SAV file inside the TWLSaveTool folder under the aforementioned filename. You can then take this file and do as you please with it - it's all backed up, so feel free to just start a new game on your cartridge. If you want to restore your old save file, just go back into TWLSaveTool, select the correct file, and press 'A'.

If you want to load your new save file into DeSmuME, all you need to do, is load your ROM file of the game like normal, but before doing anything, go to file -> import backup memory, and choosing the backed up sav file, after you make a copy of it on your computer. The sav file is also easy to load into an application such as pkhex, and a save file modified on your PC can easily be put back onto your cartridge by naming it using the same naming convention as the one you just pulled off your DS, which in my case was 'POKEMON SS.x.sav', where x was the save file number. Just put the modified save file into your TWLSaveTool folder on your SD card, select the corresponding number in the save tool application, and restore!

Have a good day, GAMERS! :geek:
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Re: [Gen IV/V/Any DS game!] How to backup and restore your Nintendo DS save files using TWLSaveTool!

Post by cleffei » Fri Sep 14, 2018 7:26 pm

fellow gamers, I can testify that this is super helpful omg. It's great if you don't wanna spend an extrordinate amount of money on another copy of the game these days. Also great for activating mystery gift events! Gens IV and V had such cool event pokemon you could catch, yes, catch lookin at you gens 6 and 7

Do be sure to at least try out the save backup, it's so good, saves are region free as well so no need to worry about what version ROM you have on ypur PC :)
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