Can I Play 3DS Games on a 2DS or 2DS XL?

If you love playing games on your Nintendo, you might be wondering: can you play games made for the 3DS on a 2DS or 2DS XL?

Yes, You Can!

The good news is, you can! If you’ve got a 2DS or a 2DS XL, you can play all the games made for the 3DS. You might be asking, why is this the case? Well, it’s because the Nintendo 2DS and 2DS XL are actually part of the same family as the 3DS.

But What’s The Difference?

The main difference between the 2DS and the 3DS is the way they show the games. The 3DS shows the games in 3D, while the 2DS shows them in 2D. So, if you’re playing a 3DS game on a 2DS, the game will work fine, but it will look flat, not 3D.

What About the 2DS XL?

The 2DS XL can also play 3DS games, just like the regular 2DS. It does everything the 3DS does except for showing games in 3D. The 2DS XL also has some extra features that make it a bit better than the regular 2DS, like being able to use amiibos and running games a little bit faster.

So, Can I Play My Games or Not?

Yes, you can play all your 3DS games on a 2DS or a 2DS XL. You’ll just see them in 2D instead of 3D. But don’t worry! The games will still be just as fun and exciting to play, even without the 3D. But there are a few exceptions: games made exclusive for 3DS XL.

Exclusive games for 3DS XL that can’t be played on 2DS or 3DS

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Some games were specifically made for the New 3DS systems, taking full advantage of the hardware upgrades. Here is a list of those games:

  1. Xenoblade Chronicles: Originally a Wii title, Xenoblade Chronicles was remastered exclusively for the New 3DS systems. This epic RPG provides a rich story, complex gameplay, and a vast world for exploration.
  2. Binding of Isaac: Rebirth: A remastered version of the original Binding of Isaac game, Rebirth brings new gameplay mechanics, a new engine, new hand-drawn pixel style, and a lot more replayability to the table. This challenging, rogue-like top-down shooter will put your strategic planning and execution skills to the test.
  3. Fire Emblem Warriors: A hack and slash game developed by Omega Force and Team Ninja. This game takes the strategic elements of the Fire Emblem series and combines it with the fast-paced action of Dynasty Warriors, offering a unique gameplay experience.
  4. Wind-up Knight 2: An action-packed platformer where you control a wind-up knight on a quest to rescue the princess. You have to jump, swing your sword, and shield yourself from obstacles to succeed in this game.
  5. Runbow Pocket: This is a fast-paced action game with a unique color mechanic. Up to 9 players can join in on the fun and compete in a colorful race where the background color changes constantly, removing platforms of the same color.
  6. Futuridium EP Deluxe: A fast-paced, retro-style shooter with vibrant visuals and a thumping soundtrack. It requires quick reflexes to dodge and blast your way through the levels.
  7. BlockForm: This is a unique platformer where you control a cube and navigate through various levels. It takes advantage of the New 3DS’ enhanced controls for a smoother gameplay experience.
  8. Pixel Hunter: An action-packed platformer rendered in a delightful retro pixel art style. Players journey through different environments, battling enemies and collecting valuable items.
  9. Lifespeed (eShop): A futuristic racing game available on the eShop. Players pilot spacecraft at blistering speeds, racing against opponents in a fight for survival.
  10. Pinball Hall of Fame: Yet to be released, this game promises to bring classic pinball tables to life on the New 3DS.
  11. Dragon Fang: Released in Japan in Spring 2016, this is a dungeon crawler RPG with a unique twist.
  12. forma.8: Also yet to be released, forma.8 is a Metroidvania-style action-adventure game that promises to bring exciting gameplay and impressive visuals.
  13. SNES VC: This brings a library of classic Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) games to the New 3DS. It takes full advantage of the New 3DS’ improved hardware for smoother performance.
  14. Minecraft: New Nintendo 3DS Edition: This version of Minecraft is designed specifically for the New 3DS, offering the well-loved sandbox adventure on a portable platform with responsive controls and a steady frame rate.
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Each of these games offers something unique, and they all highlight the New 3DS’ capabilities, whether it’s the improved hardware, the additional control options, or the enhanced 3D visuals.

Games Enhanced for New 3DS Systems

Certain games have been enhanced for New 3DS systems, providing improved gameplay, faster load times, and more. Here’s a list of games that provide an enhanced experience:

  1. Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS: Faster load times, C-stick support for smash attacks, and Miiverse and Browser no longer disabled.
  2. Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate: Faster load times, enhanced textures, C-stick support for camera control, and Miiverse and Browser no longer disabled.
  3. Monster Hunter Generations: Faster load times, C-stick support for camera control, Miiverse and Internet Browser aren’t disabled when the game is running, and a more stable framerate.
  4. Ace Combat Assault Horizon Legacy +: Better load times, C-stick support, and Amiibo support.
  5. Code Name S.T.E.A.M: Three times the speed on New 3DS (compared to x2 speed mode) and support for Fire Emblem amiibo (Marth, Ike, Robin, and Lucina).
  6. Hyrule Warriors Legends: 3D Mode, higher FPS (smoother gameplay), C-stick support for camera control, and Zl button can be used to target enemies instead of using Down on the D-pad.
  7. Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse: ZL or ZR buttons to quickly swap between Inventory and Map screens.
  8. Retro City Rampage DX: C-stick support for shooting while moving, full advantage of the faster CPU for a smoother Turbo Mode, smoother screen effects, and faster fast-forwarding.
  9. Azure Striker Gunvolt: ZR/ZL to cycle weapons, improved load times, and gameplay performance improved on N3DS.
  10. Hatsune Miku Project DX: Faster load times and better anti-aliasing in 3D mode.
  11. Streamworld Heist: 60 FPS in 3D Mode (30 FPS on an old 3DS).
  12. Pokemon Sun/Moon: On non-new models, it has to boot into a dedicated mode with limited home menu access. Requires fully restarting the system to exit. Load times are faster on the New 3DS.
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Remember, the 2DS and 2DS XL are great if you want to play lots of different games and don’t care about seeing them in 3D. So go ahead and enjoy your games!

Marcus Richardson

I love testing and writing about new tech. I'm also a gamer and an engineer. Check out my Twitter for keyboard stuff.

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