FBI, the 3DS’ essential homebrew tool, has been culled from GitHub

Sad Mario Render and the 3DS FBI homebrew logo on 3DS screens

Sad Mario Render and the 3DS FBI homebrew logo on 3DS screens

One of the most essential 3DS homebrew tools has been removed from GitHub. Following the closure of Nintendo Switch emulator Yuzu and 3DS emulator Citra, the 3DS homebrew tool FBI has been taken down by its creators.

FBI is a 3DS homebrew tool used for the installation of other homebrew titles on the system. Not only does the tool allow the installation of other third-party software — and, of course, pirated games — but also the dumping of NAND to protect your hacked 3DS.

For those who frequently toy around with a hacked Nintendo 3DS, FBI is one of the most important tools you can have installed. However, the software has now been removed from GitHub.

Fans on the GBATemp forums, a site known for sharing knowledge on homebrew and fan projects, posted about the software’s removal. While FBI has been feature complete since 2020, the software’s developer Steveice10 has wiped all of their work from GitHub with fans now attempting to archive it.

With Yuzu paying Nintendo over $2 million in a settlement over its emulation technology, many faces in the Nintendo modding community are scared of consequences. For example, the developer of DS emulator Drastic has revealed plans to remove the software from sale, after just making it free for the first time in over a decade.

The removal of FBI has struck a chord throughout the Nintendo modding community. While piracy was possible due to the tool, that’s not the reason it was created, and many have used the tool to create and load homebrew such as fan games, emulators and modded ROMs for years.

“I hope this doesn't mess up with all the set-up and process to jailbreak/download new games on the 3DS, it would be a horror,” one fan said. “If this kind of thing keeps going on, it wouldn't be a bad idea to start archiving the source code to every (free) software I download,” said another.

FBI’s removal could be linked to Yuzu and Citra’s settlement with Nintendo. Steveice10, the creator of FBI, was involved with the development of Citra. With the recent settlement, the creator would be in violation by continuing the development of FBI and other 3DS tools.

Right now, fans are archiving versions of FBI and other 3DS tools to keep them alive on the internet. With the 3DS homebrew community’s reliance on FBI, its preservation is currently essential.

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