Only just bought your CycloDS Evolution, and you're not sure what to do with it?
Follow these instructions carefully and you'll get it up and running in no time at all, without any risk of breaking it.
1. Buy microSD(HC)
The CycloDS Evolution can't operate without a microSD card. You will need to either buy one of these separately, or buy the microSD and a CycloDS in a bundle from an online supplier.
If you buy it separately, please make sure you are buying the right thing. A microSD is different to an SD or miniSD card.
Deciding which one to get
If you have a lot of games, movies or music to use on your DS, the bigger the better. microSDHC's can reach up to 32GB and you could be looking at around 20-30 dollars for one.
If you're just an average gamer with no more than 20 games, and with no intention to play a lot of music or movies on your DS, a 4GB microSD card will be just fine for you. Generally you can find them for less than 10 dollars from most retailers.
The difference between microSD, microSDHC and microSDXC
microSD cards range from 1GB - 4GB in capacity
microSDHC cards have a maximum 32GB capacity
Both of these cards are compatible with the CycloDS Evolution.
The microSDXC can hold more than 32GB in files, but is not compatible at the time of writing.
2. Install firmware
Download the latest stable firmware from the CycloDS Support page. This firmware applies to both the CycloDS Evolution and the new DSi compatible flashcart from Team Cyclops (not yet released)
Find the microSD(HC) reader that should have come in the same tin as your CycloDS Evolution. Put your microSD card into this reader, and plug the reader into a spare USB port on your computer.
Windows - When the reader is recognised, open My Computer, and double-click on the drive that represents your microSD reader to open it. The folder you have opened is called the 'root' of the microSD.
Extract the update.evo file from the downloaded firmware. You will now need to drag-and-drop the update.evo file into the open microSD folder. Then close the folder.
Windows - look at the bottom-right of your screen. Try to find a small icon that looks like the end of a cable, with a tick inside a green dot. Right-click this icon, then left-click on the drive letter that applies to your microSD reader. Wait for the computer to tell you that it is safe to remove, then pull it out (if the computer tells you not to remove it, make sure you have closed all folders)
Put the microSD card into your CycloDS Evolution, and put the CycloDS into your Nintendo DS's slot 1. Turn the DS on and you will notice that 'CycloDS Evolution' appears in the menu. Touch this, and the CycloDS should boot up and install the firmware. It will automatically delete the update.evo file when it is finished, and create a new folder called 'CycloDS'.
3. Add games and homebrew
Plug your microSD back into your computer using the USB reader, and open the root folder (instructions are above if you have forgotten how to do this).
Create a new folder in the root of the card called 'DS Games' (right-click and select New > Folder in Windows). Double-click on this folder to open it.
Your next step is to find the games or homebrew on your computer. Their names should end with the extension ".nds" - drag and drop these into the DS Games folder you created.
- A good place to start looking for homebrew is at Wikipedia: List of Nintendo DS homebrew
- If you want to play the games you have bought, you should read this FAQ on CycloDS.tk: Dump your DS/GBA games
When you are finished, safely remove the USB reader and put your microSD card back into the CycloDS.
NOTE: Everything below this point is not yet finished being written.
I recommend you ask for help here if you can't find instructions elsewhere.
4. Add music (optional)
This is very similar to step three. You should create a new folder called 'Music' and double-click it to open it. Then, drag-and-drop your music into this folder. It couldn't be easier :)
Installing a music player
The recommended music player for CycloDS Evolution is Moonshell.
- Install Moonshell 1.7.1 for CycloDS Evolution - you can find it on this page
- Install Moonshell 2 once you are confident with using the CycloDS - you can find instructions here
I recommend reading the very useful Moonshell 2 FAQ on GBAtemp.net.
5. Installing skins (optional)
Getting a skin
Doesn't that background look boring? Don't you wish you had better-looking icons when you look at your CycloDS Evo's menu? Well, it's definitely possible to change all that, and it isn't very hard to do either. The first step is to actually find a skin that you want to install!
- Go to the Skin Collection - find some cool skins to use on your DS!
- Learn how to make skins - so you can make your DS look exactly like you want it to!
Adding it to the microSD
Once you have your skin, make sure you extract it from the archive - you should have a folder named after your skin, with five .bmp images and a skin.xml file inside.
Plug your microSD into the computer and open up the CycloDS folder (located on the root of the card). Next, open the 'skins' folder (if one doesn't exist, create it first).
Move or Copy/Paste your skin folder into this spot and exit the folder. Safely remove your microSD drive and put it back into the CycloDS.
Making it work
Boot up the cart, and open the settings. Change the skin to the one you made, and exit back to the main menu.
You should be able to see your skin instead of the default one that comes with the CycloDS when you buy it. - congrats, you got it working! :)
6. Add movies (optional)
The first thing you will need to do is to install Moonshell! Installation instructions for two versions of Moonshell are in step 4 (above). Make sure you have this installed and it works as it should before continuing.Movies need to be converted to the Nintendo DS' native format - which is DPG - before you can use them. To start off, I recommend reading this guide from Fattass . It explains how to pull your movie off the DVD disc, and how to convert it into a DPG file.
Your next step is actually playing the movie on your DS.
Move the DPG file to your microSD card. For example, you might want to create a new folder called 'Movies' and put it in there. Safely remove your microSD from the computer, then put it back into the CycloDS Evolution. Boot up the flash cart and run Moonshell.
Move through your folders until you find the movie, and double-tap it to play. Enjoy :)
7. Add GBA support (optional)
You will need to first purchase a compatible slot 2 device. The EZFlash V 3-in-1 or EZFlash V 3-in-1+ are recommended.
This section is incomplete, ask if you need help.
8. Add emulator support (optional)
Emulator support allows you to play original Gameboy games, as well as other consoles, on your Nintendo DS.
I recommend reading this excellent thread about emulation.
This section is incomplete, ask if you need help.