No$GBA DS FAQ 2.0 This FAQ is meant only for DS emulation. I don't have enough experience with GBA emulation to answer those questions as well. At the time this FAQ was written no$gba 2.6 was the current free version and no$gba 2.6a was the current donate-to-get-it-early version. I will try and maintain the FAQ for future versions as well though, but in case I don't I appologise if the information in this guide is incorrect as it was written specifically for those 2 versions. [!] In order to quickly locate the particular question you may have you can use your browser's find function (usually Ctrl+F) and automatically go to the question by typing it's number in from the contents section below. EG. If you want say gamepad support then you can enter "37." into your browser's find function and your browser will automatically take you there, or alternatively you can always just search for specific terms like "speed" or "blank text". Contents 0. Is this FAQ up to date? 1. Can I use WiFi? How do I use Pictochat? How can I gain Insert_special_item_here? How can I link 2 DS games? Can I use Pokemon Palpark? How do I trade Pokemon between Diamond and Pearl? DS multiplayer? Wireless? 2. How do I insert a GBA game into my DS game in order to obtain special items? 3. How do I get the latest version? 4. I can't donate? Donations are down? 5. When is a new version coming out? When will 2.6a become free? 6. I want to contact Martin? 7. I can't load any games? I get some sort of unable to read card error? The data could not be accessed. Turn of the power and reinsert the DS card? Some sort of strange japanese/spanish/any other language text when I try to load any DS game? Correct savetype for my game? Cartridge not found? 8.a Help I can't save my game? 8.b Help I lost my save data? 8.c Help no$gba crashed when I tried to load my save? 9.a Where are my saves located? 9.b How do I transfer my saves to iDeaS? 10. No$GBA Snapshots (save states)? 11. Help no$gba can't remember any of my settings or saves, each time I start it absolutely everything is gone? 12. Help no$gba crashed when I tried to load my game? 13. How do I obtain the firmware and BIOS files? 14. Are the firmware and BIOS files required? 15. Can I change the appearance of that screen before I load a game? How can I save the settings I make to that screen when no$gba loads? 16. No$gba crashed/froze/restarted/BSoDed (Blue screen of death) my entire PC? 17. My English game loads in Spanish/French/Another Language? 18. How can I change the time? 19. How can I set my birth date? 20. Does no$gba have skinning support? Where can I find skins? 21. How can I increase the screen size? Run the game in fullscreen? Make the screen bigger? 21.a How can I rotate the screen? 22. How would I emulate the closing of the DS lid? 23. No$gba simply crashes during gameplay? 24. Microphone support? 25. How can I mute only no$gba? 26. How can I control no$gba's volume independently of my system? 27. Sound is rough/bad/plays imperfectly? 28. My game appears frozen? Pokemon Diamond/Pearl freezes after the first battle? 29. No$gba runs abnormally/looks abnormal? 30. Where can I find cheats for no$gba? 31. How do I apply cheats in no$gba? 32.a How can I speed no$gba up? 32.b No$gba appears to slow down over time? 33. I have a dual-core or quad-core PC though so why is no$gba running so slow? Will multi-core support be added? 34. My game runs too fast, how do I slow it down? 35. My game renders incorrectly? Appears unplayable? Text gets stuck on the screen? Transparency Problems? Blank Text? 36. The colours are not bright enough/too bright? 37. I can't setup my gamepad propperly? 38. Will I add GBA Questions and Answers to this FAQ as well? 39. Can you use this FAQ somewhere else? 0. Is this FAQ up to date? This FAQ is as up to date as my activity on http://forums.ngemu.com is, so if you see me still actively posting then yes this FAQ is as up to date as I can make it. 1. Can I use WiFi? How do I use Pictochat? How can I gain Insert_special_item_here? How can I link 2 DS games? Can I use Pokemon Palpark? How do I trade Pokemon between Diamond and Pearl? DS multiplayer? Wireless? None of these are possible at this stage as the basic wifi emulation which is mentioned in the emulator's changelog does not work yet for all intents and purposes above. This is also confirmed by Martin himself stating further down that it does not work yet for practical purposes. So let me repeat that. NO WIFI OR DS to DS LINK IS POSSIBLE AT THIS STAGE. If a game would give you a special item when using WiFI the only way to obtain it is to use a Codebreaker or Action Replay code to unlock it. Or in Pokemon's case use an app called PokeSav. No other DS emulator has working WiFi either. If pokemon and trade evolutions are your problem then please refer to these 2 threads. http://forums.ngemu.com/no-gba-disc...kemon-save-file-instructions.html#post1129550 http://forums.ngemu.com/no-gba-disc...-pokemon-alakazam-etc-no-gba.html#post1398285 2. How do I insert a GBA game into my DS game in order to obtain special items? Unfortunately at this point in time that can't be done. Please use a Codebreaker or Action Replay cheat code to obtain the item. Alternatively DeSmuME these days has the ability to use this function but I don't know how well it works or whether it works for all games. 3. How do I get the latest version? Well obviously from the no$gba homepage. You have to donate in order to obtain access to the very latest version (currently 2.6a). It's obviously suggested that you always have at least the latest free version. no$gba - nocash gameboy advance / nintendo ds emulator DONATIONS ARE BACK UP AGAIN 4. I can't donate? Donations are down? As I said currently the donations are down for an indefinite period of time which effectively renders 2.6a unavailable and unfortunately you can't just give martin a friendly donation either. 5. When is a new version coming out? When will 2.6a become free? Nobody but martin knows the answer to this question. It's entirely up to him when he releases a new version and he is under no obligation to even give us another one. Basically it will be done when it's done and out when it's out. As soon as a new version does come out it will be the new donate-to-get-it-early version and 2.6a will become the free version. 6. I want to contact Martin? His address is hidden on the no$gba homepage...if you can't find it then he does not want you to contact him as you don't have enough intelligence to be worth his time. He also only wants emails from developers, not gamers. 7. I can't load any games? I get some sort of unable to read card error? The data could not be accessed. Turn of the power and reinsert the DS card? Some sort of strange japanese/spanish/any other language text when I try to load any DS game? Correct savetype for my game? Cartridge not found? Versions before 2.6a do not have an autodetect savetype function and therefore need to be set manually in 'Options->Emulation Setup->NDS cartidge backup media'. In order to find the correct savetype go to a site like AdvanScene and divide whatever savetype it gives you for the game by 8 to convert the bits to bytes for no$gba's use and then set it to that. Be aware that you then have to reset or reload the game for the savetype to come into effect. The only way a game will save correctly is if the correct savetype has been set. Also be aware that some games when started with the incorrect savetype will automatically wipe your save data and you will have to start from the beginning again. UniverseJDJ's Basic Profile Manager allows you to maintain preset profiles for your games which should allow you to prevent loss of save data on versions before 2.6 due to the game being loaded with the incorrect savetype. If you prefer not to go to AdvanScene every time you could memorize/store this table somewhere. FRAM 256Kbit -> FRAM 32Kbytes No game at this stage uses FRAM. For version 2.6a just set it to Auto. Most games are supported through the Auto setting, but some may require you to exclusively set the propper savetype. ADVANsCEne - Scene Releases - NDScrc - RToolDS http://forums.ngemu.com/no-gba-discussion/91403-basic-profile-manager-no-gba.html#post1166128 8.a Help I can't save my game? You make saves in no$gba ingame as you would on a normal DS, after having set the correct savetype in 'Options->Emulation Setup->NDS Cartridge backup media'. Make sure that you set the correct savetype, some games will load even on an incorrect savetype but then may not give you the ability to save or the save may become corrupt. Make sure that you have either reloaded or reset the game since you set the correct savetype. Also please make sure that you have actually extracted no$gba to a folder and are not running it from it's archive as archives run from temporary folders so once you close the archive everything including no$gba's settings will be gone. If none of the above applies then try removing all strange characters like spaces or dashes and the like from the game name and shortening it. No$gba Snapshots (save states) at this stage only support GBA games so a snapshot made from a DS game will cause no$gba to crash upon loading. If no$gba crashes (like it does in Mario and Luigi - Partners in Time in version 2.6) upon saving then I am afraid that the game is then simply unplayable at this time. The 2 Questions below and this question sort of go hand in hand so if none of the above applies please read the answer to the question below as well. 8.b Help I lost my save data? First make sure that the correct savetype for the game is set and that you have since reset or reloaded your game. Also be aware that some games when started with the incorrect savetype may erase your save data and that you will then have to start from the beginning again or your last backup which you stored somewhere else. Your save must have the exact same name as your game so if you rename the one make sure to rename the other accordingly. Certain games appear to save even when using an incorrect savetype but it's best to always make sure to use the correct one as when using an incorrect one you may suddenly just find that it stops working one day. Also note that saves are only written to the harddrive when either reloading the game (not resetting), loading another game or exiting the emulator. If your emulator closes abnormally or crashes then all your save data for that session will be lost and your starting point will be the last save that was written to the harddrive. Occasionally saves can become corrupt aswell and become irrecoverable so I recommend that you backup (make copies of) the saves from the battery folder inside your no$gba folder to a different location on a regular basis. Make sure that your save and the game have the same name. I recommend reloading the game you are playing after every second or third save to make sure that the save is written to the harddrive incase your game crashes. The Questions above and below this question sort of go hand in hand so if none of the above applies then please read the answer to the questions above and below as well. 8.c Help no$gba crashed when I tried to load my save? If you saved the game via a snapshot (no$gba savestate) then it's useless and void as only GBA games support this feature at present. Occasionaly no$gba's ini file (no$gba.ini) may become corrupt, so you could try deleting it which will make no$gba create a new one after which you should then setup no$gba again...although usually this problem causes no$gba to crash or behave abnormally before a game or save can even be loaded. The 2 Questions above and this question sort of go hand in hand so if none of the above applies then please read the answer to the questions above as well. 9.a Where are my saves located? Inside the battery folder inside your no$gba folder. Backups should be stored in a different location. 9.b How do I transfer my saves to iDeaS? 10. No$GBA Snapshots (save states)? These only work for GBA games at this stage. 11. Help no$gba can't remember any of my settings or saves, each time I start it absolutely everything is gone? Settings for no$gba must be saved with 'Save Options' under the options menu. If that is not what's wrong the most likely you are running no$gba from it's archive. Archives automatically extract to new temporary folders ever time you open them. Everything is lost because it never opens the same temporary folder twice, it instead open a new temporary folder. Extract no$gba to a propper folder. Never run anything from an archive file (zip, rar, 7z) etc for anything other than taking a quick look before extracting the item to a propper location. 12. Help no$gba crashed when I tried to load my game? If you are running no$gba through your DS firmware (firmware.bin present in in no$gba's folder and 'Options->Emulation Setup->Reset/Startup Entrypoint dropdown set to GBA BIOS (Nintendo Logo)') then the game has to be encrypted using either eNDryptS or NDStool (which may have problems working on Vista). Note however that most games no longer require being loaded through the firmware as no$gba now has sufficient emulation of it so 'Options->Emulation Setup->Reset/Startup Entrypoint' dropdown should be set to 'Start Cartidge directly' to avoid the need for firmware and encryption. Alternatively try deleting no$gba.ini and allow no$gba to create a new one after which you will then have to setup no$gba again, but the corruption should be gone. 13. How do I obtain the firmware and BIOS files? These must be dumped from your DS, that's the only legal way to obtain them. For further info see the point below (Point 14.) 14. Are the firmware and BIOS files required? No$gba emulates a lot of the DS BIOS functions and therefore a lot of games run without the need for BIOS or firmware files. However there are still some games (especially newer ones) which make use of some unemulated functions and they will require the firmware and BIOS files. If you find your game freezing or refusing to load propperly even if all other settings are correct then it could be lack of these files causing that problem especially if others have no problems whatsoever running the game without additional tools. 15. Can I change the appearance of that screen before I load a game? How can I save the settings I make to that screen when no$gba loads? That's the firmware you should have dumped from your DS. No$gba does not have the ability to make any changes to it either with regards to settings or appearance. Changes to the firmware should be made before dumping the firmware from your DS, but I don't think a custom firmware will work, only the original DS firmware. 16. No$gba crashed/froze/restarted/BSoDed (Blue screen of death) my entire PC? None of these are the emulator's fault. It's either a hardware fault on your PC or a software fault somewhere in your system both of which no$gba just happens to access. Make sure all your drivers are up to date and that your system is not overheating. That's all the advice I can provide...it's up to you to find the cause of the problem. If your PC simply froze/stopped responding then it's likely you have a rather weak PC and that it simply could not keep up with no$gba. 17. My English game loads in Spanish/French/Another Language? The language is controlled by the firmware you placed in no$gba's directory. If you wish to change it then then do so on your DS before dumping the firmware. 18. How can I change the time? No$gba runs off your system time so if you wish to change it's time, then change your system time. 19. How can I set my birth date? This is controlled by the firmware. Before dumping the firmware from your DS set whichever date you want. If that's too much of a bother for you I suggest you find an Action Replay or Codebreaker code to give you the special item you would obtain on a certain date in some games. 20. Does no$gba have skinning support? Where can I find skins? No, but a skin may be applied through the use of either the tool myZoom or NOZ. http://forums.ngemu.com/no-gba-discussion/99160-myzoom-myzoomsoft-v1-8-26-ds-zoom.html#post1264106 http://forums.ngemu.com/no-gba-discussion/102143-no-gba-skinning-noz-v2-30-a.html#post1303843 http://forums.ngemu.com/no-gba-discussion/110017-setya5785-noz-2-32-english-translation.html#post1427114 You may find some skins in these threads. http://forums.ngemu.com/no-gba-discussion/102230-tyos-no-gba-skin-gallery.html#post1304877 http://forums.ngemu.com/no-gba-discussion/106599-sketch-skins-no-gba-emulator.html#post1377463 21. How can I increase the screen size? Run the game in fullscreen? Make the screen bigger? No$gba itself can't do this. The tool NDS2xGL2 offers 1.5x zooming though and myZoom offers even more zoom and some filters as well as fullscreen. For those of us who don't multi-task the whole time whilst playing there's also still the compatibility trick. Simply right-click on no$gba, click on Properties in that menu and then proceed to click on the compatibility tab, where under Display Settings you tick the option to run in 640x480 screen resolution. This will temporarily resize your monitor to 640x480 when using no$gba. http://forums.ngemu.com/no-gba-discussion/95507-nds2xgl-ds-zoom-new-version.html#post1217289 http://forums.ngemu.com/no-gba-discussion/99160-myzoom-myzoomsoft-v1-8-26-ds-zoom.html#post1264106 21.a How can I rotate the screen? No$gba itself can't do this. Please use either NOZ, myZoom or NDS2XGL2 along with no$gba. http://forums.ngemu.com/no-gba-discussion/95507-nds2xgl-ds-zoom-new-version.html#post1217289 http://forums.ngemu.com/no-gba-discussion/99160-myzoom-myzoomsoft-v1-8-26-ds-zoom.html#post1264106 http://forums.ngemu.com/no-gba-discussion/102143-no-gba-skinning-noz-v2-30-a.html#post1303843 http://forums.ngemu.com/no-gba-discussion/110017-setya5785-noz-2-32-english-translation.html#post1427114 22. How would I emulate the closing of the DS lid? Simply minimize no$gba to the taskbar and then maximize it again. If however a game does not require this feature as part of a puzzle or something and you simply minimize no$gba then this same feature can either lead to no$gba behaving abnormally or freezing upon maximizing it again or the game simply crashing. It's been reported that apparently in some cases where no$gba appears abnormal/frozen after it's been minimized, that minimising and maximizing it again can return it to normal. Note please that if you are using an addon tool like myZoom or NDS2XGL2 that this feature may not work, so you may have to use just the emulator for parts which require this. 23. No$gba simply crashes during gameplay? There are a number of different crashes, none with any solutions. If you get a crash with a message somewhere along the lines of 'Invalid GX command 000000CD' then the game is unplayable at this stage. If the crash is a 'microphone wave in failure' then it's just a random crash and you should be able to resume playing the game from your last save which has been written to the hardrive. Unfortunately the cause for this crash is not known. There are various threads speculating on various causes or solutions of it but none have proven to be a universal cause or solution...so basically at this stage it's just a random crash some games get, or rather some people get and others don't. A game may also crash if you change settings around too often midplay. 24. Microphone support? Yes no$gba has mic support although with variable success...some people get it to work flawlessly whilst others can't get it to work at all and have to use various workarounds using Audacity or something else. It would be best to read this thread. http://forums.ngemu.com/no-gba-discussion/112341-blowing-screen.html#post1475027 25. How can I mute only no$gba? Well setting the sound to 'none' in 'Options->Emulation Setup->Sound Output Mode' would accomplish this, however games like Pokemon wait for a sound to be played and when it's set to 'none' that sound is simply not emulated and therefore the game appears frozen as it wait for the sound which never comes. So for those games you can't set the sound to 'none' and therefore no$gba can't be muted so your only solutions are to either live with it, mute your whole system or if you have Vista use it to mute only no$gba. 26. How can I control no$gba's volume independently of my system? No$gba has no internal volume control so this is not possible. Users with the Vista operating system however can use Vista's Sound Mixer to lower just the volume of no$gba. 27. Sound is rough/bad/plays imperfectly? If your game only runs at 80% then sound will not be perfect and there will certainly be some crackle. There are however still unresolved sound playback issues for certain games so even if they appear to play at perfect speeds the sound may still crackle. 28. My game appears frozen? Pokemon Diamond/Pearl freezes after the first battle? Well it could be that game is waiting for sound feedback which is not emulated due to 'Options->Emulation Setup->Sound Output Mode' being set to 'none'. So the solution would be to set sound to something else. For instance in Pokemon Diamond/Pearl the game waits for the battle cry of the Pokemon deafeated in battle, if sound enumation is off then the cry never comes and the game appears frozen. Try pressing your buttons, at this stage no$gba still fails to render some messages so a game may appear frozen whilst an actual DS would show a message prompt ot press some sort of button (often the 'A' button). If you have minimized and then maximized the emulator try doing so again. If that does not work then I am afraid your game really is frozen and you will have to close the emu and resume from the last save which was written to the harddrive. 29. No$gba runs abnormally/looks abnormal? Most likely this is due to no$gba.ini becoming corrupt. Delete it and allow no$gba to create a new one again and then setup your emulator as you want it again. This could also be caused by a skin which you apply to your system not responding well to no$gba, so try to disable the skin from being applied to no$gba or if need be your whole system. You could also try right-clicking on the no$gba.exe and clicking on properties in the appearing menu. Then click on the 'Compatiblity' tab in the window that popped up. Under 'Display Options' put a tick next to 'Disable visual themes', then click the 'Apply' and 'Ok' buttons. 30. Where can I find cheats for no$gba? The codebreaker or codejunkies (action replay) sites would be the best places to look. GameFAQs or some of the other sites listed below could also occasionaly offer some codes though. Codejunkies - Cheat Codes for PS2, X-box & Gamecube CodeBreaker - CHEATING MADE EASY! GameFAQs - DS - FAQs, Cheats, Codes, Reviews, Message Boards Kodewerx • Index page Hiei-YYH Webpage 31. How do I apply cheats in no$gba? I did not have enough experience with cheats to answer this question myself so I asked for some input and got this info from imlost, so credit to him for this point. You may also want to check the 2 threads below incase they make things a little clearer for you. http://forums.ngemu.com/no-gba-discussion/106044-castlevania-dawn-sorrow-cheats.html#post1368153 http://forums.ngemu.com/no-gba-discussion/108177-help-me-plz.html#post1399420 32.a How can I speed no$gba up? Obviously the more detailed and 3D intensive the game the more system resources it will require to run acceptably. Well there is no real magical speed increase. Disabling Joysticks/Gamepads and SNESpad Adapter under 'Options->Emulation Setup->Controls tab' is apparently faster than having them enabled (screen filter is not mentioned as there is no filter for DS games so it's automatically off). According to the emulator setting 'Multiboot Normal/Burstdelays' to Fast/Fast is apparently also fast...although I think this has to do with linking GBA games so it's irrelevant. Setting 'Sound Output Mode' to 'none' and/or 'Sound desired Sample Rate' to 'low (10kHz)' is apparently also faster but I notice virtually no impact on my system. Also note that setting sound to 'none' may appear to freeze some games as they wait for sound to play which however never does. Toggling between various different options under 'Emulation Speed, LCD Refresh' will speed up the game or slow it down a bit, but it does so by frameskipping so both audio and amount of stutter experienced will increase or decrease as well. Some games will run faster under the '3D Renderer' 'nocash' whilst others might run better under 'opengl'. Both still have rendering problems however and therefore some games can only be played with one or the other. Don't run no$gba with any filters applied on myZoom or any zooming tool at all if you are struggeling for speed as they will each give you a variable performance hit. Your last option is to turn CPU intensive tasks like antivirus programs off on your system. Beyond the things mentioned here however nothing else can be done. If someone recommends overclocking I suggest you ignore them. Overclocking is very dangerous to your system and may cause great harm and completely destroy your system if you don't know what you are doing. Only even think about attempting to overclock if you know EXACTLY what you are doing and have more than adequate cooling for your PC.