Best 3DS and 2DS Accessories for 2018
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Whether you’ve got a 3DS, 2DS, New 3DS, New 3DS XL, or New 2DS XL (phew – did we miss any?) you’ll probably quickly find yourself looking for accessories to expand the potential of Nintendo’s portable console family.
From power chargers (which Nintendo mysteriously doesn’t include with some models) to carry cases, face plates, and NFC readers, there are plenty of add-ons you might want for a 3DS or 2DS – and that’s not even getting to the simple stuff like extra storage or replacements for that easily lost stylus.
With that in mind, these are the essentials: the various bits of kit that no self-respecting 3DS owner should be without (with a few more optional goodies thrown in too). We’ve tried to highlight which console version each piece of kit is best suited for – and if you’re not sure which DS you own, our 3DS and 2DS buying guide should help clear that up.
It’s also worth remembering that we include some accessories and games in our regularly updated guide to the best UK 3DS deals, and we’ve also rounded up our pick of the best games you can play on any of the 2DS and 3DS consoles too.
3DS Power Adapter
Here’s a boring one to kick things off: a power adapter. Not just as a replacement for a lost one, but because for reasons best known to itself Nintendo has opted not to include a charger in the box with any of the the 3DS XL, New 3DS, or New 3DS XL consoles – so if you buy one of them, you’ll need to grab a charger separately.
Luckily, they’re pretty cheap, and the same chargers work across the entire 3DS and 2DS family, so you can always use the same one for multiple consoles. They’re included in the box with the 2DS models though, so don’t worry about that.
You can also pick up charging cradles and docks, but official variants can be a bit tricky to find depending on your console model.
If you want something a little different, there are a few cables on Amazon to charge a DS using a USB port, so you could in theory charge your console from a computer or your phone charger. We haven’t tested any out for ourselves yet, and none are officially approved by Nintendo, so bear that in mind.
The first accessory anyone should buy for any portable console is a carry case. We were impressed by the selection from Hori – hard cases that come with an elastic strap to hold the console in place, as well as space for up to six games.
The cases are big enough for any of the clamshell consoles, including the XL models, so will fit anything except the original 2DS. They also come in a range of designs, from Pikachu and Pokemon Ultra Sun and Moon through to retro Mario and Zelda designs.
3DS NFC Reader/Writer for Amiibo
Here’s another one that’s only useful depending on which console you own. Nintendo’s official NFC Reader/Writer gives the original 3DS, 3DS XL, and 2DS consoles support for Amiibo, the company’s interactive figurines which also unlock exclusive in-game content.
It’s worth noting that if you own any of the consoles with ‘New’ in the name then you don’t need this, as there’s Amiibo functionality built into the console itself. But otherwise this is a great way to get into the Amiibo ecosystem and take advantage of the figurines, which also work with the Switch and Wii U.
SanDisk Ultra 32GB SDHC Card
Every model of 3DS or 2DS comes with an SD card included, but it only includes either 2GB or 4GB of storage. Pick up a few digital games from the eShop and you could find that filling up quickly, so we’d recommend investing in a bigger card before you run out of space.
The good news is that SD cards are cheap – that’s why we recommend this SanDisk Ultra, which at 32GB boasts the maximum storage that the console can support along with decent transfer speeds, all for substantially less than the cost of even a single game.
Every 3DS or 2DS comes with a stylus for the touch screen, but they’re small, fiddly, and very easy to lose – especially for younger players.
The good news is that replacement styluses are cheap and readily available. The bad news is that Nintendo has continually tweaked the stylus design, so you need to be careful to make sure you buy the right type – otherwise it won’t slot neatly into your console.
If you’re in the UK, we’ve tracked down these as the best bets for the 3DS, 3DS XL, New 3DS, New 3DS XL, 2DS, and New 2DS XL. Links may vary in other countries, so the best bet is just to search on Amazon, taking care to include the specific model of your console.
3DS Circle Pad Pro
This awkward looking contraption is designed to add a second control stick and additional shoulder buttons to the original 3DS, which adds additional functionality to quite a few games or simply makes them easier to play and control.
It’s a touch unwieldy, but for original 3DS and 3DS XL owners it’s much cheaper than an upgrade to one of the ‘New’ edition consoles, and is definitely worth it if you regularly play a game that takes advantage of the second control stick.
You can also pick up a version for the 3DS XL here.
New 3DS Cover Plates
There are plenty of features that Nintendo has chosen to limit to specific 2DS and 3DS consoles, but one of the strangest is the decision to limit interchangeable cover plates to just the New 3DS.
Even the New 3DS XL doesn’t get the swappable covers, which let you decorate your console with a range of official designs, usually featuring one or more of Nintendo’s own characters. Plus, they’re made by Nintendo itself so you know they’ll fit and be of pretty reliable quality.
UK readers can also check out the selection on Nintendo’s official online store.
2DS XL Pikachu Protector
The New 2DS XL may not support Nintendo’s official interchangeable covers, but Hori has made this handy alternative for owners of the new console.
The transparent protector comes in two parts which clip onto the top and bottom of the console, offering a layer of protection together with a snappy gold Pikachu design.
Build quality is top notch, with cut outs for all the ports and cameras, and the transparent finish means it complements the design of the console itself, rather than just covering it up.
Pikachu Plush Bag
If you’re looking for a carry case that’s a little more unique, consider this soft Pikachu bag. It’s big enough to fit any of the clamshell consoles, but not the flat 2DS – in fact it’s big enough to fit multiple consoles at once, or a console along with a phone or other tech, so it’s ideal for parents looking for a single case for multiple kids’ consoles.
There’s an optional strap, long enough to carry the bag over a shoulder, and an internal pocket that’s ideal for cables, games, or other accessories you want to carry with you.
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