How to Download Software Via DS Download Play

By Grahame Turner

Updated September 22, 2017

Items you will need

  • 1 or more Nintendo DS or DSi consoles

  • DS game cartridge with single-card multiplayer (see packaging)

i Sean Gallup/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Most of the Nintendo DS and DSi console's features aren't used as often as they could be, but there are a few neat tricks up the proverbial sleeve of the hand-held device. One of them is the Download Play feature, which allows you to play in-store demos, add content and even play multiplayer games with just a single game cartridge. If you're in a gaming store, you can access their Nintendo Download Station, but if you want to use Download Play at home, you will need a second player.

Single-Card Multiplayer

Turn on one DS console, and press the "A" button after the Nintendo screen appears. If the game doesn't begin automatically, start it from the main DS menu.

Locate the multiplayer option and start a single-card multiplayer game. If you have any trouble with this step, consult the instructions for your DS game. Wait for the game to begin broadcasting and looking for other players.

Open up the other Nintendo DS console and proceed to Section 2 "Download Play" to connect the other consoles.

Download Play

Power on the Nintendo DS console. Touch the touch screen when prompted. If the game starts automatically, turn off the DS, eject the card and start it again to bring up the DS main menu.

Tap the Download Play icon on the main menu and wait for the DS to establish a connection with the Download Station or the other DS console.

Select the game or content that you want to download and play on your device. Wait for the system to prompt you to play and then enjoy the new content.


Consult the packaging of the game to determine whether or not it's single-card compatible. The icon will depict two DS consoles with radio lines between them if there are multiplayer modes. If one of the consoles has black screens, and the other has white, you only need one card to play; if both console screens on the icon are black, you won't be able to play with a single card.

Many video game stores have the DS Download Stations. You won't be able to play other players at these locations, but you can use it to download demos and add-on content for certain titles. The system will produce a list of games and content that you can check out.