Charge Your 3DS/XL Over USB with this $4 Cord

I finally caved and bought a 3DS a few months ago, and while I love the thing, it’s always bothered me that it shipped with a bulky AC wall adapter, instead of a USB power cord like I’d grown accustomed to with all of my other gadgets. So on a lark, and with a few long flights on the horizon, I Googled around for 3DS USB cables. Lo and behold, they exist! And they work!


If you own a 3DS or 3DS XL and don’t have this cord, it’s the best $4 you’ll spend today. In addition to taking up less space in my bag, the cord lets me power my 3DS anywhere I charge my iPhone, including from an inexpensive external battery pack like this one.


This all means that I don’t have to crank down my brightness to save power, or suffer through minor panic attacks during long car or plane rides without an AC outlet. In fact, if I lost the 3DS’s original power brick, I’d have zero motivation to buy a new one. [Amazon]

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Word of advice, if you use this to charge it over usb via cell charger or laptop port. It will be SLOW. By default, usb ports deliver power at 500mV unless the device communicates/negotiates a higher voltage. This is done to prevent damaging a device by overcharging, and also because most devices do not need higher voltage by default.

This is also why an iOS charger will charge an iphone quickly, but a SGS5 slowly (they essentially don't communicate)

For us 3DS users, this means that your 3DS will consume battery power faster than it can be charged, as the 3DS was never designed to charge via usb, for w/e reason. The good news is, if you are on a road trip, and you start getting that red light, you can plug it into a portable battery/car charger, & catch a few Z's.