Summary of the R4 SDHC Card

The R4 SDHC old Black box and new Gold box designs. The same team manufactures both (now the latter only) and they are genuine.

The R4 SDHC card was released by a rival team to the original Team R4 in the second quarter of 2008. This was mainly as a response to the cards that currently existed on the market – the R4v2 and the DSTT – only accepting up to 2GB Micro-SD cards. It was presented as a cheaper alternative to the then newly released M3 DS card as well, which was incredibly expensive.

There are more clones / versions of the R4 SDHC than ANY other DS card in existence.

The R4 SDHC is the second longest running production card in history behind the DSTT.

R4 SDHC Package Contents

The R4 SDHC package comes with:

  • R4 SDHC Card
  • Micro SD Reader
  • Blue Card Holder
  • Blue Ribbon

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R4 SDHC Official Features List

  • 2nd Generation Storage Device. No booting tool required.
  • Slot 1 interface- Fit perfectly in DS.
  • Supports micro SD card and micro SDHC card, Fat 16 and 32.
  • Supports any Micro SD card speed with no lag in game.
  • Supports Clean ROM. Just drag and drop. Work on any OS.
  • Built in NoPass.
  • Automatically detect save types.
  • Save directly to microSD card, not onto onboard chip.
  • Support Moonshell and other homebrew. Open I/O interface.
  • User friendly interface. Support touchscreen and button operation.
  • Supports rumble pak and memory pak.
  • Supports WiFi games.
  • Supports skin change for Operation Interface
  • Supports 4-scale-lightness adjustment (DS Lite only)
  • Supports Soft Reset
  • Supports Action Replay Cheat
  • Supports Moonshell. DLDI auto-patching.
  • Support Download play
  • Include high-Speed memory card reader.

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History of the R4 SDHC Card

The R4 SDHC was first produced by a rival factory to the original R4v2 in April/May 2008. At the time, only the R4v2, DSTT, and M3DS cards were really in mass production for the DS and DS Lite, and adopted en-masse by the public. The R4 SDHC was produced in response to public demand for an equivalent to an R4v2 card that could accept Micro-SD cards with larger capacity than 2GB.

At the time, the DSTT’s menu system (a ‘list’ system rather than giving the user the option of choosing games or multimedia) was not very popular with the general public, and the M3DS was generally recognised as being too expensive, albeit a good card. The R4 SDHC, therefore, was picked up like it was going out of fashion – it easily the most popular Nintendo DS / DS Lite card instantly. As a result of this, there have been many clones of the R4 SDHC card – more than any other card in existent (see the R4 SDHC Clones section for more information).

The R4 SDHC remains the most popular Nintendo DS / DS Lite card in history.

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R4 SDHC Clones

Because the R4 SDHC was so popular when it first came out, many rival factories acted quickly to try and produce their own versions of the R4 SDHC. A few clone cards made some impression on the market (i.e. quality was above acceptable) and therefore managed to sell a fair number of units.

Some of the R4 SDHC clones that did not end up being popular / were of low quality, include:




The R4 Advance no longer exists and suffered a rather short-lived life owing to poor firmware. The R4 SDHC Upgrade was a ‘clone of the clone’, stealing the box design of the ‘R4v3 upgrade’ card described below (one of the ‘successful’ clones). Because of how similar they were, consumers did not buy the newer card simply out of confusion. It still exists but is less reliable (and popular) than the original.


The R4 Ultra was a 100% complete copy of the R4 SDHC card albeit with poorer firmware. The exact copy of the box design (with the exception of the website being different on the bottom of the box) meant it was immediately branded as a ‘fake’ and it died a rather spiteful death. The R6 card did a good job of differentiating itself, but suffered from too similar a name to the R4, and losing the exposure of the R4 brand.

There has been one more popular R4 SDHC clones on the market that actually have firmware that is acceptable (although still inferior to the original). It is known as the R4v3.

Of all the clones of the original R4 SDHC, the R4v3 appears to have stable firmware. It is still not produced in nearly as many numbers as the R4 SDHC, but the firmware for it certainly seems playable.

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Is My R4 SDHC Card a Clone? (Which Software to Use?)

The most common problem many people have is figuring out which type of R4 SDHC card they have. Usually they are given one as a gift, and do not know the original from the clones. To tell the R4 SDHC Original, R4 SDHC Upgrade (Clone) and R4v3 (Clone) apart, first tell the following:

First, check to see if your R4 SDHC card has the word “Upgrade” on it, as below.

If the card itself says “Upgrade” on it, then your R4 SDHC card is either an R4 SDHC Upgrade, or an R4v3 – not the original R4 SDHC card. So one option can be eliminated.

If you are sure that your card is either the R4 SDHC Upgrade or the R4v3, then perform the following test. Insert a blank Micro-SD card into the card, then put it into your DS or DS Lite. You will get an error message.

The R4 SDHC Upgrade clone is based on the DSTT software, so the error message you will see is “Menu?” like the DSTT card. However, the R4v3’s software is based on the original, and it will show “Loading”.

These two tests combined should tell you whether you have an original R4 SDHC card – and if you don’t, it should tell you which clone you have (of the main two types).

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R4 SDHC Official Website

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Download R4 SDHC Software

You can download the R4 SDHC software from the official R4 SDHC website listed above. Alternatively, you can download the software from the mirrors of our sponsors (who have allowed us to link to them) below. Please note: this website does NOT accept simple paid advertisements. I must have personally bought a card from a sponsor and decided their service is good, before a link is allowed to be accepted.

R4 SDHC Official Software from NDS-Gear (U.K. based website)

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