3DS Black Screen Crashes Due To Wi-fi?

We picked up on stories circulating (some first hand via TSA writers) earlier in the week that Nintendo’s new 3DS was crashing with what’s since been dubbed the ‘black screen of death’ by some.

Although there’s no ‘death’ involved – the worst that happens is you need a reboot and you lose any progress since the last save – it is frustrating, and although we’ve only personally seen it happen with two games there’s been no real word from Nintendo about how to fix the problem other than the usual ‘try the latest firmware’ line we’ve seen around the ‘net:


“If anyone is experiencing any problems with their Nintendo 3DS console, we recommend that in the first instance they download and install the latest system update, now available online,” said a spokesperson on Monday.

However, as the problem settles and people stop overreacting, it’s clear there’s a pattern emerging – and it seems to be linked to whether or not your Wi-fi connection is on.

We don’t know much more yet, but from taking samples from various message boards (including NeoGAF) the general consensus appears to be that most, if not all the crashes, happen when the 3DS’ network slider is at the ‘on’ position.

Any 3DS owners out there like to help verify this for us?  It’s obviously something we’re hoping can be fixed via a new firmware update, but in the meantime at least we can try to figure out any constants.

It’s also worth reiterating that any such crashes are few and far between, some of us haven’t seen any at all and the vast majority of users are perfectly happy.

Image: NeoGAF.



  1. had this problem on rayman with everything on not tryed it with the wifi off tho. the firmware update hasent worked for lots of people as well :(

  2. Hello all,

    Not sure if this problem has been fixed yet, but I successfully fixed my issue. I had the same issues as most people and that booting up the 3DS without wireless was perfectly fine. I was running version Everytime I would turn on the wirless the LED light for the wireless would go on but I noticed that the light would stay solid and not flicker like usual. Fortunately I had another 3DS to compare with and this is what I noticed. My 3DS would crash and give the dreaded System error. I was the unlucky one where my warranty had expired, so I dediced to do a repair myself. (Do not attempt taking apart your 3DS, as this will void warranty and you could damage your device. I take no responsibilty open at your own risk) I opened the bottom cover to reveal the bottom circuit board. On this board is the WiFi adapter, which is closest to the headphone input, make sure that the connection is securely in as this may be the fault if your 3DS was dropped. Dropping the device may cause some components to pop out of place Basically what I think the issue is that when you turn on the wireless it does a system check and determines a fault.

    Lucky for me I did end up doing an extra step before the above mentioned. I had another 3DS known working and removed the WiFi adapter and placed into the broken unit. I powered 3DS up and right away I noticed the LED light for the wireless flickering telling me that I may have communications working. I decided to place the original WiFi adapter back into the broken 3DS and again I noticed the flickering LED status light. I let my 3DS sit for about 5 minutes without any issues and then proceeded to play a multi-player game with my son and everything was fine. I even took it a step further and was able to update the firmware without a crash.

    Hopefully this issue may have some light shedded on it.


  3. Oh to add onto my last post a possible way to determine if the WiFi adapter is the issue is to check your system settings to confirm the MAC address. Go to settings from the main screen and then Internet settings. Next go to Confirm MAC Address. You should get something like this 2C-45-D2-7F-3E-0A. Some people have been getting 00-00-00-00-00-00, which indicates that the adapter is not connecting to the system properly. Hope this last piece of info helps

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