Spotting Pirated Nintendo DS Carts

While hardware designs for the Nintendo DS homebrew community continue to evolve, ne'er-do-wells hoping to make a profit selling pirated games have kept pace with their progress. Not long after cheap, slimmed-down versions of PassMe devices (a homebrew tool that allows the DS to run "unsigned code") became market-ready, photos of pirated game carts emerged, already manufactured and presumably for sale.

This new dilemma not only affects the pockets of developers behind these titles, but anyone hoping to buy legit copies of DS games through eBay or other online methods. GBA bootlegging is already prevalent on eBay, plaguing both bargain-hunters and collectors alike. Pirated carts are notorious for poor construction, second-rate manuals, and crashing savegames.

Fortunately, there are several inconsistencies one can look out for to avoid the contraband carts. Using the posted pictures of the initial black-market batch, we have noted irregularities to look out for when buying your next DS game online.

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