8 amazing 3DS secrets to wow and amaze your friends

3DS is finally out in the UK (and almost in the US)! But there's so much to discover in the unit's built-in applications alone, you could easily spend the first couple of days you have it happily tinkering away without even playing an actual 3DS game card. But to save you time, here are the best built-in secrets and neat functionality so you can instantly know more than your mates. Ready? Let's go.


1) Blow on the mic

Is it just a knowing nod towards DS' most over-used trick? Or is Nintendo just keen to program secrets into everything? While browsing the home screen, try blowing into the microphone (located on the front, just to the lower-right of the start button) or tapping the back of the device with your hand and watch the logo spin. This is especially pretty if you've got the 3D switch on and are hovering over the Mii Plaza. Look at it go!

Above: This blows. In the wind, I mean. And just wait until you play loud music to it...


2) The help bird is mad

The little green and yellow bird that shows up to give you hints in the photo and music screens has always got something to say if you tap him. Thing is, he's bonkers. He told us that the word 'camera' is actually derived from the latin word for 'room'… but couldn't remember why until a few hours later.

Above: Mad bird is mad. Surely that 'OK' should read 'WTF?'

He also mimics you while you're on the sound playback screen. Try having a conversation with someone and he'll start repeating what you say, only slightly wrong. Chirp.


3) Play Game & Watch football

There are new 3D versions of the visualisation software from DSi built into the unit, so when you add music to the SD card on a PC, you can see it like it's 1969. Just choose the Nintendo 3DS sound application and select the music from the list of files. The song should start playing and you'll see the visualisation on the top screen.

The good news is, however, there's increased awesomeness over the old DSi version in the shape of a playable Game & Watch-style football game and a pilotable Arwing-alike. The latter even fires lasers at the background blocks when you play along on the shoulder-button instruments.

Above: Game & Watch lives on! Do keepy-uppies while you groove along to some fine music

(Thanks to CVG for pointing this one out).


4) The gyroscope affects the photo effects

In the 3D Camera mode, you can blow on the mic to make special effects like confetti or sparkles (oooh) flood onto the screen. While they're falling, tilt the device and they'll follow according to the rules of GRAVITY. Sorry to shout, I panicked.

Above: I defy anyone to look anything less than transfixed when these things come on the screen in 3D


5) Status updates work like chat

It's entirely probable that Nintendo will make some form of PictoChat for use with the new system, but until that firmware comes around, you can still chat with online friends, albeit in three word sentences. Just change your Mii's motto by tapping the smiling 'Friends List' icon at the top of the home screen, scrolling right until you see yourself, and selecting 'Write Message'. This will update the text on your friend's screen almost instantly, provided you're both connected to the internet of course. Primitive, but it'll do for now.

Above: The 3DS will also flash to let you know that a friend has come online, so keep an eye on it.


6) Puzzle Quest pics are worth getting

The StreetPass Puzzle Quest is ridiculously addictive, causing one journalist (who shall remian nameless) to become visibly uncomfortable when he couldn't pick up a StreetPass notification to get the last peice of one of the 3D picture puzzles.

But you really should try and get them. There are several to collect, from Zelda and Kirby to Pikmin and New Super Mario Bros. I've finished two so far. They're awesome. What you may not know is that you can then move the camera around with the Circle Pad.

Above: Are the pics worth all the hassle? If you have to ask, you clearly haven't started collecting the pieces

Incidentally, you can skip through pretty much everything at double speed in the StreetPass Mii plaza by simply holding down the right shoulder button. Well worth knowing when you've got a lot of friends.


7) Fish can see your tablecloth

You can trade in some of your daily play coins (simply walks more than 1,000 steps in 24 hours to get 10 play coins) to buy more AR games once you've gone through the first lot of six. In the Free Fishing mode, you can get different kinds of fish depending on the colour of the surface you're playing on.

A red tablecloth, for instance, will let you catch Cheep Cheeps from the Mario series. Blue will let you catch sardines.

Thanks again to CVG for this one.


8) Your favourite colour MATTERS

When you're making a Mii, you get asked what your favourite colour is. You'll immediately notice that it changes the colour of your T-shirt, but did you know that it directly affects StreetPass Quest? Every shirt colour has a unique magic ability that can be used in battle. Some create environmental conditions (yellow makes a sandstorm that lowers the accuracy of sword attacks), others are elemtal attacks (red for fire, blue for water etc) and some boost the stats of the next player in your team.

Make sure you persuade one of your friends to wear a white T-shirt. You'll need it later on. Trust me...

Found anything else that we haven't? Let us know in the comments!

25 Mar, 2011


Look how much fun we've had with the 3D camera... 
See Mario, Link, Samus and more running around in the real world



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Using your 3DS to put boobs on everyone and everything: The professional photographer's guide 
Yeah, pretend this isn't the first thing you're going to do when you get one...


  • philipshaw - March 26, 2011 12:43 p.m.

    I found a couple of these by accident, thanks for pointing out the ones I didn't know about
  • ViolentLee - March 26, 2011 8:02 a.m.

    Are these little hardware Easter eggs supposed to compensate for the crap-ass launch lineup? I guess Ninty doesn't care if people don't buy third-party games as long as they pick up the hardware and dick around with it.
  • Spybreak8 - March 26, 2011 1:29 a.m.

    Street pass, wifi, well friends who would actually have a 3DS will not be used, or around my area. Street pass might be fun in the city but out here in bo fu*ckin nowhere I doubt I'll ever see another 3DS profile. I like the AR stuff though.
  • yasmarc - March 25, 2011 8:48 p.m.

    Sharkbot- If you lose friends over something you think is exciting you need better friends! Most of my friends have a nerd side and I know they'd appreciate all this stupid shit. Stupid is fun, like never getting past the first level of Battletoads because you can't stop killing each other.
  • bobbybroccoli - March 25, 2011 8:28 p.m.

    That puzzle quest screen looks very detailed. The 3ds has some really nice loking graphics.
  • sirdilznik - March 25, 2011 5:17 p.m.

    Gotta love all the wacky extras Ninty packed into this portable.
  • Sharkbot - March 25, 2011 5:07 p.m.

    "3DS secrets to wow and amaze your friends" Lol. HEY GUYS I'M 16 LOOK WHAT MY 3DS CAN DO. lolololol more like how to lose my friends. Not hating on 3DS, just saying don't do that to your friends lol
  • Sharkbot - March 25, 2011 5:04 p.m.

    Screw this list all i needed was the article to make boobs.
  • codystovall - March 25, 2011 4:51 p.m.

    What does black green and gray do?
  • alex-matthew - January 1, 2012 5:24 p.m.

    One of the greens are a summoning spell. guess nintendo figured youd get mad when your heroes wander off after one spell, but ive gotten a level 7 guy with a rabbit head from a green shirt hero
  • monsterhunter3rox - March 25, 2011 4:30 p.m.

    8 more reasons to buy a 3DS.
  • jackthemenace - March 25, 2011 4:20 p.m.

    ... OK, NOW i want a 3DS. I can catch SARDINES with my CARPET...!? -.-

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