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How to install new games on your NES Classic

The NES Classic — you saw our first vid on it, right? — is a cool little piece of nostalgia. But it's sorely lacking in the games department. Or, rather, it REALLY needs a way to add games.

Fortunately the NES community has answered, and in a big way. And after a few rounds of tinkering we now have a super easy way to add games to the NES Classic.

I used the "hakchi2" method. You'll want to read through the instructions yourself, but here's the gist of how I did it, boiled down from a reddit post ... and another Reddit post. Full props to those folks!

You'll need at least Windows 7 to get this done.

OBLIGATORY WARNING: You're doing this at your own risk. If your teeth loosen and your eyes start to bleed, I didn't do it.

  1. Download hakchi2 and unzip: direct download link
  2. Browse to your saved ROMs, and decide what you want to install on the NES Classic. (I kept the original 30 games, too.)
  3. Find box art — either use your own, or just hit the handy Google button in the GUI to automagically search. (Nice touch!)
  4. Plug your NES Classic into your PC using the Micro-USB cable. Leave the console turned off. We're going to enter FEL mode.
  5. Hold down the reset button on the front. Then press (and release) the power button. After a few seconds, release the reset button. You won't actually see anything happen.
  6. You should now be able to hit the sync button in the hakchi2 program. (If you didn't get the FEL mode thing right, it'll tell you. I didn't do it right the first time and nothing blew up.)
  7. Reboot the NES Classic.
  8. Profit!

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62 Comments
  • Can you just come back to AC?
  • Phil was cool before he got political. That's when stuff stopped being fun.
  • Politics aside, wouldn't you agree the site was an overall better experience when Phil ran things?
  • Not true. I stopped being fun sometime around 12 or 13. Just took the rest of y'all a while to catch up. :p
  • Hell no, the podcasts haven't been the same since you left. Admit it, you enjoyed the CES podcast munching on M&M's. I sure did and it brought back the fun in listening to these damn things every week. Bring back "Parking Wars" or something, we're dying here.
  • I kinda feel bad about all the Skittles noise. ... But ... SKITTLES!!! (And, yeah, I do miss the podcasts. I'll hop back on a regular one once we get the new office a little less echoriffic.)
  • And if you agreed with him, you would be kissing his butt. Stop being a deplorable pos for once.
  • This is exactly what I'm talking about. Thank you for proving my point. Android Central isn't supposed to be about stress and ugliness. If you want to conduct yourself like a mean person then go to some other sites comments section and spread your hate over there. Let's have fun over here. Let's enjoy the beautiful world of tech. It is possible for people to get along.
  • Blue, it's only hate cause you don't agree with it
  • And before he went all iPhone, lol
  • Money talks...
  • Wait? When did he get all political?
  • Here I am!!!
  • Phil and Jerry! The two guys I always looked to for issues or updates with my HTC Evo 4g. Then I got hip to XDA, then hooked like a drug (between ac and XDA) and then mainly AC when my flashaholic days were over. This site has been the best dam Android site ever imo.. until a few months ago. I don't know what this is anymore. Phil doing modern dad, sponsored ads every few articles, "how to use Android folders" (OK.. that one could help people) and Jerry doing a Pokemon piece. I'm not sure if AC has Jumped The Shark or has a bigger media presence idea in mind, but holy suffering Xmas, this is hard for us AC OG's. Dan seems like a very nice guy and is very good at what he does, but what the heck is happening? I feel like Derek Jeter left my Yankees and John Chen is our batting coach now (a big compliment to both of you btw.. Dan and Phil).
  • The comments section used to be a ton of fun as well but a few months ago certain subjects were brought up and people basically wanted to kill one another. Even the writers here on AC got involved and when they didn't like it or disagreed with what certain people were saying they simply blocked those people. This place hasn't been the same since. When that stuff happened I feel that AC lost its innocence. AC was supposed to be a safe and neutral place for all of us to come and enjoy the wonderful world of Android versus dealing with the stress and rigors of the real world.
  • Wow, glad I missed all of that while using another platform and focusing on other things. I assumed the Samsung explosion fiasco led to changes at AC, or the new ads...
  • This is annoying. I reset my password just so I could comment here. I follow Android Central on Facebook, Twitter, etc for Android news. Sometimes, and only sometimes, you guys have odd little features about other tech. That's cool. However, this whole cross posting Modern Dad thing is just junk, and happening way too often. I don't care about this new Nintendo box. Sure, I could un-follow on social media and never visit the site, but I still enjoy your core product: Android. Shouldn't this be on Connectedly, or "Modern Dad"?
  • Maybe you need to forget your password again.
  • Right because losing readership is the answer. It's that attitude that screwed things up in the first place.
  • You think they care about their readership? HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! You crack me up.
  • It's business. You should learn how to run one. If it was hurting business I'm sure they would change. A handful of commentors do not reflect the thousand of readers worldwide.
  • Exactly. Just like Walmart, screw the little guy. Yeah I understand your point. I work in public affairs and marketing. I totally get it.
  • Or maybe you should learn to run a business. Making short term gains by sacrificing long term customers is a sure fire method for failure.
    And I'm quite certain it's more than thousands of readers worldwide...for now. I'm also quite confident that if they don't change their ways it will be thousands soon enough.
  • All I see is ******** and the same people continuing to come back. Don't seem like anyone going anywhere. Meh. Business must be good.
  • Isn't connectedly dead? I uninstalled the app when there hadn't been a post for around four months. Anyway, this isn't the new Nintendo box... It's strange they haven't done any switch coverage given its tenuous link to android is arguably much stronger than that of the PS4.
  • Connectedly isn't dead it's just not nearly as popular as they probably hopes. That's why they post more of what would normally go on Connectedly on AC, because nothing makes a site better than posting articles that people don't want to read.
  • Might give this a shot. Love the NES Mini but I'd love for it to have Battletoads and Street Gangs (River City Ransom in the US). If it could connect to wifi and allowed you to purchase the games online, I would have loved to do that, but alas.
  • I know, right! OTOH, it wouldn't cost $60 anymore. (Not that you can buy it anywhere anyway ...)
  • If you're really desperate for Battletoads you could always get it as part of the excellent and bargainous Rare Replay collection on the XBox One.
  • This. Is. Awesome.
  • I imagine this invalidates your warranty.
  • I didn't come with a warranty.
  • can I get paperboy, superspike v ball and blades of steel doing this?
  • I'm pretty sure most people can afford the $60 to buy another one if they brick it.
  • Thanks! Wife bought me one and I was bummed that it didn't have a bunch of games that I really loved. I'll try this out tonight. :)
  • Probably worth mentioning the sketchy legality of this in regards to ROMs in general. Don't get me wrong, I use ROMs all the time, but I'm fully aware it's piracy.
  • The law isn't clear cut on this (at least in the UK and US) but generally speaking if you own a physical copy of the game, downloading and using a ROM probably won't land you in chokey. Not owning it (even if it's no longer available to purchase as most older video games are not) and downloading and using said ROM is illegal. Probably. Either way I'm surprised that Mobile Networks is advocating this, flimsy disclaimers notwithstanding.
  • Why Dio you need a law to tell you that taking some thing you didn't pay for, which is still sold, is wrong....
  • Not piracy or illegal in any way if you own cartridge or some other license for the media. Now I doubt that most people have the original cart for every rom they have ever played, but for the sake of clarity these things need to be said. Also related: The emulators themselves on any platform are not in any way illegal. Just like a DVD player is not illegal just because it played a pirated movie one time. An emulator is a tool to display content. Nothing more.
  • Agreed and well said - I should have clarified this, but I think my point remains - It's a bit irresponsible of Phil and Mobile Nations not to make any reference to the legal situation around ROMs when putting out an article that could be seen to be encouraging ROM use.
  • They sold those games in the 80's and made their money, now you can't use them because what? Nintendo has the rights? What good do they do Nintendo?
  • Please stop teaching and encouraging people to steal... I'm sorry, this is just irresponsible...
  • Even the part in the video — several times — where I said don't steal?
  • Yeah...Actually. in the same vein I wouldn't encourage you to post a video about building pipe bombs and then adding the disclaimer "but don't go blow anything up." But I promise that I'll shut up when the requisite article on how to backup your Nintendo cartridges appears on this site. You wouldn't want to be accused of leaving the option of downloading ROMS would you...Given that even owning the actual physical cartridge doesn't ever legally permit you to download Roms....
  • Pretty sure building the pipe bomb is illegal, too. So that doesn't work. But I hear ya. And I don't disagree. Don't do illegal stuff.
  • I'm pretty sure if you read through the software/hardware agreement that came with that NES mini...You'll find laguage prohibiting "modifying or reverse engineering software/modifying hardware," clause that's existed since time immemorial... That makes it illegal in the same scale. I don't actually own a NeS mini (as who the hell can find one)...But I'm 90% certian Nintendo is Nintendo is Nintendo. I do appreciate you at least disclaiming...
  • Morality police is in the building.
  • Violating the terms of service is the same thing as breaking the law... Also, if you have a copy of the cartridge, that acts as your license for the game and you can do whatever you want with them rom (whether it came specifically off the cart or some website is irrelevant). Emulators themselves are in no way illegal just like a DVD player is not illegal even if you play pirated DVDs in them.
  • Lol
  • Recently I posted complaining that Raspberry Pi articles didn't belong on AC. Anyone care to tell me why this article belongs on AC and not a site like Instructables or Hackaday?
  • I don't write for those sites. That's why. :p
  • How much memory does the mini nes have available to store extra games?
  • What a whiney comments section. Thanks for the tips Phil. It's always nice to see you here.
  • I'd like to get the NES Classic. Hopefully it'll be readily available in store eventually.
  • Oh NES... Nostalgia isn't what it used to be...
  • Phil.... You crawl out of the woodwork for this!
  • Sweet. So can you add any old zip you had from other emulators ? I have about 700 old NES ROMs on my old modded Xbox
  • Any podcasts about how to even BUY the damn thing!?!?! Out of stock always, everywhere...
  • Step 1: Sell your kidney to acquire an NES classic...
  • So what kind of memory does this thing have? i.e. how many games can you load?
  • Phil, what wireless controller are you using? Is it worth getting?
  • So if I have my old cartridges of games I want to play (Tecmo Super Bowl is the main one I want on there) how do I go about getting that on my computer to then upload it to the NES?