Skip to main content

How to hack an NES Classic to play more than 700 games

The NES Classic has an interesting history. Following its incredibly successful launch back in 2017, Nintendo discontinued the product but began manufacturing it again only a few months after announcing the NES Classic’s termination. After this, the company ceased production on the NES Classic and SNES Classic. Several years have passed since the last batch of mini retro consoles, so we don’t foresee them returning anytime soon unless they come in a re-release 30 years down the road. Keep reading to see how you can hack an NES Classic and give your console a second chance.

Related Videos




10 minutes

What You Need

  • NES Classic

  • Windows-based PC

  • USB cord

Although the NES Classic offers 30 of the best NES games, it can still become boring after you play it for a while. Luckily, players can easily download more games to the NES Classic. The device is basically a special, tiny computer that runs an emulator, which is a program that enables games to be played on non-native hardware. If you want to add more NES games to your Classic, you can do so with some tweaking and a lack of scruples. The good news is, you won’t even need to hack into the system, as a few tech-savvy Nintendo enthusiasts have already developed programs that allow games to load from a computer onto the Classic.

What you need to know

Remember, though, that you’ll need to have a digital copy of all the games you plan to install on your NES Classic. It’s legal to modify your NES Classic and download programs like the example we provided, but be careful; NES games are almost always copyrighted. You can use various trusted sites to download NES ROMs, but make sure the site you’re using is legitimate.

There are many popular sites where you can download NES ROMs, but make sure that any ROMs you download are legal.

Read the step-by-step instructions below to learn how to hack your NES Classic and add games to its library.

Further reading

nintendo nes classic edition hands on ho 010
Mike Epstien/Digital Trends

How to hack your NES Classic

To install games on the Classic, you will need a program like Hakchi, which we’ll be using in our example.

Step 1: The first thing you need to do is plug your NES Classic into a Windows-based PC using a USB cable.

Step 2: You can find the latest version of Hakchi from the developer’s page and download it. If you’re using Windows 10, all you need to do is right-click on the file and select Extract All to obtain the ZIP file. If not, you’ll want to extract it using WinZip or 7-Zip.

Step 3: Start the Hakchi program once you’ve extracted the ZIP file.

Step 4: You’ll see a new window pop up. Click the Synchronize Selected Games With NES Mini button.

Step 5: The program will ask you to trash the original kernel image. Click Yes.

Step 6: From here, Hakchi will provide some step-by-step instructions. Ensure the Power button on your NES Classic is switched off and the console is connected using a USB cable.

Step 7: Push the Power button while simultaneously pushing the Reset button. Then, let go of the Reset button.

Step 8: In the Hakchi program, select the driver installation button.

Step 9: After the program has finished dumping the kernel image, click Synchronize Selected Games with NES Mini once more.

Step 10: Once prompted, click Yes to begin flashing the kernel. After the process is complete, click OK. Now, you can start downloading games.

Step 11: After the game files are downloaded onto your computer, select Add More Games in Hakchi. Find and select the particular files you’d like to add, then click OK.

Step 12: Finally, after you have selected all your desired games, click Synchronize. Now you’re done. Super simple.

Editors' Recommendations

Wolfenstein 3D and more classic Bethesda games join PC Game Pass
classic bethesda games pc game pass quake champions

Bethesda has announced that it added six titles to the PC Game Pass service today, most of which are from the 1990s or early 2000s. However, there is no word about them being included on Xbox Game Pass for console or cloud.

The six new games include Wolfenstein 3D, Return to Castle Wolfenstein, Quake 4, Quake Champions, An Elder Scrolls Legend: Battlespire, and The Elder Scrolls Adventures: Redguard.

Read more
The best old PC games still worth playing in 2022
starwarshumblebundle kotor

Games are coming out faster now than ever before. It wasn't all that long ago that a person could reasonably play all the major games released in a given year, but in the last two decades or so the output of games has skyrocketed to the point where hundreds of games are released almost daily. These range from the biggest budget, most recognizable and highly polished experiences and indie darlings, to simple mobile games and asset flips looking to make a quick buck. The PC, more than any other platform, has the largest library of all of the above.

Perhaps the greatest advantage of PC gaming is the fact that you still have access to all the best classic computer games in addition to the best and biggest new releases. The amount of history and influential titles that came in the early days of PC gaming trumps any other platform, and most are still easily accessible, if not improved, on your modern hardware. While we all can get swept up in the zeitgeist of playing the hot new games, sometimes it's more valuable to look back at some of the older titles that are still fondly remembered, either to revisit them or experience them for the first time. If you're ready to dive into a couple of classic titles this year, here are 13 of the best old PC games still worth playing in 2022.

Read more
How to play All-Rounders in Pokémon Unite: Charizard, Lucario, Garchomp, Machamp, and more
Charizard attacking enemy in Pokemon Unite

Pokémon Unite has put together an impressive cast of playable characters. From Pikachu and Charizard to Slowbro and Snorlax, many of the most iconic Pokémon in the series found their way onto the roster. However, some of these characters are built for a single purpose, such as healing or absorbing damage.

All-Rounders, on the other hand, offer a flexible playstyle. Whether your team is pushing forward or falling back to defend, you can rely on All-Rounders to bring a capable skillset to the battle. However, they're not the easiest to master. Here are a few tips for playing All-Rounders in Pokémon Unite.

Read more