Nintendo is no stranger to banning players from using their online services due to hacks, mods, and cheats. A few months ago, the company banned thousands of Pokémon Sun and Moon players with altered save data, and now they’re targeting the 3DS modding community as a whole.
Over the past few days, 3DS players have reported their systems being blocked from Nintendo’s online services. When attempting to access online features like Miiverse or the friend list, banned users see the following Error Code: 002-0102.
These reports come from various social media, such as Reddit, GBA Temp, and 4chan. Most banned players are admitting to modding their consoles with custom firmware, which allows the use of custom themes, illegitimate copies of games, dumping save files, and more.
While some users claim receiving a ban despite never modding their 3DS, these reports seem to be outliers. Both of the following statements from Nintendo indicate a focus on hackers, so non-hackers being banned have somehow been caught in the crossfire.
The Nintendo support page for the above error code states:
“If you are experiencing this error code, your Nintendo 3DS family system has been banned due to unauthorized system modifications, play of unauthorized versions of one or more games, and/or connecting to the official game servers in violation of our terms of service. This ban is effective immediately and requests to remove the ban will not be processed.”
Speaking with Kotaku, Nintendo had the following to say regarding the recent influx of bans:
“As a result of a number of users making unauthorized system modifications, playing unauthorized versions of one or more games and/or connecting to the game servers in violation of our terms of service, Nintendo has banned those users’ systems from accessing its online network, effective immediately.”
It’s basically a reiteration of the error code support page. Sigh. At least Nintendo acknowledged that the spike in bans is happening for a reason instead of simply not responding to angry users.
What isn’t clear is exactly what has triggered the ban wave. A theory? Well, interestingly, these bans began very shortly after the release of a major 3DS hack called “sighax.”
Sighax is the highest break of the 3DS security ever made public to the modding community. Instead of loading the Home menu and going through another application to load the custom firmware (CFW), sighax boots up CFW milliseconds after the console powers up, hijacking the firmware right from the start.
It appears Nintendo has been keeping tabs on CFW exploits, and sighax was the final straw.
We still can’t know exactly what criteria Nintendo is using for these bans, so we can’t know how to avoid it. Modders can attempt to disconnect their system from wifi and remove all hacks and mods from their 3DS before reconnecting the wifi. The ban likely would take effect anyways, but it’s worth a shot.
To be clear, banned users can still access their systems and all features, except for apps that require an internet connection, such as Miiverse, YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, and any online features within games. The eShop is currently still accessible with this ban.
Has your 3DS system fallen into this ban wave? Let us know the details in the comments!