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    Download Play

    Concept »

    A feature in Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS, and Nintendo 3DS games allowing linked multiplayer with only one cartridge.

    Short summary describing this concept.

    Download Play last edited by Aruru-san on 01/16/23 10:30AM View full history


    Numerous games for the Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS, and Nintendo 3DS allow linked multiplayer from only one player's cartridge, where that player transfers a playable portion of the game to other players prior to the match (using the link cable for GBA and wi-fi for DS and 3DS). In the GBA, it is sometimes known as "Single-Pak Multiplayer". In the DS and 3DS, this feature is officially referred to as "Download Play" or "Single-Card Download Play".

    As this feature requires transferring data to the RAM of each non-host player's system, access to the game on the system is temporary and is wiped on the system's re-boot. In addition, both the limited RAM size and limited data transfer speed means that the game itself is limited in some fashion (such F-Zero: Maximum Velocity using only one race track, with all players sharing the same vehicle type). This is sometimes used for mini-games, such as the Mario Bros. Battle mode in all Super Mario Advance titles. In the 3DS, all multiplayer NES Virtual Console titles support this feature.

    While the feature is commonly used for linked multiplayer, it is also used for transferring limited-use game demos to DS systems from both in-store kiosks (known as DS Download Stations) and the Wii console (via the Nintendo Channel). Some games for the Wii also use this feature to transfer mini-games, such as Maboshi's Arcade.


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