Multiple reports started spreading a couple days ago, stating that homebrew/hack users of 3DS are being banned from Nintendo’s online services. The error code 002-0102 impact access to Netflix, Youtube, and the friends list. How Nintendo detects CFW, and the root cause of the bans, is currently unknown.
According to users on reddit and popular Nintendo scene site GBATemp, multiple users of hacked 3DS consoles have been permanently banned by Nintendo. The impact of such a ban is limited access to online services. According to the reports, banned users cannot access online applications such as Youtube, Hulu, Netflix, and this impacts the Friends List access as well.
3DS Error Code 002-0102 – What to do
The error message you get for such a ban is Error Code 002-0102 — that says “access to online services has been restricted by Nintendo.”
Although no specific or official reason has been given for the ban, some users on GBATemp have noted that Nintendo have recently updated their help page with the following message:
- You receive the error code 002-0102 when attempting to connect online with a game or while using the Friend service.
- Error message, “Can’t access the online service.”
What to Do:
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.
Curiously, this page apparently used to say : “If you continue to experience this issue, please contact Nintendo by calling 1-800-255-3700” but that message has now been removed. It’s fair to assume Nintendo have been overwhelmed with phone calls from concerned users, and have decided to make it clear they will not fix the issue.
3DS Error Code 002-0102 – what is the root cause
3DS Homebrew enthusiasts are still trying to figure out the actual root cause for this ban wave. There doesn’t seem to be any obvious culprit though. A few polls have been set up on GBATemp to try and pinpoint if some specific behavior (pirating games, enabling/disabling some options in the console’s settings) might be the reason people get banned, but so far no specific trend seems to be showing up.
- Using homebrews or pirated content, with the option “send information about the console to Nintendo” enabled in settings
- Playing some specific pirated games online
- Using Fan Translations of games
- Some specific CFW (Luma, Cakes, Corbenik,…)
- The method used to load CFW
- Freeshop usage (or any of its forks)
- Save game editor usage (e.g. to modify Pokemon save files)
At this point though, nobody knows, and this list from user Funkymon on GBATemp sums it up pretty well:
- we don’t know how Nintendo is detecting CFW’d consoles
- we don’t know if that’s the sole criteria for banning
- we don’t know if it’s a single list used for bannings
- we don’t know if the the bans are ongoings
- we don’t know how to prevent future bannings
3DS Error Code 002-0102 – does it matter, and how to avoid it
If you’re using a gaming console for homebrew, you should be aware that you are in breach of the terms of service of the console manufacturer. In other words, you’re using a modified console at your own risk and face being banned from their online services. This is even more critical if you are using the console to access any online service from the manufacturer: playing online, using Friends List, or even the eShop on a hacked 3DS is a breach of the agreement.
Ultimately, how Nintendo detects that you have a console with a CFW is irrelevant. What you actually do with the CFW, whether it is legal or not, is irrelevant as well: Nintendo have determined that your console potentially puts their network at risk, and they don’t want you to do that. As a result, they prevent you from accessing their online services. This should be a known risk for everyone who tinkers with their console.
If you are using a homebrew enabled console though, you have to ask yourself whether you care or not about the loss of online services from Nintendo. It seems the impacted services represent a minimal portion of the 3DS experience.
But this is a good reminder for people who are tinkering with Sony devices as well. Losing access to the Playstation Service, in particular if you are a PS Plus user, could be devastating: it would mean losing games, access to online play, saved data, etc… As a result, to me the conclusion is clear: if you want to install a CFW on a video game console nowadays, you have to be willing to give up on the company’s online services, OR have two consoles and two accounts: one for tinkering, and one for your regular gaming.