/ Retro Gaming

Hacking the SNES Mini

The SNES is probably my all-time favourite console, as a kid, I spent countless hours playing Mario, Zelda, Street Fighter II, Mario Kart, and numerous other classics.

Last year, while I was suffering a severe case of “gaming nostalgia” I decided to hunt down and purchase a SNES from eBay along with a bunch of games. I went as far as to get an old CRT as I knew upscaling these old games onto a big LCD screen just wasn’t going to cut it.

Getting all the original hardware set-up was glorious, the games all looked and played just as good as I remembered them. However, after a few months practicality soon set in. I sold the CRT because it was just way too big to have sitting around the house. I kept the SNES along with the games, boxed it all up and put it away in a cupboard.


Earlier this year Nintendo announced they were releasing a SNES Mini, it looked so cute I knew I had to get one. I missed out on the first batch but managed to pick one up a few weeks ago. It looks just like the original SNES, but way smaller.

As with the NES Mini, it only ships with 20 games and was missing a few of my favourites. I did a quick google wondering if anyone had managed to hack games onto the system, of course, they had…

I spent a few hours downloading ROMs and using a nifty little app called hakchi2 (PC only) to get extra games onto the SNES Mini. There’s some tutorials on YouTube showing you how to do it, but you honestly don’t need them, just download the app and follow the onscreen prompts.


There are two things you should remember though, the games need to be in NTSC format (USA), or they won’t work, and you should backup the original firmware (there’s an option to do this in the menu).

By default hakchi2 puts your extra games into a folder, here’s a quick video showing how this works along with a bit of gameplay:

The SNES Mini also has a software option to add "Scanlines" so it appears more as you might remember it. Having recently played a SNES on an old CRT, the scanline effect on the Mini makes the image look a little bit mushy, it’s nowhere near as good as the real thing, but it’s good enough considering you can hook it up to modern TVs.

The SNES Mini is a great little console, it’s just a shame Nintendo don’t offer an official way to add more games to the system.