It has been replaced by the Nintendo Switch, but that doesn’t mean you have to get rid of the Nintendo Wii U. Like its predecessor, the Wii, the Wii U has been hacked, allowing home users to install software and more.

Want to get more out of your Nintendo Wii U? Here’s how to do it with homebrew software.

What is homegrown?

If you want to hack a game console and install software on it that isn’t supposed to run (like a new operating system), you need homebrew. It is basically software designed to make a proprietary hardware platform like the Wii U user-programmable. Since the Wii U is no longer Nintendo’s key game console, there will be less and less software released for it.

If you want your Wii U to be useful, you need to hack it with homemade beer.

Hack your Wii U with the Homebrew channel

There is nothing new in this approach. The predecessor of the Wii U, the Nintendo Wii, could be hacked. the same way.

While there are two ways to hack the Wii U, the easiest, temporary way is also the most unreliable. So we’re going to install a browser exploit in favor of a longer, permanent hack.

NOTE. Jailbreaking your Wii U to install homebrew software is potentially dangerous to your system and can result in data loss or even crash. Continue only if you are aware of the risks.

Also note that this is a relatively simple hack. Other hacks take quite a bit of time, but can be done in 30 minutes.

What do you need for this hack

To install the Homebrew Channel on Wii U, make sure your system is version 5.5.2, 5.5.3, and 5.5.4. Check this in System Preferences found in the Wii U Menu (not Quick Launch). The version number is in the upper right corner of the screen.

Next, make sure you have:

  • Network connection with internet access
  • SD card (or microSD with SD adapter) at least 16 GB or more, formatted in FAT32

You also need to download the following files to your computer:

  • from
  • from GitHub
  • Haxchi ZIP from GitHub

Save them to a directory on your computer, ready to use shortly.

How to use Wii U with Haxchi

To install custom firmware, you will need to find the exploit and then run it.

The Haxchi exploit can be used in the following DS Virtual Console games:

Animal Crossing: Wild World Kirby: Mass Attack New Super Mario Bros. Super Mario 64 DC
Big Brain Academy Kirby Squeak Squad / Kirby Mouse Attack Pokémon Mystery: Sky Explorers Wario: Master of Disguise
brain age The Legend of Zelda: Ghostly Hourglass pokemon ranger WarioWare: touched
DC: Jungle Climber The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Footprints Pokémon Ranger: Marks of the Guardian Yoshi Island DS
Dr. Kawashima’s Brain Training Mario and Luigi: partners in time Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia Yoshi Touch & Go
Kirby: Canvas Curse Mario Kart DS Starfox Command

If you don’t have any of these, you will need to buy one.

Buy Virtual Console Games to Use the Homebrew Channel Haxchi Exploit on Wii U

However, please note that as of September 2019, you cannot simply make purchases through your old-style Nintendo Account with a credit card. Instead, you need to make sure that a Nintendo Network account has been created and linked to the old account. You can then add funds to your account using a credit card or PayPal.

Please visit the Nintendo Help page for full details.

It’s a huge pain to be honest, so if you don’t already own any exploit games, you might want to avoid this. After all, the browser exploit still works.

After adding funds, buy one of the apps. If you’re looking to save money, the cheapest app available is Big Brain Academy.

In some cases, the games you use will not be suitable for hacking. In this case, just uninstall, then re-download it and try again.

Format SD card

Setting the correct format for the SD card is vital for this hack to work.

If you are using a Windows PC, the format tool will not work. This is because it is not possible to accurately set the format to FAT32 with an allocation block size of 32 KB (specifically 32768 bytes).

To get around this, you’ll need a third-party SD card formatting tool. While many options are available, the best results have been reported using Guiformat. There are two versions of this tool available for Windows: a standard 32-bit SD formatter and a 64-bit version. If you are using 64-bit Windows, you will need the latest version as 32-bit Guiformat will not work.

Download: Guiformat 32-bit | 64-bit

Once downloaded, launch Guiformat. Make sure the correct one is selected disk then install distribution block size on the 32768 . Set the volume label ( don’t use «wiiu» as this will cause conflicts and the hack will fail), then click » Start» .

Make sure the SD card is formatted in FAT32 for the hack to work

Wait for the SD card to be formatted, then close Guiformat.

Copy Wii U Hack Files to SD Card

Leaving the SD card on your computer, unzip the downloaded files as follows:

  • Unzip the Homebrew Launcher ZIP file to your SD card. You should get the file structure wiiu/apps/homebrew_launcher .
  • Then unzip and send the file payload.elf in catalog wiiu on the map.
  • Finally, extract the contents of the Haxchi ZIP file to your SD card.

Now that these files have been copied to the SD card, you are ready to hack. However, first, safely remove the SD card and insert it into the Wii U. Turn on the console.

Launch Homebrew Launcher on Wii U

To start the exploit process, you need to launch the Homebrew Launcher. Make sure your Wii U is connected to the Internet, then open your browser and navigate to . Take a moment to bookmark the URL in your Wii U browser.

Next click HAXX and wait. If everything you have done so far has been successful, your Wii U will be operational.

Click HAXX to access the Homebrew channel on Wii U

The Homebrew Launcher will now load. Click on the HB App Store link to explore the world of Nintendo home apps and games! Here you will open the world of retro games, but there is also a downside — it is only available through the Wii U browser. To make the hack permanent, you can run the Haxchi installer, but note that this is not without risk.

Accessing the Homebrew channel through a browser is the safer option. All you have to contend with is the issue of the SD card being formatted incorrectly. In this case, you will see the following error:

If the SD card is not formatted as FAT32, this error will appear

Just go back and reformat, then copy the files back to the SD card to get around this.

Wii U hack forever

Since hacks are coming to the Wii U, this is probably the easiest one so far. Other sophisticated, more permanent hacks are available online, but are not required for the latest Wii U firmware. Instead, select them if your Wii U is not on version 5.5.2 or later.

The hack described here will give you instant access to the Homebrew Channel. It’s simple, easy and relatively fast.

However, this is a temporary web hack. It will do what you want (most of the time), but it will take you longer to get a permanent hack. This excellent video will walk you through a complete, permanent Wii U Homebrew hack.

Hack your Nintendo Wii U today

You have everything you need to run temporary and permanent hacks on Nintendo Wii U. Time to make better use of your old console. With tools to launch retro Nintendo games, and even installing Linux OS, there’s a lot to keep you in the loop. Breathing new life into an old console has never been so much fun.

If you’re a fan of retro gaming systems or just curious, then understand that some older systems won’t «just work». Instead, you need to take care of them first. Here’s How to Safely Download Your Retro Game Consoles and avoid component failures.

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