GameCube Modding Guide

gamecube hacking guide

GameCube Modding Guide

In this GameCube modding guide, I will show you how to softmod your GameCube to play game backups and load homebrew.

Why Mod Your GameCube?

With a modded GameCube you can run games from different regions, back up your games and run them from SD card, force your GameCube to output certain resolutions that make the console look a lot better on modern TVs, run emulators from your GameCube and use other custom homebrews such as the brilliant Game Boy Player software replacement, Game Boy Interface.

How to Mod Your GameCube

To mod your GameCube, you need to find a way of running unsigned code. There are a few ways we can achieve this. I will outline the three most popular ways and show you how I soft modded my GameCube: –  

Action Replay and SD Gecko Method: Probably one of the easiest methods. For this, you will need to purchase a copy of Datel’s Action Replay, an SD to Gamecube memory card adapter, commonly known as an SD Gecko and a suitable SD card.

It’s quite easy to make your own SD Gecko adapter (Guide here), however, it’s probably easier to just order one online.

The action replay disc allows you to boot homebrew right out of the box. You can load your Homebrew files in the .dol format, copy them over to your SD card and boot up your action replay. With the memory card in your SD gecko, you can easily launch homebrew such as Swiss, however, this will, unfortunately, take up one your memory card slots. It’s an easy method to use however will require that purchase of the Action replay.

Using this method does not permanently mod your console and is completely reversible.

action replay

Xeno Chip and Swiss Disc Method: This is a preferred method for a lot of people, as, after the initial setup, Swiss is loads just how a regular GameCube game DVD does. From Swiss, you can launch all your additional homebrews and backups.

This mod will require a hard mod to your GameCube, it’s actually quite easy to and involves soldering a chip, the Xeno chip, which bypasses security checks and allows for your GameCube to load burned DVDs. You can burn a mini-DVD-R with the latest version of Swiss and you’re good to go. To load backup’s, you’ll still need a method of connecting an SD card like the SD Gecko or this can be used in conjunction with what I used personally, the SD2SP2 adapter…

SD2SP2 adapter and a Save game exploit method: This is the method I use personally, this way of modding your GameCube will keep your Memory Card slots clear and it quite straight forward once all set up.

Preparation – What do we need: –

A GameCube

SD2SP2 Adapter

Micro SD Card

Exploitable Game

Memory Card

(Modded WII)

PC to copy files

Method: How to Use SD2SP2 with No SD Gecko or Action Replay

For this guide, I will be showing you how to soft mod your GameCube using a Save game exploit. I will be using an exploit in the game Super Mario Sunshine (PAL Version).

I will be using a Game save exploit to run unsigned code from the memory card which will allow me to access a Micro SD card installed into the SD2SP2 adapter.

First, we will need to identify if our GameCube has a Serial Port 2, as not all GameCubes have these. If you don’t have a Serial Port 2, then you’ll have to use the SD Gecko or Xeno chip method listed above.

Turn over your GameCube and remove the Game Boy Player if you have one. Under here you should be able to see if you have a second serial port.

GameCube Hacking Guide serial port 2

Now we know we have a serial port 2 (SP2) we need to find a way of copying our exploit files to our GameCube’s memory card. Luckily for me, I happened to have a modded Wii which has backwards compatibility with the GameCube.

I will be using homebrew called GCMM (GameCube Memory card Manager). This homebrew can be used both on GameCube and Wii and will copy a save file containing the exploit over to our Memory Card.

First, we want to decide what kind of save game exploit we shall be using. As I mentioned earlier, I will be using my copy of Super Mario Sunshine to mod my GameCube. Games with save game exploits include: –

Animal Crossing

BMX XXX

F-Zero GX

James Bond 007: Agent Under Fire

The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker

Pokémon Colosseum

Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness

Super Mario Sunshine (PAL version only)

Super Smash Bros. Melee

Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon 2

Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell

Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow

You can find a full list over at gc-forever.com 

No matter what exploit you choose, we still load them to our memory card the same way. First up, connect your SD card to your PC as we need to copy over a few files.