How to use Wii U USB Helper in 2020 [GUIDE]



Wii U USB helper will let you download Wii U games directly to your PC and even copy them over to your SD / Micro SD card. Wii U USB Helper acts pretty much as a mirror of the current eShop, however, it does also allow you to create custom games to install directly to your Wii U or Wii U’s attached HDD (Recommended).

In this guide, I will be showing you to install and set up Wii U USB Helper and the installation of a Wii U game, A Wii game and a GameCube game. To follow this guide I will be assuming you already have a soft modded Wii U and can run homebrew, If not I’ve put together an easy to follow guide on modding your Wii U here, It’s a fun project and doesn’t take that long to do.

Things you need: –

Modded Wii U

SD / Micro SD card

External HDD (optional, but recommended)

USB ‘Y’ Cable for HDD (Needed if using an external HDD)

How to Install WII U USB Helper

To install Wii U USB Helper we need to head over to FailShack’s GitHub and download the latest release which you can do here: –


Once USBHelperInstaller.exe has been download double click on it to start the installation.

Click next and have a quick look at the GNU license before clicking ‘I Agree’.  On the next window, you’ll want to click the drop-down menu and select the latest version, at the time of writing this the current version is ‘Wii U Helper’ but may be different for you.

Wii U USB Helper Version

Click next and choose where to install Wii U USB Helper, for the sake of simplicity I am going to install it at ‘C:\USBHelperLauncher’ but feel free to save it wherever you want.

Click ‘Install’ and the launcher will automatically download the latest version, if for any reason the download does not start, please check that the program is allowed through your firewall. Download and installation may take a couple of minutes

Once complete, make sure ‘Run USBHelperLauncher’ has its box ticked and click Finish.

After a few seconds, the program will finish injecting and you will be at this screen:

From here you need to pick what region your system is, mine is European so I ticked the box in the bottom left-hand corner and then selected EUR. (You can change your region later, so don’t worry too much about this for now!)

Read the Disclaimer and click OK, you will now get to select the location of where your games will download. As the message says, avoid folders that require Admin privileges as this could cause issues when trying to download to them. Once again for the sake of this guide, I will be saving mine to my C:\ drive. Click OK and choose where you want to your downloaded games to be stored.

Next, we will be greeted with this screen: –

As it says, Wii U USB Helper will need to download tickets and they are copyrighted, this means I won’t be able to help you either, however, I’m sure googling ‘That WiiU Site’ will point you in the right direction. We need to copy and paste the URL of this site into here, once done click OK and WII U USB Helper will begin to build the ticket cache, this might take a few moments.

And here we are! This is the main area of WII U USB Helper: –

How to use WII U USB Helper

As you can see there are quite a few options, but I promise you, it’s pretty easy to use. First thing we want to do is filter the games to just the ones we want, Wii U USB Helper also has the ability to download Wii games & 3DS games, but we won’t be going over that here.

Click the tab filters on the left-hand side to come to this screen: –

From here, we can see all the platforms Wii U USB Helper is currently set to display. You’ll want to untick and collapse the 3DS Section and Wii section, so your screen ends up looking like the image below: –

The reason we have done this is so its easier to search for the games we want. Click back on the library tab to be returned to the main menu. You’ll notice only Wii U and Custom games are now showing.

Let’s try downloading a Wii U Game first.

How to download Wii U games with WII U USB Helper

At the main menu of the Wii U USB Helper, you’ll be able to search for the game you want by typing it in or look through the games available, which are sorted in alphabetical order.

Here’s my copy of Starfox Zero: –

I want to be able to play this game from my Wii’s external hard drive, So I scroll down to Star Fox Zero, right-click and choose download. If the game had any updates or DLC, I could have also click on them to add them to the download queue.

I now have Star Fox Zero added to my queue, I could at this point, add more games I want and have them download all together but for now, I’m going to click on the flashing ‘Start downloading’ button.

The game will now start to download, you can access the download manager by clicking over at the top left corner, this will show you how far your download has progressed and a rough ETA of when the game will be downloaded. 

Now, you must wait for the game to be downloaded, once that is done, we will look at getting the game installed.

Wii U USB Helper download slow?

If you find your game is downloading slow head over to the download manager and click on the speed tab: –

At the bottom, you will find the option to ‘Enable SuperSpeed’. Check this box and your download should speed should pick up dramatically!

Installing a Wii U game to your Wii U

Now you have your game downloaded we will need to transfer it over to our SD card. Insert your SD card and on the main screen of Wii U USB Helper you will see the game we downloaded earlier

You can either do this via Wii U USB Helper by right-clicking on ‘set download directory’ or via windows by navigating to where we set it earlier.

Once in the directory navigate through DATA – EUR (or chosen Region) – GAMES. In this folder, we will find our game folder.

On our SD card, we will be copying our game folder to the ‘install’ file on the root of our SD card. So it will be SD card Root /install/”game folder”, In my case, the SD card is drive F so will be F:/install/Star Fox Zero [00050000101b0500].

Copy your folder over, this will take a little while to copy over and depends on how big the game is and how fast your SD card is. Once copied, put your SD card back into your Wii U and boot up.

From the Wii U home screen, head over to the Homebrew Channel and launch it. The head over to WUP Installer GX2, if you don’t have WUP Installer installed you can find out how in my Wii U modding guide.

Once WUP Installer GX2 has loaded you will see your game on the gamepad, from here tap the game name and tap install, tap ‘Yes’ and choose where you want to install the game. I recommend installing your game onto an external HDD.

The Wii U does not have a lot of storage and some of these games can be quite big. The base Wii U only has 8GB of internal storage, so this one game I’m going to install would take up nearly all of it!

Another reason would be safety, If the game somehow becomes corrupt you could risk losing some space on your Wii U’s internal NAND memory.

You can always move across your game later using the Wii U’s inbuilt transfer feature once you verified the game works correctly.

After you selected your location the game will begin to install.

Wii U USB Helper Guide WUP

The amount of time this will take depends on how big the game is, but once complete press ok and then the home button a few times and close the application to head back the Wii U’s main menu.

You will now find your installed game on the Wii U’s main menu and it will work just like any digital game download. Give the game a quick test to make sure everything is working.

Congratulations, you now know how to download your Wii U games and install them to your Wii U.

Next up, let’s look at installing a GameCube game to your Wii U.

Install GameCube Games to your Wii U with USB Helper

Installing GameCube games are a little different than the Wii U games, you will have to provide your own .iso image of the game. You can do this using the homebrew Cleanrip if you have access to a modded Wii, unfortunately, Cleanrip will not work on Wii U for backing up GameCube games as the Wii U cannot read the discs.

The easiest way to backup your games from PC is to use free software like ImgBurn and make a DVD back up of your GameCube Disc.

The game I shall be installing is Sonic Mega Collection, I have already ripped my disc and have the copy on my PC.

Load up USB helper and head over the to filter section. From here, uncheck everything besides ‘Gamecube’ under Wii U – Custom Titles.

The head back to the main menu. The list will now be filtered by GameCube games only. The list is not the biggest, but it does contain some of the best games on the console. If you want to try out other GameCube games follow my guide going over GameCube game injection here, this guide also tells you how to inject and play Wii games directly from your Wii U.

Select the game you want to install on your Wii U, I have selected Sonic Mega Collection. Right-click on the game and select download, this will add the game to your queue.

Click ‘Start Download’ and you will be prompted to provide the .ISO image, once selected Wii U USB Helper will start to prepare your game for injection, sit back as this will take a few minutes depending on the size of the game.

Once you GameCube game is injected, head to the main menu and right-click on ‘Set download directory’, this will open where our GameCube injection is.

With GameCube injections, they are classed as eShop games by Wii U USB Helper. Your game will be put in the folder DATA – EUR (or selected region) – ESHOP. Inside you will find the folder of the game you just created.

Insert your Wii U’s SD card and navigate to the folder ‘Install’ which should be on the root of your SD card. We need to copy the game folder over to the install folder, so mine looks like F:/install/Sonic Mega Collection [000500001F534F50]. With this copied over, insert your SD card into your Wii U and turn the console on.

With your Wii U on, launch the Homebrew launcher and find WUP Installer GX2.