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You can finally play the original Pokémon games on your 3DS, but Nintendo’s handheld has a few secret ways for you to maximize your nostalgia.

If you buy Pokémon Red, Blue, or Yellow from the 3DS eShop, you can play them in their original resolution with a virtual Game Boy border. With a few button presses, you can also play Red and Blue in their original pea-soup green color. These are tools built into the 3DS, and they work with every Game Boy game available for the Virtual Console.

Here’s how to activate these special modes:

Original resolution and Game Boy border:


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  • Go to your 3DS’s main menu.
  • Find Pokémon Red, Blue, or Yellow.
  • Hold down Select or Start.
  • Tap on the game or press A to boot it up.

This will cause the game to take up the same number of pixels that the original Game Boy system had. It will also put a Game Boy (or Game Boy Color in the case of Yellow) around the action.

Pea-soup green coloring:

  • While playing Pokémon Red or Blue (this doesn’t work for Yellow)
  • Hold down the L and R buttons at the same time.
  • You’ll see a symbol pop up on the top screen prompting you to press Y.
  • Tap Y.

This will switch the color of the game from black and white to the green tint of the original Game Boy. Again, this works on all 3DS Game Boy rereleases.

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