3DS Play Coin Generator

Note: If you've already created the Play Coin Generator for regular 3DS and want to modify it for 3DSXL, go here.

What Are Play Coins?

Play Coins are based on the built-in motion sensor working like a step-tracker. 100 steps per coin and up to 1000 steps a day. However as is well-known, you can change the day at any time in order to gain another 1000 steps and then set back the day without losing the Play Coins. Maximum of 300 coins at a time. One well-known way of "faking" steps quickly is to shake the system while it's in Sleep Mode to get to 1000 coins.

Why Would You Want to Fake the System to Get Play Coins?

The Nintendo 3DS has some neat built-in games in the Streetpass Plaza. One is a quest for puzzle pieces for different 3-D panels that, when completed, show a 3-D scene for a current game or Nintendo character. You can collect puzzle pieces by StreetPassing another 3DS owner (pass within range of each other while the 3DS is in sleep mode or when a compatible game is playing such as Mario Kart 7) or by spending Play Coins. Puzzle Pieces cost 2 Play Coins a piece, and the system will give you a random Blue Puzzle Piece (Purple Puzzle Pieces can only be gotten through StreetPass). The problem comes in with the fact that the system will randomly give you a Blue Piece from any Puzzle with any missing Blue Pieces. (If only Purple Pieces are missing, it stops considering that puzzle for random Blue Pieces thankfully.) This includes getting a Blue Piece that you already have! Therefore if you have 31 Blue Pieces from a 32 Blue Piece puzzle, you only have a 1/32 chance of actually getting that missing piece. As a real-world example, I was missing 124 Blue Pieces across 8 puzzles. It took 1,316 coins to get all 124 Blue Pieces for all of the 8 puzzles. If this had been done through the normal 10 coins per day, it would've taken ~4.5 months to acquire enough coins. And then Nintendo periodically puts out new puzzles, so there probably would've been one or two more added to the pool during that time. I'm not that patient, if there's a better way to do it. :)

The other neat game in the StreePass Plaza is Find Mii/Find Mii 2/Find Mii 2: Secret Quest. This is an RPG whereby you can use 3DS Miis that you've StreetPassed to battle through various rooms to rescue the king, prince, and princess (who all bear a striking similarity to your own 3DS Mii). As you play through the levels, you'll come across hats that your Mii can wear when it meets other Miis in the StreetPass Plaza. The game itself has some strategy with special rooms and special enemies requiring understanding of how to proceed. If you StreetPass people every day, you can level up the Miis you use to get through the levels fairly quickly. However, you can also hire past StreetPassed Miis for 3 or more coins or a random Level 1 or 2 party member for 2 coins. The longest quest is Find Mii 2: Secret Quest, and from having gone through it multiple times, it probably takes ~500 coins on a decent run to finish it once through buying the heroes to use. To get all the hats in Find Mii 2: Secret Quest, you'll probably need to play through the whole thing 9-10 times. Some quick math yields 4,500-5,000 coins or so to get all the hats in the longest version of the RPG. Then add in the coins to do the same in the other two Find Miis.

You quickly see where being limited to the normal method of 10 coins per day, you're unlikely to finish the RPGs and Puzzle Questing without having easy access to a lot of regular StreetPass hits.

Play Coin Generator

Recognizing this problem of needing large amounts of Play Coins, I started looking for ways to generate Play Coins in a hands-free way, at least to get to the 1000 step / 10 coin per day limit. (Changing the day is still a manual task.) Found a Japanese one that was very promising, but I wasn't able to get a similar contraption to work. Then found two Play Coin generators using K'Nex pieces (1 2). Having never owned (or really used) K'Nex before, it was nice to see a tutorial on how to build it. Unfortunately, it didn't work so well for me. The 3DS needs a *jerk* to register as a step, and the machine I was able to build was too smooth. Smooth motions do not register as a step on the 3DS. However since I had the pieces, decided to try one like in the second video. The author of the second video was concerned with how flimsy and twistable his machine was and in particular concerned that the 3DS would be damaged by the shaking. As his machine was mainly built along a 2-D plane, which contributed greatly to its twisting, my goal was to try to build a 3-D version using the pieces I had already bought to make the machine in the first video.

Thankfully, it worked! :D

Parts Needed

K'NEX Classics 30 Model Building Set (Amazon: $23) (Required)
Green K'Nex battery-powered motor (eBay: ~$10 (price varies)) (Required)
Eneloop rechargable batteries and Charger (Amazon: ~$15-$20) (Optional, but you'll be going through a ton of batteries with this, so rechargeables seems the most cost-efficient way to go. Usually go through a pair of Eneloop in ~10 hours or so with near-constant use.)

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