Tips and Tricks to get Your NES Working


Active Member
Aug 28, 2015
I feel like the horizontal loading of cartridges in the NES is one of the major flaws of the Nintendo Entertainment System.
It caused all kind of problems in terms of games not working, the spring mechanism getting loose, etc.
So everyone as a kid had different techniques to get their games to finally work.
I've heard blowing in the slot, pushing down as you slide the cartridge in, and using another cartridge to hold the first down down.
What were some of your successful tricks to finally get your game to play?
Well, I don't recommend this method to gamers who are not technically proficient. But it helps if you open up your system and gently (and I stress g-e-n-t-l-y) tighten up the cartridge pins with a small flat screwdriver. By gently pushing each pin forward, this will create firmer connection with the cartridge. But before doing this, check to see if there's any corrosion on those pins. If there is, use an anti-corrosion fluid such as WD-40 together with a cue tip and diligently work on the corrosive areas.

The above technique doesn't just work with the NES, but any cartridge based console.
I am somewhat proud to admit that I kept my Nintendo console and controllers in excellent shape throughout the years. Nothing is more frustrating than losing a life because of a crappy controller! My friends would often time throw theirs, or spill stuff on them, and when they'd come to my house they couldn't believe how responsive my controllers were (because I didn't abuse them!); I even had a friend try to swap his with mine (yeah, I knew right away and it didn't fly).

In terms of the console, after a while the springs or connectors would get loose and what not so my technique was the "double-cartridge", basically slide another cartridge over the first one so it pushes it down and you can play. I had friends who would keep slamming their hands on the top, or press Reset over and over until it works... I've seen some weird techniques (most didn't work), that's for sure!

A few years ago I bought a replacement part on eBay for my NES but I never installed it into the console. I have a feeling it's part of what @Damien Lee is describing. I really need to dig that console up from my parents' closet.

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