Guide: Replacing a Dead Nintendo Game Boy Cartridge Save Battery

Guide-Replacing-a-Dead-Nintendo-Game-Boy-Save-BatteryUnfortunately we've hit that point in time where the likes of our completed Pokedex on Pokemon has disappeared due to the lifeless save battery inside. Today RetroCollect looks at replacing the save battery within a Nintendo Game Boy cartridge, allowing us to once again save those precious games.

While the guide will be using Pokemon Gold / Silver as the main example, the tutorial can be used to replace the likes of the save battery in Zelda: Link's Awakening and many other Nintendo Game Boy games making use of a save battery. Nintendo NES and Super Nintendo games are no exception either, just make sure you are using the correct type of battery beforehand.

A detailed tutorial can be found below, however those wanting a more hands on look at the process can watch from start to finish our copy of Pokemon Gold being revived in this video:

Guide: Replacing a Dead Nintendo Game Boy Save Battery

Parts required:

  • Nintendo Game Boy game with a dry battery
  • Fine tipped Soldering Iron
  • Solder
  • Replacement CR2032 Battery with Solder Tags (Can be found on ConsoleGoods.co.uk)
  • Gamebit 3.8mm Screwhead (Can be found on eBay and many other retailers)

1. Remove the cartridge case

Remove-the-cartridge-caseThe easiest part of the entire process is getting access to the game board by unscrewing the cartridge case. As Nintendo Game Boy cartridges use a special type of screw to prevent easy access, we will need a screwdriver with a Gamebit 3.8mm head. These Gamebit screwheads can be bought from the likes of eBay for as little as £4.

After you have removed the screw from the back of the cartridge, be sure not to pull on the cartridge case to remove either side. Gently slide the back of the cartridge upwards and you will find the two sides will separate much easier now.

2. Desoldering the dead battery from the board

Desoldering-the-dead-battery-from-the-boardWith the cartridge wide open and game board in front of you, it's time to remove the offending dry battery. We will be replacing it with a near identical CR2032 battery which comes with soldering tags already attached. These batteries can be bought from the Game Boy category of ConsoleGoods.co.uk for just £1.50 each.

We will now need our soldering iron at the ready to begin work. If you look closely either side of the battery there will be two soldering tags coated in solder. Gently apply pressure with the soldering iron to one of these while using a screwdriver to slowly prise the tag away from the board. Once the first tag has been removed, repeat the process on the other side to remove the battery. If you've been successful, the battery should now be separated from the board.

3. Soldering a new battery in place

Soldering-a-new-battery-in-placeHaving removed the dry battery from the game board, we can now place the new battery into place. The most important thing to note here is that the new battery must be placed the same way up as the original battery. This is often with the negative side of the battery facing upwards and the soldering tag touching the negative side pointing down towards the lower solder point.

Heat up the solder on the board and make sure the tag on the new battery is immersed within the solder to create a connection once dry. If you're finding there is little solder left over to work with, extra solder can be used to keep the battery in place. Do this on both sides until the battery is firmly in place and making a connection with either side of the board.

4. Finishing up

Yes, it really was that easy! Place the game board back into the case and begin screwing the Gamebit screw back into place. With the game sealed once more, put it back into the Game Boy and see if you can successfully create a save file on the game you've been working on.

If you find that the new battery is pushing against the upper half of the cartridge, double check your solder joints and attempt to solder the battery closer to the board.

And that concludes our guide on reviving your old Game Boy cartridges. Good luck soldering!


Last Updated ( 14 August 2011 )  

Cauterize

Better known as Adam offline, Cauterize is one of RetroCollect's final bosses with an unhealthy addiction to pixels. When he's not out searching the web for the latest retro gaming news or creating content for RetroCollect, he'll will most likely be found working on his Sensible Soccer skills.

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Comments 

(Link to this comment) Nightowljrm 2011-08-14 20:30
There we go! I saw the YouTube video already, but it's nice seeing this description accompanying it.

Like I said earlier, very good little guide. It shows how easy it is. =) Thanks for sharing the prices and where to get the items, too!

Now... how to replace the 72-pin-thing in your NES next? :P
(Link to this comment) ninjabearhug 2011-08-15 05:37
Nice guide mate, even easier than I imagined it would be!

@Nightowljrm Me changing a NES cart slot, easy peasy :) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RVtxR1IVOPM
(Link to this comment) Nightowljrm 2011-08-15 05:48
Haha, thanks, but I didn't need a video - I've done it myself! Just thought it'd be a good guide for RetroCollect because it's probably searched for more than replacing the battery in a Gameboy. But hey, y'never know.
(Link to this comment) Congratulations 2011-08-15 13:05
I had no idea Game Boy cartridges have batteries that can run out?! Does this happen with console game cartridges too?
(Link to this comment) Miketendo 2011-08-15 13:05
Great article! Always good to know how to do this.
(Link to this comment) MegaDrive20XX 2011-08-19 03:54
Excellent article! I also love the introduction music sample. :D
(Link to this comment) MegaDrive20XX 2011-08-19 03:58
P.S. I didn't know CR2032's actually had the solder tags attached to them already!
(Link to this comment) Dekumoon 2014-12-26 09:06
Thanks! Now I can probably buy my friend's Pokemon Silver that can't save anymore! :lol:
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