How To Change An SNES Game-Save Battery

 Every Super Nintendo game owner will run into a dead battery at some point, especially since the dates on many game batteries expire around this year, or in the case of games like Mario World, have already expired. That doesn’t mean they are 100% dead, but chances are, they are almost dead.

When a battery dies, you will lose all your gave saves and high scores and will not be able to save any data again until you replace the battery. So maybe you should stock up on batteries and do your renovations now.

I found these instructions via CheapAssGamer (and added some modifications), so i thought I would share them as an easy reference. If you are the original author (this has been passed down a few times), let me know so I can give you credit! Also, if you have any additions and/or corrections, please let me know so I can update this.

DISCLAIMERS: YOU WILL LOSE YOUR SAVES WHILE DOING THIS, NO MATTER WHAT! I take no responsibility for your messed up games– this is a risky procedure — you should practice on something cheap and easy to find(like Super Mario World which is at just about every pawnshop) before you go and up that pristine copy of Chrono Trigger 😉 This procedure is risky like a cheap ass hooker.

What You Need:

  • 3.88 mm security bit. You need this to unscrew the funky hexagon-shaped bolts on SNES carts.
  • A SNES Game Battery (aka an CR2032)
  • A basic soldering iron, nothing fancy. I bought a kit at radioshack for $8, came with a 45-watt iron. (You COULD also just tape the battery in instead of soldering)
  • An X-Acto knife, or some kind of scraping razor. It justneeds to be a VERY thin knife, one you don’t mind getting stained up. A kit with a variety of blades can also be found at Radioshack, Wal-Mart or craft stores, for around $4.
  • Some Electrical tape.

SNES Game Battery Swap Walkthrough

  1. Get The Best SNES Video Quality With the SNES S-Video CableClean your hands thoroughly first.
  2. With your SNES cart lying face-side up on a table, you’ll see the two hexagon bolts on the bottom two corners. Use your 3.88 mm security bit to remove these bolts.
  3. Lift the cart’s front cover by pulling up, toward you. You’ll see thebackside of the game’s board. Lift the board out. Try not to touch anythingbut the edges any more than you have to.
  4. On the other side of the board, you’ll see the battery on the top left corner, a silver circle about the size of a nickel. The battery is soldered onto connectors above and below, at two points on each connector. The next step is to break these solder points (carefully!) (Edit: I have found that my copy of Final Fantasy 3 has 4 solder points on each side, but all my Nintendo made games have only 2. YMMV.)
  5. If you plan on soldering for the best connection (otherwise, skip to part 8), plug in your soldering iron, wait for it to heat up(it’ll change color when it’s done.) Set your razor against it, for a minute or 2. Slide the hot razor between the battery the top connector, push it against the first solder point. You will need to find a safe and comfortable position to push from– you will need a bit of leverage, but also be careful of your fingers and chips on the game. Be VERY patient– with enough reheating, pushing, and some cutting, the first point will come loose.
  6. You have two choices– either repeat the process on the second point, or attempt to “wiggle” it loose. If you choose to wiggle it, be very careful not to snap off the connector or bend it completely out of shape. A little bending is fine.
  7. For the bottom connection, cut the first connection the same way you did the first. For the second connection, wiggling is less risky since it’s the last one, but still be very aware of what you are doing and be patient. Each game is soldered differently, so make your best judgement call.
  8. Either solder the New battery back on if you know how or tape it into place. To tape it, take a 2 inch piece of tape and place it under the bottom connector. Place the battery in between the two connectors and wrap the tape around it as tight as possible. You can even double up the tape, to make sure the battery won’t go any where.
  9. Turn the board back over (battery-side down) replace it into the back cover of the cart. The slots it fits into are arranged so you won’t be able to re-insert it upside down, so if you’re having trouble putting it back in, turn it over!
  10. Place the front cover of the cart over this. Remember the hooks that slide into the back cover? They make it so you have to angle the back cover down & away from yourself. Replace the 2 hexagon bolts. If the board still rattles, you might need to tighten the bolts down a bit more. If you taped the battery in, it’ll probably be a snug fit.
  11. Pop the game into your SNES, play long enough to save. Turn the machine off, take the game out and throw it around. Tap it on a table, drop it, rattle it, be rought with it but don’t break it! This is just to test how secure your battery is in there. If you plug it back in and still have your save, congrats. Chances are, your battery is secure for the next 10 years.

Related Posts:
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Will Our Consoles Die Soon?
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55 Comments

Kiki says:

This is good for collectors; however — I think I’ll take my chances with ROMs & Wii VC instead, if you know what I mean.

*waves good-bye to his level 99 Secret of Mana characters*

*weeps for kiki‘s Secret of Mana characters*

Commando says:

How about an article next week for actually backing up those cartridge saves.. THEN changing the battery?

Anonymous says:

would this work for a pokemon gold/silver game battery as well?

Anonymous says:

Yea man im so mad my pokemon silver got erased and i cant save it at all now. Someone tell me how i can restore it or be able to save again. Does this happen to all games? Even the DS? How long do they last and can they saves be backed up first?

racketboy says:

I don’t think most DS games have batteries anymore — I think they are stored in the flash memory that the game is stored on. That should last much longer.

But most older games do rely on batteries that will die.

Anonymous says:

Me and My sister tried with NHL 95 and it worked fine even if we put tape on the battery and all around the cartridge. Thank you for the tip!!

Anonymous says:

Me and My sister tried with NHL 95 and it worked fine even if we put tape on the battery and all around the cartridge. Thank you for the tip!!

Anonymous says:

Racketboy:

So is this only for pokemon or all gameboy color games? Because SNES games were made long ago while Gameboy Color games were made much after. So do you think my Gameboy Color games will last abother 5 years or so?

Anonymous says:

Will this same method work on GBA games? Also what bettery would a GBA game use?

racketboy says:

I think its pretty similar, but I’m not sure what type of battery it would take — I assume it would be smaller.

You might want to ask around in the forum.

ab says:

hi,i would like to know how to replace the battery in my gba games?, and what battery is needed to replaced in the gba games,please!

......... says:

GBA games don’t use a battery. If they do, then that means your cart is pirated.

Asher says:

GBA doesn’t have batery back-up? Then explain why my copies of PokeMon Ruby & Sapphire (which I legally bought while stationed in California) has batteries in them… ?

If anybody knows how to change the batteries on GBA games (mainly, where to get replacement battries), shoot me an email.

naydine says:

canyou send me pictures of how to do it so i wont mess up i like all my games theyr all hard to find

Shane says:

OKAY, So I’m in a bit of a pissed of stress point here. I have taken care of all of my games, Especially chrono trigger, now aside from a dead battery, (there isn’t anything wrong with the system, all other games work fine) I have a copy of chrono trigger that I cannot get to work anymore. Everytime I set the cartridge in the system, and turn it on, the little copyright information comes up, but then the pendulum swings, and its distorted, like swinging way off the bottom of the screen, and no matter when I press or do anything, I can’t get to the menu. Help me PLEASE! It’s too soon to lay chrono trigger to rest.

racketboy says:

Sounds more like an issue with tha cartridge itself…
Is it dirty?

TOMIMOTO says:

Would original Gameboy games be handled the same way? None of my GB games hold a save anymore. As soon as I turn the GB off the save is gone.

racketboy says:

I believe it would be similar, but I’m not sure what type of batteries they use…

Ethan says:

Were To Purchase The 3.88mm Socket?

Justin says:

I got the bit, but when I go to replace the screws they won’t go back on. Any idea why?

aRdii says:

Yeah…..Can someone tell us how to replace the battery inside my GBA cassette….

Belial says:

Changing the battery in a gameboy cart is basically the same, except for the fact that the battery inside of it is on the top of the game board instead of the bottom, so all you have to do is remove the cover.

In place of actually spending around 7$ to get a 3.88 bit, I used a pair of nail clippers to open my gameboy cartridges (and I don’t mean traditional nail clippers, I mean the kind that are built like scissors. The blades on them are small enough to fit inside the hole in the plastic and grip the screw.)

Most pokemon gold/silver/crystal games have batteries that will be expiring soon, and some of the first generation pokemon games (reb/blue/yellow) are even starting to die off. I expect this is goin to become a very popular topic in the following months.

Belial says:

The nail clippers that are built like sciccors can be found at wal-mart in the cosmetics section. Pokemon games are dieing out faster than other games because they have more data to save (your name, your number of badges, all your pokemon, each individual pokemon’s stats, etc.) Other gameboy games that save data (other RPGs or games that have high scores) don’t have near as much data to save. Games that aren’t pokemon could still last for a few years. Games that aren’t RPGs could last even longer.

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