Why Would You Mod A Sega Saturn?

Why would you mod your Saturn?

The Sega Saturn was a wonderful piece of hardware that was greatly underappreciated, but still has a cult following. While it was not the commercial success that the Sony Playstation was, the Saturn was techincally superior for 2D games and put up some wonderful 3D titles as well.

However, because of the Saturn’s commercial obscurity (especially outside of Japan) many of the most enjoyable games for the system are quite hard to find. There were some incredible games released for the Saturn in the United States, but the really good stuff’s in Japan

Some of the really tough finds, like Panzer Dragoon Saga, Radiant Silvergun, and Keio Yugekitai are being sold for over $200 on EBay. The original games are becoming more of a collectors item as sellers gouge buyers. Because of this, many Saturn owners are unable to enjoy many of the great gems of the system. ISOs and game copies are easily obtainable now and it can be quite fun to collect a lot. (I do encourage you to buy these games for newer systems if they ever become re-released though).

In order to play these ISOs and backups, however, you will need a modchip. The Sega Saturn modchip is very inexpensive and easy to install. Once it is installed, you can play burned games just like they were the real thing.

Modding your Saturn will also allow you to play homebrew games that are availible on the net. You can also make your own games and software. (Check out SegaXtreme for more info) In fact, I will soon be sponsering a Saturn Homebrew contest.

This modchip will not allow you to play anything you throw at it however. The security encryption in the Saturn is one of the most effective schemes, forcing you to do seperate modifications before you can play both copies of games and games from other countries. This guide will show you how to modify your system so it can play CD-Rs, but if you want to play imports – either copies or originals – you should read over this guide.

If anybody has any further questions, I would be glad to answer them in the comments section.

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Anonymous says:

Two more advantages:

Saturn boots a CD game faster, since the laser pickup doesn’t move to the outer ring anymore.

You can play region-patched ISO rips of your own games.

Example: Using the US planetweb browser on a non-US Saturn with the NetLink modem.
You can’t use a universal adapter cartridge!

Hello, i’m getting ready to buy a japanese Sega saturn and i have a few questions.

1.will the US power and AV cords wrk?

2. if i put in a mod chip will it play both US and JAP disks?

3. If i buy the 5in1 cart will it make my JAP Sega saturn play US and JAP games effectivley?

pls e-mail me back at.


K2 says:

I’m curious about the question(s) asked above also:

2. if i put in a mod chip will it play both US and Japanese disks?

3. If i buy the 5in1 cart will it make my Japanese Sega saturn play US and JAP games effectivley?


racketboy says:

Not sure about the power cords.
The modchip does not allow imports, but you can region patch the ISOs — see here

The 5-in-1 should allow you to boot games of all regions

nerd. says:

I can’t see the Saturn mod chip in your shop. Have you stopped selling it?

nerd. says:

Never mind, found it at:

For some reason it didn’t show up when I went to “Store” and “Sega Saturn”.

Adrian Munoz says:

Hi. I have read several reviews from this site in the past (which helped me get a copy of burning rangers,) and became curious with the swap trick/ mod chip. Though I followed all of the instructions (using a saturn model 2, taping the inside for the swap trick, and burning the disc,) I couldn’t use the swap trick correctly, even with 2 real saturn discs (it would go straight to the main menu and not boot the game.) plus, I had a strange suspicion that the panzer dragoon saga i got on a rom site was japanese (therefore unable to play.) I am interrested in purchasing a mod chip, but I wanted to know why (if possible) the swap trick isn’t working, and perhaps if you know places where I can get U.S. isos online (because I can’t validate a $150+ pricetag on “house of the dead”.)

Thank you for your time, and I hope to hear from you soon.


racketboy says:

The swap trick on the Model 2 is very tricky to time correctly. I can barely do it myself.

As for ISOs, check for Underground Gamer. It’s a private torrent site.

Best of luck!

jake says:

the swap trick as described on this page is difficult to do. The trick is to reset the system after the first swap. Then do the second swap, back to the burned disc, just as the sound on the animated splash screen is ending.

j450n2 says:

Hey, will the Japanese power and av cords work in a US home? if not is there something I can get to make it work? email me
at nub_cakes101@yahoo.com

racketboy says:

I’m pretty sure the region doesn’t matter. Although, I’m not sure if the power plugs are the same in Japan….

Frizo says:

Or just buy an action replay, get the extra memory, cheats, AND it plays imports! i dont want to see a saturn destroyed! so just use a Action Replay, but if your stubborn and do this, you are putting your saturn at stake.

racketboy says:

none of those will let you play backups though.
It’s either swap trick or mod chip — and the modchip is actually the less dangerous.

Will Twrry says:

Just got mine today, only three days of shipping! Easiest mod ive ever done, with my model 2 saturn. I wouldnt be surprised if it adds lifespan to the laser since it doesnt move to the outer ring anymore, therefor reading less data. Highly recommended, even for someone with limited soldering experience.

Brendle says:

You’re not gonna believe this… I found one of these chips in a drawer, sealed, from about 10 years ago! I never used it. Do these work with UK model 2 Saturns (I probably didn’t think of this back then), and are they still considered good? Should I still use it?

racketboy says:

It should still be ok. Testing is the only way to know. And the regions don’t matter — only for the game codes on the disc you play 🙂

Brendle says:

Thanks! Oh damn, I think it’s actually a model 1, will it work? I’ll have to go over to my parents house to find it.

racketboy says:

Model 1 is possible, but I don’t really recommend it unless you’re skilled at electronics stuff or feeling adventurous. I’ve never done it personally, but here’s the information

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