When do snes cart batteries need to be replaced

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If you’re a retro gaming enthusiast, you likely have a collection of classic games stored away somewhere. Many of these games, such as those for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES), rely on small batteries to save game progress. Over time, the batteries will eventually wear out and need to be replaced.

But when exactly do SNES cartridge batteries need to be replaced? It’s a question that many gamers ask themselves, especially if they haven’t played a particular game in several years. The answer, unfortunately, isn’t a simple one. Barring any unexpected hardware failures, the lifespan of the battery will depend on a number of factors, including the type of battery used and how often the game is played.

In this article, we’ll explore the reasons why SNES cartridge batteries need to be replaced, how to replace them, and some tips for prolonging the life of your game cartridges.

When do SNES cart batteries need to be replaced?

The Importance of SNES Cart Batteries

SNES cart batteries, which are used to save game progress, are an essential component of any gaming console. These batteries are what allow you to continue playing where you last left off without having to start from the beginning every time you turn on the console. Without these batteries, playing your favorite SNES games would be impossible.

When to Replace the Batteries

The lifespan of SNES cart batteries varies depending on the type of battery and how often the game cartridge is used. Typically, these batteries will last anywhere from 5-10 years, but some may die sooner. Signs that your battery needs to be replaced include a loss of saved game data or a message such as “Save Failed” or “Save Error” appearing on screen. If you notice these issues, it’s time to replace the battery.

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Replacing the battery can be done by opening up the cartridge and finding the battery inside. The process is relatively simple, but if you’re not comfortable with electronics, it’s best to seek help from a professional or watch an in-depth tutorial video to avoid damaging the cartridge.


SNES cart batteries are important for saving game progress and allowing you to continue where you left off. Although they have a relatively long lifespan, they will eventually need to be replaced. Keep an eye out for signs that your battery needs to be replaced and seek help from a professional if you’re not comfortable with the process. Don’t let a dead battery ruin your gaming experience!

Typical lifespan of SNES cart batteries

Typical lifespan of SNES cart batteries


The Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) is a popular video game console that was released in the 1990s. It uses cartridges to play games, and these cartridges often have a small battery inside that is responsible for saving game progress. As with all batteries, these eventually need to be replaced. In this article, we will discuss the typical lifespan of SNES cart batteries.

Average Lifespan

The average lifespan of an SNES cart battery is about 10 years. However, this lifespan greatly depends on how often the battery is used and how it is stored. If the battery is heavily used, it may only last a few years. Similarly, if the cartridge is stored in a humid or hot environment, the battery may deteriorate faster than normal.

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If your SNES cartridge battery dies, it is possible to replace it. Replacement batteries are readily available online and in electronic stores. However, replacing the battery requires some technical knowledge and can be tricky. If you are not confident in your ability to replace the battery, it is recommended that you seek the help of a professional.

Preventative Measures

To prevent your SNES cartridge battery from dying earlier than expected, there are some preventative measures you can take. First, store your cartridges in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Second, avoid leaving your cartridges plugged into the console for extended periods of time when not in use. Finally, consider investing in a backup device that can save your game progress to a memory card instead of relying on the cartridge battery.

Signs that your SNES cart battery is dying

Save files disappearing

If you notice that your previously saved game is missing, it is likely that the battery on your SNES cart is dying. Once the battery dies, it can no longer keep the save file intact, causing it to disappear. Keep in mind that some games may not have a save feature at all, but if you notice a pattern of disappearing save files, it might be time to check the battery.

Time-based games freezing

A telltale sign that your SNES cart battery is dying is when you experience freezing during time-based games such as Pokemon or Animal Crossing. These games rely on the internal clock which is powered by the battery. If the battery dies, the clock stops working, causing the game to freeze when it tries to access the date and time.

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Flashing red light

Some SNES carts have a flashing red light on the cartridge itself. If you notice this, it means that the battery inside is close to dying and needs replacing. This is a warning sign that should not be ignored as it indicates that your save files are at risk of being lost.

Game resetting

If you notice that your game keeps resetting every time you turn on your console, it could be a sign that the SNES cart battery is dying. This happens because the battery cannot keep the save file intact between sessions, resulting in the game thinking it is brand new every time it is turned on.

Blurred graphics and sound

Blurred graphics and sound

Finally, if you start to experience blurry graphics or choppy sound, it could be a sign that your SNES cart battery is dying. In this case, the faulty battery is not directly causing the issue, but instead preventing the game from loading properly due to the loss of save data. Replacing the battery should fix the issue.

  • Save files disappearing
  • Time-based games freezing
  • Flashing red light
  • Game resetting
  • Blurred graphics and sound

How to Replace Your SNES cart Battery

Step 1: Gather Necessary Supplies

Before starting, you will need the following supplies:

  • A tri-wing screwdriver
  • A CR2032 battery
  • Pliers

Step 2: Open the Cart

Using the tri-wing screwdriver, remove the screws on the back of the SNES cart.

Step 3: Remove the Old Battery

Step 3: Remove the Old Battery

  1. Locate the battery on the board of the cartridge.
  2. Using the pliers, gently pull the battery up and out of its holder.
  3. Dispose of the old battery responsibly.
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Step 4: Insert the New Battery

  1. Take the new CR2032 battery and insert it into the holder.
  2. Make sure the positive (+) side of the battery is facing up.

Step 5: Reassemble the Cart

Put the back of the cartridge back on and screw in the screws using the tri-wing screwdriver.

And just like that, your SNES cart should be good as new with a fresh battery!

Common mistakes to avoid when replacing a SNES cart battery

1. Not checking the voltage of the new battery

When replacing the battery in a SNES cartridge, it’s important to make sure that you’re using the correct voltage battery. Using a battery with a different voltage can potentially damage the circuit board and render the cartridge unusable. Make sure to check the voltage of the old battery before purchasing a new one, and double-check that the voltage of the new battery is the same.

2. Not desoldering the old battery correctly

Before replacing the battery, you’ll need to remove the old one using a soldering iron. If you don’t desolder the old battery correctly, you could damage the circuit board or the contacts on the cartridge, making it impossible to install the new battery. Make sure to use a good quality soldering iron and take your time when desoldering the old battery.

3. Installing the new battery backwards

One common mistake when replacing a SNES cartridge battery is installing the new battery backwards. This can cause the battery to short out and potentially damage the circuit board. Make sure to carefully observe the polarity markings on the battery and the circuit board, and install the new battery correctly.

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4. Not cleaning the cartridge contacts

Before installing the new battery, it’s important to clean the contacts on the cartridge. Dirty or corroded contacts can cause problems with the cartridge’s performance, and can even damage the circuit board if left unchecked. Use a soft cloth and some rubbing alcohol to clean the contacts carefully and make sure they’re free of any debris or corrosion.

5. Using a low-quality replacement battery

5. Using a low-quality replacement battery

Using a low-quality replacement battery can cause all sorts of problems with your SNES cartridge, from poor performance to complete failure. Make sure to purchase a good quality replacement battery from a reputable seller, and avoid using cheap or knock-off batteries that might not last as long or work as well as the original battery.

Alternative Options for Powering Your SNES Games

Battery Pack

Battery Pack

One alternative to replacing SNES cart batteries is to use a battery pack. This is essentially a portable power source that plugs into the SNES console and provides power to the carts. Battery packs come in various sizes and capacities, and many modern ones are designed specifically for SNES games. This option is ideal for those who want to avoid opening up their cartridges or console, or who want a portable gaming setup.

AC Adapter

AC Adapter

Another option for powering SNES games is to use an AC adapter. This is a power cord that connects to the SNES console and provides power to the cartridges. AC adapters are typically included with the console when it is purchased, but they can also be purchased separately. This option is ideal for those who want a more permanent setup and do not mind having a cord running from their console to an outlet.

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Third-Party Cartridges

Third-Party Cartridges

For those who do not want to replace their SNES cart batteries or use alternative power sources, there are third-party cartridges available that do not require batteries. These cartridges use different methods of saving game data, such as flash memory or SRAM. While some third-party cartridges may not be compatible with all SNES games, they offer a way to continue playing your favorite games without worrying about dead batteries.

Battery Replacement Services

Battery Replacement Services

Lastly, if you do not want to replace the batteries in your SNES cartridges yourself, there are professional services that offer battery replacement for a fee. These services typically have the expertise and equipment to replace the batteries without damaging the cartridge, and may also offer additional services such as cleaning and testing the cartridge. While this option can be more expensive than doing it yourself, it is a convenient and safe option for those who are not comfortable with DIY repairs.


What is a snes cart battery?

A snes cart battery is a small lithium ion battery that powers the memory in game cartridges for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System.

How long does the snes cart battery last?

The lifespan of a snes cart battery varies, but it typically lasts around 10-20 years. If the battery dies, it will need to be replaced to save game progress.

What are the symptoms of a dying snes cart battery?

The symptoms of a dying snes cart battery include losing saved game progress, being unable to save new progress, or the game not starting up at all.

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Can I replace the snes cart battery myself?

Yes, you can replace the snes cart battery yourself if you have the right tools and experience. There are also tutorials and videos available to guide you through the process.

Do all snes carts have batteries?

No, not all snes carts have batteries. Only games that have save functions require the use of batteries to store progress.

What kind of battery does the snes cart use?

The snes cart uses a CR2032 lithium ion battery.

Is there a way to prolong the life of my snes cart battery?

Yes, there are a few ways to prolong the life of your snes cart battery. One way is to play the game regularly, as the battery is used more when it’s sitting idle. Another way is to store the game cartridge in a cool, dry place to prevent heat damage to the battery.


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Ashley Johnson

As an avid gamer, I found the article on when SNES cart batteries need to be replaced extremely informative. I had no idea that these batteries could die after a certain amount of time or that they were crucial for saving game progress. The author’s step-by-step guide on how to check and replace the battery was easy to follow and gave me the confidence to try it myself. I appreciate the time and effort put into researching this topic and providing a solution for gamers who may be experiencing issues with their SNES carts. This article is a must-read for anyone who wants to ensure their beloved gaming cartridges last for years to come.

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Samantha Davis

As a fan of vintage gaming, I found this article on when to replace SNES cart batteries quite informative. It’s frustrating to pull out an old game cartridge and find that it no longer works due to a dead battery. I appreciated the author’s clear explanation of how the battery works and their recommendation to replace it every 10-15 years. It’s a great reminder to take care of our beloved retro games and ensure they remain playable for future generations. Overall, I found this article helpful and relevant to my interests.

Lucas Anderson

As an avid retro gamer, I found this article very helpful in understanding when my old SNES game cartridges might need their batteries replaced. It’s easy to forget that those old games still rely on battery power to save progress, and once those batteries die, there’s no way to restore that saved data. The article does a great job of breaking down the lifespan of these batteries and giving tips on how to check if they’re still functional. I’ll definitely be following the advice given here and checking on my old cartridges to make sure they’re still holding up. Overall, this article is a must-read for any SNES fan who wants to ensure their games are preserved for future generations.

Emily Wilson

As a female retro gamer, I found the “When do SNES cart batteries need to be replaced” article incredibly informative. I had no idea that my favorite SNES games could potentially lose their saves due to dead batteries. Thankfully, the article provided clear instructions on how to determine if a cart’s battery needs to be replaced and even outlined the process for doing so. It’s a relief to know that I can take proactive measures to preserve my game progress and not have to worry about losing it all to a dead battery. Overall, this was an excellent and helpful article for any SNES enthusiast.

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Alexander Lewis

As someone who grew up playing Super Nintendo games, I found this article very helpful. The information about the lifespan of SNES cart batteries was particularly interesting. I had no idea that the battery could last for up to 20 years! It’s good to know that if my saved games disappear, it might just be a dead battery and not a permanent loss. The article’s instructions for replacing the battery were clear and easy to follow, so I think I’ll give it a go myself. I appreciate the warning about potential damage to the cartridge if not done properly. Overall, a great read for any SNES enthusiast looking to preserve their games and nostalgia.

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