How to Replace Pokemon Gold Battery with a Soldering Iron

Find our VGM Gold 3.8mm Security Bit on Amazon or eBay.

Warning: Proceed at your own risk and be careful when doing any repairs.

In the past we’ve show how to replace your lithium battery without soldering.  It’s quick.  It’s easy.  But so is soldering with a little practice.  Plus, it turns out that the solder method is a bit stronger as it is how these game-saving power supplies were installed in the first place.

Best part is that this method works for Pokémon Gold, Silver, Crystal, Blue, Red, Yellow, plus Zelda games, Tecmo Super Bowl, and a bunch of other retro video games.

Here’s what you’ll need:

FAQ

(Ok, so a lot of these FAQs were handled in our Solderless Repair Guide and have been recycled below.)

Q: Why can’t I save my game on my old Pokémon Game Boy Color cartridge?
A: Before game systems saved games on flash memory and hard drives, games relied on lithium batteries to maintain saved games. Unfortunately, when that battery dies, so does the saved game. It’s sort of like taking the battery out of your watch. Once the battery is gone, the watch loses the time.

Q: My cartridge lets me save the game, but when I turn it on later the saved game is gone. Is my battery dead?
A: Yes, without a working battery, the game will attempt to save and then lose the saved game data after you power off your Game Boy. Bummer, huh?!

Q: How powerful of a soldering iron do I need?
A:   We’d suggest one with 25 or more watts.  Ideally, you’d get one that has a temperature control to find a setting that works best for you.

Q: I don’t have a soldering iron.  Can I use a flame thrower, light saber, or other implement of destruction?
A:   Hmmm…please make a video of said attempts…using proper safety methods for each of course.

Q: Which Pokémon games does this repair method address?
A:   We’ve used it to repair Pokémon Gold, Silver, Crystal, Red Version, Blue Version, and Yellow Version (Special Pikachu Edition).  These include Pokémon Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald versions.

Q: Did I see a FireRed GBA cart in the video?
A: Yeah, we accidentally showed a Pokémon FireRed cart in the video, but it actually doesn’t use a battery. Ha ha, that cartridge looks so much like Ruby at first glance that we mixed them up during filming.

Q: My battery is dead. Will replacing it restore my saved game?
A: Unfortunately, when the battery dies, your saved game files are lost.  It’s sort of like unplugging your alarm clock.  Once it loses power, it loses track of what it saves, which in the case of an alarm clock is the time.  The exception to this is GBA games which only relied on the battery for an in-game clock.  That in-game clock affected things like berry growth.

Q: My battery is old but still working, is there any way to switch the battery without losing the game save?
A:  When you remove the battery, your saved game will be lost.  If you’re thinking about putting in a fresh battery, you should back up your saved game to a device like a Mega Memory Card.  You can also do certain backups using a N64 transfer pak and Pokemon Stadium 2.  Check out this thread for tips on this.

Q:  What size battery do I need?
A:  Most likely, if you’re replacing a battery for a Pokemon Game Boy Color cartridge, you’ll need a CR2025 Lithium battery.  However, some cartridges originally used a CR2016.  When you remove the existing battery, you can check its labeling or for battery size information stamped on the board next to the battery.

Q:  Does this repair work for Game Boy Advance Pokémon games on the GBA?
A:  Yup, you can use the same method to repair Pokémon games for the GBA and GBA SP.  These include Pokémon Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald versions.

Q:  Does this repair work for games of other systems?
A:  Yes, you can use the exact same method to repair games for the Original NES, Super Nintendo, Nintendo 64, Sega Genesis, Game Boy Advance and other older cartridge based games.  This is especially helpful if have an original Nintendo Entertainment System and want to fix your Legend of Zelda, Dragon Warrior, Final Fantasy, or Tecmo Super Bowl carts.  There are way too many games that use batteries than we can list for these systems.  If you have one with a battery, chances are this method will work just fine.

Q:  Can I use a solderless method instead of soldering the batteries back into place?
A:  Most people don’t know how to solder and don’t have any friends who do either.  While we admire those people who can restore their games through the process of soldering, we want to teach this simple and effective method that most anyone can do.  In our opinion, our no solder method involves less risk of having a person who is new to video game repair hurt themselves or the game cartridge.  Plus, we’ve been pretty happy with the success of the no soldering method.

Q:  How do I open my game cartridge?
A:  Many games require security bits to open them.  We suggest using a  VGM Gold 3.8mm Security Bit.

Q:  Do I really need a security bit to open my cartridge?
A:  Using the correct tool is definitely the easiest and safest way to open your cartridge.  However, others have gotten creative in using thin needle nosed pliers, tweezers, and even modified Bic Pens.  I’ve even heard of a guy (@roxas8137) using a Dremel tool to carve a flat slot in the screw for a normal screwdriver. We suggest getting a security bits since they’re cheap, easy to use, and have lowest risk of scratching or damaging your game.  Note: We also strongly discourage the use of dynamite, chainsaws or pet saber-toothed tigers in opening your game cart as these tend to damage the internal components.

Q:  How long can I expect my battery to last?
A:  The easiest way to figure this out would be to take the year the game was released and to subtract that from the year the battery died.  Speaking in broad terms though, the original batteries in games like Pokemon Gold (generally using CR2025) seemed to last 10-12 years or more.  Amazingly, original batteries in The Legend of Zelda NES cartridges (generally using CR2032) have been know to last 25+ years!  Everything seems to depend on the size of the battery (larger CR2032>CR2025>CR2016>CR1616 smaller), the quality, and the amount of drain placed on the battery.  Regarding drain, games with a continuous clock or items like a Dreamcast’s VMU are always drawing power from the battery. However, a Legend of Zelda Cart simply uses its battery to maintain the saved game.  If you replace your battery, it won’t last forever, but you can probably get a good number of years out of it.

Q:  Can I put a CR2032 battery into a game that previously had a CR2025?
A:  I always like to replace with the exact same battery type that it originally used.  Both the CR2032 and CR2025 are 3V batteries. In my understanding, the main difference is that the CR2032 is 3.2mm in thickness and the CR2025‘s is 2.5mm in thickness.  Additionally, the CR2032 should give longer battery life.  Proceed at your own risk if you’re going to mismatch batteries.  But…we’d gladly use the larger battery for our own games.

Q:  I tried to replace my battery, and it isn’t working.  What did I do wrong?
A1:  Make sure that the battery is in correctly (Positive matching + and Negative matching -).
A2:  Sometimes it helps to wrap a thin strip of electrical tape around the edge of the battery.  This can help to prevent a metal contact from touching both the battery’s positive and negative sizes simultaneously.
A3:  Try cleaning the game and board.  The metal contacts most commonly need cleaning.  We suggest using a Qtip or cloth dampened with rubbing alcohol or WD-40 to clean the contacts.
A4:  Are you certain that your game worked in the first place?  If your little brother dropped it in the toilet 15 years ago and you’re hoping this will get it to work, chances are your game will still have issues.

Your Feedback:

We would love your feedback!  Please comment on the YouTube video or Facebook with your questions and comments.  Thanks!

Security Bit & Battery Compatibility Chart

Want to clean your video game collection?

Are you trying to repair an old game cartridge or system?

We’ve created a compatibility chart to help you find the items you’ll need.  Want a pdf version?

SECURITY BIT & BATTERY COMPATIBILITY CHART
NINTENDO   GAME BIT SYSTEM BIT CONTROLLER BIT SYSTEM BATTERY GAME BATTERY
Original Nintendo NES  nintendo nes 3.8mm Philips Philips n.a. CR2032
Super Nintendo super nintendo system
3.8mm 4.5mm Philips n.a. CR2032
Nintendo 64  nintendo-64-system 3.8mm 4.5mm Philips n.a. CR2032
Game Cube  nintendo game cube n.a. 4.5mm Tri-Wing n.a. n.a.
Wii  nintendo wii n.a. Tri-Wing Tri-Wing n.a. n.a.
Virtual Boy  nintendo virtual boy 3.8mm 4.5mm1 Philips n.a. n.a.
Game Boy  nintendo game boy 3.8mm Tri-Wing n.a. AA CR2025
Game Boy Color  nintendo game boy color 3.8mm Tri-Wing n.a. AAA Usually CR2025 (but sometimes CR2016)3
Game Boy Advance  nintendo game boy advance Tri-Wing Tri-Wing n.a. AA Usually CR2025 (but sometimes CR2016)3
Game Boy Advance SP  game boy advance sp Tri-Wing Tri-Wing n.a. Lithium Usually CR2025 (but sometimes CR2016)3
DS  nintendo ds system Tri-Wing Tri-Wing n.a. Lithium n.a.
DS Lite  nintendo ds lite system Tri-Wing Tri-Wing n.a. Lithium n.a.
DSi  nintendo dsi Tri-Wing Tri-Wing n.a. Lithium n.a.
DSi XL  nintendo dsi xl system Tri-Wing Tri-Wing n.a. Lithium n.a.
SEGA GAME BIT SYSTEM BIT CONTROLLER BIT SYSTEM BATTERY GAME BATTERY
Master System  sega master system 4.5mm Philips Philips n.a. CR2032
Genesis  sega genesis 4.5mm2 Philips Philips n.a. CR2032
CD sega cd n.a. Philips Philips n.a. n.a.
CDX  sega cdx n.a. Philips Philips n.a. n.a.
32X  sega 32x 4.5mm Philips Philips n.a. CR2032
Saturn  sega saturn n.a. Philips Philips CR2032 n.a.
Dreamcast sega dreamcast n.a. Philips Philips n.a. CR2032 for VMU4
Game Gear sega game gear 3.8mm 4.5mm n.a. AA n.a.
MISC GAME BIT SYSTEM BIT CONTROLLER BIT SYSTEM BATTERY GAME BATTERY
TurboGrafx 16  turbografx 16 system n.a. 4.5mm Philips n.a. n.a.
TurboDuo  nec turboduo system n.a. 4.5mm n.a. n.a. n.a.
CHART KEY
Philips = Philips head screwdriver
Tri-wing = Tri-wing head screwdriver
1Bit may not be long enough to reach screws without removing plastic
2Works for most games
3Check game’s internal circuit board to identify the battery needed. It should be labeled either “CR2025” or “CR2016“.
4The Sega Dreamcast’s VMU requires the use of two (2) CR2032 batteries.

Additional Info: See our video cleaning and repair guides for our favorite methods for easily cleaning and repairing your retro gaming collection.

Sharing: You are welcome to share this chart in unedited form so long as you offer credit linking to VideoGameMuseum.com

Feedback: We would love your feedback!  Please send feedback and suggestions to mark{at}videogamemuseum.com simply comment below.

Rare Game Showcase: Pac-Man Phone, Prototype Atari Consoles, and a Sealed Caltron 6 in 1

I love eBay for being both a marketplace and a living museum of video game history!  Here are the fantastic items that I’m watching this week.

GAMES

CALTRON 6 IN 1 NINTENDO NES ORIGINAL GAME SEALED RARE

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves Fortune Hunter Edition …why are the most expensive items often sold by zero feedback sellers.  Is that (A) a guarantee that the listing is a scam, (B) simply a sign that someone wants to sell the item anonymously, or (C) some honest guy who simply never used eBay before?

SNES Donkey Kong Country Competition Complete Nintendo

Soap Panic CIB Famicom Bubble Bath Babes NES Complete

AV Pachi Slot Big Chance CIB Famicom Hot Slots NES

SYSTEMS

Unique Atari 2700 (2600) RC Stella Prototype Console You can read more about this console in the Atari Museum.  Bidding still has about a day to go and this gem is going for $1,150.00 USD!

Unique Atari 2600 CX-2000 “Val” Prototype Console Also featured in the Atari Museum.  Bidding still has about a day to go and this gem is already up to $2,500.00 USD!

COLLECTIBLES

SEGA Channel Hoodie

Atari Video Music model C-240 Innovative Leisure RARE!!

Lair Artbox Promotional Reel (Playstation 3, 2007)

Nintendo Super Mario Bros 1989 Puppet Kooler Cup Weird!

Nintendo Game Boy Advance Store Display Kiosk + Mario

Rare Mario Chain Chomp Soccer Ball Collectible Awesome…looks like these were used to promote Super Mario Strikers.  Anyone know if these are actually rare or not?

VERY RARE Super Mario 2 Dixie Cup FULL SET 1989 For the Mario collector who has everything…

Nintendo Super Mario Bros 1989 Puppet Kooler Cup Weird! Yup, weird.

1980 PAC-MAN TELEPHONE IN COUNTER DISPLAY BOX WORKS! This is hands down the coolest phone I’ve ever seen.  More photos are below…

SIGNAGE

Xbox Live 4′ Store Display Sign 360

Nintendo 64 N64 4′ x 10′ Store Display Sign

Nintendo Game Boy 4′ x 10′ Store Display Sign

Vintage Sega Genesis 4′ x 10′ Store Display Sign

Vintage Super Nintendo SNES 4′ x 10′ Store Display Sign

rare vintage Nintendo Gameboy fiber optic sign display

RARE 1996 Nintendo 64 Promo Banner Display Sign N64 Wii

Rare Video Games & Collectibles on eBay: Big Daddy Costume, Kiosks, Mike Tyson Life-Sized Cardboard Cutout

It is wrong that I spend more time collecting video games than playing them?  I think this first auction proves that actually playing video games is just a fraction of the entertainment they provide.

This Costume is Amazing!

Bioshock Big Daddy costume / replica This costume is simply phenomenal!  Yes, the drill arm works!  The costume itself weights 50-60 and is sheer awesomeness.  Someone please buy this and wear it to Comic-Con 2010 so that I can see it in person!  Check out the full build process.  Check out some recent photography.

Unique & Rare Video Game Collectibles

Nintendo NES Mike Tyson Lifesize Punchout Display 1988 Not only is this cutout super awesome, but you better believe it’s going to sell for a ton.  Within 12 hours of the start of the auction, it already broke $100 USD, and I’m sure that price has a lot higher to go!  (Update:  This sold by eBay seller “cardinalscoop“on Dec. 6, 2009 for $445 USD + s/h! That’s one expensive chunk of cardboard!)

Sharp 19” Nintendo (NES) TV Works Great New 72-pin A NES built into a TV!!!

Sharp 19” Nintendo (NES) TV Works Great w 22 games

Retro Gaming Store Display Kiosks

SEGA store KIOSK for Genesis Saturn – nice

Super Nintendo Store Display NESM80C -Kiosk- SNES

*GREEN KIOSK CONTROLLER* Nintendo 64 w/ Rumble RARE!! What’s interesting here is that the rumble pack received power through the controller itself and didn’t require batteries.  Curses upon Nintendo for having that technology and making us waste all those batteries…

Nintendo Gameboy Advance Store Display -Kiosk-

Sony Playstation Pepsi Display -Kiosk- Complete!

Rare Video Games & Multi Carts

GOLDEN 250 IN 1 NES GAME CART

NES 76 IN 1 GAME CART

Pyramid Sachen Famicom / NES **Very Rare Cart**

ATARI PROTOTYPE OIK ** VERY RARE **

Retro Gaming Holiday Sales

Black Friday Sales for Retro Gamers?

Everyone knows about the sales offered on current generation video games, but maybe you’re an old-school gamer and are more interested in retro gaming & collecting.  Here’s a list of the sales I’ve come across for vintage video games like the original 8-bit Nintendo, Sega Genesis, Atari, etc.:

GamesOgre.net eBay Store

On top of these sales, take an additional 8% off using Bing.com (Yeah, that means 15% becomes 23%!).  Check out my YouTube walkthrough if you haven’t done this before:

J2Games.com

20% off any games & systems in stock with promo code “Holiday09”

LukieGames.com

Goodwill

50% off storewide sale!  Might as well go to the source for vintage gaming & other retro radness since most of us have a Goodwill in our area.

Goodwill-Half-Off-Sale
Check the Goodwill Store Locator to verify the sale for your area.

Other Retro Gaming Deals?

Know of any other retro video game sales?  Please comment or e-mail me.  Happy holidays, collecting, and retro gaming!

Rare Video Game Hunting: Mini Arcade, FF9, Boxed SNES, etc

Rare Video Game Hunting 10102009I’ve had some great fun video game hunting a weeks ago (October . I got the following lot of games at a local flea market (swap meet) in one morning of hunting. Although none of these are super rare, the Taiko Drum Master PS2 game fits into the moderately rare category.

My favorite part of the hunt happened when I came across a vendor with a pile of N64 stuff. There was a N64 storage drawer with a system on top and 3 controllers. The drawer was partially opened revealing about 8 games and seemed to have already been rummaged through by other shoppers. The seller named a fair price if I bought everything as a lot, so I bought it. As I was packing it up, I find that the storage box’s drawer wouldn’t close. Sure enough, there were about 8 more games wedged in the back preventing the drawer from closing! Talk about a nice bonus for buying everything as a lot!

The other unique item here is the mini-Pac-Man Arcade. I don’t know much about it other than that it looks awesome and seems to have been made in 1981. If you’re familiar with this item, I’d love some info on it.

All those SNES boxes are empty, but they’ll help me fill out my own SNES collection.

In case you’ve ever wondered where eBay sellers get all the stuff they sell, I’m one example. Obviously, I’m enjoying the treasure hunting aspect of this, so I’ve built a small business model around my hobby: a) I like hunting for and collecting retro video games b) I find too many, so I resell them on eBay. c) Hopefully, “a” & “b” reimburse me and even make a few bucks so I can continue more of “a”. Pretty simple… It’s all smaller scale, which is perfect because it keeps it enjoyable. Feel free to check it out in auction / listing form if you’re curious about examples of parting out and pricing items.