N64 Cartridge Cleaning Guide

With the right tools, cleaning your Nintendo 64 cartridges is both very easy, and very rewarding. Cleaning dirty cartridge contacts makes a big difference when trying to load your game on your N64 console. With a few inexpensive tools that can be purchased via the links below you can have your N64 games cleaned in seconds!

N64 Game Cleaning Tools

Or you can find all of these supplies in our Nintendo Game Cleaning Kit (except for the phillips head)

Open N64 Cart

Locate the two security screws on the back of the Nintendo 64 game. For your reference we have indicated the location of the security screws with red boxes in the image below.


Using our 3.8mm Security Bit, unscrew the 2 screws from the back of the cartridge. Our 3.8mm gamebit is designed to fit in Nintendo Game screw holes easily. Other gamebits require a good deal of pressure and risk damaging the game, as they are too wide. Lift up the back side of the cartridge. Be careful not to lose the screws!


With the cartridge open, you will notice a metal shield secured by two small phillips head screws, which we have highlighted with red rectangles in the image below. You will need to remove the screws with your phillips head screwdriver, and lift up and remove the top half of the metal shield.


With the metal shield removed, you will see the gameboard with a small black plastic piece attached. Simplay lift up the gameboard, and slide off the small black plastic piece indicated with a red arrow in the image below.


Now the gameboard should be fully accessible, and you should remove it from the plastic and metal casing entirely for cleaning.


Cleaning the Nintendo 64 Gameboard Connectors

The red rectangle indicates the area needing cleaning. Apply our specialized Game Cleaning Paste on one of our Non-Static Cleaning Pads and rub over the metal contacts. You should notice quite a bit of brown/black residue coming up, which is due to dirt and corrosion having built up over time. Make sure to clean both sides of the contacts until dirt and grime are no longer visible. Any hardened deposits will effect gameplay, perhaps even preventing your game from playing, so be sure to scrub any deposits until they are gone (you will know a deposit when you see it). Once clean, quickly dampen a fresh cleaning cloth with our Game Cleaning Rinse, and rub over both sides of the contacts to remove any left over residue from the paste. Your contacts should be smooth and shiny. Be sure to dry the contacts with a part of the cloth that is not wet. Once dry, you are ready to reassemble your game!


Reassembly of the Nintendo 64 Game Cartridge

Reverse the order for assembly. Slide the black plastic piece back on the gameboard, and reinsert into the metal housing. The gameboard only fits into the game case one way, so if it doesn't fit, flip it over and try again. Snap back on the top half of the metal housing, and reinsert the phillips head screws. Finally, replace the bottom half of the plastic case and reinsert the security screws. Make sure to screw the security screws in snug, but don't strip them! Once reassembled, pop it in your N64 system and it should come right up with no blinking! If your system powers on, but your game still will not play, the issue may be your Nintendo 64 (N64) System connector. In that case, you should consider replacing the system with one of our Refurbished Nintendo 64 Systems. Each of our refurbished systems have been cleaned and tested by our professional repair staff, who have replaced any bad compenents as well to ensure the system will continue to work as it should.

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