When a Gameboy game refuses to save the game, or you get the message that “internal battery has run dry”, it’s time to change the module internal battery. GB and GBA games may sometimes contain a battery, which is used either to store the savegame in module’s memory, or to keep the module internal clock running.
Save memory battery
In the “good old days” before flash memories, storing the saved game required a battery. When battery ran dry, the game could not be saved, and all the previous saves were lost. The game also might actually stop working at this time.
Another use for battery was to keep the game clock running. Old game modules couldn’t get the time from the console, so the only way to keep the time up was to actually add a clock circuit to the game module itself. And this requires a battery to run. DS was the first Nintendo handheld that actually contained a clock of it’s own.
Which games use battery?
The following games (and many more) use batteries:
- GB: Pokemon Red, Blue & Yellow (save)
- GB: Pokemon Gold, Silver, Crystal (save and internal clock)
- GBA: Pokemon Ruby, Sapphire, Emerald (internal clock)
- GB: Zelda-games (save)
Battery type (CR2025 or CR1616) can be found out by opening the module. The model is usually printed right beside the battery on the circuit board. CR1616 is more common, only older Pokémons seem to use the larger CR2025. You can usually find the battery type by googling.
The video above shows how the battery change is done properly. In the end of this article there’s a link to a similar video for GBA game module battery change. In my opinion, these two were the best videos. Please note: I do not recommend using “solderless” technique found on many videos. Solderless usually means that you tape the battery into circuit board… You can guess how reliable way this is…
- Soldering iron and some solder.
- Opening the game module requires:
- A new battery with tabs for soldering:
Battery change for GBA modules
On GBA you’ll have to bend the battery tabs a bit, because the battery sits on top of another component, not on the circuit board itself. Instructions below.
As a curiosity to know – Nintendo support offered these battery changes as as service on those days… 😉
Images: Gameboy Advance Pokémon telling that battery has run dry.