It's Friday night. You just invited a friend over so that you could destroy him in Super Mash Bros. You give him the N64 controller with the loose joystick (of course), turn on the game, and your favorite character, Ness, is nowhere to be found.
This is probably because your N64 cartridge battery died long ago and your unlockable characters have gone away.
Why won't my N64 game save?
Most N64 cartridges store save data in SRAM, or Static RAM, kept alive by a small battery. This was a much cheaper alternative to the flash memory that was much more expensive back when the N64 was being sold.
In this guide, I'll show you how to replace the battery in your cartridge in about 10 minutes so that you can start saving once again.
List of N64 games that use a battery
Harvest Moon 64
Major League Baseball featuring Ken Griffey Jr.
New Tetris, The
Ogre Battle 64: Person of Lordly Caliber
Resident Evil 2
Super Smash Bros.
The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
WWF: Wrestlemania 2000
Watch the video, or continue below
I made a video tutorial that will walk you through the process. Or, if you prefer, you can continue reading the text and photo-based version of this guide below!
For the replacement battery you'll need a CR2032 battery with pre-soldered tabs. This is the direct replacement for your old N64 cartridge battery. This is the battery I used and it came with a 3.8mm security screwdriver, which you'll need later.
Unless you have a pulse spot welder laying around, don't solder anything directly to the battery.