Setup Guides - Nintendo NES

Setting up Your System

To set up your Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) you will need the power cable and either AV cables or an RF Adapter. To connect the NES to a modern screen you will need AV cables.

Depending you your TV you may not have AV ports and may need an AV to HDMI converter. Note that the NES only has one audio channel and only uses 2 of the standard AV cables.

The benefits of using a CRT television are that, unlike LCD TVs, they do not have input lag. In addition, graphics of the era were designed to be seen on CRT TVs and often look improved on them.

Playing Games

NES games come on cartridges (sold separately) that must be inserted into the cartridge slot before the system is powered on. While it is recommended to press the cartridge down to lock it in place, it will also read in the upright position and may actually work better in that position depending on whether the pins that read cartridges have been replaced. We recommend trying to load the game both ways.

If the power light flashes on and off rather than staying on, the cartridge is not being read properly and may need cleaning. While many famously cleaned the cartridges by blowing in them to clear away debris, it is not recommended as it can create moisture that can corrode the cartridge’s or system’s contacts and do more damage in the long term. We recommend cleaning the contacts with a cotton swab wetted in alcohol. You can apply a fair amount of pressure without damaging the contacts.