Repair/Hookup Tips for your N64 Game Console

Posted by on Jul. 9th, 2014

*Updated October 19 2021

These tips are to help with problems connecting your Nintendo 64 console to your TV and problems with playing your games on the console.

N64 systems run a signal of either 240p or 480i depending on the game and won't play on most newer HDTVs without adjusting the TV settings. The TV may show a “NO SIGNAL” message. Some TVs will detect this and automatically make the change (this could take upwards of 5 minutes for the TV to recognize the specific signal while the system with the game is powered on). Some other HDTV models will not be able to recognize it automatically and the user will have to modify the settings manually.

Please make sure your AV cables are properly connected and match the color of the corresponding AV jacks and that your TV is on the corresponding input channel (not channel 3 or 4). If you do not have AV jacks on your TV, you will need an AV to HDMI converter with cable pak, which you can purchase from DKOldies here.

drawing showing back of N64 control deck & back of CRT TV

Clean the metal connector to the game and system using the follow steps:

Always blow into your system and in the open end of your game prior to playing to remove any loose particles of dust.

1. Take one side of a q-tip and rubbing alcohol or water and rub the metal connector to loosen up any dirt. Then take the dry side of the q-tip and rub the metal connector to gather up any foreign particles until all the dirt is removed. Make sure to do this to both sides of the metal connector. This will clean the game. Then enter it into the machine all the way.

Cleaning game cartridge

2. Remove the cartridge and clean it again. Then enter it into the machine again. This will help clean the pins inside your machine.

3.Now insert and remove the game cartridge from your system about 5 to 6 times in rapid succession. This will also help to remove any foreign particles that still may be on the game's pins and blocking the connection. Remove the cartridge one last time and blow in the bottom of the game as well as the cartridge slot of the console. Insert the game cartridge and power on.

Also try removing the jumper pak, located inside the expansion bay on top of the console between the power and reset buttons. You can pry out the pak with a flat head screwdriver or butter knife, or using the corner of the door to the expansion bay itself. Once removed blow out the expansion bay and do a quick wipe of the jumper pak pins with a q-tip as with the games. Insert the jumper pak into the expansion bay and power on your system.

Memory expansion slot on N64

Game cleaning should be done a few times a year to ensure the play quality of your games and systems. For further details please visit for more information on cleaning and maintaining your games.

Here is a video to help explain how to set up your Nintendo 64!

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