NES Video Problems

  1. Make sure you are using only licensed accessories with your system. Unlicensed products are not fully compatible with our systems and may not work correctly. For RF connections, we find that video problems occur most often during an RF switch hookup when an unlicensed RF switch is used. Make sure the name "Nintendo" is molded onto the RF switch, not "for use with Nintendo."

  2. Check all of the system connections to verify that they are firm and correct. If the RF Switch is being used, make sure that the Stereo Audio/Video Cable is not also plugged in. For AV connections, remove the AV cables and reinsert them with a slight twisting motion.

    For RF connections, make sure the channel switch on the TV and system are set to the same channel (either CH3 or CH4). Some additional steps you can take with RF connections are:

    • Adjust the vertical or horizontal hold controls. This is helpful even if regular TV stations come in fine. If your TV has an automatic fine tuning control (called AFC or AFT), turn it OFF. Use the manual fine tuning dial to adjust the picture. If turning OFF the AFC/AFT causes your TV to display in black and white, then leave the AFC/AFT ON. Slide the Power Switch on the Control Deck to the ON position, while the Control Deck remains ON, turn the TV off for 10 second then back on again. This resets your AFC/AFT so that it will tune in the signal from the Control Deck.
    • Move your Control Deck farther away from your TV. If the Control Deck is too close to the TV, the Control Deck may cause some interference.

  3. Slide the Power Switch on the Control Deck to the OFF position.

  4. Remove the Game Pak and re-load it, pressing firmly to make sure it is locked in place.

    Important Note: Removing the Game Pak with the power ON will cause the Game Pak image to freeze on the screen. Press Reset to correct the problem. Always turn your system OFF before inserting or removing Game Paks.

  5. Slide the Power Switch on the Control Deck to the ON position.

  6. There may be a problem in one of your hookup cables and not your system. Try purchasing a new connection cable (where to buy). You can also try borrowing the cable from a friend to see if it solves your problem before purchasing a new item.

Important Note: New-Style NES (NESN) - Lines on Screen
The redesigned NESN may have some radio frequency noise that can cause some deterioration of the picture quality of the game when used on some television sets. This usually shows as lines or fuzziness on the screen. In almost all cases, changing to a different TV solves the problem because most TV's can filter out this "Noise," so it usually isn't a problem. If this does not work, please contact Nintendo of America's Customer Service Department 1-800-255-3700.

What to do if Troubleshooting doesn't help

Due to the age of the system, we no longer offer factory repairs directly from Nintendo. Please click here to find out what options are available for repair or replacement of your product. If you simply need to order parts or accessories (such as controllers, an RF Switch, etc.), you may want to check out our Online Store. Nintendo's Online Store still carries some parts and accessories for our older products.