Repairing Retro Video Games for Profit: What Micro Tools You Will Need

Retro video game cartridges and systems are hot and trending right now. If you want to pull out your video game collection from when you were a kid, you could fix it, clean it up, and sell it all for a profit. The first thing you need to do is connect your old systems up to your TV and make sure they work. If the games do not seem to be working, then you might have to take them apart to repair them. To do that, you will need certain micro tools to do an effective job without destroying the cartridges.

Micro Tools for Opening Game Cartridge Cases

To begin,  you will need a set of micro screwdrivers. These screwdrivers range from one millimeter to five millimeters and more. Video game companies used to use very tiny screws with deep-set holes in the cartridge casing to dissuade would-be game hackers and software thieves from busting open the cases and using the internal chips for illegal use. One company in particular, the one that is home to a certain Italian plumber, used screws that had neither a flat head or a Phillips micro screwdriver. To get these cases open, you will need a micro screwdriver with a triangle-shaped head.

Careful Prying

Once you have taken the screws out of these old game cartridges, you can use a tiny flathead screwdriver or the edge of a brow tweezers to wedge open the cases. You have to be really careful with some of these old games as they need to be opened a certain way or you could damage them permanently. Once you have opened the case, you will be able to assess the inner components to see what it going on.


Along with the micro screwdrivers of various head shapes and sizes, you will need a micro-soldering tool. These soldering guns with minute, needle-sharp points are ideal for the tiny amounts of solder you will need to reattach loose wires inside some games. For other games, you will need a micro-soldering gun to reattach the pin connection plates in the cartridges, after you have removed, cleaned and/or replaced these pin connection plates. Make sure you also buy solder material that is about one millimeter or less to use with the gun. That way you will not get gobs of melted solder all over the inside of the game, which would then prevent the game from ever functioning again.

Test the Games and Then Post for Sale

As you reassemble the games, be very careful. If you used any solder, make sure it has solidified. Screw the cases back together with your micro tools and then test the games in a system that definitely works. Once you have verified that the games are now functional, you are free to post them for sale on whatever site you choose.