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Why Do Gameboy Advance Games Die?

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Today a lot of people still want to dig out their old Gameboy Advance cartridges and play games on the actual hardware, however, most of the consoles are old, and their batteries are obsolete. Because of this, the games are not able to save to the cartridge anymore.

The Gameboy Advance is one of the most successful handheld home consoles, finding its way to players across the globe years after its production halted. 

So, why do Gameboy Advance games die?

Gameboy Advance games die because the battery will die at some point. When the battery dies, all the saved information of the game will disappear. 

If you would like more information on why Gameboy Advance games die, please keep reading and check out this video!

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What Happens When Your Gameboy Advance Games Die

After years of fun and excitement, your Gameboy Advance game will die. It’s just a matter of when. Nintendo designed the Gameboy with a CR2025 battery or its equivalent, which its sole purpose is to allow game progress saving. At some point, the battery will die, and your game dies too.

When the battery dies, it stops the games from saving and causes previous saved games to disappear. However, while the Gameboy Advance game is still powered, you can still save the game.

 Running a Gameboy Advance today means the console has been alive for years, and the battery lifespan might die soon. Though the more straightforward the saved file, the longer an old battery seems to last. If you don’t store a lot of games that are 20 plus years old and the battery is still in good shape, it could last longer.

 How Long Can You Run a Gameboy Advance

The gaming experience is alive as long as the battery is on. The battery will eventually run out, but it can take several years. Nintendo set the original Gameboy Advance battery lifespan to around 15-20 years, which was 30 years ago. A Gameboy Advance game that is still active today possibly has a few years until it dies. The more you play the game the more the battery gets recharged, which can extend the life of the battery. But as with all good things, the battery life will come to an end. 

Note, again, that it will take several years for this to happen, and you have nothing to worry about. In the meantime, solid-state memory has solved this issue with newer game consoles. PS1 memory cards will keep their data intact over the years and the DS games are the same, so at least you don’t have to worry about losing your saved games from that point on.

How To Make Your Old Gameboy Advance As Good As (or better than) New

Nintendo’s retro revival has been focusing on the classic game console. You can get the new console hooked to a TV and enjoy all the old Gameboy games. The GameCube and Wii U faltered and the Gameboy Advance line was still in good shape among gamers. Most users preferred the hyperlink’s back-lit Gameboy Advance games.

The popularity of the Gameboy Advance suggests that users want to relive their long childhood car trips and bathroom breaks just like they want to relive hours in the basement parked in front of a TV and an NES without the worry of the Gameboy Advance dying.

You don’t have to worry about Nintendo taking too long to get the old portables up and running again. Get your old Gameboy up and running before it dies. The good news is the console can, with a few vibrant repairs and modding,  get your gaming experience back with the old Gameboy hardware as good as or even better than new.

All you need to do is get a fresh pair of batteries and some old games on the Gameboy Advance that you played and loved.

Saving The Gameboy Battery

You need a wealth of information to avoid misinformation. You can work on saving your Gameboy Advance battery and try to prevent the inevitable death.  Getting a saved battery on Gameboy Advance games means you can still play the game, but it won’t allow you to save because the original battery is dead.

When the battery dies, you can get a recent piece and replace it to continue saving your games. As simple as it may sound, you will need to crack the game cards wide open by unscrewing the little nut on the back of the card and replace your batteries.

Can’t you just replace the battery if it dies? Isn’t it only a watch battery you can get at Walgreens or CVS? You need that game cartridge screwdriver-like tool, but they’re available to prevent your Gameboy from dying.

Replacing The Battery

Because there are save batteries in Gameboy Advance games, in order to replace the battery you take needle nose pliers and unscrew the little nut on the back of the cart, slide the face of the cart down slightly, and then it lifts off. 

The batteries are soldered in, and you need a soldering iron to remove them and put the new battery back in. Basic soldering skills are required; if you don’t know how to solder, get someone who knows how to solder to do it for you.

 Replacement batteries are available for $3 or less.

Take the old battery with you when you go to buy a new one. You can also buy soldering guns for $7-10. Once you own one, you can replace any other cart save batteries that die in the future. You will also need a roll of solder and some flux, or just buy solder wire that is filled with flux (it’s a little messier). 

Buying a battery, soldering iron, solder and flux will still cost less than the cost of a replacement game, which will have no guarantee if the next game you buy the battery won’t die in THAT one as well. Use the soldering gun to remove the old battery, keeping in mind of which way the tabs and +/- went on the battery. It sucks to solder a new battery in and replace the cover only to find out you put it in the wrong way.

 Once you replace the battery, the game is good to go for another 10 years or so, probably longer since batteries have better life now than the less powerful ones they used 10-20 years ago.

 What About Gameboy Advance Battery Life

There is much you can do to save your Gameboy games. Since installing additional features such as back lights in the system that was never designed for backlights, would drain the battery more.

There are always extra ways to achieve more on your Gameboy Advance, but head-to-head comparison suggests that upgrades on your console might be efficient enough that they can improve the Gameboy’s battery life.

Make sure you take that advice with a grain of salt since it is just one data point. You don’t have to complain about your games battery life post-modification. For now, just enjoy playing your Gameboy games while the saving capability battery lasts.

You can play Gameboy Advance for an hour or two a day for a week on two rechargeable AA batteries without saving before the battery indicator turns red.

You can also always get a new memory battery when your Gameboy Advance dies.


Your Gameboy Advance game save battery will eventually die, but you can extend the life of the original battery until you are able to replace the battery with a new one in order to get many more years of enjoyment out of it.