Why blowing air into NES cartridges is gaming’s greatest urban legend

Blowing air into NES cartridges to fix glitches is a gaming urban legend that has persisted for years. This practice became widely known as a supposed solution to address issues with games not working properly on the Nintendo Entertainment System console. However, the idea of blowing into cartridges as an effective troubleshooting method is more of a misconception than a reality. Blowing air into cartridges can even potentially introduce moisture from your breath into the cartridge’s contacts. Over time, this moisture can lead to corrosion and other damage, actually exacerbating the problem. Not something you really want, if you consider the rising value these cartridges have. While it might dislodge some dust or particles temporarily, blowing air can also push debris further into the cartridge or console, potentially causing more harm in the long run. Many NES cartridge issues were related to poor connection between the cartridge’s contacts and the console’s connector pins. Blowing air doesn’t address the underlying issue of misalignment, which could lead to further damage. In some cases, blowing into cartridges might seem to work temporarily. This could be due to the movement of contacts caused by the air or simply coincidental improvements. However, it doesn’t address the actual source of the problem. If your NES cartridges are not working properly, it’s better to use proper cleaning methods. Cleaning kits and solutions specifically designed for electronics can be used to clean the contacts without introducing moisture or pushing debris further.

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