The Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES), or simply the Super Nintendo, is a 16bit gaming console released by Nintendo in 1990. The Super Nintendo was one of the best sellers of its time and still has a large fanbase today.

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Why do my games only play in black and white?

Whenever I start the console, the games have no color. It only plays in black and white. It must be a problem with my console because I've tried playing the games on a friend's SNES and they played in full color.

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instructor armijo, this question is a little to old to expect an answer. You should try to ask your own by using the link on the right hand side of the is page "ask a question" and give all the details. The more details you give the great your chance of somebody providing you with the assistance you need to fix your problem. Good Luck.

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Deck the Halls
With tools and Fix Kits

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I just fixed my SNES with this problem, monochrome output on composite and S-video. Occasionally some color would appear. It was due to the master clock crystal frequency drifting slightly with age. To fix, use gamebit driver to open SNES case, remove just screws holding metal shield over circuit board (leave power switch in place, as you don't want it shorting with board), then reconnect SNES to TV and put game in, power on, observe monochrome output, then slightly adjust the small screw in the red component near the front. Mine had to be turned slightly counter-clockwise, but try both directions. Once you find a position that works, turn it more to find where it stops working, then turn it back so that it's not right at the edge of working. This fixed the color on mine and now it works fine.

Also see the answer below about replacing the crystal in case just turning the screw isn't enough.

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Scoured youtube for an answer to get the black and white picture fixed and nothing. Seeing your post and how easy it was I thought there was no way this would work. But sure enough, with a little twist of that crystal, my Donkey Kong Country 2 was in full color again! Thank you for the share, it's greatly appreciated.

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First of all, are you using a black and white TV? They made those once a upon a time, and if you're a kid maybe you have parents with an awesome sense of humor.

It sounds like you ruled out the game cartridge, so now isolate the issue to the console, cable or TV.

Plug your console into a different TV with the same cable to rule out your TV hardware.

Plug your console into the original TV using a different cable to rule out your cable.

Try a different type of cable (RF, composite, s-video), and if one of them gives color while the others dont, maybe you can work around the problem instead of fixing it.

If using an RF adapter, are you using the correct/same channel (3/4) on your TV and the RF box?

If you're using an S-video cable, maybe you're only getting luma and not chroma?

There should be 4 metal pins and one plastic guide tab in an s-video connector, check for those being bent/broken.

If SCART or import hardware... well I hope it's not an NTSC vs. PAL issue. Google for region-specific issues.

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+ nice answer

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Hi Gargantua

your advice helped me in resolving a black and white issue with one of my faulty american super nintendos.

i noticed some strange behavior when turning the clock screw. So to resolve my black and white issue i removed the NTSC crystal and replaced it with a new one and the system now works perfectly. im wondering if replacing the crystal will resolve colour issues with other faulty super nintendo!

the crystal i used was 21.47727 hz crystal oscillator, they are very cheap to buy on ebay think i paid about $1 for 10 shipped to australia.

hope this helps other that might have this video issue.

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The game system most likley has a loosed wire and doesnt play color do u shake it and get color because my snes does the same thing

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We have a new Sharp smart tv and had this issue. You have to change it from component to video. initial setup/input settings/input select and change it to video.

I know this question was asked a very long time ago, but I know we had issues so I thought I'd add in what we did. I hope it helps!

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Joel Ingram will be eternally grateful.
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