Inserted Cartridge Isn't Being Detected

When utilizing the Operator device, there may be instances where the Playback app does not detect the cartridge. Epilogue is dedicated to creating devices that enhance the retro gaming experience, but challenges can arise occasionally. This guide provides a comprehensive set of steps to troubleshoot and resolve the cartridge detection issue.

1. Clean Your Cartridge Pins

The most common cause for cartridge reading issues is dirty or oxidized cartridge pins. Before proceeding with other troubleshooting steps, ensure your game cartridge pins are clean.

For a detailed guide on cleaning cartridge pins properly, please refer to our tutorial: How should I clean my game cartridge pins?

2. Proper Cartridge Insertion

Make sure that your cartridge sits comfortably in the Operator device. It shouldn’t be loose, nor should it require excessive force to insert. Proper alignment and firm placement can make all the difference.

3. Check the Cartridge’s PCB

If you're comfortable with it, consider opening the cartridge and inspecting the Printed Circuit Board (PCB) for any visible damage or worn-out pins. Over time, wear and tear can affect the internals of a cartridge, and a visual inspection might reveal the root cause.

4. Beware of Unofficial and Reproduction Carts

Unofficial and reproduction cartridges can sometimes pose readability issues. These cartridges often utilize lower-quality parts that might deteriorate rapidly or might have an architecture vastly different from original games. If your cartridge is a reproduction or unofficial version, this might be the reason behind the detection problem. For GB/GBC/GBA games, you can follow our guide: How to Spot an Inauthentic GB/GBC/GBA Game.


When dealing with older gaming hardware, issues can arise due to various factors, including the age and wear of the cartridges. If only one or two official games from your collection aren't being detected, the cartridge might have deteriorated due to prolonged usage and the inevitable passage of time.

However, if you notice that multiple official games aren't being read properly or they sit loosely in the cartridge slot, please reach out to us. File a Warranty Request, and our dedicated team will investigate the issue further, ensuring that you get back to gaming as soon as possible.


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