How to Play Japanese N64 games on US N64 console (or Vise Versa)

Tools you need

  • 3.8mm Security Screwdriver for soft mod
  • 4.5mm Security Screwdriver, region free slot, and spoon for hard mod

A lot of people don’t know how but this is very simple and easy way.

Nintendo is very well-known company to add “region restriction” to their game system. On Nintendo 64, the shape of the back part of cartridge and the shape of inside game slot is different.  However, actual console mechanics is the same.

Simply all you need to do is either to change the back part of the game cartridge (soft mod) or to remove game slot’s plastic region restriction tabs (hard mod).

Method 1 : Soft Mod

I will show you how to exchange back part of cartridge here.  I think this way is the easiest.

First take a look at the difference between Japanese and US cartridges.


Next only tool you need is 3.8mm security screw bit.


Different view


Now, unscrew all screws of the cartridge.  (counterclockwise)

Be very careful on the direction of unscrewing.  Screws can be almost 20 years old and can be very fragile.

You don’t want to strip head of screws! It is extremely hard to remove stripped screws (Talking from my experience…).



Then, remove back part of the cartridge.

Simply lift up the part where screw is attached and slide it down to the bottom (where you see gold plated connection) of the cartridge.



All you need to do now is exchange the back part of the cartridge.

Now it’s ready to play.


Method 2: Hard Mod

This hard mod requires two things.

  • 4.5mm security bit
  • Philips screwdriver (+)
  • Region Free Cartridge Slot
  • Spoon

First, you open a lid where it says “Memory Expansion”, and you will see a jumper or an expansion pack inside.

Now you use a spoon to take off a jumper / expansion pack. Simple you stick tip of the spoon into a groom of a pack, bowl side up, and then push handle down using leverage. I recommend laying paper towel or soft cloth where spoon touches the console especially your console is a clear color console (if you have a black/charcoal grey console, you probably don’t need to worry about it. )  to prevent any damage since clear plastic is more fragile.

After a jumper/expansion pack is removed, you flip the console and use 4.5mm security bit to unscrew 6 screws at the bottom.

Then take a top cover off and turn it over. You will see the original slot tray. Now use a Philips screwdriver and remove the tray and replace with a region free slot.  Now you do every step backwards and now your console is forever NTSC region free!!

I carry 3.8mm security bit as well as 4.5mm bit.  4.5mm bit is for console screws.

Region Free Slot Black & 3.8mm + 4.5mm Gaming Security Bit

Region Free Slot Clear & 3.8mm + 4.5mm Gaming Security Bit

Thanks for reading!!

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