Game Boy Pocket Backlight Install




Introduction: Game Boy Pocket Backlight Install

About: I enjoying learning new skills and love working with my hands. I often revisit my childhood and create projects from things which I once cherished. I've learned a variety of modifications for Game Boys and a...

Brought to you by Hand Held Legend


This backlight allows you to illuminate your old Game Boy for retro gaming in the dark! Make sure to have all of your materials prepared and ready to go before you begin. It is always a good idea to disassemble and scrub the plastic casing before beginning.

4-LED Backlight
Tri-Wing screw driver
Phillips-00 Screwdriver
Soldering Iron and electric solder
Utility Blade
Lens Cloth
70-90% Iso-propyl alcohol

Step 1: Installation

To begin, remove all 6 tri-wing screws from the back of your original Game Boy MGB (Pocket). Keep these in a safe place as you will need them later when reassembling. Next, remove the ribbon cable connecting the front LCD to the PCB by pushing up on the white tabs that hold it in place. Tug gently.

At this point you should have the LCD and PCB separated. Proceed to remove the 3 Phillips head screws connecting the front PCB (with the screen) to the front shell. Again, keep these in a safe spot they are easy to lose. NOTE: These screws are easily stripped, so be careful when removing.

Step 2: LCD Screen Removal

Now is a good time to clean the front shell with soap and water. Let dry. Next, on the front PCB, remove the two small screws that attach the screen ribbon cable to the front PCB.

Next, carefully lift the screen using a flat head screwdriver or utility blade. Remove the tape connecting the ribbon cable to the LCD.

**Remember to turn on your soldering Iron**

Step 3: Film Removal

To remove the polarized film on the underside of the LCD, protect the front of the screen with tape or a Post-it® note. Turn the screen front side facing down and obtain a clean, sharp utility blade. Starting with the top right corner (when lying down); insert the edge of the blade between the silver polarized adhesive film and the glass LCD. Push your blade gently and evenly with pressure about 0.5 inches between the film and LCD. Now use your fingers or pliers to peel back the silver film. DO NOT pull without securing the LCD screen. Make sure to hold the screen with your other hand and protect the connections from the ribbons cables to the LCD. Severing these could lead to a screen that is not repairable. Once all of the film has been removed, you may notice a small amount of adhesive in the corners. Use rubbing alcohol and a cue-tip to remove and clean the glass on the back side of the LCD.

Step 4:

You are now ready to install the backlight behind the LCD and illuminate it from behind. Clean behind your LCD screen with a can of compressed air. Any speck of dust will give you an annoying dot that is not easily removed. Prepare your LED backlight by removing the protective film on the front. Next, immediately remove the films from the polarized film provided in your kit. This is the thin grayish square. Place the protective film on top of the LED backlight to prevent dust from entering in between. Touching only the edges of the backlight and polarization film, lift them together and slide them behind the glass LCD to fit into the existing frame. The order of the parts from bottom to top should be backlight, polarization film, then LCD. The polarized film will only show the pixels if oriented properly, make sure it is facing the right way before screwing the front PCB back to the shell.

The red and black wires should exit the frame and appear below the ribbon cable at the bottom of the LCD screen. Thread them through the case so as to avoid the button pads. They should appear at the bottom right side of the case. Replace the PCB on top of the screen when you are satisfied with your backlight and button placement.

Step 5: Wiring

Now its time to solder the positive and negative wires to the PCB. Find the bottom right most corner of the PCB to locate the two contacts that you will be soldering to. The positive (red) lead will be soldered to the second contact up from the bottom right corner (see pics). The black to the bottom of the 3 solder points near the capacitor. Test your backlight with a DC power source of use two AAA batteries.

Step 6: Finished

You're almost done. Screw the 3 Phillips head screws to reattach the PCB to the shell. Replace the back shell to close up your unit.

Check out Hand Held Legend for your backlight and other mods.

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    8 Discussions


    5 years ago on Introduction

    Is there anyway to protect or even repair those pins on the ribbon cable at the bottom of the screen? I've already ruined one practice screen and one (once) working screen when trying to remove the polarizing layer


    Reply 2 years ago

    My first try was a fail T_T While removing a reflective layer i've discovered that there's one more kinda blue layer underneath the LCD. The problem was neither on videos nor elsewhere no one mentioned that & to the moment i was sure - silver film is both of them... Is that so? 'Cause i've tried to figure it out myself orienting against the laptop screen - mgb lcd's colour changed after 90 degrees turn, so i've decided that polarizer's still there and start removing again resulted with wide ribbon on the right trashed along with gb's screen( it's painful... i've prosounded my MGB allready, but really afraid to trash it again doing backlit mod...


    4 years ago

    will you need, or can you use Loca?


    Reply 4 years ago

    Not for this mod, only for the game boy color frontlight


    Reply 4 years ago

    And the GameBoy Advance frontlight mod too!


    5 years ago on Step 4

    you sure the sandwich is step 4 is right? shouldn't it be from top to bottom lcd, polarized, backlight, (with ribbon on top). i'm fairly certain the polarized layer was between on my dmg.


    Reply 5 years ago

    Absolutely. Yes of course it should be that way. Sorry for the typo. Will fix asap