Preserving Arcade Memories: The Advantages of NVRAM in Pinball and Arcade Machines

Arcade and pinball machines are not just mechanical marvels; they're a treasure trove of nostalgia and entertainment. However, over time, these classic games can face an insidious threat: battery leakage. Many classic arcade machines rely on batteries to retain high scores, settings, and configuration data, making them susceptible to damage from battery corrosion. In this article, we'll explore the benefits of using Non-Volatile RAM (NVRAM) as a modern and reliable alternative to batteries in pinball and arcade machines. We'll also delve into the issue of battery leakage and how it can affect these beloved gaming devices.

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The Problem with Batteries

Traditional batteries, such as AA alkaline cells, have long been the standard for retaining data in pinball and arcade machines. Unfortunately, they are not without their drawbacks. Battery leakage is a common issue that plagues many vintage machines, even before the batteries' expiration dates. Major battery brands are not immune to this problem, and the corrosive chemicals released by leaking batteries can wreak havoc on circuit boards, causing irreparable damage.

NVRAM: The Reliable Solution

NVRAM, or Non-Volatile RAM, offers a modern and dependable alternative to traditional batteries in pinball and arcade machines. Unlike batteries, NVRAM stores data without the need for continuous power, eliminating the risk of leakage and the associated circuit board damage. Here are some key advantages of using NVRAM:

  1. Battery-Free: The most significant benefit of NVRAM is its freedom from batteries. By replacing batteries with NVRAM, you can eliminate the constant worry of battery leakage and its potential consequences.
  2. Longevity: NVRAM chips are designed to last for decades without needing replacement. They are not affected by time, making them a reliable choice for preserving game data indefinitely.
  3. Environmentally Friendly: Using NVRAM reduces the environmental impact associated with disposable batteries. It helps minimize electronic waste and the chemicals released into the environment when batteries leak.
  4. Data Retention: NVRAM retains data even during power outages or when the machine is switched off. This ensures that high scores, custom settings, and game configurations are preserved.

Addressing the Battery Leakage Issue

Battery leakage is a well-documented problem that can lead to significant repair costs and the potential loss of cherished arcade and pinball machines. Major battery brands have been known to experience leakage issues, even if the batteries are replaced before their expiration dates. This poses a real threat to vintage gaming systems.

Battery leakage can corrode circuit traces, damage components, and lead to costly repairs or even irreparable harm to the machine's electronics. In some cases, the damage may be so severe that it requires the replacement of entire circuit boards, which can be both expensive and difficult to source.

Peace of Mind with NVRAM

By opting for NVRAM in pinball and arcade machines, owners can enjoy peace of mind knowing that their machines are safe from the damaging effects of battery leakage. NVRAM is a one-time investment that eliminates the need for regular battery replacements and the associated risk of corrosion and damage.


Preserving the heritage of classic pinball and arcade machines is a labor of love for enthusiasts and collectors. NVRAM offers a reliable and worry-free solution to the long-standing problem of battery leakage. By replacing batteries with NVRAM chips, owners can safeguard their beloved gaming devices, ensuring that they continue to bring joy and nostalgia for generations to come. It's time to bid farewell to the era of battery-induced anxiety and embrace the peace of mind that NVRAM brings to the world of arcade and pinball gaming.

Check out our selection of NVRAM modules for pinball / arcade machines!

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