Released in 1996, the Nintendo Game Boy Pocket edition was the first iteration of the 8-bit handheld king, the Game Boy. With the same specs as its parent, the pocket edition boasted the need for fewer batteries and a slimmer design that could easily “fit in your pocket”.

This “tear down” guide will walk you through the steps to fully disassemble the Game Boy Pocket, leaving it ready for a good cleaning, modding, or whatever plans you have for it.

Getting Started

As far as Nintendo consoles and handhelds go, the Game Boy Pocket is one of the easier ones to disassemble. With only 13 screws total and an easily removable LCD screen, you’ll be done in minutes even with novice skill level.

Tools Required

Step 1. Shell Screws

  • Before you begin, take a moment to remove the battery cover, batteries, and game cartridge (if there’s one in there).
  • This is also a good time to inspect the Game Boy Pocket. Look for any cracks, broken pieces, signs of battery corrosion, or other kinds of damage that may hinder further disassembly.
  • Using your Y1 tri-point screwdriver, remove the 4 case screws around the edges and the 2 in the battery compartment.
  • Screw locations are circled in yellow.
  • With the screws removed and set aside, the top and bottom of the shell should easily come apart.

Step 2. Remove Main Board Screws

  • There will be 3 phillips head screws to remove on the bottom half of the main board.
  • After removing the screws, don’t remove the board quite yet, it’s still attached to the LCD by the orange ribbon cable at the top.
  • This particular GBP has a lot of flux along the bottom of the board (the brown discoloration). This wont cause any damage and is just residue from soldering. None-the-less, cleaning it up with Isopropyl Alcohol will give it that brand new look.

Step 3. Remove Mainboard from LCD

  • The mainboard is only attached to the ribbon cable. There will be an inch or so of slack so you can slide the board down to give yourself some room.
  • The two yellow arrows point to the ribbon cable clamps. Using your thumbnail or spudger tool, gently push or pull towards the top on them to release the cable.
  • Gently pull the ribbon cable outwards to remove it.
  • At this point, the mainboard is free from the LCD and can be set aside.
  • Now exposed will be the A-B buttons, Start/Select, and D-Pad. There’s nothing holding them in place and they should come right off to be set aside.

Step 4. Remove the LCD

Word of caution for this step: the LCD is made of glass so be very careful when removing it. You don’t want to cut your finger, or worse, damage the LCD!

  • Using your spudger tool, gently slide it under the LCD on one of the corners.
  • Slowly lift the LCD out of place.
  • Note: The LCD glass is adhered to the top half of the shell with sticky tape or adhesive so you’ll probably feel some resistance.
  • Once the LCD is free from the adhesive, it should lift right up.

Step 5. Remove the RF Shielding

This step is optional depending on your intent. If you’re disassembling your Game Boy Pocket for a deep cleaning, I recommend removing the RF Shielding. However, if you are only doing a repair, you can probably skip this step.

  • Remove the 4 Phillips head screws from the RF Shielding.

That’s it!

For reassembly, it should be pretty straightforward but you can follow this guide backwards if you need a reference.

Where you go from here is up to you. For this particular Game Boy Pocket I replaced the old worn out case with a new translucent purple one. I think it looks great!