How The NES Zapper Worked

Forget about the Wii controller, ever wonder how the NES Zapper worked? Wikipedia writes: “When the [Zapper] trigger was pulled, the game blanked out the screen with a black background for one frame, then, for one additional frame, drew a solid white rectangle around the sprite the user was supposed to be shooting at… Zapper would detect these changes in intensity and send a signal to the NES to indicate whether it was over a lit pixel or not. A drop followed by a spike in intensity signaled a hit.”

Follow the link for more Zapper information than one should know.

4 Responses to How The NES Zapper Worked

  1. FAMICOM83 says:


  2. Matthew says:

    Wow. I still don’t get it.

  3. duckhuntdude says:


    I very much doubt that 1 frame talk, you should be able to see that.

    I always thought the color coding of the sprites was measured by the Zapper’s light sensor…

  4. Anonymous says:

    Then how would putting the zapper right to the TV screen = successful hits.

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